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I've been playing a lot more disc golf lately, gradually increasing to what is now averaging close to a round every 10 days or so. OK, not the 20 rounds every 10 days I likely averaged 10+ years ago, but I'm out there when I can, enjoying it.

One of the technique explosions in the sport during my distancing from the sport for a while (raising 5 kids, who has time?) is that of "jump putts". They've existed, in reality, about as long as the sport itself, but it is now a very trendy technique. Essentially, when someone is more than 30 feet out, making it not officially a "putt" (where you are required to stay behind your lie until the disc comes to rest following your throw), a person can jump forward during their throw, giving additional momentum to propel your disc towards the basket.

Here's my rub, though: In the last 12 months, watching some 100+ jump putts, I have seen ZERO go in. NONE. In the same time, I have seen quite a few conventional-stance throws hit the mark. I've even brought this up with believers of the technique, and while they defend the move, they have yet to prove success of ONE effort, much less that this technique has an advantage over a stable-stanced throw.

There are a couple of premises at work here. First, the idea is that less onus is placed on the arm and the wrist, allowing your legs to assist in the energy behind the throw. Second, a jump putt allows one to reduce the distance to the basket for the actual throw. Third, the jump can alter the angle of approach to the basket: an uphill putt will not be quite so uphill, and a throw at a downhill slope can have more drop to it, and thereby not "blow by" on misses. Finally, especially on uphill shots, the jump can help negate a problematic stance, where the slope negatively impacts posture, balance, and leverage.

In my opinion, only the last of these reasons typically can justify a jump putt. Leverage and balance are key to a good standing throw, and if you have little of both, you do not have stability. The problem with jump putts is that while they remove negative stability, they also remove positive stability. When you jump at a target, your advantage of "umph" is counteracted by additional variables: additional glide, more muscles to precisely control, and a large variation on release points. Bottom line: more can go wrong.

Now, I'm sure that many people have used this technique successfully, and I am not saying that the technique is not without some merit; however, if your first question on every short approach is "am I outside thirty feet?" because you are in love with the jump putt, I would say you have the wrong strategy. Low ceilings, slippery conditions, wind factors, and pin placements can all make this decision either foolish or worthless.

My advice? Make your first two questions "What is the best disc to use in this situation?" and "What type of throw will give me the best chance of safely targeting the basket?" If you have an 80-footer, and you aren't comfortable with your putter's accuracy from that distance, then consider a disc with a longer flight first. A longer flight does not always mean longer glide. Some discs can have a good degree of "drop" with not too much fade, resulting in a nice, stable, and safe run at a hole. In my opinion, though, it is very rare to have a jump putt be the best option.

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Comment by Hawk on August 4, 2010 at 2:36pm
this should be retitled: "Jump Putts: Not for Everybody" and it would be more accurate...then you could subtitle it: "Not for Every Occasion" and you'd really be on the ball...

You aren't around any good jump putters if you've "never" seen one go in...
Comment by Kevin Anthony Hitch on August 3, 2010 at 11:18pm
I appreciate the comments!

I'm certain that the technique can be valuable, and for some a bit of a "forte"...

I don't back off from stating that it is frequently a poor choice for a given golfer and/or a given situation, though. I think this is a great discussion.

Regarding Brandon's comment, "The argument for increased stability on bad lies with bad footing makes no sense at all"...I was arguing more for when you can still get a good leg push, such as from your toes up a steep hill, rather than a slippery surface where no push will help you. If you can use that push to offset the negative, which when on your toes is fighting gravity on your backside while trying to get a firm toss to the target, then I certainly see this as an obvious benefit.

As to Disc Player Sports's comparison to the jump shot, I would point out a couple of thoughts. First, the jump shot was originally perfected by the likes of Lenny Wilkens to counteract a defender. With no defender in front of you at the free throw line, you never see a jump shot.

Second, a basketball jump shot uses a rotation on the same axis as the angle of the throw. With putts, the rotation is not (though I suppose it could be). I can certainly see how a jump putt allows for more push and less spin, which can be a good thing for accuracy, so I'm certainly not saying a jump putt is a foolish technique (when practiced and used properly). I would contend, though, that the variables are a little more complex than many folks are considering. In ball golf, while you could flex your legs to get a more powerful drive, the ball striking accuracy goes way down, making it foolish (though hockey players might disagree, eh?). Jump putting, while not as complex, still has a few complexities that are added versus a conventionally-stanced putt, in my view.

I appreciate the give-and-take here...feel free to keep it coming!
Comment by Brandon Swanson on August 3, 2010 at 11:11am
The only argument you gave for the jump putt that is true was the first one... it places less onus on your arm and wrist to execute the shot. The ones about increasing height and decreasing distance as false in that you have to release the disc before you jump or it's illegal. So your release point will be exactly the same on a legal jump putt. The argument for increased stability on bad lies with bad footing makes no sense at all... it is much harder to jump putt uphill or on a side slope than with a traditional putt.

So... if it is illegal to jump before you release the disc, then what is a jump putt? Others have called it a putt-jump because you putt and then hop... the two things happen nearly simultaneously, but the putt must come first. So really all that a jump putt or putt jump is, is an exaggerated follow through. It allows you to spring toward the target more strongly with your legs. If you can spring strongly without the jump, then you achieve the same result. The spring may be more of a distance aid in that you decide you are going to jump putt and so you assure that your putt will have the adequate speed to make it to the basket.

You must be around poor jump putters. Really. I typically save two long putts (approx 50 or so) per round with a jump putt. I can't propell a disc that far comfortably with my normal putting stance. I play with some good jump putters. I will validate one thing you've said, most people I've seen are terrible jump putters. It is very haphazard and sloppy. With practice, this technique can become very fluid. It is a great lay-up option as well in that everything stays in line, as opposed to a throw where you are coming from the side and the release occurs on an arc. I argue it's easier to control the landing angle because of this as well.
Comment by Disc Player Sports on August 3, 2010 at 10:18am

Find more videos like this on www.DiscGolfersR.Us
That was not a big jump, but more of a follow though, letting my body carry forward. The disc was released while, I was still in the air.
About a 50-60 ish footer...
You can do it....
Comment by Nic777 on August 3, 2010 at 9:32am
Fair enough blog, people need to question themselves on what technique works best for them.
Comment by Disc Player Sports on August 2, 2010 at 8:40am
Everyone is allowed to have opinions.
This one is yours and not yours alone.
But I tend to differ.
Jump putting has saved many a hole or birdie for myself.
I enjoy them.
It all comes down to technique.
Maybe you are doing it wrong.

suggestion:
Do a 'jump putt' from 10 feet away, yes 10 feet away. Make that putt than move back, farther and farther without missing one. If you miss one go back to the 10 footer, then start the process over....
Now seen many jump putters who are successful.
See if you can find a video of someone 'proficient' at it. There has to be one on you tube somewhere.
Emulate the shot.
Don't give up on something that could help your game.

Where would basketball be without the 'jump shot?'
Comment by Birdie-man on August 1, 2010 at 1:46pm
The jump-putt is all about timing. Do it right and it's money, do it wrong and its sometimes a foot-fault or a miss. That being said I know many advanced and pro players that putt very well with this method. I see them go in at every course and almost every round I play. Learn it and it's another shot to help you out. Some of my most memorable shots have been jumpers from long range or tricky lies...

ADAPT EVOLVE LEARN
Comment by Essential Discs on August 1, 2010 at 12:23am
Go watch Cam Todd knock down everything inside of 55 feet 75% inside 70 feet of which about 40 feet out he starts jump putting depending on uphill, down hill, and wind conditions.

That being said Jump putting has its place. For instance, If I want to lay up with a chance to run at a basket and guarantee myself that I am not going to over shoot a Jump putt is often a safer bet then a conventional throw which would then have more spin, a larger potential release area, and better chance of run away.

The Jump putt like all shots has it's place just like the tomahawk, thumber, anhyzer, hyzer, scoobie, etc.
Comment by J.D.Guy on July 31, 2010 at 11:34pm
sounds like an old dog not wanting to learn new tricks. your argument for the comparison of what you've seen work and what you don't seems a little biased, little farfetched because you don't like it all that much. so, in the last 12 months, you've seen 100 and Zero go in?? i see that many attempts in less than 2 weeks. perhaps where you play, they don't know how to effectively jump putt. i am a hundred times more comfortable jump putting outside 45ft. inside of that i rock back and forth, and inside 15 feet i straddle. i use em all, and they are all needed. we hit these jump putts daily. i hit several about every round i play...... the group of guys i play with regularly all jump putt outside of 40ft or so and under a 100ft if its the best shot to take. its a lot easier IMO to push your disc than to add all the motion of bringing your disc across your chest from a standstill and release at the exact point you need to. pushing it goes where you throw and only need to worry about distance.
Comment by mike p. kurtz on July 31, 2010 at 9:30pm
agree with your blog sir, i 've never seen one go in and it looks stupid

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