I was out at Swope today and there were a couple of newbie loopers playing the course. On each hole they would toss one or two different discs with various results. That's what made me think they were newbies; choosing to throw a vulcan, hard, as a hyzer disc and watching it flip over. They were stunned with the results and with each awe-inspiring outcome they would voice a formulated explanation as to why the disc behaved the way it did; "I turned over my wrist" or "didn't get around on it enough" stuff like that. The more talented of the two (based on the success to failure rate of his throws) would claim only on successful throws that he watched a lot of Feldberg videos and that he has spoken to "a local pro" who had given him some pointers. When his throws didn't work out, "the disc slipped." If he was using Feldberg's advice, he certainly wasn't applying Feldy's techniques to his throws. Other than the fact that the disc left the tee pad headed in the right general direction, very little of his throw looked like Feldy's tips to throwing. Not that I thought I was going to see a Feldberg Jr. in this guy's throw, but this guy was doing nothing that Feldberg teaches.
It's not easy to assist someone trying to improve their game. What works for me may not work for you. And if you look at a cross section of the world's best disc golfers you will see a multitude of various styles and approaches to the game. Ever see Josh Anthon play? No one does what he does, but shouldn't they? Other than Bradley Williams, I don't know anyone who putts like Nikko. Tank's putting is wildly successful... for him. Cale Leviska and Dave Feldberg are polar opposites in their approaches to the game, yet both are successful. So who's advice should you follow?
If you go on the internet and go youtubin' you should be able to find three or four dozen videos on how to improve your putting, your drive, your grip, your distance, etc.. I think everyone watches these videos at some point in their development - well, newer players probably do, I can't say that for people who have been playing a long time - but how helpful are they for everyone? Is there a single video that really works for everyone who sees it (other than Cram's GBO wind putt? ) ? Which brings me to my friggin' point after all this blusterin'.
What is the formula for disc golf success? Certainly there are enough talented pros out there filled with opinions and a willingness to share what they know, but who do you listen to? Considering the variables of talent, experience, physical make up, athleticism, disc choices, etc. What do you need to be say.. A scratch golfer? A pro?
I think there is probably a way to determine someone's disc golf IQ based on some goofy algorithm involving technique, experience, etc. And to be clear, I don't claim to know what it is, but listening to those two guys who haven't been playing disc golf that long - or that well - it's certainly interesting to ponder what makes someone "insightful" into the sport.
I didn't say anything to the two guys, deciding that I was no one to tell them right from wrong. And I was out there playing an invisible course with a portable basket, so they must have thought I was nuts to begin with. Would you listen to someone walking around with, and throwing at, a portable basket and then saying, "Damn, that's OB" when you can't see the OB yourself?
What Would Feldberg Do?