With Ken Climo
As much as I enjoy throwing drives under the pin, putting is a big part of my success. I contribute 25% on my total game to putting. When I first started playing, I practiced 100 putts at the course every day before I even thought about playing. And there was a time when I was up to a couple hundred putts a day. There is no substitution for this type of repetition for muscle memory.
I look at the disc as a big weight that I have to drop in the basket. I dont think of it as a flying disc. The biggest thing I concentrate on is body weight transfer during the putting motion, not spin.
The weight must shift on line with the weight youre propelling. Concentrate on getting a smooth transfer of weight on that line. If you pick the height correctly, youre probably going to be in. If Im putting well, Ill be missing high or low. Everything should be straight. In calm conditions, the less spin in the disc the better. Why do you think so many discs that hit chains off the tee do not stay in? Too much spin. A bad putt for a right-hander that hits the left side of the chains has a better chance of dropping than the same putt with lots of spin. You really dont want to snap the disc. You really just want to flick it. Dont bend your wrist that much.
Starting low helps keep the spin to a minimum because I can focus on more weight transfer. Ive made so many ugly putts that come in on the left side. They hit with almost no spin and drop.
Stance and Footing
Paint the Pole
Explode and Release
Where to release the disc comes with experience. At 15 and 20 feet, youre right on the pole. At 30 feet, youre a little outside of the pole to allow the hyzer to come in. And at 60 to 70 feet, youre throwing well right to allow the swooping angle to come in.
As with freethrows, head position is important in putting. I try and keep my chin at about the same level throughout the putt. This is how I keep my head in the same general area.
Benefits of the
The advantages to the straight-line putt would be in situations where you need to go under low hanging branches, etc. It can also be advantageous over a loft putt into the wind. But, straight-line putts also have more of a tendency to hit the pole and bounce back. Since theyre flat, wind can get underneath and keep the disc aloft.
A hyzer putt takes some getting used to, especially learning when the disc is going to cut. Again, if you can control the speed and the distance, more putts are going to go in. You putt a disc too hard and it will come right back out at you or blow right through the chains.
Heres how various winds affect a right-handed player. Ill start with a direct tailwind (6:00) and work around the clock counterclockwise. At 6:00, a putt will usually drop. At 5:30, with some wind under the disc, it wont drop quite as much with a slight hyzer. At 3:00 the disc will lift with hyzer. Change your spot on the post to compensate. A straighter putt will take the lift out. A 1:30 wind will lift a hyzer putt and slow the disc down. It will also push to the left. A straight putt may turn over slightly.
At 12:00 (direct headwind) a slight hyzer or flat putt will lift and turn a bit. A 10:30 wind pushes a hyzer putt down and to the right. This is where a straight putt comes in handy over a loft or hyzer putt. A 9:00 wind has more pronounced effects than a 10:30, pushing hard and down to the right. Aim to the left side of the chains and take out any swooping angles. 7:30 is my perfect wind to putt in. I loft it up and the wind will keep it down and on-line with the disc hyzering.
I think about the wind on the tee. If its a strong wind behind me, then I try and throw short and left of the pin, playing for the left 7:30 putt. If theres a strong headwind, Ill throw extra hard and blow past the basket for a tailwind putt. Thats the mentality you have to have to make putts easier.
Practice and Goals
The main message for practice is to make sure you spend the most time on those things youre not doing well. If youre throwing perfect hyzer putts most of the time but having trouble with straddle putts, work on the straddle. With anything you have problems with in your game, go out and throw repeatedly until you get it right.
Here are some general putting goals Ive set up for any player: 15 footers you need to hit every one. 20 footers you need to hit 80%. 25 footers you need to hit more than half. And try and make at least half of your 30 footers. Make anything outside 30 feet and its a bonus whether youre a pro or an am.
I hope some of these
tips will help. Stick with them. The weight shift principal may not help
your accuracy at first, but be persistent. If you learn it properly, you
know as soon as you release the disc that its headed for the bottom
of the basket!