Thursday, February 28, 2008

Putting Practice

This past winter we've had a lot more snow than usual. I don't mind so much. I enjoy each season in its season. I also enjoy those 45 degree day anomalies mid-winter so that I can get out and disc golf. I'm not that great of a player; I need a lot of practice. One year my wife had a Longaberger basket party. I let her get a basket if I could get a basket. She puts food in hers, I putt at mine.

The disc golf basket I bought on Ebay was an Instep Portable. It's cheap, easy to take apart and move, and works ok. It suffers from too many putts going through the chains and out the back. The other problem with it is a design flaw where the top of the entrapment section is the same diameter as the bottom section which catches the discs. This causes way too many bounce outs even when the disc is thrown dead center.

Many players try to correct the former by adding a second set of inner chains. I had done this as well when it was my primary practice basket, but it does nothing for the latter.

Last week I realized that I was getting rusty and needed to get some practice in. My basement is not very big (there's another rant: why build a basement with half of it wasted as just a crawlspace), but it has to do.

In one corner of the basement, I hung a blanket by the joists using some of my mini bar clamps, (I love those things). This way, when I miss, it will be quieter and I won't be putting dents in the drywall. The other thing I did was put a string about five links down to shrink the target area. My thought is that when I'm putting out on the course, the basket will seem huge and much easier.

The interesting thing about this is that I think it improved the basket on the two issues I had with it. Since the chains now hang closer together, the number of split throughs is reduced. The string also effectively reduces the upper diameter giving the bottom basket a much better shot at catching the disc as it falls down. Even on high putts, it seems to catch better since the chains are pulled back at a 45 degree angle causing them to deflect the disc down. Normally if a disc hits the upper 4 chains on this basket there is no give, and the disc falls outside the section catching the disc.

Now if I could just improve my putting as much as the I improved my practice basket...

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