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Choosing Your First Discs – What To Consider

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Disc golf is a pretty straightforward sport that anyone can play. But the more you learn about the sport, the more you understand how complex it can be. One component of the sport is the disc players use. As a beginner, it’s quite daunting to pick your first disc or set of discs.

Getting the appropriate advice is essential when purchasing your first disc. A few elements go into disc selection, which we shall explore in this article. We’ll also break down each factor and give you an idea of what suits you better.

Type Of Discs

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There are four main types of discs for disc golf: fairway drivers, distance drivers, mid-range discs, and putters. These four are utilized for different kinds of strokes under different situations.

1. Distance Drivers

Distance drivers have the highest travel potential. However, they require speed to sustain their desired flight characteristics. These discs feature sharper noses and wider rims, making them unsuitable for newer, younger, or players with slower arm speeds.

2. Fairway/Control Drivers

Fairway or control drivers travel slower than distance drivers. On average, fairway drivers have smaller rims, can fly straighter, are steadier, and are effortless to control. Although they have lower distance potential, they are good for tighter lines.

3. Mid-range

Mid-ranges are a fantastic choice as your beginner disc as they have straighter flights than distance and fairway drivers. Plus, if thrown poorly, mid-ranges will not vary from their expected flight path as much as other disc types.

Mid-range discs fly at a slower speed and have rounded less sleek edges. They have smaller, more comfortable rims for most people’s palms and often have deeper inner rims.

4. Putters

Putters have the slowest, deepest, and thinnest rims. They are easy to use and meant to fly in straight lines across shorter distances.

Some disc golfers use putters for precise upshots and placement drives. They’ll whip out a putter when they’re within 100-150 feet. Putters also grab the chains way better than the other three types and allow less ground play.

Flight Rating

Flight ratings of disc golf discs are difficult to understand, especially for newbies. But new players will quickly get the hang of distinguishing the ratings right for them.

Innova Discs was the first manufacturer to add the flight ratings of a disc. They are a succession of four numbers that describe what makes one disc model differ from another. It includes glide, speed, turn, and fade. They exist to assist disc golfers in understanding what each disc is supposed to do in the air. Players read the rating from left to right; the elements are written as follows: speed, glide, turn, and fade.

1. Glide

Glide is a disc’s capability to stay in the air. Those with higher glide values will have a higher distance traveled than those with lower ones. Glide ratings range from 1 to 7, with discs with a glide rating of 7 retaining loft longer. Newbies should go for 3 or higher. This will ensure that you’ll have that extra distance on your throws.

2. Speed

Speed is the amount of force required to toss the disc for it to fly properly. The numbers 1 to 14 represent speed. A fast disc is probably between 12 and 14. As you progress down, the disc’s speed lowers. A disc with only a single-digit speed requires very little effort and speed to perform successfully after being thrown.

As a beginner, you should go for discs with 7 or lower. But others suggest that you shouldn’t go any more than 5.

3. Turn

When people refer to “understability” vs. “overstability,” they’re talking about a disc’s turn. The turn ratings will be from -5 to 1. A disc with a -5 turn rating is the most understable or with many turns. In contrast, a disc with a 0 or 1 turn rating is exceptionally overstable or minimal or low turn. Go for -1 or greater if you’re new to disc golf.

4. Fade

The fade is the inverse of the turn rating and shows the disc’s low-speed stability. That is the amount it wishes to fade out left at the end of a right-handed backhand (RHBH) throw.

A disc with a fade rating of 4 will be quite stable at the end. The less strength you have, the more stable your throws will be. Overstable discs are normally not recommended for novices since they are more difficult to get a full flight out of. Beginners should go for discs with as little fade as possible. Pick a disc with 0 or 1 fade.


Besides the type and flight rating, you also need to choose what type of plastic you want for your first disc golf disc. Usually, all disc models have at least two different plastic kinds. The kind of plastic affects how the discs fly, particularly as they are worn out. Plus, the grip feel differs depending on the plastic, which affects players when they release the disc.

While different manufacturers have hundreds of different plastics, the major players use surprisingly similar plastic compositions. Here are some examples:

  • Basic – low-quality plastic provides a strong grip, but the discs wear out rapidly.
  • Middle Grade – more robust than basic grade plastic.
  • Ultra-Light – lighter weight discs provide additional distance, particularly for beginner players.
  • Ultra-Durable – has a smooth texture and is clear and extremely tough. These discs can withstand bumpy courses and generally maintain constant flight patterns.
  • Premium – expensive and top-grade plastic that offers optimal performance.


Disc golf discs are available in a variety of weights. Choosing the appropriate weight for your level of experience and arm speed will allow you to perform better. 

The majority of discs weigh between 165 and 175 grams. But many mid-range discs have a little larger diameter and are hence PDGA-approved to weigh up to 180 grams. On the other hand, there are ultralight discs that can weigh as little as 120 grams.

A lighter one will fly farther than a heavier one, even if it’s the same model. At the same time, lighter discs are more vulnerable to wind. Newer players can learn the game using lighter weights.


Even though there is a lot to learn, studying how to play disc golf is not particularly difficult. With just a disc or two, getting started is quite simple. Hopefully, you now feel more confident while searching for the right discs and choosing which disc golf disc to buy!

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