When it comes to being more lethal in your putting game, finding a solid aiming point is a great start. Picking a form to master is a good follow up. Practice is always a constant, but another thing to work on could be to extend your circle. The circle is, again, the 10 meter (30ft) area around the basket in all directions. According to the PDGA rulebook, 802.04-D, ‘any throw…..within 10 meters of the target is considered a putt’. That means that any throw from outside of that circle is not considered a putt, but that does not mean you can’t putt outside of it. But why should you practice to extend your circle?
Making Longer Putts
Wanting to make longer putts should be a part of anyone’s game. The fewer shots it takes you to complete a hole the better your score will be…obviously. Being able to bag that midrange for your putter on a shot between 30 feet (the circle), and 100 feet can make the course feel less daunting. Putters will not be as affected by skips, and most disc golfers carry 173+ weighted putters that are less likely to be altered by wind issues. Putters will also not fly as far, and can keep you from torching one by the basket.
Doubles as an Approach Shot
Uneven greens aside, usually putters hitting the ground stick to it. This attribute makes putting from longer distances some of the best upshots you can hope for. Even the hard plastics that putters come in will hit the turf more ‘softly’ than other discs. Opt for any of the soft plastics, and you will know right away why they stay on the ground. What this can do is give you potential tap-in follow up putts. Any time that I do not have to remove my bag to hole-out is ideal. Nothing boils my blood like missing a longer par putt after an over zealous approach shot.
If you can use a solid approach shot to bail out a bad drive, you can use a longer putt to bail out a bad approach shot. Courses are designed to be fun as well as challenging. There are times that the only shot you take on a hole that is open will be your putt. There is no guarantee that shot will be from the circle. Confidently taking advantage of it no matter the distance can make or break your confidence which can influence the rest of your round.
Personally, I will not carry plastic that I don’t plan on throwing. I carry multiple discs of any given mold that I really like. Each one typically is a variation of being ‘broken in’ that flies just a little bit differently. There are two staple discs in my bag that don’t fall under the driver/fairway driver categories: the Dynamic Discs Justice (THE best forehand midrange in the game), and the Westside Discs Harp. Keeping only two discs in my bag that aren’t drivers leaves me with extra room for spares, as well as the newer mold I’m trying out for the first time. You do not have to be married to midranges if you rarely use them.
Overall, it can shorten courses
I can tell you that adding distance to your drive isn’t the only answer until I’m blue in the face. The fact of the matter is that the long drive is the disc golf equivalent of the home run. Everyone wants to be able to do it, and will spend all kinds of time searching for ways to find out how. If your goal is the long drive, then extending your circle is a must. Unless you play wide open courses exclusively, even shorter holes have obstacles to work with. This makes you adjust your drive routes, and increases the difficulty of parking a drive on the green. Long drives tend to be followed up by extended range putts.
So, why do YOU think you should extend your putting circle?