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How to Lower Your Disc Golf Score Today!


Whether you've been at this sport for years or just started playing last week, you'll quickly realize that disc golf is certainly not as easy as it sometimes looks while watching the pros play.


And as hard as it is to throw a low score on any course, let alone your favorite courses, finding CONSISTENCY is even harder.


Meaning that you may try for months or years to finally throw a new low score, but would you be able to match that score the next 5 trips out on that course?


Maybe, maybe not.


In this article however, we're going to try and help you to do just that,


find consistency in your game,


while also teaching you when to test the boundaries in further lowering your score, and hopefully as soon as the next time you're out playing.


How is this possible?


Rather than leaving you with a cliffhanger, in order to find consistency in your game while routinely throw your lowest rounds


You need to keep one simple tip in mind while playing, and that tip is to


Play Within Your Skill Set

In other words, don't play too far outside of your comfort zone or level of skill.


There is certainly a time and a place when to play more aggressively,


but not trying to do too much for the majority of your throws will more often put you in positions to succeed rather than trying to play through mistakes and errors that add costly strokes to your round.


This tip applies to EVERY aspect of your game, including:


Disc selection, drives, mid-range/approach shots, and putting,


and if you keep reading, we'll break down how to apply this tip to each aspect of your game.


Additionally, it's important to not try too hard!


You want to stay loose when playing, relaxed in both your mental and physical games.


Being tense, and trying to do things you can't are only going to frustrate you, which leads to more tension and causes you to overthink even the smallest of challenges on the disc golf course.


We previously wrote an article about 5 Ways To Lower Your Disc Golf Score that references this tip, but many of those tips take time.


We felt that this is the only one that can be implemented nearly immediately and wanted to dive deeper on the subject, so here we are!


Let's get started!

Disc Selection


Disc selection may not seem like a "skill" in the tradition sense,


but disc selection, knowing how that disc can and will fly under various conditions, and knowing your bag in general are things you should have a grasp on when trying to find consistency in your game.


A common mistake I see with newer players is trying to use discs that they're just simply not ready for.


For instance, a slow armed player who is trying to throw for max distance should not be using a 12 speed disc, because it is going to be way too overstable for them.


Instead, they should try a speed 8 or 9 disc, or whatever disc they can control regularly and consistently.


What happens is they see the words "distance driver" and assume they need it for maximum distance, when in reality they're throwing their putters or mid-ranges further because the slower speed is easier to control, and control allows you to play better.


Practice sessions are vital to learning what discs you throw well or poorly, and how those discs respond to different wind and weather conditions.

Matching your disc selection with your skill level is vital for maximizing distance and accuracy!



The more you practice, the more you're able to predict what a disc will do when thrown, which will definitely translate to a lower scored round under similar conditions.


Forgetting form for a second, using a disc that is overmatched for you will not do what you want it to do, even if you're form happens to be perfect, which is rarely the case for new players.


If you struggle with this and don't know what drivers you should be throwing with a slower arm, you can check out THIS ARTICLE to get you going in the right direction.


Speed is just one element, but you should also take the time to learn the ins and outs of all disc flight ratings, how they affect flight, and which flight numbers you throw better or worse for the numerous shots you may take.


Learning the system helps you understand what discs you may be missing and aids in choosing new discs for your bag that will help you play better.


You'll also want to know how far you can throw each disc or category of discs.


If you can throw 400' feet with a driver and the hole is only 200', you'll likely want to choose a mid-range or putter for your tee shot, rather than a driver.


But if you don't know how far your discs can be thrown, you're merely guessing,


which could cause you to under or over drive the basket by 50 feet (or more) and make you settle for par instead of a possible birdie.


As you practice, you'll slowly build a bag of discs that you have specific uses for, rather than a bunch of discs that you don't have 100% knowledge of, which you guessed it, improves consistency.


Lastly, at some point you may need to play with a disc you have limited history with, but if possible you should use discs in scored rounds that you have experience with rather than ones you've never thrown or have limited experience with.


Using a never thrown disc is certainly going to be outside your preferred comfort zone, and playing outside your comfort zone is not going to yield consistency.


A ball golf player isn't going to bag a new club they've never used before, so neither should you with a disc.

Driving


At the start of many holes, you'll often be required to take a tee shot that requires nearly maximum effort and for maximum distance.


If not, you'll be required to disc down, back off on effort, or both to get close to the pin as discussed in the previous section.


But during drives, you need to remember to NOT DO TOO MUCH.


In practice sessions, your best distance may be 400', but will only happen 1 in every 10 throws with your lowest drives going 330' and your average being just 360'.


When playing, you shouldn't be trying to hit your pure "maximum distance" on every throw, but rather your average maximum distance, especially if you're trying to be consistent in distance and accuracy.


I know this sounds counterintuitive when trying to get as far as possible down the fairway,


but you need to keep in mind that staying relaxed and not overpowering your throws is going to translate to more accuracy and more consistent distances.

Staying relaxed throughout the throwing motion can yield better results in both distance and accuracy compared to trying to put all your muscle into the throw!



During my practice sessions where I'm trying to throw as far as possible, for every long throw that I have where everything clicked and went right,


I'll have a bad throw where my timing or release is slightly off and the result is 80-100ft less than my maximum distance, or it's not even close to the line that I was trying to hit.


When I slow things down to a more natural speed, I may not get as much maximum distance, but I'm way more accurate and in a way more consistent distance range.


So ask yourself, would you rather be 50ft shorter but on the fairway, or 50ft longer, but in the rough for a difficult upshot?


Sometimes the risk of more distance is not worth the increased difficulty of subsequent upshots.


Practice is the time to improve your form and increase your relaxed maximum distance, not when playing a scored round.


Like anything, sometimes there are exceptions and it's up to you do decide if the risk is worth it.


For instance, you may be on the last hole of a round and need to make up a stroke or 2.


This is the time to get aggressive and take the risk of an errant shot.


But each situation is different and will cause you to look at all options to make the appropriate play.


So stay relaxed, and don't try to muscle out those long distances, just trust your form to do all the work!

Mid-Range, Up-Shots, and Playing Out


After you nail your initial shot off the tee, it's time for your mid-range upshot, and hopefully you're as close to the basket as possible.


If not, it's again important to not try and do too much.


Sometimes, the best play is to not get as close to the basket as possible, but to get your disc as close to a specific "zone" near the basket as you can.


For instance, you may have a better putting opportunity from one side of the basket, but there is also a high likelihood of hitting a tree from that side resulting in an obstructed putt if you don't make it through.


Whereas the other side offers a slightly longer putt, but with an easier approach and an unobstructed putt.


For mid-range shots, it's also vital to be able to assess the distance to the basket or landing zone you're aiming for as accurately as possible.


Accurately assessing range comes with experience or the use of recently popularized Disc Golf Range Finders.


Regardless of how you're determining distance, an accurate estimation of distance to the basket will again help you choose the right disc and the appropriate amount of power for the shot.


Similar to driving, you want to stay relaxed for your upshot and not try to overpower your throw, which could result in less accuracy.


Sacrificing distance for accuracy will more consistently take strokes off your round because it is often easier to take a second, unobstructed upshot than it is to play out of the rough to get back onto the fairway.


Speaking of playing out, if you find yourself off the fairway and into some gnarly bushes or an abundance of trees, it is very tempting to try and weave your disc through the thickness in the direction of the basket,


but unless you have an EXTREMELY clear look to the basket, playing directly out onto the fairway for a clearer shot is often going to be a much safer play.


Again, there will be times where an aggressive play is needed, but how often have you tried the most direct route to the basket only to have your disc bounce off another tree on one, or two, or more throws before you eventually get out?


In those situations, taking the shorter play out would have saved you a stroke or two.


Practice sessions are the time time to work on the precision and utility throws needed to play out of tight situations, not a scored round.


So learn what your skill allows you to do, and stay within those limitations to keep your scores low.

Putting


Hopefully up to this point, you've done everything right and have set yourself up for a nice, short, chip shot to close out the hole.


You stayed relaxed and made a great throw off the tee, made a smart play for your upshot(s), and are ready to putt well within your comfort zone.


But naturally, not everything goes as planned each throw as even the pros can attest, and at some point sooner than later you'll be looking at a putt outside of your confidence zone.


For convenience in this article, we'll discuss putts simply outside the circle, but keep in mind your level of confidence in making a putt might only be within 20 feet of the basket, where others will have confidence with 30 or 35 foot putts.


Your "Circle of Confidence", as some call it, is generally the distance you're able to make approximately 90% or more of your putts.

Learning where you feel confident in making a putt is very important when deciding whether to make the putt or safely lay up to prevent missing and having to attempt an even further putt



Practice sessions will teach you where this confidence zone is, but it's an important distance to know when trying to decide if you want to make a run at the basket, or safely lay up for a tap in.


On more than one occasion, and I'm sure we've all been there, I've eyed up a seemingly easy 30 foot putt, but upon release I not only miss, but the disc lands awkwardly and rolls 40 feet from the basket.


And just like that my par or birdie look becomes a bogey or double bogey.


Similarly, you get yourself in situations where you're just 40 to 60 feet from the basket and decide to run the basket rather than laying up.


The added distance requires more speed and increases your chances of an errant shot becoming a more difficult follow up shot.


In both situations, laying up comfortably to the basket would have been the proper play to keep your score down and is also the method to keep your scores more consistent.


Putting on different terrains, such as having a steep drop off behind the basket or putting up a severe incline are things that definitely need to be considered as well when deciding to try and make the putt or safely lay up.


A change in putting style or form may also be called for when faced with putts of longer distances.


If you find yourself outside your circle of confidence, adding a little bit of loft to your putt can not only give you a solid chance of making the basket, but a decreased chance of the disc rolling or flying away on a miss.


Spin putters especially may need to change their preferred technique on these types of longer shots due to the nature of this putting technique adding more speed to a putted disc than a push or "spush" style putt.


As with our other sections, it all comes down to not playing too aggressively too often, knowing your limits, and playing within those limits except for times when you need to make up strokes.



Take Away: Don't play too aggressive!


As you can probably see by now, playing within your skill level often means not getting overly aggressive in all phases of your disc golf game.


It's easy to try what you think is your hardest for each shot, but you need to keep in mind that maximal effort is not always as efficient as optimal effort.


Baseball players don't simply swing at a ball as hard as they physically can, they swing as hard as they can while still maintaining great form and control.


In fact, they'll even "choke up" on the bat and really slow things down at times when faced with situations where their backs are against the wall.


On the flip side, baseball pitchers don't throw as hard as they purely can because their accuracy will suffer.

They simply throw as hard as they can while still throwing strikes.


For some players, this mean throwing 95 mph instead of 100mph and for others they'll only be able to accurately throw a ball at 85 mph as each player's skill is different.


This isn't to concede in defeat, but rather to increase their odds of success.


In both examples, you see how slowing down and playing within your skill set can actually optimize performance rather than hinder it.


There are times and places where you need to get outside your comfort zone,


but for most of us, this should be more of an exception rather than a style of play.


Pro's may look like they're playing aggressively all the time, but I can assure you that they're simply so good that the shots they're attempting they feel very confident in.


And at their level of play, they need to constantly be pushing their own limits in order to win.


This is why a player can look unstoppable one event and look mediocre the next. It's not that their skill level significantly changed, but the aggressive nature of their play means that some risks you take will work out and others won't.


Wrap Up


Its very important that you practice regularly and use these practice sessions to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and your overall skill set.


Once you know your own limitations, its time to apply this knowledge to your scored rounds in leisure, tournaments, and leagues and to play within these limitations for most situations.


As you play, you'll learn when you can afford to get more aggressive while still minimizing risk and preventing costly mistakes.


By playing consistently in your skill set, you'll see not only more consistent scores, but slowly lower scores as you become better in both skill and being able to assess each shot more effectively.


Practice sessions will also allow you to work on things you know you need to improve on, rather than trying to improve mid competition.


A ball golfer isn't going to change clubs or form mid round, and neither should you in disc golf!


Following these tips will hopefully yield more consistent results for you, overall lower scores, and make playing competitive rounds more enjoyable!


Thanks for reading and as always,


Happy Disc Golfing!



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