On Tuesday night, more than 40 people attended the Pro Clinic featuring Ron Convers Jr., Jay “Yeti” Reading, and Robbie Olsen. The clinic’s general focus was on playing in the wind, as Kansas is famous for, but the tips given ranged from general disc physics to distance driving. Here are a few key tips from each of the pros for those of you who missed out!
Ron Convers Jr.
Look for visual wind clues
A common way to test the wind condition is to throw some grass or dirt into the air and observe the direction it blows before it lands. However, this only indicates the wind condition at the tee. Especially on longer holes, it’s important to look to the end of the hole for trees or other things that show the direction and speed of the wind. Your shot should be adapted to fit the wind throughout the duration of the hole and your disc’s flight.
Add field practice to your routine
When you’re just practicing on your home course(s), you tend to throw the same discs on the same lines over and over again. Ron suggests going to an empty soccer or football field and getting to know your discs better in this setting. You’ll have a better idea of what types of distance you’re capable of throwing. The monotony of throwing shot after shot will cause you to step out of your comfort zone and to put your discs on new lines. You’ll never know if your backup backhand driver should be your go-to flick disc!
“The best asset a disc golfer can have is a short-term memory”
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Every hole is a new hole. Don’t let a bogey or OB mess up your entire round.
Jay “Yeti” Reading
Play by the laws
The laws of physics, that is. There are four major forces that impact the flight of your disc. Of course, there’s gravity and lift. Then there’s momentum—everything in your throw should be utilized to increase momentum. When you’re doing a run-up, it will only add to your momentum if the elements of your standstill form are still intact! Lastly, the little scratches in your disc impact drag. Contrary to popular belief, blemishes on the outer edge of the disc are less important than those on the inner edge. Some of these can be smoothed out by rubbing the disc with a terrycloth towel.
Play to your strengths
When it comes to playing in the wind—or really any time—first consider throwing whatever style is most natural for you. If you throw right-handed backhand, you should always be on the lookout for a hyzer route, because chances are it’ll be the easiest for you to control.
Distance is all in the hips
Just like a good golf or baseball swing, movement in the hips is key to any good disc golf shot. The hips are where the momentum begins, and using them properly will add distance to your throws.
Keep your core tight
In order for the momentum from the hips to travel to the arms, the energy has to travel through the core. By making sure your core is tight and is acting as a connection for your hips and upper body, you won’t need to pull back as far to still see an increase in your distance. As all of the pros at the clinic agreed, extra crunches or core-focused yoga can give your drives a boost!
Watch some of Robbie’s drives here: https://vine.co/v/h7Ivgl7F6pr/embed/simple
I’ve had the pleasure of walking the Municipal Golf Course’s temporary disc golf course three times this year, although I have not yet had the chance to get out there without the purpose of caddying! Municipal, located just outside of Emporia, KS, uses only half of the ball golf course, and plays a total distance of 8,608 ft for the long tees and 7,987 ft for the short tees. Course par is 65.
Throughout the week, this course will be used for the PDGA Amateur World Championships. The A and B pools of Advanced Men played it today, with a hot round of 55. Tomorrow the C pool of Advanced Men and Advanced Grandmasters will play the course. The Advanced Men will play it once more on Thursday or Friday.
Because I have not personally played this course and because I’m trying to spend as much time out experiencing Worlds while I’m here, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves (they are worth a thousand words, right?). For an overall course map and hole-by-hole distance and OB information, head over to the Dynamic Discs website: http://www.dynamicdiscs.com/2013amworlds/courses/. Dynamic Discs has been very supportive of my efforts to keep you all updated on the Amateur and Junior World Championships by allowing me to use bits and pieces of their course map here on Dogleg. Thanks for being so great!
And now, to the course!
Hey Dogleggers! I’m very excited to have the opportunity to spend this week at the 2013 Amateur and Junior World Championships in Emporia, KS! This small town is booming with disc golfers, with more than 540 competitors here. During my time here, I plan on bringing you daily updates on all things worlds. Tomorrow [Tuesday] I plan on posting a course guide of the Municipal Golf Course, where the Advanced Men division will be playing in the morning. Other than that, I’d be happy to take requests on what you’d like to read. Just let me know in the comments, or tweet me @MLeeFry.
Since driving in from Columbia on Saturday, I’ve been to 4/5 of the courses, hung out at the field events, attended the players meeting, and socialized in our campground (which is PACKED with disc golfers!). The photo collages below make up just a small portion of what’s going on here in Emporia, and I look forward to updating you on more throughout the week!