I take pictures for the disc golf magazine Disc Golf World and just recently switched from a Canon G5 to a Canon 20D. I used to take pictures for the magazine with a film SLR but found I could get the same results with the G5 but without all the costs of processing. The biggest reason for the switch to the 20D was to get 5 fps and for a better tool for my photography hobby pursuits.
Enough with the background, here is my question. I have attended a couple of tournaments to practice with the 20D. I have mostly shot the action in sports mode. While some shots have come out good some have not focused on the subject. I usually setup on the edge of the fairway or in the rough somewhere in front of the player and pan slightly with their run up and throw. Most players use a 3 to 5 step approach and they are throwing 300 to 450 feet most of the time. At the release point their arms are going about the same speed as a baseball pitcher. My tendency is to start with the player in the far left or right side of the frame and take continuous photos from the time that they start their runnup until they release. By giving more frame to the front of the player I am more likely to have the disc released but still in frame in one of the pictues. However, this usually results in the camera focusing on the background and not the player. Can anyone suggest a different mode or method? I'll post a couple of pictures from home this evening if that would help.