1776 Words About Putting


Sep 10, 2021
I had my best putting practice session yesterday. I have nothing to do at work (well, I do, but I’d rather talk disc golf) so I figured I could write out what happened and share with the community. Perhaps someone, even just one person, could learn something and it could help their game as well. That’ll make me happy.

Some background, I love overthinking things. When I feel like I’ve plateaued, I’ll just walk around with a disc in my hand and just go through in my head what it is I’m trying to do an accomplish. Won’t even throw or try to put the disc in the basket, it’s all mental work. As the great Yogi once said, disc golf is 90% physical, and the other half is mental.

A few weeks ago, before my first tourney of the season, I had my practice basket outside (a MVP Precision Basket. Highly recommend! Aiming for a smaller target consistently will make a regular basket look like the side of a barn). I putt with the Kastaplast Berg K1 Soft, it is by far the best circle one putter I’ve tried (and I’ve tried them all). The K1 Hard is the best < 225’ disc ever, but that’s a story for another day.

It was a sunny, warm, and windless afternoon, I enjoyed a fine sativa to get into the proper headspace, and I stood ~15’ from the basket, Berg in hand. The objective is simple. Throw a piece of plastic into a receptacle. It’s a simple activity, one I’ve enjoyed since I was a wee tot in the early 90’s watching Bozo The Clown on WGN, where kids would toss a ball into cups placed in incremental distances (foreshadowing their future as Beer Pong participants). What’s the most efficient way to accomplish this mundane feat that brings me so much joy in life?

My first thought was a recollection of a quote in an article on a baseball prospect. The prospects’ trainer said something to the effect of, that in any sport, the most basic element needed to succeed, is balance. Since Berg is Swedish for balance, that’s a good reminder. (It actually translates to ‘mountain’, but for the sake of my practice, I’m going with ‘balance’.). My sativa train of thought moved on to creating an acrostic mnemonic device to help develop a routine that will give me a solid foundation. Thus began a search for what B.E.R.G. stands for.

B obviously stand for balance. To start, I pointed my right foot directly towards the basket. I lifted my left leg up behind me and placed it down in several spots, finding where I have the best center of gravity to where I couldn’t tip over if someone lightly pushed me. To drill this into my head I kept repeating balance, balance, berg means balance. Like a mantra, balance, balance, berg means balance. Balance. Balance. Berg. Balance.

After sounding like I belong in a padded room (some of my ex girlfriends, former co-workers, even some family members would nod their head in agreement there), I thought what’s the next step? E. Energy. Easy. I have the balance, now is the time to put energy into the disc.

As with most other sports, power is generated from the ground up. Thus, I started with my feet. During a warm up round for a tourney many years ago, I joined in with a local pro and I asked for some advice. He told me that I should start with about 70-80% of my body weight on my back foot. Then push off that back foot towards the basket, throwing the back leg into the air as a counter weight to keep from falling over and foot faulting.

Without actually putting, I would shift my weight, going back and forth from my back foot to my front foot. Just settling into a Goldilocks motion. Not too fast, not too slow, but just right. Really feel the power being generated from my legs and pushing towards the basket. Sometimes I would tilt to one side or the other, or fall over the mini disc (I painfully admit I owned a Sony mini disc player back in the day. Technology!). Like I repeated the balance phrase, I repeated over and over again finding that proper weight shift until it stuck.

Balance. Energy. Balance. Energy. Balance. Energy. Balance. Energy. Balance. Energy. Balance. Energy.

R is next. Well, after all this thinking and doing everything but actually putt, now is the damn time to release it! Boom! R = release the mother ****ing disc and have it go into the basket. That’s the goal at least. But I’m still high and I want to think this through.

First and foremost has to be grip. Thankfully, the Berg has a great rim to rest my thumb on. I like having my forefinger completely on the side of the rim. It just feels natural. Then I begin snapping the disc slightly so that it spins and catches right back in my hand without flying out of it. Trying to find a good tempo to where the disc comes out spinning, not too hard where it’s out of control and not too soft to where it’s super wobbly. Again with the repetitiveness, just doing this over and over and over again until it feels like it’s coming out of my hand consistently. I eventually find one that works.

Balance. Energy. Release. Let’s mesh the concepts together. I stepped behind my mini disc. Found balance. I created energy. And I released the disc. It flew two feet right of the basket and missed completely. ****. Ah, gotta find the proper release point.

Easiest way from point A (my hand) to point B (b for basket) is a straight line right? I reverse engineered what I wanted to happen. I placed the disc on the chain link I wanted to hit, and I walked backwards to my mini disc. Got into position, and outstretched my hand to where I would normally release it. This is where I need the disc to be every time. So I began dry putting, going through my motion without releasing the disc. Almost every time, my hand would be in a different finishing position. I had to simplify it. It had to be on a straight line every time.

In my putting motion, I start with the disc at about chin high (keep that chin flat at all times!) I would pull it down to my waistline area and then release to the basket. A good thought occurred to me, when moving it down from the chin to my waist, imagine it sliding down one of the chains! As I started to visualize that, I noticed that quite often my hand would slide off the chain a little bit. This would get it off line and which is why it wouldn’t consistently be released at the proper position. Over and over again, I would bring the disc down in a straight line. Using a vertical chain in the basket as my visual mark to make sure it’s going straight down and not slightly off.

Going from my chin to waist was now perfectly in line. Now I had to make sure I went in a straight line from my waist to the basket. This is where the energy from my back foot comes in handy. I want to feel as if I’m moving to the basket with my forward momentum but of course stopping at the top so I don’t foot fault.

This has me thinking about getting the full kinetic chain implemented. Let’s put this in list format.

1. Get into a balanced posture
2. Move 70-80% of body weight onto back foot
3. At the same time, visualize disc sliding down chain in a straight line, ending up touching right above the waist
4. Push off back foot to get all weight onto front foot, keeping back leg high to counterweight and not tip over
5. Spush (spin/push) disc straight into the basket

Everything at this point was great in getting me to throw straighter than I ever have before, but the disc was still kind of going to the right of the basket. Number 5 needed refinement.

Instead of pointing my toes straight at the basket, I shifted a little bit to the left, pointed at around 10 o’clock. This gave me even more of a strong base balance. It also cut off my shoulder from being able to miss way right. I started to slowly noticing that my arm would go straight at the basket this way. So now I began to actually putt.

Splash! Splash! Splash! I was banging chains on every putt. Everything I just did created a kinetic chain that enabled my body to generate force in a direct line to the basket. I quickly learned that I had to push off my foot and get to the top of my momentum before I began to spush the putter. I began feeling the energy being transferred from my feet to my arm to the disc being released. If the timing was slightly off, the disc would fly off line.

After all this thinking, I started to just putt for what seemed like an hour. And I was making a lot of putts consistently. More than I ever have before. When I missed, I would realize that I did one of these things.

1. Start spushing the disc before I reached the top of my momentum, thus not getting all the energy created into the putt.
2. Not bringing the disc down to my waist in a straight line.
3. Not putting confidently, either not putting with the energy created, or arm motion in a herky jerk motion instead of smooth motion to the basket.
4. Momentum not moving directly towards the basket.
5. Spush is not going to the basket in a straight line.

After I made a few from 15’ in a row I would keep moving back. The further back I went, the further I pushed my back leg to generate more power. Once I went back as far as I could comfortable put my foot, if I needed more power, I would aim higher.

Finishing the acrostic, BERG stands for:


Find balance, generate energy, release on a straight line, good!

Okay, I’m exhausted now from typing this all on my phone. Took me about three hours, and I got paid ~$75 from my job to do so!

If you read it this far, thank you! Bang them chains!

I putt with a Magnet. English for that which is attracted to metal. I imagine the basket is my friend and I throw him my magnet. I skip the Sativa, for I practice like I play. I play mostly tournaments and don't have the luxury of toking up every couple holes.

I guess it is summed up as....different strokes for different folks.
That was a lot of words to skim through. Lyrical nyquil.
I looked up Sativa - a strain of pot, aka marijuana. I guess that explains a bit. I started out thinking maybe it meant strong coffee! I mean, what kind of job allows you to get high, and spend all of your job time discussing DG? Must be some kind of government work - lol!
I looked up Sativa - a strain of pot, aka marijuana. I guess that explains a bit. I started out thinking maybe it meant strong coffee! I mean, what kind of job allows you to get high, and spend all of your job time discussing DG? Must be some kind of government work - lol!
Lots of jobs out there that pay for standby work, public and private sector. Some administrative duties daily, but mostly present at work for the precise moment someone is needed.
A lot of great basics and mental cues to follow in OP. Definitely worth saving.

Latest posts