Putting is probably THE most critiqued aspect of your game. You can find tutorials abound on the internet, there are baskets specifically designed to help make you better at it, and there are even debates over which form is better than another. If you truly want to become a disc golfer that is feared for your putting prowess you need to peel all of that away, and ask yourself: What is your aiming point?
What’s the first name you sarcastically give your buddy who makes deep putts? Is it an homage to the antagonist of Happy Gilmore? If not I’m willing to bet it has something to do with sharpshooting, and sarcasm. Instead of chaffing your fellow players maybe you should be asking him/her what they’re putting at within the basket.
Benjamin Martin said it best when teaching his sons how to shoot in The Patriot: aim small, miss small.
This parable was to help train musket shooters during the Revolutionary War. These rifles were, at best, reasonably accurate from 75-100 yards. We can break it down like this: when looking down the sight line of a rifle/bow, if you aim for a body, and miss…you can miss the target completely. Now aim at the same target, but focus on something small like a button/pocket. Even with a miss, you will theoretically still connect with the target. Substitute the metaphorical body with a basket, and get to putting.
What is your aiming point? Eric McCabe:
“When I’m putting I always make my focus point a chain to the right of the center pole. From that chain I hone in on an individual link about 3 to 4 up from the top of the bucket. The further away from the circle you get, the harder this is to do, but when it comes to closing out holes that’s my aiming point”.
What is your aiming point? Paige Bjerkaas:
“I try to aim two chains to the right of center, and a couple links above the basket. It gets more difficult from outside the circle, but adjusting for distance is another animal entirely”.
What is your aiming point? Paige Pierce:
“I aim directly down the middle. Horizontally, and vertically right down the middle. That way if I miss a little low, high, left, or right it leaves me room for error in any direction”.
So what do all three of these answers have in common? Other than coming from the mouths of professional disc golfers, these three answers are very specific. With little hesitation each knew EXACTLY where they focus on any given basket. All three made it quite clear that a consistent aiming point can make all the difference when putting in those pressure situations during tournaments. If you don’t already have a consistent aiming point for your putting game, I highly suggest finding one that you can count on. Get out on your own basket, or a local course and spend what off season you have figuring out the answer to this question: What is your aiming point?