Monday, November 10, 2014

A Reader's 400' Plateau and Spin Putting

Last week I got an email from Stevie, asking for a little help.

I am an avid golfer, every weekend at least and also from Colorado! If you're ever in the springs email me we can throw a round.
I have enclosed two slow-motion videos of me throwing. I throw the driver about 350 consistently and my roc 300. I have been playing two years and I can't seem to break the 400 mark, but only 1 or 2 times both in Wisconsin.
I want to see what part of my throw is killing my distance the most.
Thank you for your time!
And disc on brother!

So, Stevie has clearly put some effort into trying to do things correctly. Still, there's a few issues that will be almost insurmountable to push past 400' - at least until they're addressed. I'll break it down as painlessly as I can.

Capture 1 :

Get the disc on the angle of release in the back-swing. You've lined up to throw a hyzer, but your shot is a flat release. Changing angles during the reach back is work for no benefit - and can add torque into your wrist that's off-angle from your release (wobble). Your stance is too wide. - Watch the video at the bottom of that post. Shortening your plant stride will allow you to add what's missing, which is your hips.

The disc is off still not flat, which means you're going to adjust that by straightening the wrist later which can screw up your release angle. Watch your video in slow motion and keep an eye on the back foot. It gets dragged forward, sliding with you, instead of driving your hips open. It slides forward about 6". 

Now you've slid the foot back up onto the toes, and you never engaged your back leg in a way to add any torque into your hips. This will make you fully reliant on just your weight moving forward into the plant - zero hips which means you are out of power. I'll add that your shoulders are off angle as well - they should be nice and flat. Tilting your entire spine and head forward will put you over your disc and into a better posture.

Spine tilted forward, over the disc.

This is a timing issue, called over-opening. Your shoulders and head are facing the target, which is a sign of putting the shoulders before the hips. You open your hips, it brings through the spine, the shoulders, the arm, finally the head.

See how I've got the shoulders aimed at the target there.

Because of the hips not driving the power of the shot, you're using your upper body to throw versus planting hard and opening the hips like a baseball player taking a cut. Your plant should end balanced and with the ability to just stand up straight.

... Alright, so that got Stevie headed down the right direction. He's going to check in later with some updates.

I wanted to also drop the following video about my never-ending battle with putting. I've currently adopted a version of the short arm spin putt that has worked pretty well for me.


  1. I have been thinking about working on spin putts lately. I had a session a few years ago with Yeti and helped quite a bit, but my distance has been bugging me.