I’ve played disc golf for 13 years and like most tenured disc golfers I’ve evolved my game over time. While it’s much more common to analyze individual throwing techniques like power grips or putting styles, I find it helpful to occasionally assess my overall disc golf style to ensure that I’m continually making progress.
Not too long ago, Mind Body Disc wrote a piece on measuring your game in order to improve, and this is a perfect example of how data and measurements can help improve your disc golf game. This disc golf analysis involves comparing your preferred type of disc for each distance during different phases throughout your disc golf history. Observing the difference helps you identify how your game has changed, what areas you could focus more attention on, and even how you may adjust your bag strategy.
For this example I’ve identified two periods that are approximately five years apart, but you could easily compare early and late months of a single season if that’s more appropriate for you. I’ve listed each type of disc from putter to maximum distance driver and indicated the distance (in feet) for which I throw each. I put this on a scale of my maximum throw distance in feet so your chart will likely have a different scale. I’ve also indicated any overlapping areas. You can see by the chart that in 2010 I threw fairway and distance drivers across a much greater distance span than I do today, and today the distance at which I throw putters has quadrupled!
This is pretty neat right.. but what action can I take from this data? Here are a few takeaways after analyzing my disc distance chart, but yours may show a lot more.
- Across the board my slower discs span greater distance ranges. This is a result of my effort to throw slower discs more often in order to gain accuracy (if someone says ‘disc down’ this is what they mean).
- I throw putters across more distance tiers than any other disc type (roughly 45% of possible distances). This shows that the extra work I’ve put into mastering my putters over the last 3 years has been effective. It also suggests I may want to focus more of my practicing efforts toward putters than other disc types.
- My maximum distance drivers are much less important than before. I may now choose a distance driver over a maximum distance driver in order to keep higher accuracy.
- My distance drivers are also used less frequently, so I may decide to remove some from my bag and focus only on those that are versatile.
- Notice the crowding near the top of the 2015 column. I’ve personally found that crowding is typically a result of inefficiency in some component of those distance tiers (you may not find this true in your analysis). In this case I’ve lost significant power over the last few years and I will practice distance this fall. In 2010 I noticed slight crowding at the bottom of the column which was a result of throwing fairway drivers for much shorter throws than typically recommended.
I didn’t include the detailed instructions on setting up the chart, but I started with a table that lists each disc type and the distances at which I throw them. Ignore exceptions for this exercise, like a Kastaplast Kaxe which is in between midrange and fairway, or
overhand throws that don’t fly a standard distance.
The rest is just Excel magic, so go ahead and try it out. If you have difficulty or would like detailed instructions just shoot us a message and I can help you through it, or go old school and create the chart by hand.
I hope this disc golf analysis is insightful for you and helps you think of your disc golf game in a slightly different perspective. If so we’ll write more! Don’t be afraid to share this post if you know someone who’s disc golf game could use some analysis or if this helped you.
At the request of Patrick McCormick from Zen Disc Golf I’ve created a template which you can download by clicking the link below and simply plug in your own numbers and watch the chart build itself.