Disc golf is a game of skill, patience, and precision. It can be both incredibly frustrating and exciting—sometimes simultaneously. In order to play the game right, you need the right discs.
Figuring out which discs are appropriate for which scenarios can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t played much before.
Never fear! This article will tell you about the characteristics of disc golf discs, different kinds of discs, and even introduce you to four starter packs.
If you don’t want to go to the store and deal with the hassle of picking up your own discs and the limited selection, you can grab complete sets of discs online.
First lets take a look at the Golf Discs, then we’ll talk about how to choose the best set for you.
- DGA Disc Golf Starter Set
- Innova Champion Disc Golf Set
- Kestrel Disc Golf Pro Set
- Discraft Beginner Disc Golf Set
- Disc Golf Starter Set
Best Disc Golf Discs
Disc Golf Disc Reviews
DGA isn’t as well known as some of the more established companies in Disc Golf like Innova, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a quality product. In fact, I think this is the best disc golf starter set with a bag.
This set is tailored fro beginners and comes with everything you could need to take up this great sport. The DGA starter set comes with three discs (Driver, Mid-Range and Putter), scorecards, a marker disc, pencils, a rulebook, and a bag that holds about eight discs.
The discs are light and easy to throw, which makes them ideal for new players. The additional materials aren’t essential, but it gives you everything you need to get started.
- Holistic set of disc golf materials
- Costs about the same as the Innova set
These discs are made with a really durable plastic (Champion), so you don’t have to worry too much about damaging them, should they sail into the occasional tree or rock.
Innova’s reputation as a superb maker of discs really speaks for itself. It’s also worth noting that this set is not just recommended by me, it has an outstanding approval rating on Amazon. These are the best disc golf discs for beginners.
- Highly-rated discs
- Inexpensive considering the quality
- Very durable plastic
- Highly accurate
This set is a bit more advanced than the previous one. It comes with three discs—a driver, midrange and putter—and a bag to carry them in.
Each disc weighs 172 grams. Each disc is made from flexible plastic that gives it bend and the ability to stay in the air for long distances. Kestrel’s discs are comparable to Innova or Discraft Elite Z, but are less expensive. The Kestrel is one of the better disc golf sets with a bag.
- Moderate level discs
- Affordable price
- Discs are somewhat heavier, making this set better for an experienced player
This is a great set for those new to the sport. It comes with a driver, midrange, and putter, all PDGA approved. Happily, it comes at a low price—again, perfect for someone who’s getting their feet wet with disc golf and might not want to make a sizeable financial commitment.
Notably, this set comes with a Buzzz midrange disc, which is consistently rated among the best midrange discs in the game.
- Good for any skill level
- Discs are light and well suited to beginners
- Comes with a highly regarded disc that is extremely versatile
The Driven Disc Golf set has quite a few options for you to choose from. You can just buy the basic set with a Driver, Mid-range and Putter. However if you think you are going to like getting out on the course, you will be better off getting a more advanced set of discs.
The bigger set comes with 8 discs:
- Beast (wide-rimmed distance driver)
- Valkyrie (distance driver)
- Leopard (fairway driver)
- TeeBird (fairway driver)
- Shark (multi-purpose disc)
- Stingray (mid-range disc)
- Roc (mid-range driver)
- Rhyno (putter)
Plus it comes with a Disc Gold bag and a mini disc marker. This package has everything you will need for quite some time. Only after you get really good you would you need to consider upgrading the discs or the bag. The discs have been designed with the beginner in mind and are balanced to be easy to throw while sacrificing some distance.
But it’s a good trade off, what good is distance if you are in the woods or water all the time? Better to have more accuracy so you don’t get discouraged and are able to enjoy a round of golf.
How To Choose A Disc Golf Disc
There are several things you’ll want to pay attention to when you’re stocking up on discs. Remember that disc golf is a game of strategy: There’s a time and a place for different qualities throughout a game. You don’t want to just fill your bag with the fastest discs available; you need to be able to adjust to the situation, and that requires specialized tools.
Disc golf disc ratings are the shorthand way of knowing what you’re throwing, so to speak. There are three main systems of disc ratings: the Four-number rating system, the Virbam system, and the Discraft system. The first is used by many reputable and prolific manufacturers, and is by far the most common.
There are four components of the Four-number system are speed, turn, fade and glide, all of which I’ll get into in a bit. One important thing to be aware of is that while different companies may use the same system to rate their discs, not all companies rate on the same scale. In other words, a 10 from Innova isn’t the same as a 10 from Westside.
The first number in the Four-number system corresponds to speed. Speed is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, with 14 being the highest. You might be tempted to believe that the speed value of a disc tells you how fast it will go, but that’s not true. What it does tell you is how fast you need to throw the disc for the other numbers to accurately describe the disc’s flight. Confusing, I know.
Unlike speed, glide is a pretty straightforward concept. The higher the number, the longer a disc will stay in the air. Discs are given glide ratings of one through seven.
If you’ve never picked up a disc golf disc before, one thing you’ll be surprised to note is how different they are to throw than regular Frisbees.
Unlike regular Frisbees, discs are naturally inclined to break to one side or the other. This depends both on the manufacturing of the disk and the technique of the thrower. If you throw right handed and backhanded, the disc will break left. Right handed and forehand: it will break right. The opposite is true for left handed players.
Turn ratings are given on a scale from 3 to -3. A rating of 3 means that the disc will break to the left early in a throw if thrown from a right handed backhand. A rating of -3 means it will be the most likely to “turn over,” which sort of means going vertical, under the same conditions. Discs that have a propensity to turn over are sometimes called rollers, a nod to their tendency to roll after striking the ground. Ratings are always given with an understanding that right hand backhand is the normal throw.
If turn is what happens at the beginning of a throw, fade is what happens at the end. Disc golf discs have a tendency to curve to the left at the end of their flight path (assuming we’re talking about a right hand backhand throw!). Fade is a measure of their propensity to do so.
Fade is rated from 0 to 5. A disc with a fade rating of 0 will finish the straightest, while a disc with a fade rating of 5 will be the most likely to hook.
Discs weigh between 150 and 180 grams. While the heavier discs might feel more natural or intuitive, beginners should really steer clear of them. The heavier a disc, the more difficult it is to control.
For more experienced players, heavy discs are useful for fighting wind resistance and increasing velocity.
Discs are made out of plastic—but not all plastics are created equal! Different plastics have different levels of durability, flexibility and stability. The level of durability effects how the disc changes over extended periods of use. For that reason, the same discs made from different plastics will eventually throw quite differently. Plastic also affects the grip of a disk.
Types of Discs
All right, you know what you’re looking for in a disc. Now you just need to hit the store, grab a few discs, and you’re on your way—right?
Well, not exactly. Just like regular golf has a variety of clubs, different disc golf discs are suited to different tasks. Let’s talk a little more about what to expect from each of the four main types of discs.
First, there’s the driver. Just as in golf, the point of the drive is to cover a maximum amount of distance. To accomplish that, drivers need to be quicker than other discs. In order to get extra speed, drivers are made with beveled edges that cut through air resistance. Most of their weight is distributed around the circumference of the disc.
Here is an excellent demonstration on how to throw a driver disc:
The qualities that make a good driver really depend on the skill level of the player. If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re probably not an expert.
The thing is, throwing drivers can be really difficult for beginners (to be honest, mine don’t always go where I want them to…). Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth having one or more in your arsenal; you just want to be sure you can play effectively with it. The way you do that is by making sure you opt for a disc that will be naturally inclined to maintain a straight flight path, rather than curve to one side. You should probably also opt for a driver on the lighter side—towards the 150 gram side of things.
Fairway drivers are sort of a middle ground between drivers and mid-range discs. They’re easier to control than distance drivers. In fact, newer players will often choose to forgo distance drivers in favor of fairway drivers. They aren’t just stand-ins for distance drivers though; they provide accuracy in placement and approach situations.
Since you’ll probably end up using your fairway driver over long distances, you should make sure to get one with a low fade rating—at least, that’s my opinion. Over long flights disks have plenty of time to fade and end up quite far from where you intended to throw them.
If you’re more experienced, however, you might be able to strategically use fade to your advantage.
Another note: you should get a fairway driver made out of a durable plastic. That way it won’t change its flight pattern after the first tree you inevitably throw it into—yes, you will hit plenty of trees.
Techniques on the mid-range approach:
While putters and drivers are really only suited to short and long distances, respectively, midrange discs are all about versatility. They offer accuracy and can cover a decent amount of distance. On short courses, they can even be used in place of drivers.
Beginners should look for midrange discs with neutral to negative turn ratings (sometimes this is referred to as stability). Stability is measured on a scale from 3 to -3, with a rating of 3 meaning that the disc will break hardest to the left if thrown from a right-handed backhand. Ratings between zero and three are referred to as “overstable.” Ratings between zero and negative three are called “understable.”
However, understable midrange discs can be difficult to drive with, so if you’re only going to buy one you’ll have to weigh those competing priorities against each other.
Maybe the most important part of golf: Putting
To hear many people tell it, putting is the hardest part of the game. Personally, I think that honor belongs to teeing off. But putting is certainly the most precision-intensive aspect of disc golf.
Given the importance of accuracy in putting, the most important qualities in a putter are those that allow you to throw it with certainty. The first thing you want to see in a putter is overstability. Overstable discs fly predictably and cut through wind resistance the best, making them the easiest to throw straight.
Next, you want to be sure that your putter has a low fade. This is especially important for accuracy in longer puts.
The last thing you want to watch out for in a putter is the type of plastic it’s made of. This is a more important feature in a putter than any other type of disc because putters have to collide with metal chains and baskets. An overly rigid putter will be more likely to bounce off metal.
A flexible putter, however, will be more likely to drop into the basket. Plastic is also important because it determines the grip of the disc. For a combination of grip and flexibility, try RPro plastic by Innova.
Well, that about does it for this article. Hopefully you learned something about what to look for in a disc and how and when to use them.
Have fun out there!