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Team Discraft's Mike Raley

Mike Raley / Team Discraft NAME: Michael Raley  
HOMETOWN: Ann Arbor, MI
PDGA #: 7846
2013 PDGA RATING: 1002
BORN: 1963
day gig: I plan on getting a job this year. I think...
STARTED IN DISC GOLF: 1989
Disc cred:
  • 2013 Grandmaster World Champion
  • 1996 Pro Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 Discraft Great Lakes Open Champ
  • 2007 PDGA Pro Master Points Champ
  • 2007 SoCal Champion
  • 2001 and 2004 Can Am Champ
  • 1999 Michigan Overall Champ
  • MEMORABLE DISC GOLF MOMENT
    Getting a ace on the first hole of the shootout portion of the Kalamazoo Shootout. It was a Cyclone over the top, in front of about 50 people. No one else in the shootout even deuced the hole.
    Pro Clinic: Forehand Drives
    Spend a few minutes with the most informative forehand driving clinic ever produced.

    Mike joins Mark Ellis to walk you through different forehand grips, styles, shot options and disc selection. Length: 12 minutes.

    Looking for more videos? Take a gander at the Discraft Video page.
    Mike's Disc Golf Tips
    Mechanics for the Non-Athlete
    I was not a great athlete coming into disc golf, so I had to figure out how to do things in a completely mechanical manner. In my opinion you can only control the first line of your drive. Then you are counting on the spin, wind, type of disc, and angle of release to do the other parts of the flight correctly. Always run up on the line you want the disc to start. If you are round in any of your motion, your head has to tell your hand to do something at the last second. An athlete can do that. It has to do with good timing and a strong head game, neither of which I have. A quarter turn is the only way to have a straight pull through. If you turn your shoulders any more than that you end up with something being round. Your elbow cannot lock until the end of your pull. Don't get me wrong: you can throw well with your elbow locking early -- and probably further (to start) -- but as soon as it locks, things start to go round. So as long as you always aim your shoulders to the first part of your line (the outside of your first curve) you should at least get past that first tree.

    The Upside-Down Putter Shot
    When I have a low ceiling and grass that will grab the disc and need it to skip a little when it hits the ground I will throw my Challenger upside down like a regular backhand. There are lots of reasons to do this: 1) It will skip on the top of the disc and the rim won't catch the grass. 2) When upside-down, the disc has no lift. It will drop as soon as it leaves your hand. 3) It becomes the most overstable disc you have in your bag. The more beat the disc is the straighter the skip will be.

    Distance Control
    I feel that one of my strengths is distance control, If you are 30 feet long and 30 feet to one side or the other you end up about 45 feet away. So if you throw the right distance you are only the 30 feet away. I do this by knowing how far my Challenger goes with the wind, against the wind, with a crosswind. Knowing how far a full throw goes, a one step, no shoulder turn, no step. Same thing with my Buzzz's and my Surges (except the no step). So If I am able to throw a straight line at the basket it should end up parked. Like I always say: straight is good and round is bad. That is good advice for all parts of the game.
    COURSES YOU SHOULD PLAY:
    Mike Raley / Team Discraft
    Professional disc golfer Mike Raley has been a contributor to the television show Disc Golf Live.
    Course Comments
    Kensington Toboggan
    Milford, MI
    Great elevation changes.
    Hudson Mills Original
    Ann Arbor, MI
    This is where I learned to play. Lots of different shots.
    La Mirada
    La Mirada, CA
    The long course they set up for the US Masters and the Golden State Classic is an excellent for course management and accuracy skills.
    Riverbends
    Troy, MI
    They have some great holes there and it's one of the oldest courses in the state.
    Kimball Pines
    Battle Creek, MI
    A great new course with a couple of visually stunning holes.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Drivers
    Disc Comments
    ESP NUKE
    (173 - 174)
    This is now my long distance driver. Wide open conditions.
    ESP Surge
    (173 - 174)
    This is my long distance driver. I am carrying two: one new, one a little beat. They go so far.
    ESP Force
    (173 - 174)
    This is my main driver for long open shots that go left at the end.
    Z Talon
    (173 - 174)
    If I go out with just a few discs... this is the one. It is great for my sidearm and throws well with the backhand.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Midrange
    Disc Comments
    Z Buzzz
    (176 - 177)
    I love my Buzzz for anything between 220 and 300 feet. It has the straightest flight I have ever seen. I carry a pretty beat one too that holds a right turn very well.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Putt and Approach
    Disc Comments
    D Challenger
    (173-174)
    I have been putting with these since 2003. A great, straight flight. Handles the wind well, beats up nice.


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