5 Types of Disc Golf Discs

5 Types of Disc Golf Discs: When To Use Each?

It’s time for disc golf. Now, you need to pack some discs for your game. However, you can’t just grab all of them and hesitate to choose which disc to throw first.  

There are multiple types of disc golf discs. You can only bring out their best and hit the target when you know how each works. 

This article will help you dig into the disc golf world by explaining all types of discs used in the game. Let’s read on to discover! 

Types of Disc Golf Discs  

There are five primary types of disc golf discs. The distance plays the most vital role in your game, especially when you are a beginner. 

Distance Drivers

Distance drivers can cut through the air at a very high speed. They can fly very far, sometimes exceeding 400 feet if thrown correctly. Hence, they get the name. 

Meanwhile, if you perform the throw with an improper technique, the discs may lose control, experience frustration, and achieve less distance.  

These discs have thick rims, about 2.1 centimeters or more. Their speed rating is at least 10. 

Due to the overstable characteristic, distance drivers are the most challenging discs to throw and control. As a result, they work best for experienced golfers. 

Distance drivers can fly at high speeds
Distance drivers can fly at high speeds.

Fairway Drivers

Fairway drivers fall between distance drivers and midranges in terms of stability and speed. They have a diameter of 21 to 22 cm and can reach a speed rating of 6 to 8. 

Fairway drivers still have the distance features of a driver but focus more on control and accuracy than distance drivers.

Disc golf players often use fairway drivers for approach shots that need a little more distance and for straight-line drives.

Due to their slower speed, fairways are an excellent choice for those who can’t hit distance drivers. Although these discs have less glide than the distance drivers, they nevertheless have enough to go far and reach the maximum range.  

Fairway drivers are good for straight lines
Fairway drivers are good for straight lines.

Midranges

Mid-range discs generally have a diameter of 22 to 24 cm. They are slower than drivers but faster than putters.

Midranges are more rounded on the top, while their rims are wider than other kinds of discs. The rounded edges allow them to maintain their control and land flat. However, they will also slow down quicker when flying. 

Midranges are the most versatile option. You can use them for many kinds of shots, such as approach shots and short drives. 

These discs are understable. It means that will may turn to the right naturally (for right-handed backhand shots) when tossed with force. 

Midranges are the most versatile
Midranges are the most versatile.

Putters

Disc golf players use putters mostly for sinking putts rather than for drives. The plastic and speed of putters allow them to reach the target and remain in the chains. 

Compared to other types of discs, putters are smaller and slower. They have a low-speed rating and a small diameter of less than 21cm. Hence, they aim to serve short-range shots. 

However, in terms of accuracy, putters are an excellent choice. You can control them easier on short-range shots because they are the most overstable discs. 

Furthermore, putters are the most used disc golf discs. Players can use them for most of the shots throughout a round of disc golf.

Putters are most commonly used discs
Putters are most commonly used discs.

Specialty Discs

Any disc that doesn’t fall into one of the categories above is a specialty disc.

It may include ones designed for particular playing styles or shots, such as thumbers or rollers. Some can serve special conditions, like water discs. 

There are countless disc variants in this group. They can differ in weight, shape, stability, and flight rating. 

Some specialty discs are traditional “Old School” discs. Others are WFDF-approved discs for use in specific situations to improve accuracy and self-caught flight.  

Differences Between The Five Disc Types 

Those five types of discs serve different purposes; therefore, they have particular features to perform their intended tasks.

Shape

Putters are the smallest and have rounded edges. Meanwhile, midranges are larger with a more defined rim. 

The drivers (both distance and fairway) have the largest size. They also come with more pronounced rims to promote stability and grip. 

Speed

Putters are the slowest. Midranges have a higher speed rating than putters, but they can’t beat drivers. 

Distance drivers, as you can guess from the name, have the fastest speed. Fairway drivers rank second in this term. 

Stability

Putters tend to turn to the right when thrown with force, making them the most overstable on the list. On the other hand, midranges are understable discs. 

Distance drivers and fairway drivers offer a lot of stability. However, distance drivers are more overstable. 

Various factors will affect how stable your discs are. Please check this video to learn more about it:

Difficulty

Beginners should choose putters for their first practice sessions because they are the easiest discs to control. Midranges can also work in this case as the most versatile discs. 

In contrast, drivers are suitable for experienced players. Fairway drivers may be more controllable and accurate, whereas distance drivers are harder to handle. 

We don’t mention specialty discs when comparing all discs because they differ from model to model. In other words, specialty discs don’t have any unique features. Instead, they are diverse to serve particular purposes. 

The discs are different in multiple factors
The discs are different in multiple factors.

When Should You Use Each Disc? 

Choosing the right disc is a part of your success in the game. Because you can get one from the five types, it’s necessary to understand which case each works best. 

Distance Drivers Fairway Drivers Midranges Putters 
Speed Rating  12 to 14 6 to 8 3 to 5 1 to 4
Stability  Overstable Overstable Understable Overstable 
Control Hardest  Hard Easy  Easiest 
Best For  – Rollers

– Throwing from the tee

– Shots from the fairway

– Full-flight throws

– Navigating narrow tunnels

– Approach shots

– Shots to the basket

– Putting from inside the circle

Distance drivers will help you achieve the maximum distance and are ideal for skilled players with enough arm speed and technique to deal with the overstability of the discs. 

You can use fairway drivers for straight-line drives and approach shots. They provide you with a nice balance of distance and accuracy. Those who need to conquer the long range but can’t control distance drivers may choose the fairway instead. 

Midranges, including approach shots and short drives, can work in almost any scenario. No matter your skill level, you won’t go wrong with them.

Putters are the best for putts and short-range shots. They can give you a precise shot when the basket is close. Moreover, beginners will love how easy it is to throw the disc. 

Choose the best disc for your needs
Choose the best disc for your needs.

How Many Discs Should You Have? 

Even though a single disc is enough to play disc golf, you should bring at least a midrange, putter, and driver. 

Less experienced golfers don’t need more options for each type, but most players like to prepare them. It’s because they know only a particular disc can offer the highest winning opportunity for a specific case. 

Having a control driver and a solid midrange is the best course for strengthening your skills once you start carrying more discs.

Moreover, throwing specific lines when playing will be simpler if you have both an overstable and understable driver. 

Here are some guidelines on the number of discs to prepare for your game:

  • If you are a beginner, start with three to five discs, which should be putters, midranges, and fairway drivers. 
  • For intermediate players, a bag of five to seven discs is enough. The discs are midranges, fairway drivers, and distances to cover multiple distance ranges and shot types. 
  • Advanced players need a more extensive set of discs, about seven to ten discs. You need all types of discs to use under particular conditions at this level. 

The number of disc golf discs you should use depends on other factors, such as your playing style and types of courses. As you improve, you will know what you need. 

Conclusion

There are five types of discs, each having unique features and serving different purposes. If you are new to the game, stick to the putters. 

Once you level up, use drivers to extend the range. And if you don’t know what to choose, consider versatile discs like midranges. 

Hopefully, this guide will help you pick up the right gear for your disc golf game. Keep practicing, and you can handle all the discs effortlessly. 

Thank you for reading!