As disc golfers, we all know about the 80% power rule. Instead of throwing our drives with 100% power, if we dial it down 20% and concentrate on the accuracy and form, we’ll typically have lower scores. It makes logical sense. If you knew a specific way to lower your score on a given day, wouldn’t you do it?
It’s not that simple for me at least. The equation LOOKS like a simple “subtract A and get B” situation, but it’s actually more akin to: “subtract A and get B if you’re willing to give up the possibility that C could give you D!” …and we ALL know what “D” is right? DISTANCE! Yep, distance. When you’re standing out on that tee pad, looking across the field, or through the trees- you see distance. It’s the only constant at every hole in every disc golf park. There is DISTANCE between you and the basket, and no matter now much you know playing smart will help you (gee, thanks Barry Schultz!), the dream of throwing one shot to end all still plays in your head. The question becomes more ‘risk vs. reward.’ If you do put 100% full power on your drive, how bad will it get?
The only distinction I make when I’m dialing down power, is “SPAZ ATTACK” vs. “POWER.” My farthest throw ever was in a field, with a Katana, and I literally took a running start- sort of morphing the Josh Anthon “Flinstone Run Up” and the Nikko Locastro “Full Reach Back” into one giant spaz attack- I just happened to get the timing right and I threw it over 400 feet (two back to back football fields help for accurate measuring!) about 60 feet further than any actual disc golf shot I’ve thrown during a round (yeah, i know- it’s nothing to brag about!). Out on the course, whether it be a tournament or a casual round, my initial drives are usually thrown at full “power.”
Granted, I don’t go full power on every drive. However, I also don’t stand on the tee pad, look at a shot, see the flight of the disc in my head, and THEN dial it down 20%. That’s just sucking the possibility of fun and success out of the drive to me. The same can be said for practicing in a field. I fully acknowledge that field practice, as well as 80% power can improve your score. The problem is simply, if I have the time to go find an empty field to throw discs in, I’d rather be up at my local course playing 18 holes. The same goes for 80% power- I’d rather roll the dice and see if I can throw my drive further, or better than ever before. Perhaps when my game hits a plateau, and I really want every single stroke I can get, I’ll consider it. For now, I’m sticking with full power.