As a disc golfer, how many times have you heard (or thought to yourself) “What’s the best beginner disc?”, “What’s the best sidearm disc?”, or the ever-popular “What’s the best disc for distance?”? The key to answering those questions is finding the right discs for your game. And, we’ve got the best discs for every level of disc golfer.
In the 2017 Innova Disc Golf Guide, we’ve sorted through our catalog and selected the best disc golf discs you should try if you’re a beginner, an intermediate player, and even a few for the seasoned pro. Dig in, find the right discs, have fun, and come back for more.
Best Discs for Beginners
Sometimes when you start a sport like disc golf, you use whatever gear that finds you first. However, those discs aren’t always the best fit. Proven time after time, these are the best discs for beginners to look for when you’re ready to hit the course for the first time.
DX Aviar: You wanna hear chains right away? Start putting with a DX Aviar and you’ll start with the putter that’s won more World Championships than all others combined.
Also consider: Champion Aviar. You get the same disc in plastic that will last eons.
DX Shark: If you’re looking for the best first disc golf disc, the DX Shark is it. Countless of disc golfers have started with only this disc, which can do it all: putt, approach, and drive.
Also consider: the DX Wolf, which is little easier for beginners to throw straight. “Designed for a good thumb grip, this medium speed understable mid-range makes for a great learning tool,” says 12-time World Champ Ken Climo.
DX Leopard: ‘Just stay in the fairway,’ is common advice to new players. Easier said than done, but no other driver does it better than the DX Leopard. “The Leopard is a great all-around control driver I always recommend to newer players,” says Innova pro Chris Sprague.
Also consider: DX Valkyrie: This disc is a classic. It has comparable control to the Leopard but with more distance.
Three Awesome Discs – 1 Set
Innova Disc Golf Set: Get a head start and grab the DX Aviar, DX Shark, and DX Leopard all at once.
Beginner Tip: Go ahead, play with one disc
Starting out, you don’t have to buy a bunch of different discs to get a feel for the game. One disc is often all you need to get on the course. And it’s how lots of disc golfers got started. Here’s a list of versatile discs that can get you through all 18 holes (from the drive to the putt) all by themselves:
Innova Disc Plastics
- DX: Great grip and great flight with no beat-in time. It’s the affordable plastic that turns you from curious to a disc golf fanatic.
- Pro: The next progression from DX plastic, Pro plastic has good all weather grip, enhanced durability, and maintains affordability.
- XT: Grippy til’ the cows come home, XT has a firm feel and can take a beating with the best of them.
- R-Pro: Not only does this gummy and flexible plastic feel great, it’s also ideal for slinging in wet weather.
- GStar: Get grip and flexibility in high performing premium plastic that really shines in wet and cold seasons.
- Blizzard Champion: Tightly bound air bubbles combined with lighter weights allow players with less power to achieve great distance.
- Champion: With its high durability, high performance, and beautiful clear or pearlescent appearance, you’ll continue to enjoy these discs long after its first flight.
- Star: It’s got the durability and performance of Champion, but with enhanced grip, making Star the plastic of choice for countless pro disc golfers.
Fly Farther, More Accurately
Are you throwing 350ft but want to increase your driving distance? Are you learning new shots and need the right discs to throw? Take a look at these must-have discs to increase driving distance, improve accuracy, and lower your scores.
XT Nova: By fusing two different plastic pieces through Innova’s Overmold technology, the XT Nova is unlike any of our other putt and approach discs. Through this unorthodox design comes unrivaled accuracy from short range and a putter that delivers.
The Nova is the #1 disc I would suggest if you want to learn proper back hand form.
– 4-time World Champ Paul McBeth
Also consider: DX/Champion Rhyno. Needing to harness your putting power? The Rhyno, a top selling putter, performs predictably in the wind.
DX Roc: If you liked the Shark, consider graduating to the most beloved midrange in the sport, the DX Roc. Once you see the throws this disc is capable of, you may never remove it from your bag.
Also Consider: Champion Roc3. If you’re looking for the dependable flight of a Roc, but with longer lasting plastic, the Roc3 is for you. Featuring a flatter top, the Roc3 is the midrange of choice for 4-time World Champ Paul McBeth.
GStar Colossus: So you’ve been playing a while and now looking to achieve your maximum distance? Innova’s fastest driver, the GStar Colossus, will get you to where you want to go in a hurry. It was Innova’s most popular new disc of 2016.
Also Consider: Champion Firebird. If you prefer throwing sidearm for your clutch drives, check out the Firebird. Many on the course will nod in approval.
What’s Hot: Distance Drivers
For players capable of throwing a driver 350 feet on average, the Star Shryke provided an instant distance upgrade when it was released late last year. The Champion Shryke, which is due out this season, is expected to have just as dramatic results, only with a bit more high speed stability.
Disc Golf Pro Tips
By the time you’ve reached the advanced/pro level you’ve got most of the game figured out. But even pros can struggle to be consistent with certain shots. We asked a few Innova Team members what they considered to be tough shots and which discs helped them master those shots. Take notes, these discs may help fill a hole in your bag.
Distance in the Wind
How to handle harsh winds, be it headwinds or tailwinds, doesn’t get enough attention according to touring pro Zoe Andyke, who adds that everyone will find themselves negotiating a mighty wind sooner or later.
Headwind Maximum Distance.
For a maximum distance drive in a pounding headwind Andyke uses a driver with more stability. To ensure accuracy, she keeps her throwing motion shoulder-height and makes sure to release the disc flat.
Here’s what she uses and why:
Star Destroyer (in heavier weights)
Star Destroyers tend to be on the more overstable side of distance drivers. And, with it being a speed 12 disc with good glide – it will fight a headwind more so than with a slower disc with less glide
– Zoe Andyke, Innova Crew
Also Consider: the Champion Boss when you need to travel a long way even amid difficult gusts.
Also Consider: the Blizzard Champion Katana, which can catch a tailwind and then arrive on the green before you know it.
The Dead Straight Shot
No matter if you’re just starting out or a veteran pro, the dead straight drive or midrange is one of disc golf’s toughest shots, mainly because there’s so little room for error.
More often than not, 2016 US Champ Jeremy Koling will be trying to pull off that shot using a sidearm hyzer-flip technique, in which he throws an understable disc on a hyzer line that eventually straightens up further down the hole and lands with little fade.
Here’s what he throws and why:
Midrange: Star Mako3 “The stand-up nature of the disc suits my style of release,” says Koling.
Distance Driver (400-feet and above): Star Wraith. “I learned how to throw all the different driver shots with the Star Wraith. It’s just very comfortable in the hand. It’s fast, but has manageable speed for approach shots,” says Koling.
When it comes to throwing a backhand on a tight straight line, Sexton also employs the hyzer-flip technique. “It is a shot that demands a lot from the player in terms of accuracy, angle control, and disc selection.” says Nate Sexton, Innova Team Star member.
These discs allow me to begin the shot on a slight hyzer (my most comfortable angle) and allow the disc to stand up into a straight flight. This is one of the most satisfying shots I can throw, when I get it right.
– Nate Sexton, Team Star
Also consider: Star/Champion Mamba for backhand hyzer-flip shots, according to Weese.
What’s Hot: Tour SeriesTour Series discs are collaborations with the touring players they benefit. These runs are created with our top pros by tweaking a model to fit their exact needs. Check ‘em out!
The Long ‘S’ shot through the woods
Playing in the woods, you’re faced with situations where you need to bend shots around trees to attack the basket. A long, soft ‘S’ shot, one that turns over and then eventually fades back forming a ‘S’ in the air, is a technical and difficult shot to master in tight situations, says Disc Golf Hall of Famer Joe Mela.
Sidewinders and Roadrunners are easy to turnover at lower speeds and have a soft fade at the end. Something more stable probably wouldn’t work as well for this shot. You’d have to throw it harder and you might lose control.
– Joe Mela, Hall of Fame
Also consider: the GStar versions of those discs, which provide maximum durability with enhanced grip even in the worst conditions.
Become a Consistent Putter
“One of the hardest shots to master is putting. I say putting only because mentally, pros need to make the putt and if they don’t, it can cause the mental questioning,” says pro Jessica Weese.
In the heat I love KC Pro Aviars, the consistency is true. But in the cold I putt with XT Aviars and XT Whales.
– Jessica Weese, Team Champion