Tour Storylines – Copenhagen Open

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RESULTS – 🏆JESSE NIEMINEN & EVELIINA SALONEN

The Europe Tour kicked off its first Elite stop during a weekend full of global events. It was a great first look at what’s to come as the fields and courses become more impressive.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – A new era of European disc golf.

“Europe is more than ready for this. Is US ready for that the Europe will take over?” – Juha Kytö – DGPT Europe Media Director (The Upshot)

And he was mostly right… DGPT Europe and Copenhagen delivered on coverage, spectators, and players. Besides a few hiccups, the live & post coverages were up to par.

The commentators were professional, had great insights, and let the golf breathe. Their calming but balanced hype paired well with the ~1.5k spectators on the ground.

Big Danish Crowds (MDG Media)

With free tickets, the Danes showed up excited as they cheered and got rowdy. They’re in a disc golf hotspot, after all, with the Valbyparken course being the most played in the world.

The weekend’s layout was a typical park course made harder with particular landing zones. According to Gregg Barsby, the difficulty level was just short of most Elite US courses.

But even with the lessened course and field strength, the payout was Elite. This year, the MPO winner pocketed $8.2k compared to last year’s $2.5k.

2 – The most dramatic finish FPO might have all year.

The defending champ, Kaidi Allsalu, came out strong against recent Major winner Eveliina Salonen. She stuck to her game and, at one point, held a 9-stroke lead over the Finn.

But Allsalu hit a wall, and Salonen mounted an unbelievable comeback. Ignoring her 50% C1X stats, Salonen stepped her way to a playoff and carded the only eagle on FPO’s par 6 hole.

She then won on the second playoff hole with another deadly stepper. Proving she’s clutch, Salonen tacked on a third win to her already historic season.

Salonen Stepper (MDG Media)

3 – It’s not Kristin Tattar, it’s Kaidi Allsalu.

Watching FPO live, I had to wipe the sleep from my eyes to not confuse Kaidi Allsalu for her fellow Estonian, Kristin Tattar. But who is she?

  • Allsalu has two children (aged 9 & 4)
  • Started playing in 2014 and has gained notoriety in her country
  • 3x winner of the Estonian Winter Championships
  • Likes to focus on the mental side of the game

This season, Allsalu has only played one US event (USWDGC), where she placed 28th out of 100. She plans to finish her year with only DGPT Europe events.

4 – The Finnish takeover.

In unusually calm conditions, the coastal course quickly became a birdie-or-die affair, and like other DGPT events, the leaderboard was crowded. Those near the top were…

  • 2nd place: Niklas Anttila, who came in as the favorite but couldn’t overcome his round 1 performance.
  • Two 16-year-old Europeans who finished in the Top 4: Finland’s Eetu Tuominen (2nd) & Estonia’s Roland Kõur (4th). Both will continue on the Europe Tour.
  • Captain Paul Ulibarri continues his resurgence with a 4th place. Recently, he discovered that he has a pinched nerve in his shoulder that causes numbness with FHs and OHs. Uli’s working through it but may pursue surgery if it doesn’t improve.

And the dark horse to finish at the very top was Jesse Nieminen. In an unfamiliar scenario, he held them all back with his best performance on Tour.

Nieminen is already headed back to the US for another leg with his fellow Finns – Anttila and Väinö Mäkelä. He still has much to prove to himself on the West Coast Swing, which features courses not well suited to his game.

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Tour Storylines – Dynamic Discs Open

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RESULTS – 🏆CALVIN HEIMBURG & MISSY GANNON

After the unforgiving Northwood course, the 1st leg of the season ends with a classic stop in Emporia. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – Emporia knows disc golf.

When DDO rolls around, the first thing that comes to mind is the KS winds. But even while they were evident, the course was the main focus.

Being mostly unchanged, Champions Landing was still a ball golf property that punished with OB and celebrated big bombs. The tweaked holes were 7, 16, and 18.

Hole 7’s fake river made no difference for the leaders as they blasted past it. Hole 16’s new drop zone was disappointing and probably won’t make the redesign. And Hole 18 is almost great with the excitement of eagles (see AB’s 450’+ upshot) but still needs tweaking.

A redesign is planned for the course later this summer. So even with the small crowds and occasional severe weather, this Tour stop won’t be dropped anytime soon.

Aside from the golf, this event still knows how to host a party. From the OB Kenobi spotter to the Block Party, there’s always fun to be had.

May the 4th spotter (@eric_mccabe)

Emporia Heimburg (@thediscgolfguy)

2 – The gift of gab.

Not for the first time, Big Jerm and Sarah Hokom joined Ian Anderson in the live booth. Hokom received middling praise, while Big Jerm was celebrated.

His endless stories and insightful analysis made it clear he’s a veteran on the mic. But all things come at a price, and his double duty on JomezPro wasn’t as well received.

It was obviously his second time seeing the shots, and his foreshadowing was distracting. But as he continues to bridge his career, there’s no doubt Big Jerm will be our sport’s voice.

In 3 weeks, he’ll flex his vocal skills again, rejoining the live broadcast for the DGPT+ Portland Open.

3 – Playoffs? Aggregate playoffs??

Before Sunday, it was a grind for both the FPO players and fans. The slimmed-down field struggled with missed putts and low ratings.

While most reasoned it was due to the missing Europeans, the flat play probably had more to do with the course. It wasn’t well-tuned for FPO.

But thanks to it, the finish was made much more exciting. Hailey King was on her way to defending her title and proving her comfort at this event.

But she barely missed both islands, pushing play into more holes. It was time for the debut of aggregate playoffs, and Big Money Missy came alive.

While confusing at first, the 3-hole showdown was a success. Gannon clutched up to birdie 16 & 17 for the first time all weekend while King lost all momentum.

Ultimately, the format forced decision-making and the better player won. This was Gannon’s 1st win at Emporia and 2nd win of the season after USWDGC (Major).

“Thank you to my sponsors for having my back. We got another one.” – Gannon (JomezPro)

4 – Heimborg is back online.

No matter how focused Ricky Wysocki looked on Sunday, he was no match for Calvin Heimburg. With little emotion, Vinny put on a clinical final round.

He had a red-hot start with 7 straight birdies, then continued putting his pizza in the oven. And the fat lady sang after Heimburg fell on the fortunate side of Hole 16’s back wall when Wysocki didn’t.

Since Jonesboro last year, it took 371 days to see him win. Minus big shots, his FH is almost back to normal, and he looks like the final boss again.

How long will it take to get his 2nd of the season? He heads to Vegas for Innova’s homecoming event next weekend, where he’s a 2x champ.

5 – Careers showings, continued streaks, & no hangovers.

This event capped off a grueling stretch before home to some, and to others, it was just another weekend. Here are their storylines:

Emily Weatherman was a blade of grass away from a 3-way playoff with King and Gannon. In her 1st podium finish, the 18-year-old looked like a veteran by sticking landing zones, staying calm, and consistently putting.

Joey “Buckets” Anderson keeps coming back to the leaderboard with his 4th top-15 this season. If he keeps breaking course records, he’ll find a win and continue to be a fan favorite.

Andrew Presnell avoided the Major hangover and finished 5th on a course not suited to him. He’s already back home and plans to hit local B-Tiers before coming back to Portland.

Gavin Rathbun earned his 1st podium since his surgery in 2021. It makes you wonder where he’d be if he never tore his labrum.

Anthony Barela ended his top-10 streak, while Gannon Buhr & Chris Dickerson continued theirs.

Cole Redalen unexpectedly dropped out with 3 holes left while waiting 45 min for the FPO playoff. He claims “the last 3 holes didn’t matter anyway” and that he had “logistical and practical reasons.”

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Best Gifts for Disc Golfers

Gift-giving to the disc golfer in your life is something that can happen year-round. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and even weddings are life events that can be celebrated with gifts. What better gift to give a disc golfer than something that they will LOVE and actually use. We’ve put together this guide to give you some ideas for the best disc golf gifts for any event throughout the year.

Essential Gifts

Glow Accessories – It may come as a surprise that people actually play disc golf at night. ‘Glow rounds’ are a fun and popular activity for individuals and clubs. There are a couple different ways people can light up their discs for night play. If you have glow-in-the-dark discs, all you have to do is charge them up with a light, then let them fly. The best lights do accomplish that are UV flashlights. This type of flashlight not only charges a glow disc faster and brighter, but it’s easier on your eyes while charging the disc.

If you want to throw non-glow discs, you still have an options. Disc lights can be taped to the top or bottom of a disc and help you locate the disc after your drive. They also look pretty cool in flight! For discs that are opaque, you might want to put a light on the top AND bottom. Otherwise, if the disc lands light-side down, you might not be able to see the light through the plastic.             Flightowel disc fob and towel

Flightowel – The Flightowel is an ingenious device that helps you keep your disc and hands dry, and also helps you warm up or keep warm during a backup. The towel part of the Flightowel is an absorbent honeycomb towel that is attached to a small portion of a disc called a fob. You can hold the fob and warm up using the same motion as when throwing a disc. The fob comes in a variety of colors and disc models.

Grip Enhancer – When disc golfers are out playing, they experience a variety of situations that might mean their hands are either too wet or too dry, and need a little help getting the proper feel and friction with their discs. That’s where grip enhancers come into play. There are different types of grip enhancers to ensure you get the grip you need.

If you have problems with wet hands due to sweating, morning dew, or rain, check out the Whale Sac. It fits easily in your hand and wicks away any moisture you are experiencing. Looking for a grip enhancer that can also double as a mini? You’ll want the Infinite Discs Grip Bag Mini. It is the exact size of a PDGA-approved mini. Mark you lie and get perfect grip with one product.

Chain Suppressor – If your disc golfer likes to practice but has neighbors or house mates that don’t want to hear the rattle of chains, the Chain Suppressor is the perfect gift. This neoprene sleeve wraps around the pole and helps keep your putting practice quiet. It is reversible so you can choose to have targets, or all black.

Apparel

Alpaca Hat

Alpaca Hat – If you’re looking for a stylish gift that is sure to please then check out the Alpaca hat. This hat features a colorful version of the famous Alpaca mascot, decked out in a frilly, logo-emblazoned blanket. Keep the sun out of your eyes while playing, and show the world that you like the amazing Infinite putter! (or at least the awesome logo!)

James Proctor Signature Hat– The James Proctor signature hat is a bright pink dad hat that features the Infinite logo and an embroidered Proctor signature. Made of Dri-Fit material, the James Proctor hat will keep you cool and protect your eyes.

Hoodie A hoodie is the perfect apparel for a chilly round of disc golf. It will keep you warm and the hood will keep your head and neck out of the wind. You can where a hoodie for function or style. Check out one of the many Infinite logo hoodies or support the brand you love. Look good and stay warm.

Polo Shirt – Infinite Discs makes looking good on the course a breeze with our selection of polo shirts. Check out the cotton polo or the performance materials. With a variety of colors and designs, you’ll be sure to find a polo for the disc golfer in your life.

Umbrella – An umbrella is a gift that is a great blend of function and form. Infinite offers some good-looking designs whose function will be appreciated during a wet round. Don’t forget how useful an umbrella can be on a hot, sunny round. Help the disc golfer in your life tame the elements with an umbrella from Infinite Discs. Pick an umbrella from MVP, Axiom, Trilogy, or Innova.

Jerky – A bag of jerky from Double- G Jerky is a great snack to carry on the course for a quick and convenient protein boost. Choose from a variety of flavors, some of which are supported by various touring pros. Are you a PaulMcBeth fan? Check out Paul’s Max Weight Original or McBeast BBQ Style jerky. Better yet, grab a bag of each flavor for the variety.

Premium Gifts

Apex Rangefinder

Apex NP600 Help your disc golfers choose the correct disc to throw by knowing exactly how far it is to the basket. The Apex NP600 give the distance in feet for more accurate shots. The Apex rangefinder has many other features that are useful for disc golfers, including distance compensation (how far the shot will be when taking into effect the elevation change) and height measurement (measure the height of obstacles that you need to throw over).

Retriever – If you’re looking for a gift that will be used a lot, consider giving a retriever. An errant shot in a river, lake, tree, or over a fence are often reachable and retrievable with the proper device. The Max Stick Carbon Fiber retriever can help you reach far out into a body of water or high into a tree. The suction cup head sticks to the disc to aid in returning it to your bag. The Max Stick comes in a variety of lengths, from the 16-foot models to the gargantuan 29.5-foot retriever. Infinite has other retriever options for you to choose from. Check them out HERE.

A Rack disc holder

 

Disc Storage – For people who have a few discs that they would like to keep organized and easy to sort through, a disc golf storage solution is just the ticket. The A Rack is a beautiful wood rack that holds a bunch of discs and looks good doing it. It comes in several different sizes to accommodate any size disc golf collection. Get a gift that looks amazing and helps keep your disc golfers stash of discs organized.

Divergent Discs Lite Basket – The Divergent basket is a lightweight basket that is easy to assemble/disassemble and a piece of cake to move around. There is no better way to improve your short game than to have a basket around for regular practice sessions. Divergent baskets come in a choice of colors. They make a great gift that will help your disc golfer level up their game.

Elite Gifts 

Training Net – It is always fun to head to a field to practice some drives and upshots. However, that is not always practical. Having a Visionary Practice Net around ensures you can get some reps in without having to leave your yard. Simply set up the net and fire away. The net is portable and can be used to warm up before a round. Or keep it set up at home for regular practice sessions. The Visionary Net was designed for disc golf and makes retrieving your practice throws more convenient.

DGA Mach Lite – The Mach Lite is a portable disc golf basket that is a step above regular portable baskets. Its clever design makes it easy to collapse, transport, and set up again to make sure you can take the basket anywhere you need to be. It comes with a storage bag to make transport even easier, and to protect the cloth basket. The Mach Lite is relatively quiet, making it a good choice for the backyard or for use as a temp basket on a course.

Cart – Carts make for a much more enjoyable round of disc golf because they make hauling a bag around a breeze. Plus, carts allow you to bring extra discs, apparel, and accessories without expending any more energy. Infinite has some great cart options for your disc golfer.

Rovic RV1C Disc Golf Cart

Rovic – The RV1D is a three-wheel cart that holds any bag for ease of transport around a course. Your bag sits high on the cart for easy access to discs, water bottles, or storage pockets. The Rovic has optional accessories such as an insulated bag for cold drinks, or attached mittens for use in cold weather. When not in use, the Rovic is compact and folds up to fit in any trunk.

Zuca – With a choice of car models, Zuca is the big name in golf carts. They offer models that hold bags, so you can easily remove your bag and discs from the cart when playing a course that is not cart-friendly. Other models hold discs inside the frame for ease in moving around a course. Some have a built-in seat for relaxing while waiting to tee. All of their models are easy to move around and make toting your discs and equipment easier.

Disc Storage – Most disc golfers have a lot of discs that they aren’t throwing at the moment, but they still want to keep. Although most won’t buy their own storage racks, most disc golfers would love to have one. There are storage solutions for people with just a few discs, to large numbers of discs that need a home. Check out the storage capacity of the MVP Disc Station VI for the ultimate high-capacity storage solution and help your disc golfer organize their collection.

VIP Club Logo

VIP Club – A unique disc golf gift is a membership in the Infinite Discs VIP Club. With this gift your disc golfer will receive a new disc EACH MONTH! The discs are a surprise, but they all have unique stamps and colors, plus they are numbered so you can see how many were made world-wide. In addition to the fun surprise of a new disc, VIP members get access to the VIP store, where they get the first shot of some discs, pro merchandise, apparel, free shipping from the VIP store, and more. If you want a gift that truly keeps on giving, check out the VIP store and select the gift option HERE.

What Gifts Do YOU Recommend?

Let us know what disc golf gifts you suggest for another disc golfer. We’re curious what you would pick. Comment and we’ll pick a few responses and send out an Infinite gift card!

One response per person, all responses must be approved to avoid spam. Give us a few days after you comment to get it approved.

 

Focus Friday – Divergent Disc Portable Basket 

FOCUS FRIDAY– Divergent Disc Portable Basket

Welcome back to another Focus Friday, where we look at a certain mold or brand, and give you a discount so you can try it out for yourself. This weekend, we aren’t focusing on a disc but a very helpful training tool that will get you ready for the 2024 season… The Divergent Disc Portable Basket.

Divergent Disc golf basket

The Divergent Discs Portable Basket is your next go-to practice disc golf basket! This basket is coated in a durable, matt black finish that will continue to last from season to season. All cage, base, and band attachment points have welded joints for maximum stability. Make more putts with this quality disc golf goal.

The entire unit is easy to assemble with a total of 6 pieces; no tools are required for set up. You will not find a better deal with this good of quality anywhere else!

Dimensions – All up to PDGA standard

Height of the basket – 52 in (132 cm)

Height of the Band  24 in (61 cm)

Cage Width – 25 in (63 cm)

Base Width – 22 in (55 cm)

Total Weight – 25.5 lbs (11.56 kg)

Chains – 24 zinc coated small heavy duty chains (12 forward, 12 back)

 

DISCOUNT -> This weekend, you can get one of these high quality Divergent Basket on sale up until Monday night!

Check out this page to see all the items that are on sale this week.

Improving At Disc Golf

practicing disc golf driving to improve

One of the question I hear asked a lot when there is someone new to a disc golf group is, how long have you been playing disc golf? I’ve often asked that question and have been asked it many times myself. It’s fun and interesting to learn how and when people started playing. It’s also interesting to see people’s skill level based on how long they have been playing, and what they are doing to improve at disc golf.

Some people have impressive amounts of skill, even though they haven’t been playing long. Others are at about the level we would expect them to be, based on how long they have been playing. There are a couple reasons why there might be a difference. First, some people just have more athletic ability than others. Second, the courses and people we play with can influence how much and how rapidly we grow. Third, some people want to get better while others are content to just play at their current skill level.

Survey From Remix Outdoors

How does your growth and skill level compare to others? Our friends at Remix Outdoors shared the results of a survey they conducted among disc golfers which shows the average driving distance and the length of time playing for survey participants. This gives us an idea where our skills match up with others who have been playing as long as us.

disc golf distance survey results

 

According to the survey, after starting out as a beginner, the average disc golfer doubles their driving distance in just six months. Then the average distance gains slow quite a bit. The longer we play, the more difficult to add distance to our drives. I’ve seen this trend among a lot of disc golfers that I know. Although the arc seems accurate, the distances seemed a little lower than I’ve seen.

I would have guessed that the average disc golfer would have picked up a little more distance in the first year or so. After people learn the basics of form, quite a lot of growth can occur. Then the progress might slow down. Even so, the growth/plateau arc is close to what I’ve seen a lot. Is there something we can do to speed up the growth?

Improving at Disc Golf

There are several methods we can use to improve our skills in disc golf. Some cost money but most are free. They all involve investing time to improve our skills.

Watch Youtube Videos

YouTube logo

One of the great benefits of social media is that people with a lot of knowledge can impart that knowledge to the masses easily and cheaply. There are many disc golf coaches who post videos that walk you through every aspect of disc golf. Watching the videos, doing the drills, and following suggestions can help us improve our skills. We can see every detail of good form, then work to implement that form for ourselves.

That method of improving does have a few drawbacks though. First, not everyone learns just by watching a video. Some need to be told how to make our body do the moves in the videos. We might assume we are doing what is suggested in the video, but really just creating new bad habits. Which leads us to the second drawback: A video can’t give feedback. Unless we know we are using proper form, we can’t really correct our issues. Which leads us to the second method we can use to improve:

Take Video of Our Form

If you watch good tutorials you can get a good mental image of what proper form looks like. If we then record and watch ourselves doing the same moves, we can compare our form to the proper form to see what areas we need to work on. This still requires us to be able to make changes to the way our body moves, which may or may not be easy for us. That is where the last improvement method comes into play:

Get Some Coaching

cartoon image of a coach

Having a knowledgeable coach watch our form and give immediate feedback, including ways we can correct any issues we’re having, is a great way to speed up the learning curve. This takes more than just pointing out problem areas. This means finding someone that can teach us how to change our muscle memory and lay the foundation for good form and good habits.

When it comes to coaching, there are several options. Some coaches have monthly subscriptions that include video form reviews. Others offer single lessons with feedback. If you are lucky enough to have a good teacher in your club, you can get some one-on-one coaching or maybe some feedback if you’re playing a casual together.

Practice!

Regardless of the method you choose to improve your skills, if you don’t plan time for practice, you are making the road to getting better a hard one. I mean, even the pros practice. We need that body/brain connection on a regular basis to cement the neural pathways so we can duplicate the correct form on a regular basis. Practice!

What is YOUR experience with driving distance vs Experience?

As I said in the before, the general trajectory I’ve frequently seen with new players fits nicely with the results of the survey by Remix Outdoors. How we fall on the scale and how fast we want to advance is up to us.

How about you? How fast did you gain distance? Are you taking steps to improve your disc golf game?

Tour Storylines – Champions Cup

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RESULTS – 🏆ANDREW PRESNELL & EVELIINA SALONEN

Months ago, the PDGA made Northwood Park the one-time host of its springtime Major. This last-minute switch made for historic conditions, golf, and winners.

In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – Wacky delays forced overtime for players and crew.

Spring in the Midwest = wind and thunderstorms. It was the perfect combo for delays, upset pros, and overtime for those on the ground.

On Friday morning, lightning forced a 5-hour delay that pushed both divisions to their limits. Before sunset, the MPO lead card was allowed 19 minutes of play and then had to finish, reshuffle, and play another round on Saturday.

This turned an already grueling weekend into a real grind. The JomezPro player commentators had it especially rough.

Sunday, April 28

Mother Nature aside, the DGPT crew deserves kudos for continuing coverage and even improving it. In the past, certain Northwood holes couldn’t be covered live, but with investments into a cell tower, wooded courses can stay on Tour.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service (@AWallen90)

2 – Northwood demanded excellence.

Friday, April 26

On top of widowmaker scares and streams turned rivers, Northwood forced actual golf to be played. Course management and placement mattered so much that only great shots earned birdies.

It was refreshing and made fans want more of this style. Par was good, winning scores weren’t high, and the finish was unpredictable.

While Northwood won’t be featured in another Major soon, it proved that a wooded Major is necessary. Savor it though, cause the Tour moves to Emporia, KS this weekend.

3 – An anti-climatic round turned into an exciting Finnish.

Going into Sunday, most expected a clawback by Tattar to challenge Salonen. But instead, it fell flat and turned into a maintenance round.

It wasn’t until the final hole that one off-throw or missed putt would cause a 3-way playoff. But Salonen’s work paid off and she’s back in the winner’s circle.

With her 2nd win of the season, it’s clear now that Salonen’s hitting her stride on both tee and green. When you can pair made comeback putts with accurate whole-body drives, then you get a winner.

Salonen’s already home in Finland taking a well-deserved break until mid-June.

4 – Your favorite player’s favorite player.

After watching Casey White lead for 2 days and fall off, it was Presnell’s turn to take the reins. And while he had never finished top 10 at a Major, he locked into his other experiences.

For years, he’s gone out of his way to grind B & C-Tiers between Tour stops. He loves the competition and the extra cash from local pros.

So with his big bro on the bag, Presnell threw mids, stuck to his game plan, and “didn’t try to make one ‘hero’ shot all tournament.” The 32-year-old golfed his way to his 1st Major victory.

The once college soccer player, teacher, and HS coach has come a long way to vindicating his hard work. As a reward, he’s been immediately bumped back up to the Discraft Elite Team and will be getting the brand new Swarm mold as his Tour Series.

5 – 6 out of the 11 players who made it into the top 10 were European.

Kristin Tattar is a coin flip away from hitting the 1000-rating mark. Coming into the event, the PDGA said she needed to average 990 to do it.

After Sunday’s uncharacteristic 947, she finished with a 988 event rating. Some crunched the numbers and still think she’ll be 1000 in 2 weeks.

Silva Saarinen is all business. After switching to MVP this off-season, she’s played in 5 US events and progressively improved in each.

Now she’s heading back to Europe for 10 events until Worlds in August. I would be shocked if she doesn’t come back with at least 1 win.

Rachel Turton works full-time as the University of St Andrews’ Sports Development Officer. Since transitioning from ultimate in 2020, she’s already won 5 Euro tours and will be right there battling Saarinen this season.

6 – MPO young guns dominated the storylines.

Niklas Anttila is now a 3x runner-up at Majors. He has finished 2nd at 50% of the Majors starting with 2022 USDGC.

Ezra Robinson is on a mission to get out of Isaac’s shadow, and even Isaac admits that Ezra is the better brother. He claims Ezra would win 6 out of 10 times between them.

Gannon Buhr and AB both hold the longest active MPO top-10 streak at 8 now. They finished tied at 10th alongside McBeth & Burridge.

Eagle McMahon missed the cut and finished 90th out of 95. He claims he feels good physically, but mentally, it’s not there yet. The West Coast Swing will be the real judge as it has his favorite events and performances.

“This is the worst event I’ve ever played. I have actually never missed a cut in my career.” – McMahon (EagleUNLIMITED)

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How to Putt: Disc Golf Putting Techniques

a man putting disc golf

Unless you get an ace or a throw-in from the fairway, you’re going to putt on nearly every hole. Sometimes those putts are drop ins from a few feet away. Other times you have to work for them by letting the disc fly from great distances. How you choose to putt is up to you, but in this blog we will discuss different disc golf putting techniques and styles that disc golfer use to get the disc to the basket.

Although we will list a lot of techniques that are used in the disc golf world, we are going to focus on two different stances, and two different putting styles. These represent a bulk of the putts that you will see on any given day, and are tried and true techniques. Let’s start with some putting techniques that are a tad more unorthodox. Some of these unusual styles are used out of desperation or because you are in a situation with few choices, rather than using them on a regular basis.

Disc Golf Putting Techniques

TURBO PUTT

a turbo putt

The turbo putt is commonly called a pizza putt. It is accomplished by holding the disc flat with your thumb under the putter and your fingers around the outer rim. The motion is made by pushing the disc forward, then adding a ton of spin by snapping your wrist. That motion, when mastered, can give the disc enough spin to hit long putts.

Although the turbo can create a lot of spin, it is usually used for shorter putts on an elevated basket, or putting over a obstacles such as low bushes. It is fun to watch a good Turbo putter, but the technique is usually reserved for close putts or out of necessity.

BASKETBALL PUTT

This novelty putt sort of mimics a shot with a basketball. It is accomplished by holding the disc upside-down at an angle, then flicking your wrist like shooting a basketball. That motion gives the discs some spin and it flies in an arc to the basket. Although I have never seen this putt used, there is video of a few pros (like Ricky Wysocki) use that technique.

basketball putting technique

Another variation of this shot is to flip the disc so it doesn’t spin, but rather rotates slowly, then hits the chains on the full flight plate or bottom. Jennifer Allen has used this technique for short putts, usually on elevated baskets.

SCOOBER

Seen in tournament videos of Brodie Smith, the scoober is a method of throwing Ultimate discs in order to avoid defenders and progress downfield. It is thrown with the disc upside down and at an angle, so the disc will float toward the basket. It is just a short motion with the elbow and a flick of the wrist in a sort of reverse-forehand action. One of the great things about this putt is that the disc drops out of the sky, so if you miss, you won’t have a long comeback putt. Brody posted an instructional video on YouTube HERE

the scoober putt

Although the scoober could be used in a situation where you have an obstruction that you need to get around or over, most people lack the skill to pull it off. Unless you practice that putt, or have a lot of Ultimate experience, you will likely be more successful with another type of putt. If you have the skill to pull it off, you might save yourself a few strokes. And you will definitely impress your card mates!

KNEELING

A kneeling putt is another technique that is typically reserved for specific situations. If you are attempting a wide straddle putt, try dropping to one knee instead. You can usually kneel a little wider than just straddling. Plus, you might be more stable balancing on one knee (carry a foam mini to use as a cushion!).

There are a couple situations where a kneeling putt might be the best option: If you are behind an object and need to maximize your stretch to give yourself the most lateral distance possible. Or, if you have a very low ceiling that you need to get under, and don’t want to be bending down to attempt to putt. I recommend practicing these two scenarios so you can see how you need release to disc to get the direction and distance you need from those stances.

STEP

Although the step putt is fairly common in disc golf, the exact execution of the technique can vary from person to person, and depends on the situation. It is used to get a little more distance/power from a putt. The step putt can only be used outside of 10 meters from the basket, otherwise a foot fault could be called.

To execute a step putt, begin stepping toward the basket and make sure to release the disc before your foot hits the ground. Timing is important to maximize the power and ensure you don’t hit the ground before you release and get a foot fault. Although step putt can give you more power, it introduces more movement into your putts and requires more skill to properly execute.

JUMP

The big brother to a step putt is the jump putt. Instead of stepping forward, you jump toward the basket with both feet. As you are leaving the ground you release the disc, to optimize the power you transfer into it. It takes accurate timing, but can add a significant amount of distance to your putts.

Putting Stances

Now let’s look at the most popular putting stances, and talk about how to use them.

STRADDLE

Straddle Putt

While some of us use the straddle when needed, others make it their go-to stance. Think Nate Sexton or Kevin Jones. By using it as your regular stance, you’ll be much more comfortable if you are forced to straddle around an obstacle.

The straddle is typically used with a push put, although a spin putt works as well. Facing the basket with your feet parallel to each other, you can get extra power by implementing a jump putt out of your straddle stance. Or just stay planted on the ground and get your power from your legs and arms.

STAGGER

a stagger putt

The stance that you see most people putt from is the stagger stance. Although there are a lot of moving parts to a stagger stance, it can generate a lot of power. It is an athletic stance that allows you to get power from your legs, hips, shoulders, arms and wrists. You can use your back leg to push off and counterbalance your body.

The stagger stance is executed by placing one foot in front of the other, with the lead foot the same as your dominant hand (right foot for right-handed players). Most of your weight is on your back foot to start, then the weight is transferred to your front as you release. Your back leg then rises into the air to counterbalance your body, giving you more distance. If you want to see a gymnast try this technique and get the highest back-leg kick of anyone, check out a video with Jennifer Allen!

SPIN

Although both the spin and push putts each include some spinning and some pushing, the difference is the emphasis. In the case of the spin putt, the emphasis is to create a lot of spin on your disc. This is accomplished by bringing the disc near your body and snapping it toward the basket. That motion creates a lot of spin and is useful for many different disc golf scenarios.

When you use your elbow and wrist to create a lot of spin on your disc, it allows you to get longer distances from your putts. It also allows you to have a higher success rate in a windy situation by cutting through the wind. However, this putting technique also has some disadvantages.

Whenever you introduce additional moving parts into an equation, you have to rely on consistency among all of those parts. Any variations and your chances of a successful putt diminishes. That is the down side to spin putts. On the plus side, it can be used in either a straddle or stagger stance.

PUSH

The push putt has its emphasis on lofting the disc into the air with minimal spin. The disc floats to the basket with much less power. This softer approach means that missed putts won’t have as long of comeback putts. The arc of the putt can be useful in getting over obstacles. Plus, they are also less likely to spit out or bounce out since they don’t have as much speed.

That lack of speed can also be a downside, since you can’t get as much distance. Another disadvantage is that in windy conditions, the push putt can be difficult to properly execute, since your disc will be affected by the wind.

Summary

No matter your desired putting technique, the bottom line is to practice it enough to be effective. If you aren’t confident with your technique, it doesn’t really matter how you stand nor how you putt. Whichever style fits your game, get good at it through repetition. I also recommend spending a few minutes each putting session trying out other techniques, in case you have to use one of them out of necessity.

Get out hucking and throw what you love!

 

Tour Storylines – Music City Open

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RESULTS – 🏆SIMON LIZOTTE & KRISTIN TATTAR

With the close of MCO, the season completes its 7th event out of 28, and Nashville brought the heat. In no particular order, here are the storylines you should remember or may have missed:

1 – MCO almost checked all the boxes: Trophy, Commentators, Course.

The TN disc golf scene is steeped in history with dedicated clubs and wooded courses. But when the Tour comes to town, a Mini-Jonesboro gets put up with elevation and air space.

The Mill Ridge course is notoriously one of the least liked on Tour, and that hasn’t changed. Complaints included impossible birdies even by FPO power players, older baskets that couldn’t catch, and specifically hole 11 hatred.

But looking past the fact that only 2 FPO finished under par, there was a lot to love this weekend. The best trophy on Tour was in the form of a Les Paul, and the commentary teams won fans over.

Many social posts wanted Charlie Eisenhood, Juliana Korver, Brian Earhart, and the one and only Zach Melton to be weekly mainstays. That won’t happen, but it’s safe to say Melton stole the show and has a future in this.

2 – A first and hopefully last for the DGPT.

“Today someone called in a threat of violence against myself and potentially the other players, staff, and spectators. Play was suspended today because of this person.” – Natalie Ryan (IG on Saturday)

As of now, the specific threat has not been made public. But here’s what transpired from Charlie Eisenhood’s perspective:

  • Ryan received a threat to herself or others if she played
  • It was brought to the DGPT which immediately tried to get more police presence
  • That didn’t happen quickly enough, so play was suspended before Ryan teed off
  • Police arrived, evaluated the situation, and play was resumed 90 minutes later with an officer following Ryan’s card

Also on the ground, the boys from The Disc Golf World shared that bags were being checked as part of the new protocols. There’s not much more to say about this hopefully one-off incident.

3 – Early season Did Not Start’s and Did Not Finish’s.

For some reason, numerous DNFs happen around MCO timing. This year there was more than a handful dropping out due to injury, scheduling, and unforeseen circumstances.

  • Eagle McMahon didn’t play due to tweaking his back. His return was always planned for Champions Cup, so he didn’t “want to come back and it be a flop.”
  • Both Valerie Mandujano & Mason Ford dropped due to trigger finger and a hamstring injury respectively
  • To recover before the Major, Corey Ellis dropped due to a newly discovered anterior shoulder impingement that’s causing pinching pain
  • Cynthia Ricciotti DNF’d after the 2nd round and Kyle Klein after one round. It’s been speculated that the couple decided to skip out early after she posted this:

4 – “It was fun while we had it.” – Juliana Korver

MCO has run for 10 years, and up until now, there have always been unique FPO winners. The unflappable Tattar is back to her winning ways after a slow March.

She became the back-to-back MCO Champ, got her 3rd win in 3 weekends, and officially started a guitar collection. And while the final scorecard showed Tattar’s dominance, it was more entertaining than met the eye.

There was legitimate hope that the two-horse race between her & Handley was going to be close. But after too many missed putts and opportunities, Handley must wait longer for her 1st Elite win (even if it comes when Tattar goes back to Estonia).

5 – Simon “Belly Ache” Lizotte.

Hours after Tattar raised her 2nd guitar, Lizotte completed his wire-to-wire weekend and the 1st double-title defense since Pierce & McBeth did it at the 2020 MVP Open.

While fighting all his ailments, he put up his best event rating ever thanks to his smart plays and effortless putts. His encore performance might prove that 1 child gives you dad strength and a 2nd makes you dad smart.

Lizotte now gets a well-deserved and uncommon spring at home as his family grows in 2 days. He plans to return at the end of May for the Portland Open.

6 – “It’s not a course for old people.” – Zach Melton

The veteran-filled leaderboard proved him wrong. With bad shoulders, bad hips, and beautiful dad bods, the leaders of years passed stayed relevant.

It was the 1st time since 2017 that Lizotte, McBack, & Wysocki all shared the podium. And for the big man himself, it was Jeremy Koling’s 1st Top-5 finish since 2019 USDGC.

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