now browsing by author
The mental game of disc golf. It’s always been one of the worst parts of my game. I’m super competitive, having played soccer at the collegiate level. When I started playing disc golf, my competitive drive came along. When my time with collegiate soccer ended, I was very hard on myself for simple mistakes. I’d been playing for 15 years, so missing a simple pass was unacceptable. I brought this in to disc golf, and would find myself frustrated easily. I struggled to accept bad shots, and would hold them in my head for a long time. I’ve tried so many different ways to minimize my frustrations on the course. From making a “chill” playlist on my ipod, to hanging back from the group and trying to distract myself with nature, to punching a tree (I’m not proud of it, but it did happen once).
The first step to recovery was to admit I had a problem Second, I had to accept that I hadn’t played disc golf for 15 years like I had with soccer. I had to accept that I am human and therefore I WILL make mistakes. This helped a little, but I still would find myself stuck in a rut for too many holes in a row. What else would help me?
I’ve consciously tried to find ways to minimize how many holes I let something get to me. Nothing has truly done the job. Yesterday, I was out playing league. My partner and I were shooting hot, getting 9 straight deuces in the first 10 holes. I was making nearly everything inside 45 feet, requiring my partner to putt only once. We stepped up to tee on the 11th hole, to hear some shouting. We looked over, and two holes behind us we watched a near fist fight develop between two of the guys. My partner ran over to diffuse the situation, as he has known both of the guys for a long time. I was stressed out even after it was diffused, because my boyfriend was involved in the near scuffle. We got things straightened out, and teed on our 11th hole. Neither myself nor my partner threw good shots on an easy deuce hole, leaving us with a tough jumper that we both missed. We went to the 12th, and managed a deuce. Stepping up to our 13th tee, I was still a little shaken up. I managed a decent tee shot, and my partner put his shot just inside the circle. When I stepped up to putt, I didn’t feel ready. I stepped back, and took a deep breath with my whole body. I had to tell myself to calm down and that the guys would sort things out like adults. When I stood over the mini again and lined up my putt, I felt like this putt was the only thing that mattered. I got back on stride, went through my routine, and put my disc in the bucket. My partner remarked “When you stepped back, took a deep breath, and settled in, I knew you were back on your game.” From there, the round seemed easy, besides the fact that I wanted to kick myself for not figuring this out for 5 years.
When you find yourself stressed, frustrated, or just not ready for a shot, try taking a step back to take a deep breath and settle in so you can commit to your shot.
And now, I’ll go back to wondering why I couldn’t figure this out sooner.
Happy winter golfing y’all!
Hey y’all. One of the local am ladies was asking me what my secret was to putting well in the wind, and it got me thinking how I wish someone shared this morsel with me sooner. This spring in Michigan, we have had some very windy rounds. It finally clicked for me at a mixed doubles tournament in early March.
When I got to the course and realized the winds were holding steady somewhere around 30 mph with gusts 40+, I decided my 167 JK Aviars weren’t going to do too well for me. I carry 173 Pro Rhynos as throwers, and haven’t putted with them in 4 or so years. The Rhynos were going to have to be my putters on a day like that, so the Aviars went in the trunk. While we were warming up, I was banging tailwind putts with the Rhynos. Why not try to make my life a little easier, and give myself as many tailwind putts as possible during the rounds? My partner and I talked about it while we were waiting to tee on our first hole, and decided that was about our only strategy for the day (besides finding some plastic that would hold it’s line and hit the fairways). Using that strategy, I was a putting machine.
All that being said, figure out what wind direction you like to putt in. Tailwind, headwind, right to left, or left to right. Get outside on a windy day, and take a bunch of putts from each wind direction. Figure out which one you like best. Then, when you play rounds, start placing your disc to give yourself those type of putts. It’s much easier than trying to putt into a headwind one hole, than trying to figure out how to putt in a tailwind the next hole.
Wishing you all the best on windy days! Bang the chains!
576 ladies registered for the Women’s Global Event!!!! Online registration is now closed, but you can still sign up day of ladies! Let’s make history!
Since moving to Michigan, I have gotten to know many of the regulars at my new home course. I heard one of the coolest stories last week. We have a guy that walks his dog daily on our course. He’s very aware of the disc golfers, and always waits while we throw before continuing on with his walk. If he is ahead of us, he’ll usually spot. He always collects cans and bottles when he walks (in Michigan, we have 10 cent refunds). I found out the other day that he is collecting the cans to help send a kid to college. He even wants to sponsor a tourney this fall with the leftover can cash, to give back to the disc golfers that leave behind the cans. It’s awesome to hear that this guy is using it for good. I’ve heard stories that this park used to be so bad (drugs, violence, needles) that the cops didn’t even want to come into it. People have said that installing the disc golf course really helped turn things around, and it’s cool to see people respect our sport, even when they don’t play it.
Lots of bits and pieces to share with you all.
- Holy wind batman! It’s been pretty windy here in Michigan for the past month. Shooting a -4 at a mixed dubs tourney felt like a major accomplishment. With the wind we had (30-40mph head wind), my 175 Predators were the only driver I could land in the fairways with. I’m getting better at playing in the wind, as I have forced myself to play in it. It’s the only way to learn. I encourage all of you to go hit the field on a windy day. Throw shots into the head wind. Throw shots with the wind right to left, and left to right. Throw some tail wind shots too. If you have a basket you can access, putt in this wind too. Personally, I know that I love tailwind putts. So during the mixed dubs tourney, my partner and I made sure to throw our upshots to a position where we would have a tailwind putt. I was banging putts all day, having pulled the 167 JK Pro Aviars out of my bag and putting 173 Pro Rhynos in my bag. This strategy saved us so many strokes, as I watched other players having to try to make some stiff head wind/ cross wind putts.
- A big shout out is in order to Miles over at Paragon Disc Golf. He put me on Team Paragon this year, and I’m excited to be a part of such an awesome group of players and promoters. Check out Paragon Disc Golf if you need some sweet bag tags or custom tees. Miles does some great work!
- A few weekends ago, I headed out to play the Prairie Open in Kenosha, WI. Carla and Sergio Correa, along with Josh Hamm from WiDye put on an excellent event, and they cater to the ladies. I believe there were 20 plus ladies there (I’m not taking the time to go hunt for stats. My computer and internet is extremely slow, and the Mac is in the shop). For the Pro ladies, we had 11. I made last minute travel plans with my friends Matt and Corri, and off we went. Ace Graphics and Design, out of Dewitt, MI sponsored our gas (thank you!). We got off to a much better start last year. Last year, I drove to the event when I got off work at 11pm, getting to the course just in time for check in. I stopped at Perkins for breakfast, and played terribly after driving through the night (I don’t recommend playing an event if you have to drive 5+ hours and can’t get any sleep in before the event). This year, we got a practice round in, played a private course (thanks Shawn for hosting us and showing us your course), and then relaxed the night before. We woke up feeling good about how our practice rounds went, and were all sitting pretty after our first round. I played a little bipolar disc golf, starting out 2-4p-2-6-3-2-6. I don’t remember the rest of the round, but I eventually did get rid of my major bipolar streak. The second round, I didn’t get as many birdies, but avoided the bipolar golf. I just tried to hit the fairways and throw high percentage lines, which eventually allowed me to edge into 3rd place. Overall, I was happy with how I played. Corri took 3rd in Advanced Women, and Matt cashed in Advanced. All of Michigan (Liz Carr, Pov, Matt, Corri, and I) took money from WI, which was pretty cool.
- I’ve been trying to make lots of time for field work lately. I like to throw the DGA Hurricane for distance, but in order to get max D I torque the disc over (force it out anhyzer, then let it finish hyzer). Dan Beto, a good friend and amazing disc golfer, said it best when I talked to him last night. “You’re torquing…. Again!” I’ve realized that I can’t throw a pure hyzer to save my life. So, I’ve been hitting the field like crazy. Last week, I threw over 120 hyzers in the field. I threw the first 40 just standing, then worked back to a full x-step. I focused on slowing down my steps, and throwing smooth (and with hyzer). For now, I’m taking the Hurricane out of my bag and switching to slower discs (Orcs, Rogues, Roadrunners, Surges). The Hurricane will go back into my bag, but first I need to correct my form. I threw 360’ with my roadrunner, but I’m not consistent yet. Have to work on that, and then when I get the form worked out and consistent, I can put faster discs back in my bag.
- Women’s Disc Golf!!!!!! With the Women’s Global Event coming up, it’s hard not to get excited about disc golf! There are over 170 ladies registered already, and more to come. Last night was the first night of our Capital City Crushers (Trip C’s) ladies league. 23 (TWENTY THREEEEEEE) ladies showed up, including 3 juniors. I love the way Erin Oakley runs the league. We play random doubles each week. Scores are kept, but don’t count. At the end of play, there is a fun mini/ CTP for a prize (disc, shirt, hat, or something of the like). The 3 juniors played in a group together, playing best shot. Their daddy caddies (and uncle caddy) were awesome and made sure that the girls had a blast and kept moving. We had the juniors in front of our group, and some super rude rec guys behind us. The daddy caddies offered to let us play through so that they could deal with the rude people (swearing up a storm at us that we were slow, among other things), but we declined as we would rather listen to them than have the junior girls have to listen to them. We kindly explained that the course was full, and there was nowhere to go. Once they saw me park the hole with my putter, they settled down a little. Guys, if you are on a course and see a bunch of ladies, please think before you open your mouth. Being rude and ignorant will turn some ladies away. We want to grow the sport, and being polite to the ladies is important. Think before you speak, and ask nicely rather than being rude and swearing up a storm.
Ok, that’s it for now. I’ll try to blog more often now so that I don’t bore you with such long posts again.
Hey y’all. During TalkDG’s mini hiatus, Val Jenkins asked if she could use an article I intended to have on TalkDG. Chec it out here http://www.discgolf4women.com/index.php/Casual-Round/winter-disc-golf-tips.html A big shout out to everyone who contributed to my article. I know it’s about winter disc golf, but it may come in handy if we get some more winter weather.