In Part 1, I explored how Freestyle will improve your Disc Golf game. In this article, with help from the panel of experts (list below), I investigate the reverse, how does Disc Golf improve your Freestyle Game?
In Disc Golf, long drives require tremendous grip and arm strength, yet you still need a high degree of control to maintain accuracy. In Freestyle, throwing a disc with high Zs (spin) requires exactly the same; strength and control. Juliana Korver was able to translate her Disc Golf skill quickly, “It took me about 10 minutes to feel comfortable with the chicken wing throw and I think I had a decent amount to spin on my clock throw right away.”
Ideas for Midair Attitude Corrections (MACs)
Much of Freestyle is about creativity. Any time you’re out tossing some plastic (or even just watching a disc fly) there’s an opportunity for inspiration. For Matt Gauthier, Disc Golf helped him with midair attitude corrections (MACs), “I’m not a very good golfer so many of my throws would hit things. Turns out that was useful. I would throw a little too high and skip off a tree branch or too low and skip off the ground. I’d hit some surface and the disc might changes angles 180 degrees. In the beginning it meant an extra stroke (at minimum). As I began to understand how the disc would deflect I could use it to my advantage. Skip the disc in under the basket for example. Over time I started to understand that I could use my body to apply pressure to edge of the disc in the same way a tree branch would. For me, it opened up all 360 degrees, top and bottom of the disc for cuffing.”
I’ve noticed that in practice I can hit some challenging putts, but when it’s the difference between birdie and par, I often choke. In Freestyle I tend to rely on my reflexes, but Golf is really all about mental focus. Practicing this focus can help one attain “being in the zone” in any sport. Crazy John Brooks remarks, “As you may have seen in both freestyle AND Disc Golf, the situation can be similar in that when a player reaches a certain level of Zen with their mechanics and environment (on any given day), the results can be mind-blowing.”
So it seems that playing Disc Golf can help one’s Freestyle game as well. Greg Hosfeld adds, “I was an over-aller for quite a while. But I gravitated to freestyle and golf. To me, they’re my Yin/Yang. Golf is slow, plotting, methodical. Freestyle is quick & reactive. But, in both there are rhythms and depths of game that seemed endless.”
If you have experiences in cross training between Disc Golf and Freestyle, please share in the comments.
Special thanks to the Panel of Experts:
- Juliana Korver (Part 1 & 2)
- Crazy John Brooks (Part 1 & 2)
- Glen Whitlock (Part 1)
- Lori Daniels (Part 1)
- Greg Hosfeld (Part 2)
- Matt Gauthier (Part 2)
In addition to the benefits already listed in this article, being in excellent condition is a plus in any sport, even if that sport doesn’t provide or seem to always demand it. In sports like baseball or football, the majority of the playing time is spent just standing around. However, athletes in those sports will spend a considerable amount of time doing other activities to get into excellent condition, just for that moment, when it is needed. Most athletes in other sports will jog to stay in top shape. Freestyle will give you the excellent cardio workout that disc golf does not provide. Instead of a long run, you can get the same results and do it within a flying disc sport that at the same time will develop other flying disc benefits.
Ken Climo 12-time Disc Golf World Champion obviously hasn’t spent all of his time on the disc golf course. Just coincidence?
Disc golf helped my freestyle game because the parking lot of the disc golf course is where I learned to freestyle! It’s a great activity to do while you’re waiting for your friends to show up (putting practice is also a good activity, but not as fun), and fun to do with your friends after the round. I will forever be grateful to Shayne Soble for introducing me to Freestyle. If he hadn’t been running across the parking lot doing a series of chest rolls and kick brushes, I would have never gotten the bug. He showed me the nail delay, and that was that. Long story short, disc golf can help freestyle through exposure to the sport.
In disc golf I’ve learned that you need to bring your energy into focus on every shot while slowing down your breath (especially to putt accurately). This definitely translates for being in the proper state of mind prior to and throughout a competitive freestyle routine. Even though freestyle is creative and reactive in nature (especially when recreationally and cooperatively playing among other freestylers), you still have to have a laser focus to execute your cooperative combinations as well as your individual moves accurately.
What I love about both sports, is that they both require enough practice and competitive participation in order to learn how to perfect your mental edge so that you can execute your optimum physical talents at the right time.