By Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff
You’ll often read the term “saving strokes” in my instructional posts because I believe the best way for an average player to improve his or her score is to cut down on taking unnecessary bogeys, doubles, or worse.
Birdies are wonderful, but for those who consider breaking par consistently to be a lofty goal, the quickest way to get there is to identify the avoidable mistakes we repeatedly make — and eliminate them.
There are many ways to do this, and the good news is most don’t require increased athletic talent so much as an understanding of three things — what’s likely to happen given the situation, your current skill level, and a number of environmental factors.
This post focuses on a big part of what happens after the disc leaves your hand — specifically the moment when it obeys the law of gravity, as all discs must eventually do. What goes up must come down, and unless your disc lands in a tree or on a roof or somewhere else above the playing surface, it’ll end up hitting the ground.
The question to ask yourself is, when you’re planning the shot you want to throw, how much thought are you giving to what happens after your disc first makes contact with the ground?
If your honest answer is “none” or “not much,” you’re likely taking some unnecessary strokes during your rounds. And if you’re like me, you might have been giving the subject plenty of consideration for years and still not realizing the important points.
My goal with this lesson is to list a few factors related to the angle or texture of the terrain that may affect your decision making when determining the exact shot you plan to execute. In the first part, we’ll cover the best ways to deal with holes that slope — uphill, downhill, and side-to-side. The second part will address the texture of the terrain — thick grass, dirt and rocks, thick brush, and hard-pan. Each presents special considerations, and we’ll cover ’em all. Now, on with the book, er, blog learnin’!