How to be a better putter (How to improve putting)

Disc golf, an exhilarating game of precision and strategy, hinges on one pivotal skill: putting. Just as in traditional golf, where sinking that final putt can make or break your game, becoming adept at putting in disc golf can significantly elevate your scores. But how does one transition from missed opportunities to consistently nailing those clutch putts? In this guide, we delve into the intricacies of How to be a better putter (How to improve putting) and provide actionable tips on how to improve putting in disc golf.

Strategies to Become a Better Putter in Disc Golf
How to be a better putter (How to improve putting)

How to be a better putter (How to improve putting)

The importance of putting in disc golf cannot be overstated. While long-distance drives can undoubtedly dazzle spectators and set up advantageous positions, it’s the accuracy and consistency of putting that often determine a player’s score. Missed putts equate to additional strokes, and in a game where precision is paramount, these seemingly minor errors can accumulate, impacting not just the scorecard but also a player’s morale.

However, the road to proficient putting is riddled with challenges. The closer you are to the basket, the weight of expectation grows. Variables like wind, elevation, and even the pressure of competition can influence what appears, on the surface, to be a straightforward shot. Players frequently grapple with issues of grip, alignment, and release consistency. Moreover, the mental aspect of the game becomes acutely pronounced during putting; the battle against doubt and overthinking intensifies.

Yet, the rewards of mastering the art of putting are profound. Beyond the tangible benefits of improved scores and potential tournament victories, there’s an intangible sense of confidence that courses through players who know they can rely on their putting skills under pressure. This self-assuredness can permeate other areas of the game, leading to a more holistic improvement in performance.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to address these challenges head-on, offering insights, techniques, and tips to transform you from a hopeful putter into a confident master of the basket.

The Basics of Putting in Disc Golf

following are basic terms of Putting in Disc Golf

Defining Putting and Its Unique Place in the Game

At its core, putting in disc golf refers to the act of throwing the disc into the basket from a relatively close range. While each throw in disc golf shares the common objective of advancing the disc towards the basket, putting stands apart due to its emphasis on precision over distance, unlike drives, which prioritize distance and often involve a run-up, or approach shots, which focus on positioning the disc for a subsequent throw, putting centers on the delicate art of accuracy. The margin for error is minimal, making it both a challenging and rewarding aspect of the game.

The Pillars of Putting: Stance and Grip

  • Stance: A strong putting game starts from the ground up. Your stance is the foundation upon which your throw is built. The right stance offers stability, ensuring that your body remains balanced as you release the disc. Typically, players opt for a shoulder-width stance, positioning themselves parallel to the target line. However, it’s essential to find a position that feels both comfortable and secure for you. Consistency in your stance also ensures repeatability, a crucial factor for consistent putting.
  •  Grip: Equally vital to successful putting is the way you hold the disc. Your grip dictates the disc’s release and its flight path. For putting, many players prefer a “fan grip,” where the fingers are spread out on the underside of the disc, offering maximum control. However, just as with the stance, there’s an element of personal preference. Whether you opt for a modified power grip or a pitch grip, the primary goal is to ensure a clean, consistent release. One key factor to remember is that your grip should be firm enough to maintain control but relaxed enough to prevent tension, which can hinder a smooth release.
Understanding Your Putter

Understanding Your Putter

The world of disc golf putters is as varied as it is intricate. Just as a golfer wouldn’t use a driver to make a short putt, a disc golfer needs to understand the nuances of different putters to excel truly.

  • Beaded vs. Beadless: One of the primary distinctions among putters is the presence or absence of a bead—a small ridge—on the bottom rim. Beaded putters tend to be more stable and can resist the effects of wear and tear for a longer time. They offer a consistent release and are favored by many for longer putts. Beadless putters, on the other hand, have a smoother bottom edge, which some find more comfortable in hand and easier to release.
  •  Stability: Putters, like all discs, come with stability ratings. Overstable putters will fade (turn left for right-handed backhand throws) more aggressively, making them ideal for windy conditions or when you need a predictable finishing curve. Understandable putters, conversely, turn a bit to the right before fading left, making them useful for specific putting lines and approaches.
  •  Profiles: The height and depth of putters can vary. Some discs are shallow, fitting into the hand more naturally for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a certain grip. Others are deeper, offering a different feel and release point.

The Quest for the Perfect Putter Match

Finding the right putter is akin to finding the right pair of running shoes. It’s deeply personal and can significantly impact your game. A putter that aligns with your playing style will not only boost your confidence but also enhance your consistency.

  •  Experimentation: Feel free to try out different putters. Sometimes, it’s through experimenting with various types, weights, and profiles that you stumble upon the one that feels just right. Whether you’re practicing or playing casually, rotate between putters to find the one that resonates with your style.
  • Comfort is Key: The most advanced putter in the world will be of little use if it doesn’t feel right in your hand. The grip, the texture, and the overall feel are pivotal. A putter that feels natural will invariably lead to a more consistent release and, in turn, more successful putts.
  •  Consistency: Once you’ve found a putter that feels right and yields results, stick with it. Mastery comes with repetition. The more you practice and play with a particular disc, the better attuned you become to its flight characteristics and behavior.

In the grand tapestry of disc golf, the putter might seem like a small detail. Yet, it holds monumental importance. Understanding its intricacies and finding the perfect match can be the game-changer you’ve been seeking, setting you on the path to becoming a formidable force on the greens.

Fundamental Tips to Improve Putting

The way you position yourself before a putt can significantly influence the trajectory and accuracy of your throw. To achieve a consistent and effective putt:

  • Feet: Place your feet shoulder-width apart to ensure stability. The foot you place forward (typically the opposite of your throwing hand) should be closer to the target, with your rear foot providing balance and support.
  •  Hips and Shoulders: These should be parallel to the imaginary line leading to your target. When your hips and shoulders are aligned with the basket, it ensures a straight and focused throw, reducing the chances of veering off course.
  •  Weight Transfer: As you move into the putt, your weight should shift smoothly from the back foot to the front foot. This transfer of weight can provide the necessary momentum for your putt without overexerting.

Eye on the Basket: The Power of Precision Focus

Instead of fixating on the entirety of the basket, choose a specific chain link or point as your target. This narrowed focus:

  • Reduces Distractions: By zoning in on a particular point, you eliminate peripheral distractions, allowing for a more concentrated throw.
  •  Enhances Accuracy: With a specific target in mind, your throw becomes more purposeful and directed.

Completing the Motion

An often-overlooked aspect of putting is the follow-through, but its importance must be stressed more.

  • Consistency: Ensuring that your follow-through is the same each time can greatly improve the accuracy of your putts.
  •  Direction: A strong follow-through ensures that your disc continues on its intended path. Think of it as guiding the disc towards your target, even after it has left your hand.

Develop a Routine: The Ritual of Readiness

Professional athletes across all sports swear by their pre-game routines, and disc golfers are no different.

  • Building Confidence: By repeating a set of actions before each putt, you mentally prepare yourself and build confidence in your shot.
  •  Reducing Variables: The fewer variables in play, the higher the chances of consistency. A routine ensures that, at least from your end, the approach to each putt remains unchanged.
  •  Mental Prep: These repeated actions can become a form of meditation, allowing you to center yourself, calm any nerves, and focus solely on the putt ahead.

Incorporating these fundamental tips into your game can pave the way for not only improved putting but also a deeper appreciation for the subtleties and intricacies of disc golf. Remember, every pro was once a beginner. With dedication and practice, those elusive perfect putts become not just possible but probable.

Advanced Techniques for Better Putting

Advanced Techniques for Better Putting

As you progress in your disc golf journey, refining your putting technique becomes paramount. Here, we delve into some advanced strategies that can elevate your putting prowess.

Spin vs. Push Putting: Two Sides of the Coin

Spin Putting

  • Pros: Spin putting involves imparting more spin to the disc, making it less affected by external factors like wind. The extra spin provides stability, ensuring the disc maintains its line. This technique can be especially useful for longer putts.
  •  Cons: The increased spin and speed can make misses more punishing, potentially leading to longer comeback putts. It also requires more wrist action, which can be difficult for some players to replicate consistently.

Push Putting

  • Pros: This technique, often likened to a “lob,” involves a pendulum motion from the shoulder with minimal wrist involvement. The disc floats more and tends to drop near the basket, even on misses. It’s an excellent method for those looking for a consistent, easily repeatable putting form.
  • Cons: Push putts might fare less well in windy conditions. The lob nature also limits the distance one can effectively cover.

The Straddle Putt: A Tactical Shift

Sometimes, obstacles or unfavorable lie angles can prevent a standard stance. Enter the straddle putt.

  • Execution: Instead of one foot forward, you’ll spread your feet wide, almost parallel to the target line, squatting down slightly. The throw is more lateral, coming from the center of your body.
  •  Advantages: It offers a clear line of sight to the basket, bypassing obstructions. The wider stance can also feel more stable for some players.
  •  Usage: Beyond just navigating obstacles, some players adopt the straddle putt as their primary technique due to the balance and alignment it offers.

Jump Putts and Step Putts: Bridging the Distance Gap

When you’re on the cusp between an approach shot and a comfortable putting distance, these techniques come in handy.

  • Jump Putts: As the name suggests, this involves a jumping motion. The player begins in a standard putting stance but propels forward with a jump, releasing the disc before the feet touch the ground. This technique allows for added momentum and greater distance.
  •  Step Putts: Similar to jump putts, but instead of a jump, you’ll step forward, releasing the disc before the front foot lands. It offers more control compared to jump putts but might not cover as much distance.

Both these techniques are subject to specific rules regarding foot placement and timing of release, so ensure you’re familiar with the regulations to avoid penalties.

Mental Aspects of Putting

While the physical techniques and strategies of disc golf putting are crucial, the mental component is equally, if not more, vital. Your mindset, focus, and confidence can significantly influence the outcome of your putts, especially in high-pressure situations.

Overcoming Nerves: Finding Calm in the Storm

Every disc golfer, regardless of skill level, encounters moments where nerves threaten to derail their game. High-stakes situations, crucial putts, or simply the awareness of being watched can induce anxiety. Here’s how to combat those jitters:

  • Breathing: Deep, controlled breathing can help calm your mind and body. Taking a few slow breaths before a putt can center you, reducing shakiness and improving focus.
  •  Routine: As previously mentioned, a consistent pre-putt routine can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, even in unfamiliar or stressful situations.
  •  Positive Self-talk: Replace negative thoughts with affirming statements. Instead of thinking, “I can’t miss this,” try, “I’ve made this putt countless times before.”

Power of the mind

The power of the mind is immense, and visualization leverages this power to benefit your game.

  • Mental Rehearsal: Before making the putt, close your eyes and vividly imagine the disc’s flight path, ending with it securely in the basket. Visualizing success can enhance self-belief and reduce doubt.
  •  Repetition: The more you practice visualization, the more natural and impactful it becomes. Use it not just in games but also during practice sessions.

Building Confidence: Laying the Foundation

Confidence doesn’t appear overnight; it’s built over time through consistent effort and a positive mindset.

  •  Celebrate Small Victories: Did you nail a tricky putt? Did you maintain focus throughout the game? Recognize and celebrate these moments. They serve as reminders of your capability and potential.
  • Practice: There’s no substitute for it. The more you practice, the more familiar you become with your putting technique and the more you can rely on muscle memory during actual games.
  •  Positive Feedback: While constructive criticism is essential for growth, positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in building confidence. Surround yourself with supportive peers, and don’t shy away from seeking or offering encouragement.

In the realm of disc golf, the basket might be the tangible target, but the real game is often played in the mind. Cultivating a strong mental game, complemented by physical skills, can propel you from being a good player to a great one. Embrace the journey, enjoy the learning process, and remember every champion was once a beginner driven by passion and perseverance.

Setting Goals and Tracking Progress

  • Journaling: Keep a disc golf journal. Note the number of successful putts from different distances, the techniques you practiced, and any challenges you faced during each session.
  •  Goal Ladder: Set both short-term and long-term goals. This could be as simple as “Make 8 out of 10 putts from 15 feet” or more complex like “Master the straddle putt within a month.”
  •  Review and Adjust: Periodically review your progress. Celebrate your achievements, and if certain goals remain elusive, evaluate and adjust your practice routines accordingly.

Fun Games to Elevate Your Putting Game

Followings are some Fun Games to Elevate Your Putting Game

  • HORSE: Just like the basketball game, play against a friend. The first player chooses a specific putt, and if they make it, the second player must replicate it. If they miss, they get a letter. The goal is to avoid spelling out “HORSE.”
  •  Around the World: Set up markers in a circle around the basket, incrementally increasing the distance after each round. The aim is to complete a full rotation, making all the putts.
  •  Putting Bingo: Create a bingo card with various putting challenges, such as “Make a 25-foot putt” or “Sink a straddle putt.” Play against friends, and the first to complete a line wins!

Incorporating these drills, routines, and games into your practice regimen not only improves your putting skills but also keeps the process engaging and enjoyable. Remember, the key to progress is consistent practice coupled with a positive attitude. With dedication and the right approach, the basket is yours for the taking!


The echo of chains as the disc finds its home in the basket is a sound every disc golfer cherishes. And as we’ve journeyed through the myriad aspects of putting in disc golf, one truth stands clear: the significance of a well-executed putt is monumental. It’s not merely about the points or the final score but the culmination of technique, mindset, practice, and passion.

While the game’s long drives and strategic mid-range plays have their allure, it’s often the putts that make or break a round. This seemingly simple act of propelling a disc into a basket from a short distance encapsulates the essence of disc golf: precision, focus, and determination.

However, like any worthwhile pursuit, excellence in putting can be challenging. It demands dedication, resilience, and an unyielding desire to improve. Each missed putt is a lesson, and each made putt is a testament to progress. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the milestones, and remember that the journey to becoming a master putter is as rewarding as the destination.

So, to every disc golfer reading this, whether you’re a novice finding your footing or a seasoned player refining your skills, let the basket beckon. Keep practicing, stay persistent, and know that with each throw, you’re one step closer to realizing your disc golf aspirations. Here’s to countless successful putts and the joy they bring!

Frequently Asked Questions

Putting is the culmination of all your efforts on a hole. While drives and approach shots set you up, a successful putt secures your score. Mastering putting can drastically improve your overall game, reducing your stroke count and boosting your confidence.

The right putter often comes down to personal preference. Consider factors like the feel in hand, stability, and flight characteristics. It’s beneficial to experiment with different putters until you find one that suits your style and provides consistent results.

Spin putting involves more wrist action, imparting spin to the disc, making it less affected by external factors like wind. Push putting, on the other hand, is more of a “lob” technique, using a pendulum motion from the shoulder and minimal wrist movement. Each has its advantages, and the choice often depends on the player’s comfort and the specific scenario.

Simulating pressure during practice is crucial for game situations. Set challenges for yourself, like making a specific number of consecutive putts before ending your practice. Engaging in friendly competitions or games like HORSE can also replicate game-time pressure.

While not mandatory, a consistent pre-putt routine helps center your focus, calm nerves, and ensures a repeatable setup for every putt, leading to more consistency.

Wind can be tricky, but understanding its direction can help. For headwinds, consider aiming lower and using a more stable putter. For tailwinds, aim higher. Crosswinds require aiming slightly into the wind to account for disc movement. Practicing in varied conditions will improve your wind-reading skills and confidence.

Absolutely! Visualization prepares the mind by “rehearsing” success. By vividly imagining the disc’s successful flight into the basket, you can foster positive thinking, reduce doubt, and enhance focus during your actual putt.

Absolutely! Visualization prepares the mind by “rehearsing” success. By vividly imagining the disc’s successful flight into the basket, you can foster positive thinking, reduce doubt, and enhance focus during your actual putt.

Consistency is key. Even if it’s just a few minutes daily or several dedicated sessions a week, regular practice helps in muscle memory development and confidence building. The more you practice, the more automatic and reliable your putting technique becomes.

Declan Hodgson
Written by
Declan Hodgson

Meet Declan Hodgson, your disc golf sherpa at Navigating the twists and turns of the sport, I’m here to guide you through the world of discs, gear, and the pursuit of that perfect throw.

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