Putting Practice: Month 3

For 2022 I set a goal of achieving 70% putting from 25 feet. That seems attainable enough, and if I go higher than that, well, all the better..

I’m working my way toward that goal by practicing regularly. Perhaps not regularly enough. I’m not throwing 1000 or 2000 putts a day. That would be great. But it’s not happening.

Now that I have my own basket, though, it’ll happen more often!

At the end of May I’m hitting the road with my partner, F├ílki, for a prolonged journey. We will be living in our Aliner A-frame trailer and traveling all around the United States.

With that in mind, then, I bought a DGA Mach Lite Portable Disc Golf Basket.

DGA Mach Lite Portable Disc Golf Basket
DGA Mach Lite

Again, as in February, I didn’t get to practice much this month. Either the weather was bad or I was out of town at a tournament or camping, or any number of other excuses. Suffice to say, I failed to practice much, although, admittedly, putting in tournament and league play is pretty intense, so it’s definitely great practice.

So here it is the last day of March, and as it turns out, my very first use of my new portable disc golf basket was for my monthly putting challenge.

As I set up the basket in my backyard, I had misgivings, because I have a weathered wood fence as a backdrop, and that makes the depth perception tricky for me.

Excuses, excuses.

Before I go on, let me give you my initial review of the Mach Lite. In short, it’s pretty great.

The reason I bought the Mach Lite, as opposed to another portable basket, is its lightness (25 lbs), its full set-up size, and its small folded size. After putting it together from the box, the basket stays in two pieces — the legs and the pole-basket section. The two snap together easily, and then the tray and chains pop up separately like two umbrellas.

The basket sets up easily. It took a little figuring out to understand how to push it up and lock it into place, and it does take a little strength, but I’m a modestly built 60-year-old, and I was able to do it relatively easily, so I’d bet you can, too.

(The flag on top is a third piece, if I want to add that. It slides easily into the hole atop the basket.)

Once I had the basket set up and looked at the light and airy chains, I thought, “These ain’t catching anything.” But they do! In 250 putts today, I only had one bounce out, and one spit through, which is par for the course, I’d say.

And the Mach Lite is sturdy. I powered some putters into it from 10 feet to test the sturdiness, and the basket didn’t budge. Pretty impressive.

Okay, so on to how things went with my monthly putting challenge.

I started out really shaky. Understandably so, I suppose, given my lack of practice this month. But it’s not as if I haven’t been playing! I simply hadn’t been practicing my putting as much as I should.

It showed.

I had to throw five sets of five putters from 15 feet before I made them all. Not only that, but one time I only made two of the five putts! From 15 feet! What?!?!?

New basket. That weathered wooden fence backdrop. Lack of practice. Excuses.

I managed to settle down, following my warm-up/practice regimen, but I never felt fully confident.

I should note that a few weeks ago I noticed that I lock my right knee when I putt. I’m not sure whether I’ve always done that, but for some reason it’s very noticeable to me now, and I don’t like it. I don’t think a locked knee is very athletic, and I want to keep it looser.

Anyway, I was struggling with those locked knee thoughts, but the time came for me to throw my 50 putts from 21 feet.

I nailed the putts. After 35 putts, I’d hit 28 of them, on a pace for 80%!

Then reality set in.

I missed four of the next five. Why? I dunno. Does anyone know why that stuff happens? Regression to the mean?

Fortunately I hit seven of the next 10, for a total of 36 putts out of 50, for 72%, an improvement of 4 points over last month. Yes!

I look forward to being on the road in a few months and using my new basket. Overall, after using it only once, I’ve found the only downside to the Mach Lite is the challenge of popping the basket up, but, as I said above, I didn’t have a huge problem with it, and I suspect it’ll get easier the more I use the basket.

I’ll keep you posted on my putting challenges and how the Mach Lite does with more use.

Running tally:

  • January: 44% from 21 feet
  • February: 68% from 21 feet
  • March: 72% from 21 feet