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Sound odd? but I felt this way the other day. Granted I was working on my technique earlier in the day . But when I went out to play a round, that's all I could think about. So after 12 holes, I just quit and headed over to a nearby field and worked on my drives for about an hour and then headed of to the practice baskets for an hour or so of putting.
I had more fun that day working on my game than I did playing. So I was wondering if anybody else ever felt this way?
This is good stuff Mark. Are any of the warm-up games you have invented posted anywhere? Me and my buddies have invented some games... I bet you have at least a few you use often. I would be curious to learn them. I play with many levels of players and would love to make things competitive and even.
Well my partner who did practice putting before the round missed the very same shot so what does that say? I am 51 years old so my muscles have plenty of memory. Probably more than even me.
You know, I went out to play today with a few friends and I played much better. Lately I have been in a semi-funk and today's round made me realize that I am just not following through properly on my putts. Somehow my mind is getting in the way and I'm not just getting up there and canning them. Now that I know the issue I am sure that the next round will be better. Now, is what I did today practice? Of course it is. I just didn't practice in a field. And even though it wasn't a perfect round it was a good round.
I wish that I was a good enough player to say I don't need to practice. However since that's not the case I'll keep throwing my upshots and putting at home, because I think it helps. (at least it does me.) My scores have improved on average about 3-4 strokes per round, which has put me from being a contributer to the prize fund to actually taking home prizes. Now if I could just get my drives to go where I want them, I would not need to make as many "Great upshot" shots.
Maybe we all have different ways of practicing. I just try to play as much as possible and maybe some of those rounds end up being "practice" rounds. After all, if there isn't money or something on the line then to me it is just practice. Today I took a couple of shots a couple of times since it was just a round with friends. I try not to do that too much since it can annoy fellow competitors, but today our pace of play was pretty slow so it wasn't a big deal.
I guess that one thing that you can't practice by just throwing putts or drives is the mental game. That comes about in rounds. I realize that at the age of 51 I already have a lot of shots in my arsenal and my game probably won't change in any great way. So rounds give me a way to test myself. It is all about confidence and "practicing" confidence is key to my game. I want to throw the best shots each round that I play and in league I want to win. It doesn't always happen that way but at least I have the confidence to believe that it is possible each time that I play. Also playing with others can sometimes give you a new way of looking at things, either because you saw something you didn't see before or because someone else "turns you on" to something new (shot, disc, etc.).
In the end if it works for you then keep doing it.
All the time. I spent more time in the field practicing than playing on the courses. I wanted to know my discs and their flights to know what to throw and when. Plus you can just go out and crush, crush, crush and work on your endurance for those long tourneys.
I practice more than I play during the tourney season here. I only show for leagues (sometimes) and tourney's when it is time to play.
At the DiscGolfReview site there is a thread called "The Games We Play" where I have described numerous games:
While I have invented lots of solo games, except for putting, none of them work all that well for me. I always worry I will make great shots and have no one to witness them. For putting, though, my best practice is solo and I make up lots of weird little games to force myself to concentrate.
Of course, if I looked as good as Sheila Kirkham, playing with myself would be much more appealing.
You are correct, there are many ways to practice, including playing rounds. I too, like to place minor bets on every game I play as bets create pressure to perform. For skill development though, playing rounds is just the slowest way to practice. In a full round we will shoot around 50 shots in a couple hours, many of those shots being so easy we don't need to practice them ( gimme putts, etc.). I will throw more shots than that in 10 minutes of practice, solely on shots I think are worthy of being practiced.
One of the things that I have realized from this thread is that there is no "one size fits all" way to go about things in disc golf. Some people are just starting out and can benefit from going to the field. Others like me have been playing for so long that we know what works, we know both our strengths and limitations, and we don't have aspirations to be the next Ken Climo. That doesn't make us any less competitive however. It's just that going to a field to throw probably won't significantly change our games. At the age of 51 I still enjoy league and competing for money. I also enjoy casual rounds with friends. But putting in hours of practice is not where it is at right now in my life. I just praise God that I am still alive and can still beat some people at this game. My favorite activity is playing doubles with good players. Doubles is the time to bring out all of your best shots and show others that you have what it takes to win. And age does bring experience which is important.
Maybe next year I can compete in a tournament or two in Grand Masters. I haven't competed in a tourney in many years now, but I would love to get back into a few good tournaments as a way to test myself. In the meantime I plan on playing a few rounds.
There is a lot of "if it works for me it must work for you" attitude in disc golf. But we are all different people who just happen to play the same game. All I know is that "if it works for me, it works for me".
Outside of putting practice, playing in a field for hours and hours made the biggest difference in my game. I have a hard time believing that this wouldn't do the same, quicker, for somebody else; especially if they were just starting out.
One thing that I've noticed in all areas of sports is that the good players play a lot, but the truly great players don't. They spend hours and hours practicing, though. Practice is a given.
Consistent putting practice is always a great thing. Field practice is great for those of us who still struggle with our driving, but throwing a disc fast and straight across an open field isn't going to do much for the better players out there. Driving practice for the more experienced usually means going out to that tricky 250' hole and driving it again and again until you nail it every time.
Playing lots of rounds builds skill, that much cannot be argued with, but practicing all of your different shots is going to make you a better golfer, no doubts about it. Something practice is going to help very much is your game on different courses. Playing your home course over and over again is going to make you very dialed-in on those holes and will build your skills, but to a lesser extent.
Are there a lot of good players that don't practice? Yes. The great players, however, always do. If you don't practice, you can be good, very good, but you'll never realize your full potential. Some simply are having too much fun to care about getting better. Disc golf is a game, love it; play it the way you want to. If you want to be competitive, though, practice is a commandment, not an option.
I am very competitive when I play but I don't "practice" the way you describe it. My "practice is done in rounds where I play either in doubles or singles matches. In that case I have to always deal with the mental aspect of the game, the kind of thing that you often see professional ball golfers deal with. How do you respond when you are behind? What do you do when you are ahead? Those are the mental aspects of the game and putting to a practice basket will not help you with those things. Only playing will help you learn how to deal with those situations when they arise. Playing gives you the experience necessary to deal with those situations. It allows you to never give up and keep pushing until the end. That is what makes a true champion. Case in point - Tiger Woods finally won again on the PGA tour. It was basically him and Zach Johnson dueling it out to the end. Tiger birdied the 17th hole to tie it up and then birdied the 18th for the win. Johnson had just birdied the 16th to tie it all up and had the momentum. Tiger never gave up and he knew what he had to do for the win. Now I know that he also engages in many hours of physical practice as well. He wouldn't be where he is without doing that. But he needed that mental training to stay focused and win. And that comes from playing many rounds against competitors.
Now I am a long ways from being a professional ball golfer or even being someone who wins a bunch of disc golf tourneys. But I am still very competitive in the local scene. I am 51, know all of my shots and how to throw them. It is just a matter of executing those shots when called upon to do so. And honestly, ball golf is much more difficult than disc golf. There is a whole different level of complexity in ball golf. So I plan on sticking with my routine which involves casual rounds, singles matches (sometimes for money) and league play. I'm not going to be the next Climo anyway. I just don't have the arm strength.