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Team Discraft's Neal Dambra

Neal Dambra / Team Discraft NAME: Neal Dambra  
TEAM: Masters
HOMETOWN: West Islip, NY
PDGA #: 200 <-- yes, #200! :)
2012 PDGA RATING: 951
BORN: 1954
STARTED IN DISC GOLF: 1976
day gig: Art Director / Writer / Illustrator
recent disc Cred:
  • 2nd, 2008 Golden State MPG
  • 6th, 2003 Worlds MPG
  • 1st, 2003 Waco NT MPG
  • 2nd, 2003 DGLO NT MPG
  • 1st, 2005 Waco MPG
  • 2nd, 2006 Skylands Classic MPG
  • 2nd, 2005 Texas States MPM
  • TD for various local events and Texas State Disc Golf Championships
  • memorable disc golf moments:
    Meeting a lot of really cool and dedicated players, TDs and volunteers. Playing Friday doubles with my son Kirk (PDGA #40200) at his first tournament. Playing disc golf at one of the Worlds Frisbee Championship Frisbee Rose Bowl events in the early 80's using an Ultimate disc and finishing in the top ten! Finding out how tough and fun the Grandmaster's division really is. Winning my first NT as a GM in Waco. Throwing five perfect drives in a row in the woods, in the finals, at Stockholm to hold onto a 1 stroke lead.
    Neal's Disc Golf Tips
    To get a strong start to your disc golf skills, get a light disc and learn to throw it in the wind. Once you do that you will find throwing serious plastic much easier. Too many new players start out with discs that they are not ready for.

    When you're ready to build more distance, think more of a low line drive with hyzer release that turns a little rather than the big anny overstable shot. That will come eventually, but it is not something that works on as many fairways as the line drive. Smooth release, be sure to turn the head with the shoulders and the back swing, don't overthrow...let the disc do some of the work.

    Whenever you get a chance, always teach a new player how to grip a disc. Too many new players are not instructed about a proper grip until they have played a few months and someone finally notices they have their finger on the rim and their finger splayed underneath.

    Coming back after A bad hole: Hey, it happens to everyone no matter how good you are or your equipment is. A bad hole. It's part of golf. If you botch a hole, I would advise backing off a bit on the next drive, especially if it has potential danger. There's nothing like focusing on a solid par to get your head back in the game.

    Putting fundamentals: Okay, I didn't think I ever would have a right to, but I'm going to finally talk about putting. I now consider myself a decent putter. It took a long time to get there, and, in the end, it took me focusing on a set of, what I consider, fundamentals. Here they are: . Visualize the putt relative to the exact conditions. . Putt lower into the wind, and higher with the wind at your back . Aim small, miss small. Pick out and focus on a single link when putting short putts (>20). Your link may/should change depending on the wind relative to your putting style. . On medium length hyzer putts (35-50 ft) focus on the right side of the chains (right handers). Opposite for anny putts or lefties. Again, aim small, miss small. . Put more hyzer on your putt when putting directly into a head wind. If you miss it will usually leave you with an easier down wind putt for the come backer. . When putting in a cross wind, always keep the wind on TOP of your disc. Don't expose the bottom to the wind because any disc can be turned into a sail. . Putt as flat as possible when putting downwind in a heavy breeze so you don't expose bottom of disc to the wind. . Go elbow directly to fingers eliminating as much movement as possible from your wrist. This will reduce yanks to the right or left. . Slow back pull and always use the legs a bit when coming forward...even on short putts. . Make release point directly in line with shoulder so you always know where your release point is relative your body position . Try to remember all by going through a mental check list as conditions require. In general, try to focus and make every putt, even gimmees and during your most casual rounds, and practice on baskets at varying elevations. I hope these fundamentals help you. They have definitely helped me.
    COURSES YOU SHOULD PLAY:
    Course Comments
    the LINKS at Quail Valley
    Missouri City, TX
    One minute from the house so I often get a call to come out and play with different folks. Kinda open with several configs, 15 of the holes involve water OB which keeps you focused.
    Burns Park
    N Little Rock, AR
    My favorite wooded two courses. Most fairway lines are well defined unlike many wooded courses where it is throw and pray. Cool old school park too...time warp.
    JARVA
    Stockholm, SWE
    Wow, an amazing disc golf complex on a fantastic piece of land with a great variety of shots and distances. Great views but be ready to climb some hills.
    Keriakes
    Bowling Green, KY
    Lots of shot variety. I like the trees there, fair but punishing if you mix it up with them. Very clean. Love the dual tee.
    Wickham
    Hartford, CT
    A bit of everything from tight woods to spectacular elevated shots. A great course.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Drivers
    Disc Comments
    CryZtal Z Nuke
    (174 gm)
    For drivers I am going all Nuke this year. The Crystal Z Nuke is my second most stable driver behind the Nuke OS. Very predictable in any wind and I can tug on it without fear of turnover.
    Z Nuke OS
    (174 gm)
    The most stable driver in my bag. Comes in handy for specialty shots where ultra stability is required.
    ESP Nuke
    (174 gm)
    Goes consistently farther than anything I have ever thrown. An instant game changer. I carry a new Z and a broken in ESP for the slight stability differences.
    X Nuke
    (174 gm)
    This has turned into my main driver in light to moderate wind conditions. I really like the feel of the plastic. The optimum release point fits perfectly into my wheel house. Very controllable in the woods and great distance and flight pattern for low drives when playing under overhang.
    Z Nuke SS
    (174 gm)
    Takes some technique but once mastered a great anhyzer flight. If I must to go L to R even with the wind, I always consider the throwing the SS.
    ESP Avenger SS
    (174 gm)
    Still my favorite roller disc. I backed down on weight a bit and am working on a flat/cut roller and this disc fits the bill.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Midrange
    Disc Comments
    Z Hornet
    (150 class)
    Wow. The most stable lightweight disc I have ever thrown. Great for getting out of the woods or L to R upshots with a flick of the wrist.
    FLX Drone
    (175 gm)
    The most dependable over stable midrange ever. An absolute necessity in windy conditions.
    Z Buzzz SS
    (177 gm)
    Very straight flier with an extremely predictable finish. Ideal for long approach shots and short drives.
    FLX Buzzz
    (170+ gm)
    Just as advertised: a great midrange driver. It is turning into my bread and butter short straight hole driver. Little end flight action makes it good for narrow fairways where a full driver may dive into the woods. It usually gets lift and glide adding to the distance. Is stable enough for most conditions but also can be turned when necessary in a predicable way.
    ESP Wasp
    (max wt)
    I needed something I was comfortable with for smooth hyzer upshots or medium length drives into the wind. Really a great disc for tweener stability between my Buzz and Drone. It is in the bag for good now.
    ESP Comet
    (max wt)
    I use this for L to R 200-350 ft shots. Kind of a technical throw but a very smooth predictable flight.
    Z Comet
    (max wt)
    Very straight flight. I use this for any 300-350 Ft. shots where a I want a predictable finish. I like this disc for 200 Ft. approach shots as well as it requires little effort for an accurate result.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Putt and Approach
    Disc Comments
    FLX Challenger
    (173 gm)
    Flex Crystal. Still my putter. Like the feel of the plastic and the stability of the flight for into the wind putts.
    X Putt'r
    (max weight)
    This is my get out of trouble sidearm roller disc and I often use it for definitive L to R putts. As a sidearm roller I like its understable attributes as I can depend on it going smoothly R to L at very predictable distances. I have gotten out of more trouble with this disc than any other and have saved many a stroke with this particular 'trick' shot. I have practiced the shot with dozens of other discs and the X Putt'r is the best by far. Best used in lower wind conditions.


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