The pad sizes and materials always tend to be a bit of a hot-button issue in the disc golf community, but sooner or later you’re going to come across a tee pad style that you’ve never encountered before. In the past we’ve covered some tips for dealing with a slippery lie, but what about throwing off a tee pad that feels completely different than what you’re used to?
Each tee pad material could certainly have its own blog dedicated to it, but today we’re going to focus solely on turf tee pads. Learning how to throw off this material might sound like second nature, but there are a few important elements to consider before stepping up to make your shot.
Assessing The Situation
Turf tee pads bring their own set of benefits, including a nicely groomed look to any given course and the consistency of the same material at all 18 holes. However, you need to inspect the pad and consider how it relates to the current conditions of the course as a whole. Turf pads are often laid over dirt or even gravel, and the material underneath could include some bumps and dips. While the turf masks this, it also creates the perfect way to sprain your ankle!
If the course is a bit soggy from a storm the previous day, remember that your grip on the pad may likely be different than the grip on the rest of the course. Since there isn’t any dirt that can turn into mud on a turf pad, you might find that you adjust your footwork back and forth during the course of a round. If in doubt, you can always throw next to the pad instead of standing on it.
Photo Credit: The Teebox Co. – www.teeboxco.com
Thinking About Grip
One of the primary reasons that players prefer using a turf tee pad has to do with the even and consistent grip they get while moving through their run up. This benefit not only helps with each drive you make, but it can also have a huge impact on the footwear you select.
Some individuals find that with a turf tee pad under their feet, they can wear other styles of shoes that aren’t as “athletic.” Whether you choose a casual style like a pair of Vans or a disc golf specific shoe like the ones from Discmania or Latitude 64, your run up will need to be modified to account for the extra traction the turf provides beneath your feet.
As great as they seem, turf tee pads aren’t necessarily a dream come true. One of the more common concerns is the installation of them as well as the wear and tear they endure during colder winter months. Any course designer who has put in turf pads knows that preparing the area and putting in the box can be a big task.
Photo by: Oak Brook Disc Golf Course
Areas that get a lot of snow or ice mean that clearing off a turf pad before playing a round is more difficult than working with a concrete pad. This inability to utilize them during winter can sometimes be enough of a reason for some people to skip turf altogether.
What are your opinions on turf tee pads? Let us know your personal experiences, good or bad, with them in the comments below!