Buying Guide Disc Golf
Discover Disc Golf; This is what it’s all about. Written by Hans Krens, CEO Frisbeewinkel
Disc Golf has a broad variety of frisbees to choose from. In principle, however, you only need one frisbee to discover the game. It’s nice to have more options though, especially when you know you are going to play more often. The question is: what do you need for playing disc golf? The honest answer: it depends on what you’re looking for. Below I explain what I mean. With that infor you can decide for yourself what suits you best:
Playing Disc Golf with 1 disc: a good idea!
Some people recommend light weight discs to start with. Be aware that you can quickly grow out of light weight frisbees and will be left with wanting something heavier. The reason for this is the development of your muscle power and throwing form when you get better. When your arm develops, you will start to overpower light weight discs. This will result in the frisbee being forced over, meaning that it will bend to the right when you throw a right handed backhand (RHBH). This type of overpowered throw that curves towards the right (‘hyzer flip’) can become your throwing style, but it is difficult to control and can sometimes sneak up on you when you don’t want it: instead of throwing straight or bending to the left like you intended, your disc suddenly curves to the right. This is the reason why we don’t recommend choosing light weight discs, unless you have a specific reason to do so.
Generally, the rule is: if you are a sporty, male adult, go for maximum weight discs. If you are a sporty, female adult, take 170 grams discs. Are you physically not that fit, are you of age or quite young and do you not intend to play disc golf when it’s windy anyway? Then go for lighter weight discs. One advantage of light weight discs is their ability to sometimes float on water. The Dragon is a famous example, but also the Wahoo or the champion Blizzard discs under 150 grams are know for this feat.
When you gain experience, your preference in discs tends to shift towards discs with more fade (discs that curve left in their flight), discs with a higher speed and discs that are heavier. Hence our advice not to start with light weight discs: they can quickly fall out of favor. Starting with discs that are too heavy or too difficult to control is also not ideal, because it might ruin your fun of playing: yet another reason why I don’t recommend beginners to buy many discs at once. Try a limited amount of discs and find out what is comfortable for you.
Buying more frisbees?
Buying more frisbees or not depends on your budget and your fanaticism for the game. Do you want to take it seriously and play regularly? Then a set of 3 or 5 discs is a good choice. To make things more easy, I’ve created sets of 3 or 5 frisbees available for purchase on the website.
Which frisbee is the best?
Because there is such a large variety of disc golf frisbees to choose from, it’s easy to make the mistake of wanting the best one. The “best frisbee” does, however, not exist. When you are new to the game, you can use any frisbee to learn how to throw. I recommend the following guidelines in order to prevent you from picking discs that are too difficult for beginners:
- Do not take a frisbee with a higher fade than 2 (on each disc there are four numbers that represent the flight characteristics, fade is represented by the last number of the four). For putters and midranges I even recommend going for a fade of 0: with such a “neutral” midrange you can learn how to throw different types of shots, suitable for both forehand and backhand. When you improve your disc golf skills, you can switch to more overstable discs (discs that naturally want to turn left in their flight when thrown on a right handed backhand).
- Do not take a frisbee with a higher speed than 6 or 7 (speed is represented by the first number of the four numbers on your disc). This is more a rule of thumb than a hard truth, because this does not apply for frisbees with a light weight, like for example the 150 grams starlite or champion Blizzard.
- Try to limit the number of types of discs in your bag. It is better to buy some extra putters of a kind you already have than to get different types of putters. That way you can practice your putting properly without deviations.
A putter must feel good in your hand. When you’re starting disc golf, you don’t know the difference yet, so each simple shape will do. Try to stay away from putters with a fade of 2 or higher. Putters with flight characteristics 2, 3, 0, 1 are recommended. If you don’t have much power in your arm, go for flight characteristics ending with 0,0 (x, x, 0, 0 – making for a stable flight).
Midranges are discs with speed 4 or 5, although nowadays there are hybrid discs with speed 6 that could be called midranges as well. There are midranges with a diameter of 21,2 centimeter, but the most well known midranges have a diameter of 21,8 centimeter.
If you want to get just one midrange, either go for a disc with a fade of 2 (always hooks up to the left at the end of its flight for a player with a right handed backhand), or choose a disc with a fade of 0 to be able to throw both straight and curved shots. For beginners, I also recommend a midrange with a high glide number: 5 or 6.
Fairway drivers have a speed of 6, 7 or 8. In the beginning it is easier to throw fairway drivers with a light weight or a high turn (turn is the third number on your disc, a high turn is a number below zero). Be careful with this however, because the easy way is not always the best way. As soon as you gain some experience, a light weight disc can start to annoy you in windy circumstances. A light disc with a high turn will then also flip and curve to the right (for a right handed backhand throw). Discs that are thrown comfortably in the beginning, you might grow out of. I rather recommend investing in a fairway driver with flight characteristics like 6, 5, -2, 1 or 8, 6, -2, 1: not too much turn, not too much fade.
Tip regarding throwing technique: keep the disc flat and low! If you throw your disc too high, you will lose some distance. Do you often find yourself throwing high? Try and let go of the disc earlier and swing through it, pointing at the disc in the air with your other arm. That way you don’t throw from power, but mostly from the rotation of your body. Less power in your throw often results in better technique and more distance.
Only if you have developed your throwing technique, you will gain more distance from a distance driver. As a beginner, you don’t benefit from a distance driver in your bag. It only makes for more deviation in your game: releasing it at the wrong time, in the wrong direction, leading to more of your frisbees lost in the bushes or water. My advice is to refrain from buying distance drivers as a beginner. If you choose to do so anyway, go for light weight and try to throw them flat and tight.
You will develop your own preferences over time: hyzer flips, rollers, annhyzers, backhand / forehand, hyzer bombs, etcetera. Would you like personal advice on your disc choices?