Disc Golf Disc Buyer’s Guide

There are hundreds of different disc golf discs on the market for you to pick from and thousands of different variations these discs come in. It can be daunting to decide which discs to select when you just want to get out there and play. This massive disc selection is what has resulted in me choosing the wrong discs in the past when I was just starting out. This led to frustration and dissatisfaction with the game.

After spending thousands of dollars on different discs I’ve used over the years, I’ve discovered what works the best for players just starting out. As well, these are discs that most players of all skill levels are using for years and years, myself included.

Before you decide on which discs you want to purchase from my top picks, lets take a look at some of the important factors that you should be aware of. First, we’ll discuss the 5 different types of discs that you’ll be selecting from, the 4 attributes of a disc, the various plastics discs will come in, and disc weight.

The 5 Types of Golf Discs

Distance Drivers – As is obvious by the name, this type of disc has the highest potential to fly the furthest distance. They are also the hardest discs to throw. This is due to their thinner profile, sharper outer edge, and thicker rims that provide for maximum aerodynamics. To tap into that extra distance these discs offer, the thrower needs to have a fast and powerful arm to allow the disc to soar through the air at high speeds. If a distance driver is not thrown with enough power the disc will have lackluster results. Typically used for distances in excess of 300 feet by intermediate to advanced players.

Fairway Drivers – A fairway driver (sometimes referred to as a control driver) is a step down in distance from the distance drivers, but offer more control over the flight of the disc. The outer edge is not as aerodynamic and the rim is a bit smaller, which means these discs do not have to be thrown as fast to achieve great results. Typically used for distances between 200 and 350 feet by intermediate to advanced players and some beginners.

Mid-ranges – This disc takes down the distance once again from the fairway driver. Similarly, the thrown will gain more control in the trade off for less distance. A mid-range disc will have a more rounded outer edge and thinner rim. When thrown correctly, this type of disc has the ability to fly much straighter than a distance or fairway driver. Typically used for distances between 150 and 250 feet by beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.

Throwing Putters – Putters in disc golf do not always imply tossing the disc in the basket. Some putters are designed for shots when approaching the basket to setup the final putt. When this type of disc is thrown, it will have the straightest possible flight of the previously discussed discs, perfect for accurately landing near the basket. Typically used for distances between 100 and 200 feet by beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.

Putting Putters – A putting putter will have the the roundest outer edge and smallest rim, resulting in the least aerodynamics. The blunt edge is designed for grabbing the chains when thrown in a basket. Typically used for distances within 100 to finish out a hole by landing in the basket. Used by all levels of players.

The Four Attributes of a Golf Disc

The two major disc manufacturers, Discraft and Innova, have created separate rating systems for describing how a disc is designed to fly. It is important to understand these ratings so you can purchase the right discs for your needs and skill level.

Between the two rating systems, Innova’s system is more commonly used, so that is what we will focus on today. When it comes to Discraft, the disc golf community has applied the Innova rating system to all of those discs as well, so you won’t need to learn both. Later on, I will provide a list of my recommended discs, along with the ratings of each.

The numbers on a disc appear in the following order:

  1. Speed Rating of 1 to 14 – This is the first rating provided on the disc, and for good reason. I would argue this is the most important number you need to focus on when choosing a disc. The speed indicates how fast the disc CAN go if throw with the required power. Higher speed indicates higher distance potential. The more rounded the outer edge of a disc, the lower the speed rating. For example, most putters are between 1 and 3 speeds. Distance drivers are usually 9 speed or higher.
  2. Glide Rating of 1 to 7 – The glide rating of a disc indicates how long a disc will stay in the air, with 7 being the longest and 1 being the shortest. Higher glide is usually associated with drivers to maximize distance. Putters will usually have lower glide since the disc is traveling shorter distances.
  3. Turn Rating of 1 to -5 – Turn is an indicator for how likely a disc will curve to the right at the beginning of its flight (when thrown by a right handed backhand thrower). A rating of -5 indicates the disc has a strong tendency to curve right, while a rating of 1 indicates the disc has very little tendency to curve to the right.
  4. Fade Rating of 0 to 5 – Fade is an indicator of how likely a disc will curve to the left at the end of its flight (when thrown by a right handed backhand thrower). A rating of 5 indicates the disc has a strong tendency to curve left at the end of its flight, while a disc with a rating of 0 will have the tendency to fly straighter with little or no curve to the left.

Just remember, speed and glide ratings are indicators for the potential distance of a disc. The turn and fade ratings are indicators of the stability of a disc by describing how the disc will fly at the beginning and end of flight.

Keep in mind that if a disc isn’t thrown with enough power (based on a disc’s speed requirement), it will not follow the turn and fade ratings accurately. The disc will curve left at the end of its flight more dramatically than the intended design when under-powered.

Similarly, if a disc is throw with too much power (more than a disc’s speed requirement) it will also not follow the turn and fade ratings accurately, with the opposite effect. The disc will curve right at the beginning of its flight more dramatically than the intended design when over-powered.

Plastic Quality

Plastic is another aspect to consider. Each disc brand has various plastics used when manufacturing their discs and discs are usually available in multiple types of plastics. There are 4 general types of plastics that I’ll discuss in order of quality, although in reality there are many more types of specialty plastics. But I feel these four categories covers what most players use and what I recommend. Logically, you many think of getting all your discs in premium quality plastic. Although I don’t feel that to always be the right answer. Each plastic has something unique to offer. As well as the cost to consider.

  1. Low Quality – is easier to damage, lower in cost, and easier to grip. Ideal for short range throws like putters and mid-range.
  2. Medium Quality – a few dollars more expensive than the low quality plastic. Grip is still satisfactory and the extra durability will enable to disc to last longer.
  3. High Quality – has the most durability, but the least grip due to the plastic being slick.
  4. Premium Quality – the most expensive plastic type. Offers the best of both worlds. Will last the longest and offer good grip.

The one take away I want you to get here is that with more durability comes slightly less grip on the plastic. If you want your disc to last the longest, but still have adequate grip you would go with the premium. Most players are going to do just fine with low to high quality plastic. You’ll notice that my picks are going to be in this quality range.

I don’t recommend premium plastic simply because of the extra cost. If cost isn’t an issue then definitely go for it. When it comes to distance drivers, I recommend high quality plastic just because of the force these discs are thrown with. A low quality distance driver isn’t going to last long. But a low quality putter will last for a long time since it is typically used for short distances.

Here is a list the major brands and their version of each level of plastic quality with the average price:

Premium Quality

Average Price: $17 – $18

  • Innova Star
  • Innova GStar
  • Discraft ESP
  • Discraft Titanium
  • Prodigy 750
  • Dynamic Discs BioFuzion
  • MVP Neutron
  • Latitude 64 Gold
  • Discmania S Line

High Quality

Average Price: $15 – $17

  • Innova Champion
  • Innova Metal Flake
  • Discraft Elite Z
  • Prodigy 400
  • Dynamic Discs Lucid
  • MVP Proton
  • Latitude Opto
  • Discmania C Line

Medium Quality

Average Price: $12 – $15

  • Innova Pro
  • Innova KC Pro
  • Discraft Elite X
  • Discraft Jawbreaker
  • Prodigy 300
  • Latitude 64 Grip
  • Discmania P Line

Low Quality

Average Price: $10 – $12

  • Innova DX
  • Discraft Pro D
  • Dynamic Discs Prime
  • Prodigy 200
  • Latitude Retro
  • Discmania D-Line

Finding the Right Disc

If you want to get better at disc golf you need consistency. Consistency is going to come from practice, practice, practice. But more importantly consistency is going to come from being comfortable with your discs.

I could use a Discraft Buzzz or Innova Roc3 and become incredibly consistent over time at stacking up birdies with either disc on a course. However, I do not go back and forth between these discs. I pick one and stick with it. Not only that, which ever disc I pick I end up getting 2 or 3 of them at the same time. What I end up with are 2 or 3 discs that feel very much the same way in my hand, but all fly with slight variations. This is because no two discs are the same, and each will develop differently based on wear and tear. This allows me to have 2 or 3 different shots by essentially executing the same throw each time.

When selecting your putter, mid-range, fairway drivers, and distance drivers, I highly recommend sticking with this method. Try out a few of them on this list, but pick ONE in each category that feels the most comfortable in your hand. Once you have developed a single disc in each category, go ahead and try another disc in each category. But I never get more than two or three types of discs in a single category.

My recommendations below are based on the discs that I have found to be the most comfortable to most players out there, therefore, I believe it is HIGHLY likely that at least one of these discs will work for you. But I can’t stress this enough. Pick one and stick with it. Over time you will develop a feel for each of the discs. If you switch too soon, you may find the same problems with the next disc because you didn’t allow enough time to develop the muscle memory.

When to Switch to a Different Disc

There is a right time to switch your disc. It is incredibly common for players to select discs that are too FAST and too HEAVY when starting out. Or, quite simply, is just out of reach. Pro players make it look too easy sometimes when they throw a driver 400+ feet without so much as breaking a sweat. Immediately we want to know what disc they were throwing so we can go get one. Maybe this will work for you and it isn’t necessarily the wrong way to go.

The key is to recognize when you need to switch to a different disc. And this can be hard to recognize and even do. If you find your disc is hyzering out soon after a flat release at full power, it is likely you need to get a disc with less speed.

The fallacy that I have fallen into in the past is thinking that I could ‘grow into’ the discs that required a high speed arm by simply throwing high speed discs. It seems reasonable, but the reality is it just leads to frustration and the game loses its appeal. Get an overstable leaning disc with less speed, throw it with a slight hyzer angle at full power, and see if you can get it to flip to flat. If yes, stick with that disc. If no, get a lower speed disc with less weight.

You could be on the other end of the spectrum where you are throwing your drivers and each one is turning over on you too quickly when thrown at full power. Similarly, this is an indication that you need to get a disc with more speed and weight.

What I Look For in a Disc

As I said, I try to find the disc that has the right speed requirement for my arm power. I start with a low speed disc and work up from there.

When I’m buying a new disc, I tend to lean towards discs that are more overstable rather than understable. As you play more with a disc, you can work it in to become more understable. You can never go back the other way.

Next, I look for a disc with a mold that fits my hand size nicely. You’ll find some discs have a tall profile while others are shorter. If you have a smaller hand, avoid the taller profile discs and vice versa. Some molds will also have certain bevels and beads along the outside rim. There are various shapes that you can play around with to see what feels good in your hand. For example, I like a beaded putter since it gives me a reference point for griping the disc each time.

Also, I look for discs made with plastics that feel right in my hand. In my case, I like drivers with plastic that is softer and more slick as it rips out of my hand better. I like my mid-ranges and putters to be from stiffer plastic with more grip for extra control. It is something you need to feel out for yourself. Some people like the harder plastics, while others like the softer plastics. Find what you like and stick to it.

My Top Golf Disc Picks

My top picks for discs are some of the bests discs on the market for players starting out at the best cost. Not only that, I am confident saying that the majority of players out there will find great success with these discs regardless of skill level.

I recommend selecting one disc from each category, starting with the putting putters and working up to the distance drivers. Only a small subset of players starting out will find success with the distance drivers, so stick with the other types first and work your way up.

Remember, pay attention to the speed of the disc you buy. This is a good indicator of how hard it is going to be to throw. If you are throwing a 10 speed distance driver and not reaching the expected distance of around 300 feet, move down to a slower disc. It can seem counter-intuitive but you’ll find your discs flying further.

Putting Putters

Throwing Putters


Fairway Drivers

Distance Drivers

Starter Sets

If you are wanting to get started playing disc golf on a budget, you’re best option is to stick with a starter set. No need to over-complicate things at the beginning. When I first started, I actually purchased a starter set because I didn’t want to shell out too much money on individuals discs.. This is a great way to get your feet wet for around a much lower cost to see if disc golf is for you. Each of these sets come with a putter, mid-range, and driver.