I’ve been playing disc golf for right at two years now. While I am happy with my progress so far, and while I win my MA60 age-protected division somewhat often, I still need a lot of work on my game.
As we began 2022, I saw 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, getting more aces.
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 good players, is that they are invariably better putters than I am.
While higher-rated players also generally throw farther and keep their discs in the fairway more often than I do, I definitely lose around 5 strokes per round to them in putting from 20 feet and out. Either I will miss putts in the 20- to 35-foot range, or they will make some. My observation, therefore, is that my putting is the biggest factor that separates me from the better (+900-rated) players.
I understand that even the top pros don’t make all their C1 putts. “C1” is “circle 1” or “the circle”, and it is the part of the green that is a 10-meter — about 33 feet — around the center of 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, so it eliminates the short 10-foot “tap ins” from the formula — 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 a couple extra discs on the ground) at 15 and 21 feet from the basket center.
- Using 5 of the same putters — currently Yeti Pro Aviars — I start Round #1 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 completes Round #1, I take a break, usually throwing 5 or 10 flick putts or approach shots from farther back — something to break up my putting between rounds.
- After my break, I play Round #2, but this time I simply rotate between throwing 5 from 15 and then 5 from 21. So it’s the same as the Round #1, but whether I make or miss from either station does not affect which station I throw from next.
- After Round #2, I take another break, and then I play a Round #3, but this time I alternate between throwing 5 from 21 then 5 from 15. So it’s the same as Round #2, but I start at the 21-foot putting position.
- Then I take my final break.
- After the final break, I putt from 15 feet a few times until I feel ready to go into the final round, the round that counts, Round #4.
- 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, on January 5, 2022, I made 22 of the 50 putts I attempted in Round #4. 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.