Old 11-27-2018, 01:50 PM
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aphilso1 aphilso1 is offline
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Default Touchy shots under tournament pressure

TL;DR: how do you improve on touchy upshots, especially when under tournament pressure?

Full post: After a year of playing only casually, I finally played my first sanctioned round over the weekend. My scrambling was absolutely atrocious...if I missed getting inside C2 with my drive, then it was almost an automatic bogey. Granted I'm not great at touchy upshots anyway, but even compared to my usual scramble % I easily lost an additional 3-4 strokes on Saturday. I was pretty disappointed with how I played, since I feel like I'm significantly better than how my round rated (838). It was a small tournament field and a few guys played way better than their rating, so I'm guessing that may have skewed the data a bit (I've been told that how I scored would normally be rated around 870). Not that 870 would've made me super excited either, but that rating wouldn't sting quite as much.

Ultimately what I learned is that I need to get my mental game stronger. I've never felt pressure while playing before, and I wasn't expecting to feel nervous at the tourney. It definetely impacted my performance, especially on those touchy shots that are not my stength. Not sure how I can duplicate the feeling of having to score well under pressure, other than the obvious answer of to play in more tournaments until it feels normal. So really, my question is twofold:
1. What have you done that allowed you to improve the most at scrambling?
2. Are there any effective ways to replicate the feeling of tournament pressure other than playing in tournaments?
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:03 PM
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The most effective improvement to my scrambling game is..... scrambling.

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Old 11-27-2018, 02:05 PM
Mocheez Mocheez is offline
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1. Play difficult courses and empty your bag when you have an upshot... throw different lines, both sidearm and backhand. Play on windy days.

2. Do you play leagues? It's a step down from tournament pressure but a step up from rec rounds. Practice upshots in a field (a park with trees is even better). Make a game of it by trying to land a certain % in a small circle... or play HORSE with a friend and put money on the line.

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Old 11-27-2018, 02:23 PM
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I think I am least nervous while scrambling in tournaments. Like, "Well, that drive sucked so this hole can't get much worse" seems to take the nerves away. I'm more nervous on a wide open tee shot that I need to park than I am throwing some touchy line from jail.

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Old 11-27-2018, 02:29 PM
racer93 racer93 is offline
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The only way to get used to being in that situation is to put yourself in that situation. Play more tourneys, take your worst shot in casual rounds, etc. Most of all, do field work. Practice all types of shots, not holes. This will vastly and quickly improve your game.

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Old 11-27-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mocheez View Post
1. Play difficult courses and empty your bag when you have an upshot...
I think all the advice in this thread has been good, but I would honestly say no to this piece of advice for a while at least.

I would get one disc you like and trust for approach shots. Zone, Harp, Wizard, Nova... whatever stable understable overstable that YOU believe is money. Throw it on every single upshot period. Take it to a field and learn it. Just like putting, feel that smooth feeling and learn lots of lines with that disc.

Also if you are scrambling don't go throwing at the chains. Accept this is an upshot and you are landing in a small circle around the basket. Don't be afraid of going a bit long... but if you are throwing at the ground near the basket instead of in the basket this helps. I have found though there is a tendency to pull up REALLY short if i'm worried about going long.

Get confident with that one disc, then eventually start using a variety of discs for different upshots.

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Old 11-27-2018, 03:01 PM
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The mental pressure is tricky...that's for you to figure out to deal with and probably from practice in more of those situations.

For shot practicing, I find it can be good when warming up to go to 80-150'ish area and toss in your putters and approach discs as well as you can...concentrate on each shot like it is a real shot. Then putt from all of the locations once. The goal should be to be able to get every approach shot close enough to make the putt, as your goal should be on the course to always get up and down from inside 200'. Plus this gives you a more true practice putting experience as the shots will be more scattered.

Also remember you don't need to get your approach perfect, just in a 20' circle. Figure out if you want to float it, throw it hard and at the ground early, or slight hyzer approach. Practice FH and BH approaches...FH approaches will cut a ton of strokes off your game every round if you can do that with a neutral putter as well as a Zone/Harp type disc when necessary. If you can't FH a putter when within 100' of the basket, learn it now.

The more you trust your approach shot, the less nervous you'll be when you have to do it.

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Old 11-27-2018, 03:08 PM
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Things that helped me:

Throw drives that put you in good positions. Playing the fairway often means throttling down a touch on power to gain accuracy. It is much easier to play an upshot in the fairway, than a "trick" recovery shot from the shule.

Practice your putting. The more confidence you have in your comeback distances, allows for more confidence in upshots. Less fear at running the pin when the situations call for it.

Learning when not to go for the pin. Wind, terrain, distance, pin location, ground cover...are all considerations dictating whether to run the pin or play to the pin. Sometimes par is good, heck even a bogey to save the double or triple.

Play the hyzer approach when possible. Hyzer approaches are usually more dependable. Play them out to the right and let them skip and run into tap in zone.

Disc down to the most putter like disc possible. Learn these discs, they are your money.

Tournaments are often about getting your pars and taking the birdies as they come. Find your comfort "go for it zone". Again, this is determined by your comfort "comeback putt zone".

Nerves are a tough nut to crack. Have fun. You only spend a handful of minutes in a round executing a shot. Use them wisely and really focus on having a good time in between. Take your time, think through the shot and all the ancillary influences that go into the shot.

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Old 11-27-2018, 03:43 PM
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Grab 4-5 of your favorite putter and find a good practice location and work on 100 ft and in. Have a course by me with a practice basket and nice row of 5-6 trees, with big tree about 100 ft away. You can't go straight at the big tree from basket, but you can go right or left around the 4-5 normal trees and land near the big tree. Tell myself, throw 5 anny flex lines to big tree, throw them and go to them. Then do same shot back to the basket, 5 anny flex shots as close to basket as possible then putt each one out. Now do 5 hyzer lines around trees to big tree. Then 5 more hyzers back and putt them out. The repetition allows me to tweak angles and find that right line.

Try high spike hyzers, laser hyzer lines, anny flex lines (soft landing), rollers, forehand upshots (if backhand dominant), any other creative approach shots. Do this a few times and see which ones feels the most comfortable and maybe do an extra set or two of those. The easiest way to avoid nerves is to throw whatever shot is most comfortable for you, one you have thrown hundreds of times. Build up that shot memory so you can call back to it when needed, oh yeah just like at my practice spot just a simple hyzer spike to the basket.

The other thing that works for me is to be a better putter. When I was putting badly it put way more pressure on my approach, felt I had to stick it within 10 feet or I might miss the putt. Hard to stick perfect upshots especially if they are coming from the rough. When I put in putting work and expanded my range to even 20 feet it took a lot of pressure off of the upshot, just get it nearby and I can make the putt.

Lastly, play catch. Find somebody to play catch with your putter. Again work on lines and speed, should help you dial in that range. Are you making them move to catch your throws? Can you judge the distance right and have the throw die out as soon it gets near them? Can you throw a bunch in a row without that person having to move? Once you dial in catch just think back to it when you have an upshot, just playing catch with my buddy Mr Basket over there. Just gonna put this one right in his chest.

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Old 11-27-2018, 04:30 PM
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Approaching is the best part of my game, which is great, because I can’t putt to save my life.

My trick is to play the highest percentage shot, meaning I’ll throw whatever I know works for me the most.

To get over nerves, it’s all about not putting it in’s play catch with the basket. I’m 99 percent accurate from within 10 feet, so I’ll try to put my disc in the 20 ft diameter. Don’t go for in, just let it softly land by the basket.

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