The Importance of Field Testing Your Discs
In the world of disc golf, your discs are your most valuable assets. They're the tools that allow you to execute precise drives, accurate mid-range throws, and successful putts. But did you know that the flight characteristics of your discs can change over time? That’s why it’s crucial to test your discs out in a field occasionally. Let’s delve into why this practice is so important.
Understanding the Evolution of Your Discs
Just like any other piece of sports equipment, disc golf discs can wear down over time. Each time a disc strikes a tree or hits the ground, it undergoes minor changes. These changes might be invisible to the eye, but they can significantly alter the disc's flight path.
An overstable disc can become less stable with enough use, altering its flight pattern and making it behave more like an understable disc. Conversely, a disc that started as understable might become more neutral as it wears. This evolution is referred to as "beating in" a disc.
The Value of Field Testing
This is where field testing comes in. By taking your discs to an open field and throwing them in a controlled environment, you can observe their current flight paths and understand how they have changed.
Field testing allows you to see firsthand how each disc behaves, providing invaluable information that can help you make strategic decisions during a game. For example, if an overstable disc has beaten in to become more neutral, it might now be the perfect choice for a straight shot down a tight fairway.
How Often Should You Field Test?
There's no hard and fast rule about how often you should field test your discs. It largely depends on how frequently you play and how rough the courses are that you usually play on. However, a good general guideline is to field test your discs every few months or after about 20 rounds of disc golf.
If you've recently played several rounds on a particularly rough course with lots of trees, you might want to test your discs sooner. The same goes if you've recently acquired new discs – they should be field tested to understand their flight characteristics before you use them in a game.
How do professional disc golfers approach field work?
Let's take a look at a field work routine of one of the best players in the world – Paul McBeth.
McBeth, a multi-time Disc Golf World Champion, is known for his meticulous approach to practice. One method he has mentioned for field work involves throwing every disc from his bag and closely observing their flights. This exercise not only helps him understand the current state of each disc but also provides valuable information about how different discs perform under varying conditions.
But McBeth doesn't stop there. Once all the discs have been thrown, he then works on his accuracy by aiming to throw each disc back to his bag from wherever it landed. This not only improves his precision but also mimics the varied scenarios that might occur during a round of disc golf.
This form of field work is effective because it combines several aspects of the game into one practice session. By throwing all his discs, McBeth gains an understanding of how each disc is currently flying. By aiming for his bag on the return throws, he practices his accuracy and upshots.
Field testing is an essential practice for any serious disc golfer. It helps you understand the current state of your discs, allowing you to adjust your strategies and make the most of every throw. Remember, disc golf isn't just about having the right tools; it's about knowing how to use them effectively. So, grab your discs, head out to a field, and start testing – your game will thank you.