Archive for February, 2012
Halfway point of experiment
After 800 putts (400 inside, 400 outside) the conditions were prime to see where my skills have progressed to. A gentle breeze and a mild 32 degrees at Bancroft. I maintained focus for nearly the entire 2 rounds, putting together the best 36 holes I’ve played out there. My putting confidence was like none I’ve ever had before. Not perfect, but close. A couple small lapses in focus led to an occasional missed opportunity, but the opportunities that I capitalized on way outnumbered the mistakes, not a single 3 putt, and an occasional spectacular save gave me a bogey free 36 holes at -13.
I’m feeling very good about where this experiment is taking me, I have definitely felt it has been worth it thus far and am looking forward to seeing where another 15 days will lead me.
After a rather hectic weekend of no putting practice, I got back into a routine of 500/day, then got a full 1000 in today before I headed out to the course for a round. I had been in a slump, until I got that full 1000 in – then putting on the course came almost easy. So, I just need 1000 practice putts before a round… or something like that. -6 at the course today, not quite my best, but I felt good about it, especially my putting and approach game, I had a few drives get away from me.
The next few days are looking good as far as time to get 1000/day.
15′ 100 inside, 100 out
20′ 200 inside, 100 out
25′ 200 inside, 100 out
30′ 100 inside
What have I learned today?
35mph wind and -10F windchill (10F air temp) might be a great atmosphere to refine your mental game if you have a strong one. A weak mental game attempting to grow might just collapse under the pressure.
I do not know how to putt into a headwind. I asked the question yesterday. And I found the answer I need over the last 36 hours. Somebody isn’t going to be able to tell me – but a couple thousand putts into it will probably help.
Wind whistling outside I head out into the yard to work this out. 20 putts later I head back inside – weak mental game or not, that kind of torture is not worth it. Give me a chance to explain – I’m a northerner, I don’t mind the cold weather, blizzards, wind, cold, snow, rain, or.. weather in general does not keep me off the course But my hand spends 95% of it’s time in a glove or in a pocket with a hand warmer. At the practice basket it’s the inverse, I need my fingers for this putting thing.
Something clicked today, somewhere around putt 400 – I’ve had it before months ago, but I let it slip away, I need to hold onto it – (I just tried explaining it in words, but couldn’t). The stats will speak for themselves – I’ve been contemplating if a perfect 360 might be possible. After today, I believe it is, missing only 4 putts the first round, and 8 the second. I’m going to add it to my goal list: Throw a perfect game of PP360.
15′ – 300
20′ – 300
25′ – 300
124+91=215 (Compared to yesterday’s 79+67=146)
10′ – 100%
15′ – 95%
20′ – 95%
25′ – 75%
30′ – 75%
It’s been a while since I’ve been this sore in the morning. Putting is a lot of work. The first putt of the day is the hardest. 30mph gusting -15F windchill is great for working on the mental game. 91 in a row from 15′ (inside). How the F do you putt into the wind? 2/10, 2/10, 3/10, 5/10, 6/10 from 15′ into a 25mph wind. So I was improving by the end, there must be some relation to improved putting and frozen fingers. 90% from 20′ with the wind though. 520 putts down – time to see how this wind treats us at the course.
(evening update lost somewhere in cyberspace…)
15′ 100 inside 100 out
20′ 100 inside 100 out
25′ 200 inside
30′ 300 inside
10′ – 100%
15′ – 90%
20′ – 85%
25′ – 50%
30′ – 50%
500 putts before 10 am, and then it was out to the course. Will I see results after 1.5 days, 1500 putts and some mind expanding exercises? I think it was about hole 5 that I felt the answer. Stepping up to the tee I visualized, focused on my target, ran through a simple breathing exercise, released all tension and let my drone rip on a line directly at the basket. I approached the basket expecting to see it parked only to see it 25 feet into the brush – big skip. I crawl my way into the crap line up an awkward shot, commit to a line, and give it a run that skips off the rim of the basket and 25′ past. A perfect opportunity for my putting practice to shine. I line up my shot, breathe, commit, nail the left side of the chains and onto the ground. I dropped in the bogey and smile – about the time I’d normally start cursing internally, I’m feeling pumped, getting a bogey never felt so good. Hole six I followed the same breathing exercise, committed to my shot, and “clang!” nailed the cage.
Was I shooting the round of my life? No. Closer to average finishing at a -1. Did I expect to see dramatic results after 1.5 days? No, but it opened my mind to the potential. So much so that I had to immediately throw another round – average front 9 (even) and a great back 9 (-4). I feel mental improvements, I saw myself hitting my lines more consistently, I hit near all of my putts inside of 20′, was consistent (~%50) inside the circle, and nailed a few big jump putts, all with more confidence.
I’ve had the pieces to this puzzle, but they’ve been relatively abstract. I’m starting to see them with come clarity and feeling their tangible qualities. I feel it, I’m so excited to put these pieces together, I have confidence I’ll be able to make a beautiful picture.
18 holes at Bancroft – 53
18 holes at Bancroft – 50
15′ – 200 inside 100 outside
20′ – 200 inside 100 outside
25′ – 200 inside 100 outside
83+84 = 167
15′ – 100 indoor
20′ – 200 indoor 100 outdoor
25′ – 300 indoor 200 outdoor
PP360: 61 + 88 = 149
1000 putts is indeed a large number, not insurmountable, but at about 15 minutes per 100 putt block, in real time ~3-4 hours each day is now devoted to putting. Will it be hard to keep at it? Yes – it will be draining. I’m confident that I’ll be able to do it.
My muscles are not sore, I feel a slight ache, but I feel that my body should be in shape for this task.
A slight variety in disc textures is immediately noticeable in throwing 10 different putters, I think it will be important to purchase 10 exact discs for this experiment.
The rapid succession of putts has limited my movement in between putts. The fundamentals of my putt are the same, but the motions have become abbreviated. I’m finding this to be a good thing – less movement = less room for error.
Patterns in putting. I did not keep track of how many out of 1000 I made throughout the day. Besides abbreviated motions, the adjustments I made throughout the day were mostly mental – not necessarily being concerned about how many I was making, not making adjustments to my form, but taking notice of patterns and how they related to my thought process. The more I could focus on the goal (a single link in the chain) and keep my mind clear of all other distractions, the more consistent I was all around – cleaner releases, smoother weight transfer, truer flights.
100% at 10′
90% at 15′ – the missed putts were definitely a mental lapse
75% at 20′
55% at 25′ – interestingly only hit 3 the first round and 8 the second round
60% at 30′ – better than 25? cool
I felt the pressure putts, I believe that this game will be a great measure of improvements during this experiment, it takes technique and conquering of the mental game.
A disc golf training experiment
My disc golf game has been at an inconsistent plateau. I’m confident in my physical ability, it’s my mental game that is the road block, and the closer I get to the basket, the less consistent I am.
I’ve read about putting technique, watched videos, explored different approaches to putting practice, tried different practice routines, and talked to incredible putters around the country. I’ve met the gifted players who’s practice routine was 10 putts before the tournament and it was game on, they were few and far between and I’ve learned I’m not one of them. Nearly invariably though the best putters preach endless practice, an obsessive amount of practice, thousands and thousands of putts. So, in a serious attempt to improve my game, the next 30 days will be my journey into an intense practice routine by making two major changes to my game.
First off, focusing on the mental aspect of the game I’m going to live by “Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game.” It is a highly regarded book on the mental game of ball golf, that easily translates to disc golf. I will listen to the audio book, in 20-30 minute blocks of time focusing on the lessons learned, most likely working my way through the audio book several times in the next 30 days.
And, in addition to my current practice routine of playing at least a round per day, I will throw 1000 putts each day. 1000 putts broken up into blocks of 100, each block of 100 will have its own focus (a variety of distance, indoor, outdoor, wind directions, etc) with at least one round of pp360 each day (1 indoor control to monitor improvements). Putts will be thrown in rapid succession of 10 (pp360 will reset between each shot). 1000 should be attainable on most days in this time frame, If 1000 proves to be too many per day, I may drop to 500 on days that life may be busier, but no less than 500.
Abstract: Build muscle memory, improve confidence, and putting performance. Master the mental aspect of the game.
Smart: Shoot -10 at Bancroft. Shoot -10 at Riverland. Top 3 at the Albert Lea Big Freeze (Day 10 of experiment). Top 15 showing in MA1 at BG Ams (3 weeks after conclusion of experiment). Monitor improvements in PP360 scores.