I’ve been playing disc golf for right at two years now. I think I’m doing pretty well. I have an 831 rating. I win my division against players my age somewhat often. And I still need a lot of work on my game.
As we begin 2022, I am seeing a lot of posts on social media about disc golf goals. Most of the goals I’ve seen from other people are about improving their PDGA rating, throwing longer off the tee, get more aces.
SIDE NOTE: A chase for aces does not make sense for the way I want to play disc golf. Ace runs for me most often do not lead to easy birdies. My goal on an ace-runnable hole is an easy birdie.
One thing I’ve noticed, though, as I golf more with players who are better than I am, is that they are invariably better putters than I am.
While the higher rated players generally throw farther and keep their discs in the fairway more often than I do, I definitely lose at least 5 strokes per round to them in putting from 20 feet and out. By that I mean, either I miss putts in the 20- to 35-foot range, or they make some. My observation, therefore, is that my putting is the biggest factor that separates me from the better players.
I understand that even the top pros don’t make all their C1 putts. (In case you don’t know, “C1” is “circle 1” or “the circle”, and it is the part of the green that is 10 meters — about 33 feet — or closer to the basket.) According to UDisc, in 2021 the top male professional disc golfer had C1X stats — which means putts between 3.3 meters and 10 meters — around 90%, and the top female was at 84%.
Those numbers are something I’d like to shoot for. However, I know my current uncharted stats are not anywhere close to that, so I have set a 2022 goal of
- 70% putting from 25 feet.
The way I will measure that is on a practice basket in calm weather conditions.
- Set up putting stations (by plopping an extra disc on the ground) at 15 and 21 feet from the basket center.
- Using 5 of the same putters, start my first “round” with a “turn” at the 15-foot station by putting all 5 discs.
- If I make all 5, then I move to the 21-foot station for a turn from there.
- If I don’t make all 5 from 21 feet, I take another turn from the 15-foot station until I make all 5. If I do make all 5 from 21 feet, I take another turn from there.
- I do this until I’ve putted 50 times (taken 10 turns).
- After 10 turns, which is 1 round, I take a break, usually throwing 5 or 10 flick putts or approach shots from farther back — something to change it up between rounds.
- After my break, I play another round.
- After that round, I take another break, and then I play a third round.
- Then I take my final break.
- After the final break, I putt from 15 feet until I feel ready to go into the fourth and final round, the round that counts.
- When I’m ready, I go to the 21-foot station, and throw 50 putts, 10 turns of 5 putts, counting the makes as I go.
- I record the final score. For example, my first round on January 5, 2022, I made 22 of the 50 putts. I recorded it as “1/5/2022 – 22 of 50”.
As you can see from that score of 44% from 21 feet, I am far away from 70% from 25 feet. But, ya know, I have a whole year. I’ll keep you updated monthly.