One of the most important aspects of proper disc golf putting form also happens to be counter-intuitive to the way people usually first learn to throw a flying disc. I’m talking follow-through, which in a classic putting motion means thrusting the throwing (putting) hand forward toward the target, as opposed to ‘flinging’ the disc from the side like a tossing a Frisbee at the beach.
A different set of muscles are involved, so it not only feels weird at first but also requires some time and repetition to develop those muscles. Check out this short clip on YouTube that demonstrates a short exercise developed to help players work on proper putting follow-through. If you don’t feel like watching the clip, here it is in a nutshell:
- Pick a target, preferably a basket or something else that won’t inflict abuse on your putters when you repeatedly throw them at said target.
- Get a stack of putters, preferably at least five or so
- Standing a short distance from the target (15 feet or closer), pick up the first disc, and prepare to putt at the target as you normally would. Except in this exercise, de-emphasize the ‘take-back/pull-back’ part of your putt, and over-emphasize your follow-through.
- If possible, hold the disc a foot in front of your body, and fight the urge to instinctively pull the disc back before letting it fly. Instead, try to use follow-through to get as much as possible on your putt.
- Repeat with the rest of your discs, then collect them and do it again.
- Once you get the hang of it, try to start with the disc even further from your body. Whether the disc goes in the basket isn’t as important in this exercise as a strong follow-through with your throwing arm ending up completely straight, pointing directly at the target.
- When you feel comfortable with your follow-through technique, go back to your normal take-back/pull-back but finish with the same exaggerated follow-through. If done correctly, you’ll notice that the disc goes further with less effort, and . . . .
- If you’re finishing with your hand pointed directly at the center of the target, you’ll also see another benefit: less putts that miss left or right. That part is pretty simple, really. If you pull a putter back on a straight line, and release it on a straight line, it will indeed fly on a straight line.
This exercise is all about transforming a technique that is crucial to proper putting form but can feel unnatural at first into something you do every time without thinking. It can only happen through repetition, though, and as I mentioned in the first part of this post, the muscles involved need to be developed as well. So if it doesn’t seem like you can do it at first- if the disc doesn’t even make it to the basket – just get closer and keep at it. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.