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Ok, this one is going to chap a lot of people, but if we can have a civil discussuion and just present the facts we can get through it. I really want to know, so don't think I'm just being an idiot, although I will be playing the antagonist in this disccission.


Here it is: Why is it that so many people recommend to new players that they use Putters and Mids to learn with? We have all heard some form of the statement, "Go learn to throw your putter 300 feet and then you'll understand how to throw", or some varieant on this.


I call BULLSH*T!

I think what you'll learn is how to throw your putter 300 feet.


I think a more well rounded approach to the game, learning to throw all discs and understanding the numbers and controlling your plastic purchases is a better way to go. Learning the different grips, reach back, runup, keeping things flat and straight is a better approach.



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I am going to advocate the exact opposite of what was just said because it is a very simplistic view of the game. At the course that I usually play there are many baskets which can be reached off of the tee. So with the proper driver you will get it there. A putter or mid may not even get close. I am not a very long driver off of the tee but I use my other skills to make up for it. And my "midrange" or approach disc of choice is the Banshee. That is because it will go straight until it slows down and then drop right by the basket. I also use a TeeBird and a Sidewinder depending on the shot. The only midrange disc that I have in the bad is a DGA Aftershock which I can use for short anhyzer drives.

I would definitely recommend a Sidewinder, possibly in a lower weight, for a beginner because it is a very easy disc to control. I still love my SIdewinder and use it a lot. I think that beginners should definitely stay with more understable discs just not exclusively putters or midrange discs. They need to use what is comfortable to them, not what is comfortable to someone else.

95% of the game is mental once you have some basic technique down. And basic technique can be taught with a lot of different discs. It's getting beginners to not develop bad habits that is the most important thing. I once gave a girl that I saw struggling on the course a quick tip and she immediately threw the disc twice as far.

And if the shot requires a person to go 200 feet down a fairway and then turn left or right 50 feet the putter or mid will not get in there as easily as a Banshee or even a Predator. Also although I don't immediately teach what wind does to a disc it is definitely important after a short time of playing and best learned as soon as possible. Throwing understable putters into a headwind is pretty insane if you already have some decent technique. I give people the simple information that a headwind makes a disc more understable and a tailwind will make a disc more overstable. Once they digest that information they will play better.

The thing here that is the main issue is that all people simply don't learn in the same way. Teaching one person one way make work fine while another person will benefit from something completely different. There are of course basics to teach but that is where it breaks down. But if you gave me a newbie and a bag full of drivers I could still improve their game in a short amount of time. That is because I would take the time to explain everything to them. I think that with beginners we tend to think that they don't know anything so they will always make the same mistakes and not be able to understand things. That is a fallacy as people generally take in things quickly if you are patient and understanding.

This is why I started with a Gremlin and a Wolf. Good for all three types of shots- putts mids and drives. The gremlin is stable enough for a beginner to throw as hard as they want. And the wolf will correct an over hyzer and is super easy straight.

I am not a fan of discing down (to putters and mids) and I don't teach the game that way.  I did not learn the game that way and I don't know of a single good player who did.  However, I am not offended by players who believe in it or teach it.  I do think that concentrated practice with one type of disc is very useful and discing down is sort of moving in this  direction.

Eventually a good player should experiment with every kind of disc and every kind of shot and I see nothing wrong with starting out that way.  We all have natural tendencies and the only way to find out if you have an affinity for overheads or forehands or drivers is to try them out.

The key to controlling any disc is to be able to throw it dead nuts flat during the central portion of its flight.  To do this we manipulate the speed and angle of release of discs.  These adjustments are required whether the disc is a putter, mid or driver and no matter how stable the disc is.  Learning to make adjustments is a critical part of the game.

Controlling the flight of a driver is more difficult than the flight of a mid or a putter.  Controlling a mid is more difficult than a putter.  The faster and farther a disc goes the more precision it takes to control it.  The disc which most reveals flaws is a wide rimmed driver and is of course the most difficult to control.  I don't see this as any reason to put off the lesson.  You gotta learn it sometime.  Today is a good day to start.  The best place to start is on the practice field, not the course.

Of course there are players who are incapable of throwing discs flat and straight.  These are either beginners or poorly skilled players.  Complicating the ability to throw flat and straight, even for a good player is trying to throw too hard.  It is difficult to keep clean form and balance when throwing as hard as you possibly can.  And this is the problem I see with discing down.

Consider a player whose normal power range is 150' for a putter, 250' for a mid and 350' for a driver.  Take the driver away let this player step up to a 325' hole.  Normally he could throw a driver smooth and clean to reach the basket.  Now he has to overcrank a mid or make no attempt to reach the basket.  What skill have we taught here?  To lay up for pars on easy holes?  That shanking builds character? To try to throw as hard as you can as a primary strategy?


Thank you Mr. Ellis.

Mr. Ellis, you are the man.

The thing about true beginners is that they just don't have a clue. They think that they just go to the store, buy a disc and then throw it and all will be well. They know nothing about snap, follow through, X-step or anything else. What they need is a patient teacher, someone that will take the time to explain things. I have played rounds with first day beginners and seen vast improvement with a few simple tips. It won't always settle in immediately but if you are patient you will see progress. And Mark nailed the important things to work on.

Different people are going to like the feel of different discs as well. When I first started out my friend would say to use a Roc. I tried it and didn't like it because it just didn't fit my hand right. I naturally gravitated towards drivers like the XL and XS and learned how to throw them. My best lesson of all was when a local pro took a few minutes to show me the X-step. That alone changed my game for the better. One simple tip and a couple of someone's time can mean all the difference sometimes. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Roc. Lots of great players use them. You just won't find it in my bag (although I do now own a DGA Aftershock).

Yes Mark,

Thank for providing at least one good argument for not learning on mid-rangers/putters:

"...Normally he could throw a driver smooth and clean to reach the basket..."

Both you and Dookville have great advice and points mixed up with massive long-windedness, narrow-mindedness, personal preferences, and strange corks that detract hugely from the points you are trying to make. You guys are probably smarter than me at this sport, but you try so hard to make everything systematic. Do you not realize that your efforts are making the game ugly. Do you not realize that the game is still primitive?

Certainly the game is primitive in nature, i.e. throwing stuff. That doesn't mean that the learning to do it well part has to be. Though I think the methond that we are promoting is a more complete learning process than starting with putters and mids only; that is even more ugly and narrow minded. I'm all for playing and learning however you want, I just got tired of people putting others off by telling them to learn with mids and putters only, it's just silly.


If we are done with the subject and the point has been made, I'll be happy to blow this thread up.


the one regret i have about the above post is my my choice of words in the 2nd to last sentence. "your EFFORTS are making the game ugly"- is what i said. I am wrong because I am confidant that both Dookville and Mark have put tons of EFFORT into growing the game and making it better for others. I may have a different opinion about how to approach the excellent game of disc golf, but I am out of line discrediting good intention and unselfish service.


other than that, i am rite on the money. ;) 100% right

great discussion 

Shenanigans. Primitive is throwing a rock. Discs are a wing. When you throw a disc, you are manipulating flight. Do you mean disc golf is still in its infancy? 

yes, it's new- disc golf is in an aboriginal state


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