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Chronic Putting Problem Options
mikekem
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:49:29 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 2/16/2008
Posts: 400
Location: Lebanon
I've been struggling with putting ever since I've picked up the game.  But recently I've been able to count how many places I've been losing strickly based on how many 20 footers I've missed.  Usually this amounts to half  a field of players.  I'm about 50% from twenty feet.  I desperately need help with putting.  I've absorbed all the information on the net that I can about putting, including practice.  For the last month I've been practicing for at least 1 hour a day and usually 2 hours a day at putting.  This has had no effect on my game at all.  I'm about to give up disc golf completely if I can't at the very least get those 20 footers to 80%.  So if some of you putting experts have some advice or see me out on the course I sure could use the help.
finnhawc
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:25:41 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 1/16/2007
Posts: 906
Location: Wyoming
Without seeing anything recently Mike, try to practice in 4 fifteen minute increments at 10 feet. Do this for a week after that go back to fifteen feet and do that for a week. Focus on your own routine and your form while practicing not on the results. Pick the smallest target and stay relaxed. Play P.I.G. with somebody to keep it fun-just keep the distance within 20 feet.
2Timer
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:59:54 AM
Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 3/30/2006
Posts: 372
Location: Ameila, Oh
First of all Mike, noone wants you to stop playing. Honestly, you should take a break from putting. A bad habit I used to have was I would putt and putt and putt when I was having problems and almost always it just made things worse. Getting rid of a bad habit can be as easy as taking a few days off and starting over. Your focus can change and you'll be back to your old self. Here are a few tips though if you want some advice. Focus on your target and don't take your eyes off until the disc has hit it. Reach, reach, reach for the basket. Try not to take it so seriously. Sometimes the pressure of the entire tournament can be felt on one putt and you feel if you miss this putt you won't recover. Believe me I miss plenty of putts during a round. Heck, my very first putt of the tournament last Saturday hit the basket and rolled 150 feet down the hill on hole 3. I would be more than happy to work with you next time I see you.
DiscHead
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:26:52 PM

Rank: Regular

Joined: 3/3/2006
Posts: 79
Location: nky
Putting confidence clinic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq_bh_GtjtQ
mikekem
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:42:33 PM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 2/16/2008
Posts: 400
Location: Lebanon
That sounds like good advice Dave and John. I don't think my main problem is lack of confidence; though that may contribute a little. I think I have a technique problem that is fairly entrenched. Another possibility is a grip problem. My hands and fingers are long and I have a hard time finding a grip that doesn’t interfere with my release.
frizgolf
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:36:20 PM
Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 5/17/2003
Posts: 221
Mike, I start my putt like I'm balancing something on my head. Remember the old grade school posture exercise, where you balance a book on your head? When I'm practicing putts, I won't start the motion until that imaginary book is balanced on my head. I must be still. The actual motion and follow through is different for each individual, but I preach this preparation to anyone who will listen. Only you know what putting motion works for you, but until you are still and calm, the putt will be iffy.
Also, if you know of any relaxation exercises, practice them as well. I use a deep breathing exercise at home every night. After 8-10 minutes of controlled breathing, your muscles relax as your heart rate slows. As you become familiar with the deep breathing exercise, the muscle memory from the daily 8-10 minute relaxation period will help in your golf game (as well as your daily relaxation exercise itself). You will become able to take a deep breath and relax on self-command. Other folks may recommend a stretching regimen for relaxation. You can teach muscle groups to relax on self command. The breathing regimen alone is enough for me. My "relax" trigger starts in my gut. (Heh, don't get downwind.) laugh
This relaxation, coupled with the book-balancing stillness technique, should make your putting woes a thing of the past.
Was it Yogi Berra who said "90% of this game is half mental"? Yeah, he meant baseball, but golf is an individual sport. Thus it is only you whom you compete against. When you can manage to relax and be still (both physically and mentally) for just the 30 seconds or so it takes to address and perform the act of throwing, you can leave the tension (if it even decides to stay around) for the time between the throws.
finnhawc
Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:15:20 PM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 1/16/2007
Posts: 906
Location: Wyoming
Great advice friz! With big hands look for stokely's video on you tube(sometimes) where he shows his grip. He was an iffy putter as one of the best golfers anywhere but, he is a great teacher of technique.
TyFarina
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:11:12 AM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 1/8/2008
Posts: 106
Location: in the basket duhhhhhh
Mike....being a long fingered thrower myself i can attest to your struggles with putting from the more distant targets....i'll say this......Finn switched my stance....Fast Freddie Salaz changed my grip and I'm more confident at banging the 20+ footers than I have ever been.....I use 2 entirely different stances depending on the distance and wind conditions....The putting confidence program on YOUTUBE from Mark Ellis is by far a great system, but what I found worked for me was to curl my index finger around the rim more.....it gave my wrist a tighter yet more snappier grip and I practice it usually for 20 mins before i even throw anymore. I realize with my rank i'm the last guy someone wants to take advice from, but considering I took 4 months off from tournaments just to develop my form....you can see the difference....I've only worked on the basics, and sounds to me like you just need to do the same. Keep it simple, start from the short range and build upon it. Sometimes you have to just start from scratch and change it up......(think Tiger Woods changing his entire swing b/c he wanted to get better).
mikekem
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:27:28 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 2/16/2008
Posts: 400
Location: Lebanon
Grip is what I'm interested in learning more about. I'm pretty dedicated to making this work but it feels like I've tried quite a few different variations on putting grip. All have similar results. Next time I catch you I'd be interested in seeing your grip. Or if you have the means a picture on this board would be cool.

Another possibility is a timing issue with my pitch. Often I miss to the right of the basket b/c my arm fully extends then my wrist unwraps and the snap causes the disc to miss right. So here is a question for the experts. Is it best to release and snap before your arm fully extends or should you snap directly after you get to full extension?
Ben Shooner
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:46:13 AM

Rank: Veteran

Joined: 9/16/2003
Posts: 248
I read somewhere that Ken C. suggests that you extend fully and once it's gone, you have your hand open, as if you were trying to shake the basket's hand.

This isn't part of my routine, but the times I've made myself do it, it seems to give it a straight line and it keeps the disc from flying off your fingers-instead it's almost like you're 'pushing' it in with the palm of your hand.
Otterbein_discgolf
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:51:40 AM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 5/1/2007
Posts: 169
Its one of many putting styles... I am a pitch putter so I don't put a ton of snap on the disc. Climo's website says that you want to pretend you are painting the pole with your down and up swing and then try to shake hands with it at the end as Ben mentioned.

I'm not a fantastic putter but I know the basics enough to know what a good putt looks like. If you wanted I would be glad to check out your putt at Worlds practice this weekend. I had grip issues for a while as well due to big hands. I would be happy to show you my grip and my thoughts on stance/motion.
TyFarina
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:53:05 AM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 1/8/2008
Posts: 106
Location: in the basket duhhhhhh
I was taught to pick a link on the chains and STAB it.....forces it out of your hand with a lil extra snap on it.....but that's just what i was taught...notice i'm no pro...lol
andersab
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:26:15 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 5/22/2006
Posts: 692
Location: in the chains
One other thing to keep in mind is that the ball golfers have the same wish... Putting, no matter which type, is just tough to do.

:-)
L_Stephens
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:30:43 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 7/6/2008
Posts: 437
Mike...I had an extreme problem with missing my putts to the right...I tried to over emphasize the 'shaking hands with the basket' but to no avail. I was reading an article on disc golf review the other day about squaring my shoulders...and keeping in mind what my off shoulder was doing while I was putting. I found in practice I kept pretty good technique..but when it was GO time....I tended revert back to bad form...I guess do to stress of trying to make my putt when it counted.

Like I said...this was just the other day...and Monday I putted well when I kept my mind on my shoulders....try some of the many putting articles on disc golf review and see if one of them helps you.
frizgolf
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 8:18:04 PM
Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 5/17/2003
Posts: 221
I always putted well (or so folks tell me), and due to a bum knee, I switched to a straddle putt two years ago. I wish I'd always done it. Deadly accurate. Maybe that will square your shoulders up.
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