Here in Alaska there aren't very many places that have nice tee pads, but I can understand what you mean getting used to a run up. I'm not used to standing still from a drive w/o a run up, I seem to turn over discs that I wouldn't normally if I had a run up. I like having a run up as the centrifugal force seems to help release on a straighter line that you're looking at as you rip thru your release. The idea of having a run up is to stop and plant to let the disc rip from your hand. A lot of people that aren't used to standing still and driving usually try to release the disc as opposed to letting it come out on its own.
I have recently compacted my run up quite significantly and achieved 10x the control and 20-30 feet average more distance. Some have said I look as though I am putting no effort into my drive... I beg to differ.lol
I'll disagree with you saying its all arm speed and snap, your hip motion, and transfer of weight at that point, has a lot to do with distance. A run up most often allows a player to transfer motion quicker giving you, yes more arm speed..while i do pull through with my arm, its more of a guide than anything when I'm throwing for max D.
now how much the average player gets from a run up is debatable, i know for a fact i don't get as much out of mine as i could..jsut notthere in the skill level area yet.
Have you tried throwing for max D without a run up? Just stand still grip and rip, I think you will be surprised at how far it goes compared to the same throw with a run up. The run up will give you more distance but not as much as you would think. For people that throw ridiculously far like 500 plus I bet the run up is much more significant. But for the average player I don't believe so.
I think a run up can be excessive...if you're sprinting twenty feet before you even hit the pad then I'd say you're going a little overboard. I'm more than comfortable with my teepad run up. I keep my right foot at the back corner of the pad(right or left depending on the hole) take my x-step and release. I don't need anymore than 6-8 feet to get the run up I need, really all I'm trying to do is get that x-step in there. I think that if you can get those one or two motions out during your run up it doesn't matter how long it is on the same token. longer holes I typically use a longer run up.
I've heard people saying "more D sacrifices accuracy and vice versa" and I'm ok with that. A 189ft hole I'm not going to take single step, just rear back and release, but on a 600ft hole I'm going to rip it as hard as I can with a stretched out run up, I don't add or take away any of the motions, I just stretch them all out.
Me and my golfin buddy had this discussion recently. I agree with Bryan, I don't see where or how a fast run up adds anything. My friend throws his 500ft+ and his run up is the same as mine, all we use the "walk" up for is to position ourselves for the best shot. My best and most powerful shots are when I am slow in my delivery until I reach all the way back, then my position and arm speed does it all...along with a full body motion that starts at my plant foot and works its way quickly up to my release point. :)
I also agree with the 189ft hole idea, I stand and throw like I use to do when I just tossed a Frisbee in the old days. Works great, less movement, less possibility of something going wrong.
The run up is nothing more than a comfortable way to adjust your throw in mid run up/throw... Also i feel like a run up is alot like a jump putt. you jump putt to make up for the same put just further out. same thing for a run up you transfer energy out.