I would like to preface this post. I am no touring level pro golfer; I am currently 930ish and some change (give or take) rated. That being said, I chose to write on this topic because it is WHY I am rated lower than where’d I’d like to be and even lower than where I should be. I want to be a high level golfer; and I believe this to be a key in achieving greater skill as a disc golfer. So I’d like to share my thoughts and grow in the sport with y’all.
This blog is about the importance for disc golfers of all ability levels to play within themselves.
I guess a better way to say that would be that any golfer who steps up to the tee-pad or that really tough lie needs to understand their own limitations. If that’s the case, fewer catastrophic mistakes will happen, which will in turn lead to lower scores (and a greater understanding of how and where you can improve your game).
The reality is that even the world’s best disc golfers will face shots during a round where the risks associated with trying a particular shot far outweigh the potential rewards. You’ve seen it on DiscGolfPlanet.TV or even at a local tournament – a 1020+ rated Pro could crush a hyzer over the trees and spike it inside the circle for a tap in birdie, but the wind is kicking up and could push their disc OB. More often than not in situations like that, in an effort to minimize the potential damage, you’ll see the top players pitch out, lay up, or play it safe.
And everyone who plays disc golf needs to understand that there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe — Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, and Will Schusterick would all agree on that — and that sometimes a bogey is a pretty good score (at least for us mere mortals). You’d definitely adopt that after playing Winthrop Gold roped off for the USDGC.
So keep that in mind the next time you find yourself in a stepping up to a par 5 with 3 doglegs or a thick patch of shule on the course, which we all know is going to happen from time to time.
Don’t be a hero. Play the percentages; play smart and take the shots with the highest percentage of success for you. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride, and pitch out of the shule versus throwing the miraculous shot of the day or throw an easy midrange down the fairway off the tee instead of crushing that new high speed driver. I know I have to do this on a regular basis on the course. Get yourself in play and don’t turn an easy bogey or a solid chance at a par into a double bogey or something even worse because you’ve tried to play a shot that you’re simply not going to pull off with any regularity.
Follow that advice and there’s no question that your score and golf game will benefit at the end of the day. Heck, even your round as a whole will end up to be more enjoyable, because overcoming big numbers is mentally tough, making a triple bogey early in a round can ruin an entire day, and most importantly lower scores alway make you feel better.