The devastating approach disc. This is the most under-utilized disc in the sport. Most people will forego this disc not knowing what its true purpose is. Basically, an approach shot is a throw, not a putt, and it is designed more to keep you near the basket than to get in it, although the best approach is also a run at the basket.
The Difference between putt and approach -
A putt is usually just a simple flick of the wrist with little or no twisting of the torso, whereas an approach is typically thrown from the side with at least some twisting of the torso and hips. A putt is designed to move significantly slower than a throw. An approach shot, although the slowest throw in disc golf, is still not as slow moving as a putt.
The Difference Between a Putter and an Approach Disc -
First, it`s important to understand that this isn`t set in stone. Plenty of people use putters for approach shots and approach discs as putters. Heck people even use drivers as putters(not recommended). But the true purpose of a putter is for short shots, generally 200 feet or less. Sure, they can be thrown further, but not without a lot of effort, especially if you have a low ceiling.
This is why, when 200 feet gets a little hard with a putter, we can step up to an approach disc. They move a little quicker, sometimes have more glide. They`ll generally handle a shot in the 150-200 foot range a little easier, allowing you to focus on accuracy.
Why Not Just Use a Midrange?
One thing most approach discs do have in common - the ability to stop abruptly somewhere near the target. This is one reason why a midrange disc would be less ideal for these shots. Another reason is the faster speed and higher torque required to make a midrange perform also makes it less appropriate for these shorter shots.
Hint: Always keep an approach disc in your bag. It fills in the short distance deadzone between a putter and a midrange.
Disc Golf Trivia -One of the first true approach discs to hit the market in the mid 80`s was the XD, then known as the Aviar XD. At the time it was hailed as a Revolutionary new "distance" driver. As a matter of fact the "XD" initially stood for "extra distance".