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Are You a Thrower or a Golfer?
It’s time to ditch your thrower ways and start becoming a golfer, and who better to learn that from than 3-time U.S. Champion Barry Schultz.
Playing since 1980, Schultz separates disc golfers into throwers: those who have just “two or three bread and butter shots” and only see themselves and the basket; and then golfers, who are continually looking to learn more shots and better ways to visualize their discs’ flight path.
“It’s more of a mindset,” said Clash DVD commentator Billy Crump, who assisted Schultz with discussion at the Innova Champions Series sponsored by Cloud 9 Disc Golf on Thursday.
Schultz said he likened disc golf to any other hobby, and if competitors want to become a golfer, they have to put the time in. Games are a good way to practice without getting too serious, he said. Disc bocci, playing catch, and others are all good ways of developing touch and gaining confidence in control shots.
But when it comes down to it, field practice is where most of the learning takes place, said Schultz. For every three to four disc golf rounds, players should devote at least 30 minutes to open field practice, he recommended.
At the field, golfers can throw many more shots in half the time it takes a round, and after five or six sessions it will be easy to start seeing the difference especially if players are repeating the same shots over and over.
While at it, players should go ahead and throw every disc in their bag. Discovering which discs don’t work is probably more important than learning which ones do, he said. Plus, you don’t have to have 10 of the same discs for good, focused practice, he added.
Those who say they can get practice by throwing several discs on each hole during a round are kidding themselves, says Schutlz.
“No, that wasn’t practice. That’s was exercise,” he said.
In addition, Schultz advised players to take a closer look inside their disc golf bag.
“If there is one that you are not using, get rid of it,” said Schultz.
Besides that, he advised players to consider adjusting their bag regularly according to which discs are working and those to accommodate weather changes. As most already know, a disc’s feel and flight change with cold and warm temperatures said Schultz and it’s important to take note of how each affects your discs.
When it comes to newer players learning the game, Schultz recommends using DX plastic. Beefy super overstable discs may work for young guys full of beans, but Schultz says after years of muscling those discs – it will take a toll on the body.
With DX plastic, Schultz believes it’s easier to learn how to land a disc straight than the more durable Champion or Star plastic, which tend to hyzer out more to the left. Crump said Schultz is the only player he knows who can make a 370-foot drive skip straight.
“It’s called knowing your plastic,” Schulz replied with a smile.