Some of the benefits of playing disc golf is that it gives you a chance to get outside, socialize, and get some exercise. For those times when you can’t get out to play, there are still some good options to hone your game in the comfort of your own home or yard. Here are a few ideas.
It’s no secret that we need to practice putting regularly in order to improve. While not necessarily fun, practicing is something we just have to accept we will need to keep doing if we want to improve our game. Fortunately, it’s also something that we can easily do at home.
Use a basket, or a ‘basket’
If a practice basket (or two) is in your budget, that is the way to go. With two baskets set up in a backyard you can putt back and forth between the baskets to optimize your time. Pro tip: Putting at home can be noisy. Soften the noise by adding foam pipe insulation to the center pole. Don’t have practice baskets? No worries, you still have a variety of options to practice putting:
- Laundry basket: Tilt a laundry basket at an angle to catch your disc and you will have an instant, free basket to putt into. A cardboard box will do the trick, too.
- Chair: A recliner type chair will catch putters, but you could also throw a blanket over a folding chair to soften the sound and catch the disc. I even saw a picture of a chair mounted on a fence to catch discs.
- Pipe: Have some PVC pipe sitting around? Stake something in the ground and you have a narrow target to aim at.
- Tree or other object: Before there were disc golf baskets, there was ‘object golf’. Pick a smaller target for increased difficulty and aiming practice.
- Stairs: Carpeted stairs work great as an impromptu target. Throw a blanket on cement or wood stairs to protect your discs.
Caution! Driving practice indoors can do some damage to walls or objects in the room if you miss whatever you’re throwing at. The following tips assume you will create a target big enough not to miss.
Do you have an old blanket lying around? Tie some rope to the corners to create an instant driving target. It can be hung in a garage, between trees, or anywhere you can get a good anchor for the rope. You could also use ratcheting tie-downs or bungee cords to hold the blanket. Add a little weight to the bottom to improve the stopping power of the blanket.
Used sporting nets make a great targets to throw into. Check classified ads for used baseball, lacrosse, or other sporting nets to make a portable ‘driving range’ for yourself.
Cardboard boxes are readily available and can be used to make a wall to use as a target. Toss a blanket over the boxes to prevent the disc from penetrating them. Also, add some weight to the boxes to keep them from falling over. The boxes will still get beat up, but they will allow some full power drives before they do. Also, it is a little noisy when they hit, so it might not be an option for every situation. Hitting boxes will affect the wear of the disc more than a net, so keep that in mind.
An easy yet productive way to practice at home is to get a towel or Flightowel, and practice your x-step and follow through. Wherever you do this, make sure there is ample room for a follow-through. I’ve had some near misses with various objects in a room that could have been painful, if not debilitating, if they had been hit. Make sure your hand won’t hit anything!
You Critique You
Once you find a suitable area, set up a camera and record your throw (or your motion with a towel). Then you can watch the video and check out your form and timing. Recording is a great thing to do in the field, too.
A great indoor training device is the ProPull. It allows you to practice the motion of a drive with some resistance to build muscle memory and encourage a straight pull. Check out Dave Feldberg’s video here.
While this might not be the most enjoyable aspect of in-home practice, improving our strength and flexibility is a good way to improve our form and our health. It also increases our chances of continuing to play as we age. Disc Golf Strong is an exercise and training company with routines designed specifically for disc golf.
Today’s disc golfer is fortunate to have a wide variety of training videos readily accessible. By spending time watching the proper form, it helps our brains and bodies know what a great x-step and pull-through looks like. You can then use that knowledge in conjunction with the self-filming technique used above to analyze your own form.
Many good Youtube channels have videos of different aspects of disc golf, such as the forehand or backhand shot, putting, overhead drives, and approaches. Check out a variety of channels to see which ones work for you.
Keep in mind that watching the best, most informative videos on earth won’t do any good if we don’t apply what we learn. Go through the motions as much as possible while watching the videos. Then, when you get a chance to do field work, you’ll have a good foundation to build on.
Improving At Home
We really can take advantage of times when we can’t get out and play, by practicing at home using some of the ideas mentioned above. We can putt, drive, stretch, and improve our form. It will keep us a little sharper for when we can actually play.
We would love to hear how YOU practice at home! Share with us any home practicing techniques or methods that you use.