Tom Schot has lived in Santa Cruz most of his life. His love affair with Frisbees began in the early 70's while throwing Black Master Frisbees. His first experience at a major disc event was in 1974 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. That event inspired his vision for the World DiscGames.
Tom both designed his first disc golf course and produced his first tournament, "The Mulligan Open" at Cabrillo College. In 1977 he designed and installed 18 holes at the University of California in Santa Cruz. It was only a year later that Tom invited Ken Westerfield to help produce the "Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic," an over-all tournament that became the first of nine World Disc Championships that would follow. Tom went through many hardships in those nine years, from dealing with TV (CBS) to accommodating competitors from all over the world. "My experience with disc sports, from designing and installing disc golf courses to producing world tournaments has prepared me fully for the World Disc Games. I have heard many players say, ‘The World Disc Championships were the best over-all tournaments ever produced'.
Tom founded the first Ultimate team in Santa Cruz and the Northern California Ultimate League in 1979. He has been passionately dedicated to this sport for the last 25 years. "In the 60's and 70's disc sports were just a fad. Now the fad has diminished into the birth of our sport.
Two of Tom’s greatest feats have been to design the world renowned Delaveaga Disc Golf Course and start the "Master's Cup Disc Golf Championships" which have been held annually in Santa Cruz for the past 17 years. In 1991, Tom won the PDGA Grand Master's World Championships and was inducted into the Disc Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.
Disc Golf Throwing Accuracy
Frisbee expert Tom Schot demonstrates disc golf throwing accuracy.
Tom Schot: Hi I am Tom Schot, CEO of World Disc Sports and a member of Disc Golf, Hall of Fame. I am here to teach you how to play disc golf and one of the things we are going to work on right now is when you walk up to the hole, you are going to size it up and you are going to figure, how you are going to approach this hole.
As I walk up to the tee and I am going to approach this hole, and I know I can reach at one. I do not have enough power to get there. I want my drive to land in a position where it is going to give me the easiest shot, going in for my approach shot. I do not want to get a bogie, I know this is a par three. I want to get up there in two where I hit my putt is easy to make. I do not want to leave myself for 40-foot putt. I want to make sure within 10 or 15 feet of that basket. So when I come up to tee, I am going to throw my drive, that is going to give me the best position that I can go in and get that par.
We are talking about basic, basic throwing styles. Especially to start with how you are going to throw the disc off the tee? This is your drive. 85%-90% of the people throw backhand, so if you are left-handed; I am right-handed so if you are left-handed you are going to do is opposite of everything I do, okay?
Now, you hold the disc, all four fingers on the bottom of the disc, thumb on top. You grip it tight. You do not have your finger out there on the edge. You have got everything underneath, okay? Now, when you throw, just think of the disc as being on the end of a whip. So the longer the whip, when it comes out at the end, the faster that whip is going to be moving. So if I stand here and I just throw like this, coming out, the axis is on my shoulder so the axis is the length of this whip, but if I turn my body, and I am throwing from way back here, I am putting the axis in the centre of my body and I am getting about 12-15 more inches a whip. So that disc is going to come out a lot faster. So when on my drives, I am coming up, I am way back here, I am reaching back as far as I can and I am pulling this disc through and out. Okay! That is the backhand.
Now on the two-finger throw. You are going to be throwing. You are going to come -- I am going to stand right here. I am standing right into you now okay. I am driving. That is my tee way down there. My two fingers are underneath, I am gripping it tight. I am coming in here; I cannot reach as far back as I can with the backhand. But I have much more snap in my finger here and I have more arm speed coming through than with the backhand, so I can get a relatively a long distant shot also, with a two-finger.
Another drive that guys do if you are in a shot position, you can do what they call tomahawk throw. And that is again, the two-finger position on the disc. The two fingers are under there, your thumb is on the top and you come over and you throw the disc so it comes upside down. You release it like this. It comes upside down. It flattens out and it comes down and dies.
I use this shot all of the time. I was in Augusta Georgia at the Hall of Fame Tournament, the course was loaded with trees. There was no way I am going to get through these trees with a backhand or a two-finger, I have got to go with a tomahawk throw where I know, I got a little tee angles and little tee in positions, so I got to get through and it is much easier to do with this controllable tomahawk. You do not have the extreme distance as you have with a backhand or the two-finger but you have a lot of control with a tomahawk, it is almost like throwing a baseball.
Now if you want to throw the disc, and you got to go around a big tree, you are going to pull what they call Hizer on it. So instead of throwing the disc flat, you are going to turn it up a little bit, so the nose of the disc is kind of on a angle here. That disc is going to go out and it is going to cut to the right. That is called Hyzer. If it goes out and you want to throw around the tree, from the right to left, that is the Anhyzer. So that is the big word in disc golf, is Hyzer shots.
Now that I have shown you how to do a couple of basic throws. I am going to teach you how to play smart.