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But there IS such a thing as a bad second throw..

Trust me.
I know.
I'm the king of 'bad' first throws.

I have squatted out drives that would make 'Steady Ed' spin in his grave.

I have hit trees right off the teepads so many times that I felt like adding buzzsaw blades to some of my discs to cut them down out of the way.

I have thrown discs right into the ground in front of me, and watched them roll back around and land close enough to leap from the teepad upon and stamp it out of existence in rage and shame.

I have done all these things and then... THEN... followed up with the Throw That Counts.

I have blogged before about how important every step is in getting your disc into the basket. Typically, you have three chances to do this: the drive, the mid-range shot, and the putt. Each one is important. However, the percentage of the importance of each throw is constantly in flux, and depends on what you have already done - or what you have yet to do.

Most 'bad' first throws are going to get you somewhere, and it is this somewhere that at the very least puts you hopefully close(r) to the pin. This is when you need to capitalize with The Second Throw. It is at these moments that the second throw becomes the single most important throw you can make on this hole to par it. And it always will, because it always has to follow the first throw.

I have saved my score so many times with the Throw That Counts that I tend to not get so worked up about the opening drive (to risk sounding like football). Yeah, I might spit out an epithet or three, but hey... when the chips are down it is quite possible to stay in the game. So, whenever a disc golfing companion throws a bad Arbor Day shot I always say "There's no such thing as a bad first throw!" (although sometimes I get glares of derision for it... :-)

But it's true. Unless you're a top notch player whose accuracy is unchallenged, there is the Great Unknown in front of you on every tee-off: Where will the disc go? But once you've put your disc somewhere, you now have two things - closer to the pin, and how far you have to go for what is hopefully a much simpler shot to make, the stakes NOW being higher.

Par or bogey?

The second throw counts much more.

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Comment by Brian Matthews on December 31, 2008 at 2:01pm
All of the disc golf courses (save one) I have played have par 3's for every hole. Taking into account that the 'typical' golf par is traditionally three - which by default transfers over to disc golf version - my use of verbage is adequate to the standards of the game. Does Cliff Stephens have a par 7 hole???. Yes... and it's the only one I've hit to date. If I'm to be called Scrambler, it's only because I do so to play as many new courses as I can.
Comment by Brian Matthews on May 13, 2008 at 10:57pm
I only recently started using a KC Pro Roc (my early inexperience with a Roc made me put it aside), and I'm starting to see what people like about using them, so I have been trying to incorporate it back into the mix. I also use a soft Aviar-X putter that I like about as much as my Wizard SuperSoft, and I have high praise for the Wiz.

And on the previous discussion: since the vast majority of disc golf holes are par 3, that middle throw - number two - tends to be the clincher, the deciding factor. This was my main reason for putting the focus on it, as it can be the crux of most holes, no matter what happens on the first throw.

Otherwise, keep throwing! ;-)
Comment by nitegolfer on May 12, 2008 at 12:26pm
Intent was not to "spark" any controversy. Verbage like "And as for ..." not good for a healthy discussion. Philospophies come and go and whatever keeps you out playing disc golf is fine by me. I agree that all is not lost when the first shot goes awry. The past is the past. Still gotta hole out.

Your emphasis is on the "Second" shot not the "Next" shot.

"And it always will, because it always has to follow the first throw."

Well, as I mentioned before, make 2 crappy shots and follow it up with a 70 ft. putt and you still have your par. Not to say it happens all the time, ya gotta give it a chance, but to follow your logic now its the "Third" shot but it did not "Count" as much as the second shot." Tell that to my scorecard. I think you are on the right track and have realized there is much more to this game than making a good drive and parking a hole. And as you continue to develop your game you may find that imrovements in one aspect (driving, approaching and putting) will benefit the others. My drives got much better after learning an approach game with Aviars and ROCs for example.

All hail the king.
Comment by Brian Matthews on May 12, 2008 at 8:29am
"Your analysis is on a hole by hole basis"
This was the quote by you that sparked my comment about playing more than one hole. And my article was specifically about the second throw as regards the result of the first one. I KNOW that all shots are important, but I was attempting to
illustrate for the readers that all is not lost after a bad first throw - something I also have come to find out about as my game improves.
Comment by nitegolfer on May 9, 2008 at 4:14pm
What? Did not say anything about playing two holes at the same time. I was agreeing with you that if you mess up your first shot then the most important throw is the second shot (current shot) and so on. I respectfully disagreed with your philosophy because the emphasis was on the 'second shot' not the current shot (drive, putt or whatever). You can have a bad second shot and still par out by making a good putt (Third Shot). Concentrating on every shot is one of the hardest things to do. Do not know where the quantum-mechanical particles came into the discussion except for an intellectual stab at trying to describe someone being in two places at one time which had no bearing on this discussion. Much confusion not just myself. I want my 2 cents back, please.
Comment by Brian Matthews on May 8, 2008 at 6:37pm
Well, that's why I put apostrophies around the word 'bad' there, implying that I was referencing the concept, not trying to validate it. My accuracy is much improved over the days when I did a lot more 'squatting.'

And as for nitegolfer, all I can say is that - unlike quantum-mechanical particles - you can't play two holes at the same time. The one you're on is the one you're on. I was trying to make a philosophical point about what is in the past and what you now have yet to accomplish. That first throw is done. Capitalize now.
Comment by mark ellis on May 2, 2008 at 8:43pm
Ok, I'm confused. Your blog title is "No such thing as a Bad First Throw" but you admit you are the "King of Bad First Throws". Would this make you the King of Nothing?

I love your description of "squatting" out bad throws. I'm not sure what this means but it creates a great visual.

So my condolences to your driving accuracy. The bad news is that for most players driving accuracy is easier to master than the rest of the game.
Comment by nitegolfer on May 2, 2008 at 4:32pm
One way of looking at it. I'd have to respectfully disagree though. Every shot is equally important. Your analysis is on a hole by hole basis assuming a bad first shot. Whatever your current shot is will alsways be your most important shot. Have you played any courses with Pars greater than 3? Not trying to Rag on you or anything, whatever floats your boat or cranks your tractor. Maybe you ought to change your screen name to scrambler.
Comment by Brian Matthews on April 29, 2008 at 8:02pm
That's the nice thing about a good first throw.
It makes that critical second shot even easier.
Comment by eric beich on April 29, 2008 at 10:45am
interesting perspective. I would have to agree with you to some extent. although I'd rather my second shot be the most important when it's a birdie putt :)

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