A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Disc Golf Discs
Disc golf discs are available in limitless variations of weight, plastic, color, and design. No matter if you are new to the sport, looking for gift ideas, or just doing general research, our website will give you all the information needed to decide which discs are the best for you.
Here you can learn about everything from the classic discs to the latest offerings from the biggest & best disc manufacturers. Once you’ve chosen the discs that interest you most, add them to your cart and they can be in your bag in hours!! All of our reviews are written by experienced disc golfers so they know exactly what a disc will do.
DISC TYPES AND USES
Disc golf discs fall into four primary categories: distance drivers, fairway drivers, midrangediscs, and putters.
Discs are not used interchangeably – they are designed to behave a certain way /fit into one of these four groups classified by their speed, or how fast they fly through the air.
• Putters are best for floating in the air and catching the chains.
• Midrange discs sort of fall in between and offer more distance than putters, while utilizing more control than drivers.
. Fairway Driver used for straighter shots that midranges can't get to. Discs designed for control, not max distance.
• Distance Driver are meant for longer distances and for moving from one side to the other in flight.
Disc golf discs vary in weight, typically between 150 and 175 grams. In exception to this standard are discs made from special plastic blends made to be weigh less, and midrange discs that usually have wider diameters. An aspiring competitive player should note that the PDGA designates the maximum weight for a disc based on its diameter. (The approved weight for each individual disc can be found at PDGA Technical Standards.) In sanctioned PDGA tournament play, most drivers and putters are limited to 175 grams.
Heavy discs are generally used for more controlled shots. Putts when thrown with a heavy putter are less likely to be affected by the wind and are often preferred. Mid-range and approach shots are often favored as heavy discs as well due to not needing distance, but want excellent control.
On our site, you can search for discs of specific weights or find the molds you want and sort those by weight.
In addition to the primary plastic blends, there are still more varieties offered, such as ultra-soft putters and discs made of rubber. There are ‘over-mold’ discs that combine two plastics with one on the outer rim and a different one in the inner core. Overmold discs are made by Innova and include a mid-range and a putter at the moment. MVP/Axiom also offer the overmold discs as well.
Bright colors are commonly used for disc golf discs. Most players have an easier time finding brighter colored discs when playing grassy, open courses. However, it’s always advisable to have discs of different colors so you can adapt for terrain as needed, from rocky terrain to snow. Players with color blindness find that blue discs seem to show up easily for them. Some players like to have a bag of all one color, it's really up to you whatever you think looks coolest and works for you.
Please note that there may be subtle color differences depending on the device you’re viewing, discs color may look different. We strive to represent each disc precisely as it appears in our photo studio. Each disc of ours is handled with care by team members from when it comes out of the boxes, through receiving process, to the rack, until we mail it to you. If you are ever unsatisfied with one of our discs or appearance, please contact us.
SDG’s advanced search options allow you choose how the discs offered are sorted. Look through the ‘color’ section to find dyed discs, including tie-dyed, I-Dye, and other colors. There is an amazing variety of colors, we have taken a picture of each disc so you can choose exactly the color and style you want. Whether you prefer a solid one or two colors, or a tie-dye pattern. The biggest disc manufacturers will often have a wide array of these colorful discs and we've sorted and photographed them for you.
A player gearing up for a night round will no doubt have several of these in their bag. Just be sure to ‘charge’ them up with plenty of light before heading out. If they’re not charged, best practice is to shine a flash light on them just prior to throwing. Glow in the dark discs is just as useful during day rounds, and it's a great way to charge them up for the night.
Float in Water:
Many players rely on a floating disc for water hazards. The wisest players will also consider the type of water and the course layout. For example, it could be risky to throw one of these discs near a fast-moving stream that could carry it out of reach. These discs tend to be lighter and more susceptible to wind, great for new players and folks who don't want to lose their disc with a risky shot.
If a disc is beaded, it has a small bump or ‘bead’ on the bottom rim. These discs are primarily putters and sometimes mid ranges. Beads give players that use them added confidence in their putting accuracy, as they tend to maintain their flight patterns longer after time. You can also use this as a sort category in our advanced search. A beaded disc will be more overstable than a disc without a bead.
Innova created a system of flight ratings to help consumers learn how discs fly relative to other discs, and many disc manufacturers have adopted this rating system. Even for those that haven’t, there are a set of numbers that can help guide a buyer in comparing discs from multiple manufacturers. The Innova flight rating system describes the flight path in four categories, using the following order: Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade. This is commonly referred to as the 4 number flight rating system.
Speed & Glide | DISTANCE
The first number is the speed of the disc. It can range from 1-14. Putters are rated 1-3 and are designed to function at low speeds any player can use. Mid range discs are 4-5 and require more speed when thrown to achieve their desired results. A fairway driver will be speed 6-8, these discs fly mostly straight. Discs that are speed 9 and above are classified as distance drivers. Throwing a distance driver takes a significant amount of power to get up to speed, players are rewarded with additional distance if they learn to control these discs.
New players are cautioned that speed does not equal distance. Due to the difficulty of controlling higher speed discs, a beginner could find that a light weight disc with a speed of 6 or 7 could fly farther for them than a max distance driver with a speed of 13. In fact, most new players should learn by throwing putters only so they can develop the proper form. After a few weeks they'll begin to get reliable results and are ready
This second rating is numbered 1 – 6. Glide describes a disc’s ability to remain in flight. Discs with higher glide ratings will fly further than discs rated lower in this category. A high glide rating is good when the goal is distance, but can have the wrong effect for putts and approach shots. Sometimes overshooting the basket can be worse than not making it far enough. Low glide ratings such as 1 or 2 are popular with upshot putters because they don't fly for distance but for a little extra control.
Glide is different for different kinds of discs as well. A putter with a glide of 4 will stay airborne much longer than distance drivers with a glide of 4.
Turn & Fade | Stability
Disc manufacturers Innova, Discmania, and Discraft all measure a disc’s stability in their ‘turn’ and ‘fade’ ratings. Stability rates a disc’s capacity for straight flight. Discs that turn right are called ‘understable;’ discs that fly mostly straight with a slight gradual fade left are ‘stable;’ and discs that quickly fade left are ‘overstable.’This applies to Right-handed backhand throws. If you throw a Left-handed throw then understable would turn left for you and overstable would fly to the right. Our site also has discs classified as ‘very overstable’ with the highest fade ratings – these will have the most distinct fade left.
For a righthanded backhand thrower, most golf discs have the tendency to curve left. Discs will behave more or less stable depending on the power of the throw. Newer players should note that until throwing speed is refined, even discs classified as ‘understable’ will usually behave in an ‘overstable’ or at least stable way. The ratings are given when a disc is released flat and at the speed printed on the disc. Putters are often less stable when thrown at high speeds. And when a disc is released on a different angle it can do all sorts of different things.
One way to determine if a disc is going to be overstable or understable before you use it is to add the last 2 numbers (turn and fade) together. If the result is a positive number the disc may be stable or overstable. If the resulting number is 0 or 1 it's stable. If it's 2-5 then the disc is likely to be overstable when thrown flat. If the combined numbers create a negative number, then the disc will be understable.
The term ‘stable’ is used among many disc golfers; referring to overstability, or a disc’s ability to resist high speed turn. If you hear a disc golfer describe a disc as ‘really stable,’ what is really meant is that the disc is very overstable. You'll figure out which discs feel stable after a throw or two, and be able to tell when one is understable as well.
Third in the flight rating system is turn. Turn is rated from 1 to -5, with -5 being the most understable. The lower the number, the more striking turn will result. A newer, slower-throwing disc golfer using an understable disc with a ‘high’ negative turn rating will enjoy great distance, as the disc isn’t going to fade as quickly. Also, players whose farthest throw is 200 feet or less probably won’t notice any turn in the flightpath. Once a player gets more speed and power, they will see their understable discs start turning to the right at the beginning of the flight before fading to the left at the end. Discs rated -4 or -5 are popularly used for rollover or roller throws by experienced players. Some discs have 0 turn which means that they'll start to fade when they run out of speed during the flight and at no point will they turn. It's important to carry at least one disc with a high turn rating in your bag for rounds.
This last rating category ranges from 0 to 5; with a disc rated 0 being the straightest finishing, while a disc rated 5 fading the most during the last portion of the flight. Even discs rated lowest in turn will still ‘fade’ as the disc slows at the end of the flight. A disc with a higher fade rating is useful for a hole with a dogleg. Straight finishing discs are great for control, discs with little fade are normal. If you're a Right-hand backhand thrower you'll find that almost every disc wants to fade to the left at the end of your flight. Discs with a 4 or 5 fade rating are excellent in heavy winds. They sacrifice a little of the distance but make sure that the disc won't do anything unexpected. Discs with a low fade are more susceptible to being affected by the wind.