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How Many Discs Do You Need To Play Disc Golf?

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If you are interested in the sport of disc golf, the first thing I would recommend is getting to your local disc golf course and trying it out. Ask your friends to see if anyone plays disc golf and head to the course with them.

If you don’t have any friends that play, you’ll need to provide your own discs. But don’t worry, one of the great things about this sport is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. With that said, you might be wondering how many discs you’ll need before you can play.

If you poll a bunch of disc golfers to see how many discs you need, you might get a lot of different answers. Some might say you need 3 discs before you can play and others might say more or even less.

With so many different thoughts on the matter, it might be hard to know how many discs are really needed. In a debate like this, who is really right? How many discs do you really need? That’s what we’re here to answer.

If you are new to disc golf and want to get started playing this great game, all you need is one disc. That’s right, only one piece of plastic is needed to play.

Can you really play disc golf with just one disc?

Yes, it is possible to play this game with only one disc. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a modern disc golf disc. If you are just starting out and don’t want to spend any coin to try it, you could use a frisbee.

After all, this is how it all got started and some people still play disc golf with a frisbee to this day. That’s where the term frisbee golf or frolf comes from.

If you are willing to spend some money, I recommend getting a putter or midrange to play a one disc round. Both types of discs are slow and accurate which makes them both suited for a beginner.

And while you can get some distance with both putters and midranges, they also work well inside the circle. As a novice disc golfer, your arm speed hasn’t developed yet so trying to use a driver doesn’t make a lot of sense anyway.

I’m new to this, can you talk more about the different types of discs?

If you didn’t already know there are four types of disc golf discs: putters, midranges, fairway drivers and distances drivers.


These discs are designed to fly shorter distances and are considered the most accurate discs. Putters are the slowest discs available and are designed to fly straight. Putters tend to have the smallest rims of any discs.  


Midrange discs (sometimes referred to as midranges or midrange drivers) are faster than putters and designed to fly farther distances. They are highly accurate but less so than putters. Their rims tend to be thicker than a putter but thinner than a driver.

Fairway Drivers

Fairway Drivers (sometimes called control drivers) are designed for distances farther than a midrange disc but shorter than a distance driver. . These discs are easier to control than a distance driver and are considered more accurate.

Distance Drivers

These discs are made to be thrown far. Distances drivers have the greatest potential for flying the farthest out of any type of disc but also require the most speed to be thrown. These discs also have really wide rims and can be difficult to control.

If I only need one disc, why do most players carry a lot more?

While it’s true you only really need one disc to play disc golf, most players carry multiple discs because each disc is designed to do one or a couple of things really well. Another way to say that is most discs aren’t well rounded. They are desgined to fly a specific distance at a specific speed.

For instance, most putters are really designed to be thrown short distances and tend to fly pretty straight. For newer players, it might make sense to throw a putter because they can’t throw a disc very fast and they haven’t developed their aim or its easier to line up their shots if they know the disc will fly straight.

With that said, not every shot is going to be short and straight. Every course is different and players will see many various situations while playing. One shot may need to carry to the left while another may need to be straight and then finish right.

For these reasons, most players carry different discs for different situations. You might carry two putters that you only putt with and then another that you like to approach or drive with.

Some players may even carry more putters they like to throw with. Some might be overstable or understandable so they are easier to hyzer or turnover. One putter may have more glide so it carries farther while another might have more fade so it’s going to finish to the left.

The same thing can be said for midrange and driver discs. Disc golfers might carry a lot of different molds, some that are stable, overstable and understable. This allows them to be used for different shots and throwing styles.

Another route that a lot of players take, is carrying the same mold but in different states of wear. They may really like a few specific discs a lot so they carry 3 or 4 of each of them. This allows them to throw the disc they like while still being able to achieve different flight paths.      

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to try out the game of disc golf, I hope this article was helpful in answering how many discs you’ll need. While a lot of disc golfers will probably tell you, you’ll need a bunch of discs to enjoy the game, you really only need one to get started.

Using just a putter or midrange as a new player for a few rounds or even a few months is a great way to start playing. Once you get used to the disc and get better at disc golf, you can begin to add more discs to your bag.    

For recommendations on great discs for beginners, check out these articles:

Best Putters for Beginners

Best Midranges for Beginners

Best Drivers for Beginners

Flickr Image Creative Commons Credit – MarkScottAustinTX

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