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I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. The closest disc golf course is 65 miles away in any direction. I would love to buy land and build a course here but until then I have to travel. There are 3 that I can play at, and I have played about 18-54 holes a week all summer starting this year. I have 4 baskets at my house and play a little in the yard. I Probably have about 1 350 ft hole, a 220 ft hole and a couple putting baskets. Since I aspire to be pretty good someday rather soon and It is near impossible to have a local friend that is a pro. I was hoping to ask a few questions to help me put everything in perspective...
I was wondering what kind of scores you pro players shoot?
What about a bad rd?
How far do you throw?
Do you throw all kinds of shots really well, or just one way exceptionally well?
What shots do you throw with confidence in tournaments?
Do you practice putting daily?
What is the maximum range that you feel you make 80% of your putts?
How old are you?
What in your opinion is the key to your success?
I don't want to limit this post to only pro players, feel free to answer only things you are comfortable with. Actually if you have some good questions feel free to add them... Thanks, I plan on answering these myself as well

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Do a tournament, and you will see how you stack up,and where you need to be.
Its not that I wanna go pro or think I'm pro or even wanna compete as much as I'd like to hear what some of the best have to say about what it does take to get there. Not just for me but for everyone...
So I am not a pro. I consider myself a good Am1 player though. I can answer your questions to give you some feed back and see how you are doin!

1. I normally shoot under. It really depends on the course though. My home course here in Los Angeles I tend to shoot 3-5 down on a normal round. Some times shoot lower some times not. On the more championship level courses I shoot right around par to 1-2 under par.
2. Bad rounds are usually not as awful as they seem. A couple over par is usually where they end up... One piece of advise i can give for serious play... Take your par's. Take birdies when they are there but don't try to force them... you will see your score get lower and lower!
3. I can consistently throw around 400ish ft. Distance is not as important as accuracy. One way to get more D is to take your putters to an open field. Throw them well and work on your distance with them. You'll see a big improvement!
4. Learning to throw all kinds of shots is very important. I came to disc golf from Ultimate. I think this was a great advantage to me because i learned all different types of shots. I feel most confident with my backhand but am not afraid to pull out an over head shot or forehand.
5. Throw all your shots with confidence. Be confident in all the shots you make.
6. I wish I could practice putting daily. I think if I could do this I would be more up for playing in the Open division. If you can putt daily make sure to keep it fun... Look for games to play with yourself to keep it exciting and to keep getting better. Check out Mark Ellis for putting advice. His practice routine will help a lot!
7. I feel like 80% for me is from the circle. The weather will always affect that but with ideal conditions 30ft is where i feel confident.
8. 23. I took a couple years off after High School but wish i hadnt. I was playing at a high Am level then but stopped. Getting back to it though!
9. Keys to my success would be being confident in my game. Being able to play in a tournament and not be super overwhelmed. Taking my pars and moving on. Being a smart player is just as, if not more important, then having tons of skill. Knowing when to take a par and move on or when to push it and go for the birdie.

Hope all this helps!
So how good are the top pros? They are amazing! They are freaks! They have a degree of brilliance and consistency you won't believe until you witness it.

Why don't more players turn Pro? Because they see how good the top of the field is. You can play solid golf and cash in any Amateur tournament. You have to play really good to cash in Pro and superb to win in Pro.

You could let this discourage you from making Pro your goal but those Pros started just like everybody else: they sucked. Yeah they might have had talent but they had to develop their skill. Talent is just a start. Practice turns talent into skill.

The numbers Daniel T Neilly asks about don't mean much. If you really want to find out where you stack up go play an NT event in Open. Attach a chin strap to your baseball cap to keep your chin off the ground.
True. When I started playing there were 2 divisions, novice and Open, no one played novice lol.
My first round of tournament play I was put in a group with a US Open winner and like Mark said, my chin dropped. That one round showed me what could be done with a disc, things I hadn't realized yet. (The US Open winner on my card won that tournament) It didn't teach me how to do it but did show me what I could accomplish. I think at that time, that one round doubled my skills. Of course at that time doubling my skills still made me a bad player with a lot to learn, but it was a tremendous boost for me.
I started playing in the Open div. half way through this year, I cashed in 3 of 5 events. and my player rating is 957. I still don't consider myself a pro, but I had my share of winning in MA1. This year my rating has gone up 20 points!
I consistatly shoot around my rating and higher.
Bad rounds this year have come on windy days, Being able to throw in the wind seperates the pros from the ams.
I throw backhand and forehand with confidence. Being able to throw forehand hyzers has given me an advantage on every course.
I practice putting alot. everyday would be nice but hard to do. It took years for me to really be able to putt with confidence.
I practice off of the course, I like to practice alone. the course is where you bring A game.
I can make 80% of 20ft putts.
I am 27, started playing in 2005. my first PDGA event was 2006.
The key to success for me has been exposure to the game through PDGA sanctioned tournements. On tournement day, you are forced to play in bad weather, with people who you don't know or may not like, the pressure of following all the rules, and the competition. Tournaments make you play outside of your comfort zone, when you get back home, you WILL notice a difference in your game and confidence..
My rating is also 957. Hoping to feel confident enough the middle of next year to play Open. Havent played in a NT event yet but have played in an A tier and the top guys are totally amazing. The power they have is awesome. They can shape shots like you wouldnt believe. Watching and playing with them is the best way to get better. Ask them lots of question when you have down time at tournys.
Always stay Positive even in a negative environment.

Never , Ever DNF !!! Unless your wife is giving birth or you sustain a personal injury.
I am 27 and have only played in one tourney. I was in the mix through two rds til i had a monumental meltdown rd 3. Like Jay Dubs I learned so much in that one tourney it probably doubled my ability. I have only played at 9 different courses but I feel that I shoot at an extremely difficult and long course at Emery Park in Buffalo area. It is extremely long, and barely open at all...
I can throw almost 400 ft flat, but consistantly throw about 360.
Par is what I compete with, I usually can shoot under par. I usually play the par on the signs and my best rd -4 at emery and -8 at chestnut ridge but I would have been about even if I played chestnut as all par 3. It would be wildly impossible to try to play emery as a par 3 and keep your score without a tablet or calculator...
A bad rd for me is when I miss putts, and I usually shoot no worse than 4-5 over. Ha, except when I shot plus 16 in rd 3 of the tourny ha ha
I Love to throw rhbh on open holes but if the terrain is ideal I have rolled my roadrunner well over 600'. I currently throw 22discs and each has its each shot. I use an overhand thumber very well and can flick the disc at all angles and over 300'. Recently, I have even learned the hyzer flip and use that well. My strength to my game is that I usually have a shot that will work no matter where my drive ends up... And my approach game is good.
I have 4 baskets and try to putt at least 2-3 times a week but if it is nice I will putt more often. This has helped my scores drop 15 strokes this summer if not more. The first time I played Emery I shot plus 23. This year! I can make 80% of my putts to about 40ft in my yard but lay up more often than I'd like on the course..
The key to my success which is limited since I have only really competed with myself is obvious: putting at my house, but there are a few other small things that I do that seriously dropped my score. I write the flight chart on the back of my discs with marker. I also write what I have had the most success using that disc for. Like big Anny, or downhill distance, great flick, thumber, disc skips, will not turn over, only over 300', roller, and much more. I also draw a line on the disc of what it seems to like to do. Like my beast seems to S turn, my wraith turns over, and my boss seems to fly straighter till the end...
The other thing that helped my game a lot was buying lighter discs. I only knew that there were 175g until this year. My ideal weight is about 166. I suggest to all of you to find your ideal weight- if you are pro or not you may be throwing the wrong weight. I couldn't get anything to turn over for me until I started throwing lighter discs. My farthest disc is still a 170 destroyer but the ones that I can really control are lighter even as light as 150 class!
Thanks for the added perspective everyone! I think that I'm going to be designing a course in the Alleghany state park on the Red house side this spring and If you are in the area and are interested in helping I need all the help I can get...
Believe me Pros make lots of mistakes (esp the young ones) and it seems like I can go through a round putting like a fool with a few dumb bogeys but still shoot 1000+. Normally a BAD round for me is anything less than 980-985 but I have had a few horrible ones in the past.

I personally throw about 420' on a straight golf shot and can get a hyzer out to 400 which comes in handy.

I feel that I can throw all kinds of shots well and when I look at the guys I play against it seems I have more shots than 95% of them do to the fact I throw RHBH but LHFH which means I need a solid anhyzer since all my shots finish left but my rescue shots are pretty good and being able to use both hands helps.

My best shots according to my main rival is a low punch hyzer, 350ft tunnels, and Comet shots.

I used to putt daily because like you I am over an hour from a course but It has been a year since I stuck to my old routine that helped boost my rating 50pts.

80% putts are funny because sometimes I can't make close to 80% of my 20fters while most of the time those are 95% and usually when the shorties aren't going in my 40-50fters are over 50%.

I am 20 and the key to success is practice and being able to compete on a regular basis. Playing tournaments is key and right now that is pretty much the only golf I get to play. Oh and learn to throw putters well off the tee.
Well said !!! I am 20 and the key to success is practice and being able to compete on a regular basis. Playing tournaments is key and right now that is pretty much the only golf I get to play. Oh and learn to throw putters well off the tee.

However , I'm now 50 and in the Grandmasters. Gets even harder when you get older !!!
I just started playing Pro this year and have yet to cash, however I only played pro 3 times this year. One of which I was in second at the end of the first round and on the lead card. My nerves got to me real bad and I blew up and came in last. Just one more learning experience along the way! Anyhow my rating does not in any way sum up the kind of player I am. I have the ability to compete with the big boys and know this after a long hard road to the top. So let me try and answer your questions........
1). What kind of scores do we shoot....Well that depends on the course. To put this into perspective, we have 2 courses in Greater Louisville. Iroquois I can shoot a 10,11, or 12 down on a regular basis. The other Charlie Vettiner I can only shoot an even, 1, or 2 down. So scores can really change depending on the course.
2). What about a bad rd............What about a bad rd? Shake it off and know that you can do better next time. If you dwell on it it will continue to haunt you. If you just forget about it than you can play better the next rd.
3). How far do I throw?.........Around 425ft. However I have always said distance doesn't really matter a whole lot. My second shots and putts are where it counts. My first Pro tourney this year I played with a guy who could throw 550, yet the whole round we had the same scores. So he threw further off the pad. All that matters in the end is did I score the same as he did.
4). Do you throw all kinds of shots really well, or just one way exceptionally well?......................YES! Except one, Forehand. I only use forehand when I have no other option available. Yeah I'm good enough at it to make it work 90% of the time but I hate throwing that way. Otherwise I can throw every other way exceptionally well. I can throw, backhand, Tomahawk, hook thumb, scubie, forehand and backhand rollers, turbo putt, and any other way I may have missed with great accuracy.
5). What shots do you throw with confidence in tournaments?......................All of them, simply because you have to have confidence in this sport. This game is 90% mental and 10% physical. You can play mind games and become a much better player. If you think you are good you probably are!
6).Do you practice putting daily?.............Not daily, however I have. I took Mark Ellis' putting confidence program earlier this year and it solved all of my problems. I would highly suggest asking Mark about this and do it!!!!!! Mark is a genius when it comes to explaining things in this sport! Now days I putt for about 30 minutes before I play a round. That is my practice!
7)What is the maximum range that you feel you make 80% of your putts?.....................80% doesn't cut it for me. I am looking for 100%. I have gotten to the point where a 50 ft putt is a gimme to me. If I miss it I am P.O.ed. I know that sounds kinda ridiculous but I am finally at that level where those should be made.
8)How old are you?............I am 34, I started playing when I was 17. However I did not start competitive disc golf until about 6 years ago.
9) What in your opinion is the key to your success?..................Other Pro's!! Mick Pennigton, Eric Roadhouse, Dutch Napier, Scott Rief, Dave Greenwell, and Mark Ellis. All of these people with the exception of Mark have pushed me and given me all the pointers I could ever need to become a great player. I owe pretty much all of my success to these guys. Granted, it took my own will and practice to become a great player but without them helping me along the way I would have never gotten to this point. As far as Mark goes, I owe him all the gratitude in the world for putting. He alone is responsible for where my putting is right now. And he did this without ever meeting face to face. Thanks Mark!!!!

Some extras for you...................
10). How do you learn all of the shots in disc golf?...................I start by throwing them in an open Field. I will take every disc I have and throw it one particular way for a week or so and than decide which disc works best. Once I have that part figured out, I will watch the flight path until I can visualize it in my head. Than when I get to the course I can see where I might be able to throw that certain shot. Also while you are playing casual rounds that is the best time to learn new things. Play every hole with a different shot than you are used to. Go play a whole round with just your putter. Only turbo putt for an entire summer. Throw rollers whenever possible. These are all ways to get better at throwing new shots!
11). You only have room in your yard for shots under 300ft, what do you do? Make up shots, make them harder and harder. In fact make it so hard that you can't play it. You will learn a way sooner or later. thats what it takes sometimes is to challenge yourself, even if you can't do it at first. My favorite places to play are the ones that produce the worst scores. That way the next time I pay there I put forth an even harder effort than I did the first time.
12). What about a bad rd. part 2?..............When I play, even casually I play one shot at a time. If I make a bad shot before I ever step up to throw the next shot, the bad shot must be a thing of the past. I can't change it so why worry about it? If I dwell on it my next shot will be bad also. So leave every shot good or bad behind you. Don't check your score every hole to se what you are shooting. Leave that all alone until the round is through. Scores happen, the only score that means anything is the final! So one or two or even five bad shots does not lead to a bad round. Just play every shot you have and leave all of the ones before a thing of the past. Clear your head and worry about the shot at hand!!!!

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