The Long and Short with Brody Miller

Brody Miller putting the disc in the basket.
There was a video that caught my eye a couple months back from the Oregon DGC (what up Alex!?) that highlighted some truly amazing putts and throw-ins from Portland's Brody Miller. I wanted to hunt this fella down and pick his brain for thoughts on his short game. A little cyber-stalking later and he'd agreed to share some knowledge with us. Of course my work schedule (and his) slowed things down a bit, so I had HeavyDisc corespondent / bird lawyer / disc golf buddy Kyle O'Neill step in to ask some questions.

So thanks to Kyle and Brody for the following interview. First though, check out this insanity.

What do your putting practices consist of? Do you have a specific routine you follow, or just go out and start tossing your putters?
Typically when I practice putt I will have a handful of putters all exactly the same. I like to practice different styles from different distances. I straddle putt from 10, 15, 20 feet, etc; and putt standard stance from 10, 15, 20 feet, etc. I usually like to putt from one spot until I make 30 without missing.

Do you practice up shots as much as your putting (or even driving), and if so do you have a routine for that as well?
I'm glad you asked. My approach game is pretty strong. My home courses are very short, I will often "disc down" rather than throw a driver soft. I will throw a midrange or a putter, doing so gives me better control and accuracy. They typically have better control in windy conditions over drivers on short throws.

What types of discs are you using for both shorter approach shots and for putting? Do you change those discs based on the situation you find yourself in, or do you stick with the same few discs regardless? 
Playing for Latitude 64 I have great options for putters. I have a great relationship with my zero hard Pure for the majority of my putting needs inside of 50 feet. Outside of that I will typically use a zero medium Pure. Anytime I am outside of 40 feet I will use a modified jump putt for which a zero medium Pure allows me to apply extra spin. When throwing approaches or putter tee shots I use a zero medium Pure or opto Pure. These are not only very controllable but very durable as well. They all have the exact same feel in the hand, which I find to be very helpful with consistency. To compensate for wind I will typically change the angle of release rather than the disc.

Ridiculous things happening.
In the video I referenced above, you hit some long putts using some very interesting lines. What influences the lines you take during a jump putt? Do you always jump putt, and if not, inside what range are you comfortable with?
The wind, gaps in the trees, trouble or ob around greens, and distance all influence the lines and angles I use during a jump putt. On uphill or longer putts I tend to use a jump putt. On a downhill putt I won’t usually jump at all. On flat ground outside of 40 feet I will use a modified jump putt.

We know that the mental aspect of disc golf, like in all sports, is a huge part of the game. After a missed putt that you feel you should have made, or an errant up shot, how do you go about putting that unsavory shot out of your mind in order to execute the next? What goes through your mind during those instances?
We all miss. It is a game of minimizing our mistakes. If you go into a round knowing you will have misses, hopefully, when you do miss it will not affect your next shot. We would all love to make every shot, but the reality is even the best players in the world miss. Typically it's the recovery of that miss that makes them great. In my mind, when I miss, making the next shot is the most important thing.

What's the best piece of advice about the short game that you've received during your career? While learning the game, was there someone that you tried to emulate in order to improve your skills?
The best advice someone once gave me was about staying positive. If you can stay positive in the worst of situations or bad rounds then you cannot be defeated. You might not win the round or the event but you will have a better chance than the people hanging their heads in defeat. During the Ken Climo era I think everyone wanted to putt the way he did. I would watch videos and try to emulate his style. Growing up with a father that played great disc golf, as well, I certainly picked up some of his style. More than anything I have always tried to do what's most comfortable.

Tyler Liebman: Eagle drive form breakdown

I was hoping that Tyler would have some time to chime in on this post, but he (like most of us) has been very busy. Hopefully we can connect soon for an interview. I wanted to do a quick form break down, because he's got very solid form from footwork to extension.We got to play a practice round together and I was very impressed with his control.

Step 1. Eyes on the target. Visualizing the exact flight of the disc before starting the step is a fantastic habit to get into. If your mind isn't exactly sure where the disc is supposed to go, how can we expect to put it there?

Step 1
Step 2. First stride, head still on the target and now the shoulders are aimed at the target. Body has transitioned sideways to move down the teepad. Disc is held loosely in front of your chest.

Step 2
Step 3.  Tyler's x-step is really more of a x-hop. Dead vertical, shoulders still aimed at the target, no leaning backwards or forward and eyes still on the target. Notice how there's no leaning backwards or forwards - this is a huge key in keeping yourself balanced through the entire motion. Getting leaned back or forward here is going to cook your goose.

Also it's very important to note where the disc is. Still has not started the back-swing.

Step 3

Step 4. The back-swing is a counter motion to moving your plant foot forward. If the plant foot is not moving forward, then you are not initiating a back-swing! Back foot: heel never touched the ground. I preach this all the time: an easy way to get your posture more athletic is to stay on the ball of your back foot. Weight is transferring into the plant foot toes first and into the instep.

Step 4
Step 5:  Weight shifts into the plant leg. Look at the difference in the location of Tyler's hips from step 4 to 5. They've shifted into the brace. Loading the plant foot - you can see what the weight is doing to his plant shoe. He's braced hard against the instep.

Eyes/head perpendicular to line you're throwing on. Hand on the outside of the disc as the elbow is driven forward.

Step 5
Step 6: Hips open! I was excited to see that the video frame caught this moment. The wrist is being loaded, pulling towards his forearm.  I've been focusing on resisting the bending of the wrist, trying to keep the wrist from bending too deep.  His hips are driving the upper body around a rotational axis now - which along side the bracing of his forward momentum is going to be huge for the next step.
Step 6
Step 7: This was the next frame I could grab, which goes to show how much force you can generate with a solid plant and rotation. The momentum is going to blast your upper body around the axis. By shifting the hips into your plant leg, your momentum goes up your body into your arm instead of having your momentum carry your body forward off the end of the teepad.

Now you can let your shoulders pull your head through the follow-though. The plant toes come up to release pressure on your knee and allow the plant foot to pivot open.
Step 7
Step 8: Follow-though on the plane you released the disc on and watch your disc hum out to the basket for an eagle look!
Step 8
Watch the whole thing full speed here:

Find your X-factor: Presenting the P1x

We are proud to present the very first beaded putter in the Discmania product line – The P1x! A beaded putter has been missing from our line-up since day one and especially our US fans have sent us a lot of requests to fill that gap. By flight characteristics this putter resembles our popular P1 putter, but the feel is something completely new. For more information on the disc itself, see the infographic below :)

Stock release early 2015, first tastes out today!

Presenting the new X-line material in support of the Aussie Open
The actual stock release is scheduled for early 2015, but if you’re fast, you may be able to grab a first taste of this new mold today! We are supporting the first PDGA Major on the Southern Hemisphere, the 2015 Aussie Open, with a limited fundraiser release of the P1x in our new X-line material. The X-line is a new blend of plastic that takes the best features of the D-line and our P-line P1 material while remaining nice and firm structurally. The end result is probably our grippiest plastic to date, which makes this plastic perfect for putters. It’s a plastic blend that wears slower than the D-line, but is still fine-tuneable much like the D-line plastic. The Aussie Open X-line P1x will be released thru Discmania Store on this date (12/12/2014). Compared to the D-line P1x, the X-line P1x has a touch more fade, thanks to added stability of the X-line material. This is a very limited release, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the store today.

First Run release in trusty D-line
Alongside the Aussie Open X-P1x release, we are also releasing a limited number of First Run D-line P1x’s for collector delight. The First Run release will be available thru Discmania Store & InnovaStore. The First Run release is also very limited in numbers, so if you wish to add one to your collection, we recommend keeping your eyes peeled on the before mentioned shops today ;)

P1x – the facts

We put together the following infographic to give you the idea what the P1x is like:



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