As if putting in disc golf isn't difficult enough, occasionally you might find yourself staring upwards at an elevated disc golf basket to finish out your hole.
While it isn't a death putt, there are some scary thoughts that can come to the forefront of our mind when put in this situation.
One being some nasty rollaways, another is not committing enough to get over the basket rim, and then there's not giving the putt enough "oomph" for the disc to stick in the chains and ricochet back out.
To help ease these thoughts and make these situations just a little bit easier,
Here are some quality tips to help you putt successfully at an elevated basket!
Where to Aim
The most crucial tip and one that may seem the most obvious is to aim HIGH!
If you're not aiming for just under the bottom of the band at the top, you likely aren't giving yourself ample space to get the disc over the basket. Not getting over the basket is a guaranteed miss and likely a massive rollaway depending on the slope of the terrain.
For flat putts, you may be focusing on the center of the chains, so get that aiming point up if the basket is elevated in any way!
Wind is going to play a huge factor for any putt, but this is amplified when putting upward at an elevated basket.
Under normal basket height circumstances, a tailwind is going to drop a slightly nose up putt while a harsh headwind will lift the same shot. When putting uphill, you're likely to increase the nose angle to a steeper nose-up, which is going to significantly increase the affect wind has on your disc.
Be sure to keep this in mind, even if there's very little wind.
You CAN putt uphill and keep your nose angle closer to it's usual release but this will require good angle control and possibly more speed on the release. That means a spin putter may be able to pull it off easier than a push putter.
To offset this, a push putter may need to become more of spush putter than they already are to create more spin on the disc and make it less prone to be nose up.
Taking a look at the grade of the slope on the adjacent ground is going to be important to take into consideration as well.
Sometimes raised baskets are on flat ground and this doesn't hurt as much on a missed putt, unless of course you sail over the basket with a head wind and your disc is carried away.
Other times, the gradient ascends up behind the basket, causing a natural backboard. This situation is one where you have more availability to run your putt because missing isn't punished as harsh if the disc hits the slope and sticks.
Finally, and most challenging, are death putts with the slope of the ground descending away from you. These are the ones where you have to bare down and truly commit to your putt.
There's nothing else that matters in that moment other than hitting those chains. That's the mentality you have to have and should adapt into all of your putting, not just at elevated targets.
1. Aim High
2. Assess the wind for a drop or lift effect and the
3. Asses the terrain behind the basket
4.Commit to you shot- no matter what
One Last Tip
If you're feeling that you're too far from the basket to commit to a run, it might be in your better interest to assess the grade of the ground and give yourself a safe layup putt.
There could be uncontrollable wind, a distance you're not comfortable with, or scores that are close where the risk of a putt for birdie rolling away and turning into a putt for bogey are outside of your comfort zone.
While it's giving you an extra stroke to lay up and tap out, it may save you from more strokes than that in the long run.
Taking your medicine when necessary is playing smart golf, don't forget that!
Hopefully these quick and easy helps help you save some strokes the next time on the disc golf course, so get out there and practice!
Good luck and Happy Putting!
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