Disc Golf Shot Selection and Ground Play – Lower Your Score!
This post on disc golf shot selection and ground play, is the next post in a series designed to help you elevate your game. Watch the videos and reinforce the concepts through reading. Watch, read, practice, and improve!
If you have ever played even one round of disc golf, you’ll know that each time you step up to your shot, there are any number of lines you can take.
And the more you play, the more you begin to strategize about how to approach each shot.
In addition to this, as you gain experience, the more types of shots you add to your arsenal.
In this post, we’ll look into ideas on shot selection and we’ll also consider how to utilize ground play.
Combined, these two ideas can set you up for success on the course and give you more quality looks at the basket.
Let’s watch how the pros analyze their options for any given shot and then see how they can utilize ground play to get that much closer.
Disc Selection When Taking the Hyzer Lines!
Sometimes we need to take a hyzer line and carry around obstacles.
Many times, your average every-day player will just grab the most stable disc they can, thinking it will hyzer the most.
But this might not actually be the move.
Infinite pro Eric Oakley shows us that the less stable discs with higher glide stay in the air longer and can carry the turn even more than their more stable counterparts.
Go test it out with your discs and reassess which disc you’ll reach for when you need to cut around a steep corner on hyzer.
As we know, those extra feet can equate to closer putts which can mean lower scores.
Now watch and see Oakley explain and demonstrate below!
Now from disc selection we look at shot selection to make sure we’re putting ourselves in the best position possible.
Shot Selection With Dave Feldberg
When assessing a given shot, David Feldberg suggests you ask yourself one question.
“What is the highest percentage [shot] for me?”
Go through your progression of shots that are most comfortable for you. If there is a clear shot that you feel confident with, take that one. If your favorite/best shot isn’t available, cycle down to your next favorite/best shot. Keep doing this until a good shot presents itself. And hopefully you don’t find yourself throwing 360 power forehands through tight gaps in the woods too often.
The next thing Dave tells us to do is to look at the trouble.
“The number one thing I think about with shot selection is the miss.”
If you miss on a hyzer route, he explains, it could spell big trouble because the trees aren’t even halfway to the basket. The forehand route, on the other hand, might have the first trees come up 70% of the way to the basket.
So, even if you miss and hit a tree on that forehand shot, you are still much, much closer to the basket and have a far better chance of scoring lower.
“Consider where your common miss will go. And if the common miss for the shot you’re selecting, puts you in trouble or out of bounds, that’s not the shot,” Feldberg tells us.
So, sometimes your best option is going with a shot you feel less comfortable with because the margin for error is far greater.
Now watch as Feldberg takes you through it from his point of view.
Now, that we’ve seen this let’s take a look at a quick/related video on disc golf shot selection for approach shots.
Shot Selection for Approach Shots!
This is a quick tip from Kesler Martin that is definitely worth considering.
Basically his tip is this: Sometimes it’s better to take the safer line and plan to land 25 feet away instead of going for the park job.
A lot of players just look at the basket and try to figure out how to get it as close to the basket as possible on any given shot (understandably so btw).
But that shot may be blocked with all sorts of obstacles.
And if you had Circle 1 be your target their might be a much safer line that will get you close and still give you a look.
Give it a look and consider for yourself! It might just steer you clear of danger the next time you’re out on the course!
If you are interested in more information on approach shots, we have a whole post dedicated to it that can be found here.
Now, let’s see how ground play, in conjunction with shot selection, can get us closer to the basket on a given shot.
Adding Ground Play to Our Game!
Sometimes the better shot is to avoid the ground and just let your disc simply land by the basket.
If there are roots, rocks or other protrusions, these can be unknown variables that could negatively impact the path of your disc towards the target.
But other times, a shot does call for the ground play.
And if it does, it’s helpful to know how that disc will react when it hits the ground.
Basically, Feldberg breaks it down like this:
- Overstable discs will skip hardest to the left (for RHBH)
- Stable to neutral discs are more likely to skip straight.
- Understable discs can even skip right.
This is very useful information to have, and well worth trying with the discs that you bag. By understanding ground play, Feldberg explains, you can better set yourself up in position for a more makeable putt.
Now watch him demonstrate and take you through his thinking. Notice how different discs, on similar angles, have far different reactions on the ground.
Disc Golf Shot Selection & Ground Play – In Summary!
As we’ve seen, disc golf shot selection and understanding of ground play can help shave strokes off your score.
Now, when you step up to any given shot, you can go through your progressions and pick the best shot for you in any given situation.
Over a round, by giving yourself higher percentage shots with shot selection, and getting closer to the basket with ground play, you can see strokes melt away.
And by choosing the right disc for a given shot, your odds get even better.
Let us know in the comments if you have any related tips that you swear by as well.
Over time by adding these ideas as well as other disc golf tips, we’ll evolve into the disc golfer we’ve always envisioned ourselves to be!