Master How to Putt in Disc Golf: Expert Tips, Tricks, and Techniques to Elevate Your Game!

Learning how to putt in disc golf changes the entire dynamic of your game. If you’re new to the sport, this is your bread and butter — often the difference between a host of birdies to brag about later and a subpar day. 

I often point to the approach as the “make-it-or-break-it element of disc golf, and in many ways, it is. 

But a poor putt will ruin an outstanding drive. 

Improve your disc golf putting game, and you’ll end up with a scorecard worth saving. 

Understanding the Basics of Disc Golf Putting

Generally speaking, there are three putting forms, at least in terms of basic putting fundamentals. I’ll cover some of the others as well, however. Just like backhand approach shots (mid-range and putters) and forehand drives (fairway and distance drivers), there is an art to putting. 

Stance, form, follow-through, grip, and release are all part of the package. To a newbie disc golfer, that probably sounds overly complicated. But no one ever said the game was simple (and those that have tend to find out the hard way). 

Accuracy and consistency are key, and learning how to putt in disc golf, even if it’s just the more basic forms, will exponentially improve your game. From personal experience, I feel that putting is the most difficult aspect of the game to perfect. 

There’s always a new flaw in your system — each one discovered after mastering the last. Understanding the basics will put you on the right track, but there’s always room to improve, especially when it comes to distance putting. 

Common Putting Forms

As I mentioned above, there are three basic forms. Sure, that sounds pretty boring, but it’s necessary to get the boring stuff down before you move on to the more exciting and interesting aspects of your putting game. 

Spin Putt

When watching professionals putt on video, it’s hard to imagine there is a lot of spin on those discs. It looks like they’re just lobbing discs across some real estate and landing them in the baskets. For the undiscerning beginners out there, those discs are spinning. In fact, it’s the spin that brings out the disc’s flight capabilities

Feet Position

For the spin putt to be effective, you have to be squared up with the basket, feet shoulder length apart, with your strong leg forward of your weak leg. Make sure there is plenty of spring in your legs because most of the oomph behind the disc will come from your lower body. 

Angle Control

You’re attacking the basket straight on, but you want to place a little hyzer or anhyzer on your disc, depending on the distance. Inside the circle, keep the disc flat or at a slight hyzer. Switch to a slight anhyzer when you’re outside the circle. It will lift the nose of the disc and give it some more glide before diving when it runs out of steam. 

Follow Through

Follow-through is worth mentioning because it’s the most important part of the putt. Proper follow-through enables the spin on the disc. Without the spin, the disc is just a flat piece of plastic in the air, compromised by the whims of aerodynamics. Bring the disc into your body at waist level, and lunge straight forward at the basket, using your fan grip to release and spin the disc. 

Push Putt

The push-putt looks similar to the spin putt, except you’re not bringing the disc into your waist or gut and springing forward from that position. The push-putt keeps the spring but changes the dynamics of the throwing motion. Think of a pendulum on a clock, and you have a basic understanding of how the push-putt works. 

Feet Position

The position of your feet is the same as that of the spin putt. Square up with the basket with your strong leg and a small stride behind your weak leg. Along with the finger pop (more on that below), the spring in your knees is where all of your power lies. 

Angle Control

Place a small amount of hyzer on the disc as your arm swings up and out. The hyzer allows you to pop your fingers out, generating a little spin and lifting the disc. Use a fan grip with your fingers curled in just enough to pop them out and generate lift under and behind the disc. 

Follow Through

The follow-through is pretty much the same as the spin putt. Extend your arm out, body straight, and lean towards the basket as if you just launched yourself towards it. Pop your fingers out and finish the throw with an open palm facing the sky. 

Straddle Putt

The straddle putt is exactly what it sounds like, except you won’t actually straddle anything — unless you count the empty air beneath you. The straddle putt is useful for leaning or dealing with obstacles in front of you that you need to get around. 

Feet Position

Square yourself with the basket and place your feet perpendicular to it, shoulder length apart. You’ll operate from a squatting/springing position, using the lift (like you’re jumping straight up) and arm swing to push the disc at the basket.

Angle Control

In general, you want to keep your disc flat, mostly because straddle putts are usually pretty close to the basket, within the circle. Unless you’re trapped inside the tree line, straddle putts are not typically used for long putts outside the circle. 

Follow Through

As with the other putt-types, follow-through is essential. I tend to continue my arm motion after I’ve released the disc while keeping my arm in a straight line. This helps me ensure my disc is on a straight flight path or aimed through a gap in the trees. 

Other Disc Golf Putting Styles

Learning how to putt in disc golf comes with an entire retinue of putting styles outside of the norm. There’s the spush putt (a combination of push putt and spin putt), the jump putt, the turbo putt, the scoober, and the kneeling putt.

Some of these are archaic, rarely used putting styles, while others have very narrow, specific uses. Still, you will occasionally come across someone who uses the turbo putt religiously or the scoober. The latter is a weird putt with an uncanny motion. Nevertheless, here they are for your reading pleasure.

Turbo Putt

Out of the bunch, this is the one that probably catches the most hype. I’ve tried it on numerous occasions and can never get it completely right. In my opinion, it’s best used when trying to lightly toss the disc over a high bush and land it in the basket (assuming the basket is pretty close to the bush. 

You raise the disc over your head like a baseball pitch, four fingers on the back rim of the disc, and your thumb resting beneath the disc to balance it. As your arm comes forward, your fingers spin the disc and push it forward at the same time. It’s bizarre and takes some getting used to. 

Kneeling Putt

How to Putt In Disc Golf - Kneeling putt

This putt involves the same dynamics as the other putt types — putt types of your choice, of course. The only difference is you eliminate the use of your legs to get low enough for an accurate toss. 

Spush Putt

The spush putt is a hybrid combination of the spin and push putt. The spush putt involves bringing your arm down, using your shoulder as the hinge point. As your arm comes back up, you bring your wrist and elbow hinge points into play. It’s disconcerting to me because you’re doing one action (stiff arm) on the way down and engaging all three hinge points on the way back up. 

Jump Putt

The jump putt can incorporate elements of all the other putt types, with the addition of leaping toward the basket as a part of your follow-through. The leap comes at the very end of the throw, not early, as this would mess up your angle of approach. 

Scoober

When I saw the Scoober Putt for the first time, my immediate reaction was that it was silly. However, I understand its uses now, though I don’t use it in my own games. You grip the disc as if you’re going to forehand throw it, with the middle finger running along the inside of the rim and your index finger stacked on top of it. 

The only difference is that you pinch in with your fingers somewhat—not drastically, just slightly. The pinch is for the wrist snap that comes with the throw. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your strong foot forward and your weak foot directly behind it. The disc is upside down in your hand.

At a 45° angle, ninja-chop the air, releasing the disc with a neat wrist snap, allowing your elbow to curl in to form a C before you shift your arm forward. Yes, it’s really weird and seems counterintuitive at best. But, the people who use it a lot tend to do very well. It’s best to stick with overstable putters for a scoober throw, like the Zone or the Culprit.

Choosing the Right Putter

To a beginner, all putters look like they fly the same, especially over a short distance. But those flight numbers have meaning, and the more spin placed on the disc, the more the flight numbers come into play, especially on putts from outside of the circle. 

When you are on the hunt for a good putter, prioritize these attributes in the following order: Ease of use, grip, stability, weight, and durability. You’ll find that “ease of use” typically dictates the remaining aspects. 

The market for beginner putters is substantial, so there’s plenty to choose from. Beginners should avoid the Harps and Sockibomb Slammers, as those are more on the expert side of hybrid putters. The Discmania P2, MVP Watt, and Innova Aviar are excellent beginner choices. 

Common Mistakes When Learning How to Putt in Disc Golf

What amazes me most about the putting aspect of disc golf is the level of mental focus involved. You can have the perfect form and style, but if your mind isn’t in the game, the results are often disastrous. 

Mentality

Putting is not easy because the mechanics are only a part of the whole. Pick out a single link on that basket and make that you’re entire focus. Confidently and pointedly, go after the basket. The worst mistake you can make is worrying about where the disc will end up. Don’t. Do. That.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Movement

The above instructions and video content you’ve surely watched are not enough if you can’t control your body. You’re working with multiple hinge points that must work in concert. Practice makes perfect, along with plenty of repetition. 

Don’t Forget Your Leg Work

Use those legs. They are responsible for a large portion of your power, accuracy, and follow-through. 

Avoid East-to-West Movement

The best path to a basket (in your putting game and without trees or bushes in the way) is a straight line. Avoid releasing left and right by keeping everything straight and directly in front of you. 

Final Putt: How to Putt in Disc Golf

There is a lot to take in when learning how to putt in disc golf. The best thing you can do is shed all of that noise and focus on a singular method, such as spin-putting. Once you have spin-putting down so well that you can do it in your sleep, it’s time to incorporate something new. 

Putting, at least to me, is probably the most difficult part of the game. Approach it like you would anything else — focus, confidence, and attack. As with everything in this game, practice and repetition will get you there. Just don’t forget to bring that mental focus to every game!

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