Clean curves and solid construction allow for accurate shots in all types of weather conditions. Offers soft landings that will hit the target neatly. Simple to use for all skill levels.
Colors may not be the same ones shown in the picture.
Textured edge makes for an easy grip and consistent flights. Travels through long distances with minimal fading. Professional disc golfers can take advantage of its features. Available in blue, gray, purple, and red.
Not as strong as other models on this list.
Durable plastic retains its original quality throughout practice and games. Vibrant colors will stand out in various lighting, making it to easy to see. Choose between green, yellow, or white based on preference.
May not hold up well in windier or harsher conditions.
Thick construction prevents fading. Excellent for straight shots through its consistent performance. Designed from thick proton plastic for lasting through many rounds of disc golf.
Not the best choice for the most complicated shots.
Choose between multiple weights based on personal needs. Offers a high speed that regular players will enjoy. Travels long distances that stay accurate to the player's aim.
Some reports of the disc fading too quickly.
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A good disc golf driver can make or break your game, and having the right drivers for different situations gives you the flexibility you need on the course. Choosing the perfect disc means considering your skill level, strength, and even the types of courses you play regularly.
Fortunately, drivers don’t vary significantly in price, so choosing the right disc comes down to your needs as a player. Distance drivers are made to be thrown off the tee pad to get as close to the basket as possible, while fairway drivers can be used on short holes or the fairway itself. Most discs list their flight numbers, which tell you how far the disc should fly, what direction it will turn, and how hard it will fade at the end of its flight.
Whether you’re choosing your first disc golf driver or you already have a dozen, a good buying guide and list of recommendations can help you find the best disc to throw off the tee pad.
Almost every hole you play in disc golf begins with a drive, and that first throw sets the tone for the rest of the hole. Consider what drivers you already own and whether you’re looking for a fairway driver or a distance driver when picking out your disc.
If you’re new to the sport and looking for your first driver, there are many reliable fairway drivers that will serve you well on a variety of holes.
If you already have a few drivers, you should consider a disc that offers something new to your bag. This could mean an understable or overstable disc or a reliable straight flier for wooded shots. It can be tempting to find a disc style that you’re comfortable with and fill your bag with nearly identical discs, but finding drivers that mix up your bag composition helps to expand your options on the course.
These are the big discs that can reach the greatest possible distance if you have the strength and form to throw them properly. Distance drivers are identifiable by their high speed rating, which means that you need to throw them harder to achieve their expected flight path.
Distance drivers are made to sail far but not always straight. This means they perform best off the tee pad when there are fewer immediate obstacles and the path ahead is fairly wide. Throwing a driver on the fairway could also mean overshooting the basket. Beginners should postpone using distance drivers until they can throw their lower-speed drivers to their maximum potential.
Also known as control drivers, these discs are noted for their reliability and precision and work well in the hands of beginners and experts alike. Because they are lower-speed discs, it takes less strength to reach their maximum distance and ideal flight path.
Don’t let their low speed trick you into thinking you’ll outgrow these discs. They excel on wooded fairways and can be your key to parking your disc right under the basket. Fairway drivers have a place in everyone’s bag.
The flight number rating system, which you can find online, is an easy way to get an idea of how a disc will fly when thrown at its appropriate speed. There are four numbers in a row, usually stamped on the front of the disc, that tell you everything about a disc’s flight from start to finish.
Speed is the first number and indicates how hard a disc must be thrown to achieve its intended flight and how fast the disc can fly. For drivers, speeds usually start at 7 and max out at 14. Beginners should avoid high-speed drivers because they might not be able to throw the discs at their intended power level.
Glide is the second number and indicates how long a disc will generally remain in the air. Beginners should consider discs with a high glide rating. Low glide is useful for more cautious, predictable shots in windy weather.
Turn is the third number and indicates how easily a disc will turn over, bending against a normal flight path at the start of its flight. For a right-handed player throwing backhand, a normal flight path curves to the right. When a disc turns over, it first bends to the left before curving to the right if the throw is long enough. Discs with negative turn ratings (down to -5) are more likely to turn over and achieve that satisfying S-curve throw.
Fade is the fourth number and indicates how much a disc will bend at the end of its flight. For a right-handed backhand throw, a disc with high fade bends to the right. Sometimes you want a disc with a fade of 0 for a predictably straight path, but a high fade rating of 5 can help you hook the disc around obstacles.
Once you know what model drive is right for you, there are some fun decisions to make about the design and feel of your disc.
A driver is the disc you’re most likely to send into the brush, so choosing a high-visibility color is key. For most people, orange, yellow, and red stand out well against foliage. If you’re colorblind, consider a blue, pink, or white disc.
If you want to get really into your color choice, pick a color that isn’t already in your bag for a rainbow effect, or you can consider color-coding your discs so you can easily tell your drivers from your mid-range discs and putters.
Some drivers have a shiny stamp — the brand and name of the disc — that catches the sun and makes it easy to spot your disc quickly. This is often a better choice than a single-color stamp for visibility purposes.
Though discs are generally made of polypropylene, most disc golf companies have a few types of plastic to choose from. Each company’s plastics are unique, so you might have to do some research to determine which material you want in your drivers. Most companies offer each of their discs in different plastics.
Hard plastics are generally smoother and more durable, making for longer flights and a longer lifespan of the disc, but they can be slippery.
Soft and grippy plastics make it easy to keep a firm hold on the disc as you throw. However, they tend to be slightly slower and might not skip as far when they hit the ground. In addition, softer plastics are less durable and can wear fairly quickly.
Rubber discs are offered by a few companies, and they’re extremely grippy and often quite durable. However, drivers are almost always made of plastic.
The rim is the area from the edge of a disc to the inner lip, the part you hook your fingers around. Compared with mid-range discs and putters, drivers have the widest rims. While a wide rim can feel uncomfortable for beginners, there’s a reason for it. A wider rim adds weight to the outside of the disc, increasing its potential to continue spinning and therefore remain aloft and flying fairly straight. Distance drivers have the widest rims.
Drivers range in weight from around 150 to 175 grams. Choosing a heavier or lighter driver depends on your skill level and what you need the disc to do.
Lighter drivers weigh around 155 to 165 grams. These are ideal for beginners because they take less power to reach high speeds, and they have greater distance potential. However, they are more susceptible to wind and don’t perform well when thrown into the wind.
Heavier drivers weigh from 166 to 175 grams. These take more power to throw, but they’re more resistant to wind and can hit a few leaves and branches without going off course. They’re also more accurate and easier to control, making for more predictable flight paths. Many experienced disc golfers prefer heavy drivers for these reasons.
There are several ways to hold a driver properly, but a firm grip is key with each technique.
Disc golf drivers that cost $8 to $10 are usually made of lightweight, softer plastic, making them a great choice for beginners. However, they will start to wear fairly quickly and may not have the distance potential of discs made of higher-quality plastic.
Most disc golf drivers fall in the $10 to $16 range and are made of a range of plastics. These drivers work well for players of all skill levels and are likely to last for many seasons.
Drivers for $16 and up are made of high-quality, durable plastics or specialty plastics. These discs will last for years and are unlikely to wear quickly. Some more expensive discs have eye-catching dyes or glow in the dark for nighttime disc golf.
A. This is a personal decision based on your playstyle. You can be a competitive player with only one or two drivers, usually at least a fairway and a distance driver. Or you can collect a number of discs for different situations and wind conditions. Go with whatever is the most fun for you.
A. You should throw in whichever way is more comfortable to you. Especially if you’re starting out, stick with the technique you would normally use to throw a Frisbee. However, be aware that backhand and forehand throws will curve in opposite directions, so both have their uses.
A. Depending on the plastic, most drivers will last for years if you play regularly. Hitting trees (and maybe even baskets) adds scratches and dents to your discs. This is called “beating in” the disc, and while it can shorten the lifespan of the disc, it can also change its flight for the better. A beaten-in disc is generally easier to turn over, which can be desirable. If a driver has serious dents in the rim, it might start to perform poorly.
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