2018 Innova Disc Golf Guide

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2018 Innova Disc Golf Guide

Charles Lindbergh once said, “There is no shorter road to defeat than by entering a war with inadequate preparation.”

Your time on the disc golf course is all about fun. Or, maybe you want to beat all your buddies at the local weekly. But, when your throws misfire and you’re unsure which disc is best for a specific shot, the trek can seem like a battle—every disc golfer experiences rounds like these (trust us, we have too). No worries. The 2018 Innova Disc Golf Guide is here outline essential disc golf shots paired with the best discs to get you on target. Along the way, we share throwing techniques, gear recommendations, and insider tips that our team has learned from decades of experience.

We’ve narrowed down our guide to six common shots every player should know—the Straight Shot, the Wind-fighter Shot, the Turnover Shot, the Big Hyzer Finish Shot, the Versatile Approach Shot, and the Inside-the-Circle Putt—and we hand-picked the best discs for each shot.

GSTAR STACK PACK

Looking for the best discs for beginners? Learn how to play disc golf with Innova’s GStar Stack Pack. Featuring some of our most popular models—Valkyrie, Leopard3, and Aviar—in our GStar plastic. Great grip. Premium plastic. Learn with the best.

1. THE STRAIGHT SHOT

There’s no denying it. You gotta have it. Whether you’re splitting a narrow, tree-lined fairway or need a straight finishing flight, the straight shot is a must for every disc golfer.

DX Wombat3

Beginner Mid-Range: DX Wombat3

Comfortable throwing an ultimate disc and want to make the transition to disc golf, the DX Wombat3 is your go-to crossover disc. It has a comfortable grip and it’s dead-straight flight makes learning disc golf throws a breeze.

Intermediate/Adv. Mid-Range: Star Mako3

If you wanna cash in any tournament, having a 300-foot straight shot is a must. It’s great for straight mid-range shots when you want to give the disc a little extra torque. The Mako3 will be your moneymaker. Bonus: The Mako3 doubles as a great starter disc.

New World Record David Wiggins Jr

Speaks From Experience:

Distance World Record Holder David Wiggins Jr.
“The Star Mako3 is my go-to disc when I’m staring down a densely wooded fairway and control is a must. One particular time, the Mako3 really helped me out was playing in Reidsville, N.C. The hole required a 350-foot throw slightly down hill and finishing to the right. I chose the Mako3 because I could throw it with ease knowing it would hold its line and glide down to the right holding the line I released it on.”

Sexton Shootout: A Disc Golf Event Series

From beginner to experienced, for men, women and kids, check out the 2018 Sexton Shootout. Innova Star Team athlete Nate Sexton hosts a 3-disc challenge disc golf event followed by a clinic and Q&A session. Find a Sexton Shootout near you. Visit sextondiscgolf.com

Hot Approach Disc: Star Rat

Players have asked for a forehand-specific approach disc and we’ve responded. Meet the Rat. It’s a low-profile, beadless mid-range that flies fast out of the hand. Add the flat top and the Rat could be the most comfortable sidearm approach disc around. Rip it forehand and it’ll fly straight with a predictable fade at the tail end. The backhand grip feels just as good with a flight just as predictable. Bonus: It’s a good option for headwind approach shots.

Beginner Driver: DX /Champion Leopard

Skip all of the time-consuming trial and error looking for the perfect disc. If you want a straight fairway driver, it’s the Leopard, hands down. Grab a Champion Leopard and make sweet fairway music with it as it gently ages.

Speaks From Experience:

2-Time World Champ Barry Schultz
“2017 US Masters, last hole, 18, at Ewing Park in Des Moines. I had 300 feet to the basket, which is normally a Roc, but had no run up and I was in the limbs of a pine tree. I reached for my favorite Champion Leopard and executed a perfect stand still “patent pending” step out shot to about 10 feet of the basket! Great way to end the week!”

Intermediate/Adv. Driver: Star TL3

The brand new cousin to the revered TL, the TL3 has more zip and packs a mighty punch for a fairway driver. Straighter than a TeeBird3, faster than a Leopard3, the TL3 is a great all-around fast fairway disc.

Basic Lingo: Stable, Understable?

Stable: All discs eventually fade to the ground. It’s a fact of life. Stable to overstable discs, are designed to veer to the ground sooner, making them good for head winds and more powerful arms.
Understable: With less fade, these discs are easier for beginners to keep in the air and to learn the anhyzer shot (or turnover shot).

Gear It Up: HeroPack

It’s got everything you could want in a disc golf back pack – room for 25+ discs, oodles of storage space, and that great backpack feel – all without the astronomical price tag that comes with most other backpacks. Learn More

2. THE WIND-FIGHTER SHOT

Dealing with winds, like a headwind, can give a disc golfer the willies, especially if you’re inexperienced. Here are some discs that act as plastic reassurance.

Beginner Mid-Range: DX Roc

When you’re new to the game, this disc will help you handle the blustery winds. Hold onto to it, because as you get better, you’ll be able to teach this disc all kinds of tricks. Bonus: The DX Roc is a favorite of pros, like Philo Brathwaite, who carry several in the bag, each with a varied amount of wear, for a variety of midrange shots—from steady hyzers to sweeping turnovers.

Champion RocX3

Intermediate/Adv. Mid-Range: Champion RocX3

Get to know the top selling disc introduced in 2017. Star Team member Jessica Weese says its flight is in between an overstable Roc and a Gator. The RocX3 has a low profile and hefty rim to create extra stability, making it the ideal mid-range for windy conditions and forehand throws. Power players will love the controlled flight.

Gear It Up: Unity Leggings

Having the right clothing makes an active lifestyle more enjoyable. Our stretch-fit Unity Leggings for women are comfortable on the course, in the yoga studio, or just lounging on the couch. The fresh look is complemented by the new Innova “Unity” logo. Features: 90% Polyester/10% Spandex, 3-needle hem, stretch fit, 3-inch waistband.

Speaks From Experience:

Women’s Distance World Record Holder Jennifer Allen
“I can remember the first time I used the Champion RocX3 at Ledgestone last year. We had a strong cross wind and I didn’t think my Champ Roc3 would be enough. I threw the RocX3 on a low hyzer and it did exactly what I expected it to! Such a great stable midrange for those extra windy days!”

What’s Hot: Tour Series

Tour 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!

AJ Star Teebird

Beginner Driver:

DX/Champ/Star TeeBird
Your best-friendship with the TeeBird begins now. Start with the DX as a newbie then progress to the Champion and Star editions. You’ll see that at each stage in your game it will be your reliable fairway driver, even in the wind.

Speaks From Experience:

2009 World Champ Avery Jenkins (His signature disc is the Star model.)
“I was playing a tournament down south at the Texas State Championships where the wind was brutal and unpredictable at times, as it usually is in Texas in the spring. And when I think back about a time when a TeeBird came up clutch for me, I remember a critically tight wooded hole that was fairly exposed to the crosswinds. It was too straight of a carry for an overstable driver (Eagle, Firebird, etc.) so I had to trust the predictable stability of my Star TeeBird. I lined up the shot and hit it flat with precision in order to not expose the underside of the disc to the wind. The TeeBird held that low, straight line with incredible accuracy and control the entire way without a doubt, skipping up to the bottom of the basket.”

Champion FIrebird

Intermediate/Adv. Driver:

Champ Firebird
Hey headwind, better luck next time. First introduced in 2000, the Firebird is known for it’s wind-taming flight. With the Champion Firebird you can throw into the wind with confidence. Long range flex shots? It’s great at those too. Veterans know it’s great for power sidearm and overhead throws.

Basic Lingo. Hyzer, Anhyzer?

(We’ll explain it as a right hander throwing a backhand shot)
Hyzer: It’s when you position your body to form a shot that hooks to the left. It’s perfect for fairways that curve to the left or when you need to scoot by an object’s right side.
Anhyzer: (“anny” or turnover): Is just the opposite.

Gear It Up: Proto Zip Hoodie/ Innova Windbreaker

Just because spring brings warm temps during the afternoon, doesn’t mean there isn’t a chill in the evening or for that morning round. Stay as warm as your comfortable car ride up to the course with Innova Zip Hoodies and Windbreakers.

3. THE TURNOVER SHOT

Even if you could throw it straight every time, for many holes, you’d go straight into the rough. That’s why you need an anhyzer—or “anny”—that bends to the green.

Beginner Mid-Range:

DX/Star Stingray
This disc just wants to turn over. So let it do its thing. Find your anny line and let it go.

Speaks From Experience:

Lisa Fajkus – Team Star
“Hole 11 at Shady Oaks Park in Orangevale, CA, has a tight fairway, and on the left side there is a small gap. I’ll punch my Stingray through about 50 feet off the tee and let the disc slowly fade back right. The Stingray is also a great utility disc for getting out of trouble when I’m stuck in the woods because of its ability to shape and hold sharp anhyzer lines.”

1st Run Star Wombat3

Intermediate/Adv. Mid-Range:

Star Wombat3
It’s the best gently turning-over disc that you’ve probably never heard of. It has the same comfortable grip as the DX version but in our premium Star Plastic. When you need a straight flight and finish, or a smooth gliding forehand upshot, turn to the Star Wombat3.

Beginner Driver:

DX Archangel
The DX Archangel is the answer to the wish, “If only my anny midrange went a little bit further.” New to disc golf? The Archangel is one of our easiest drivers to throw. It has outstanding glide combined with the fast speed of a distance driver. For players with moderate power it doubles as a roller disc.

Star Sidewinder

Intermediate/Adv. Driver:

Star Sidewinder
The Long “S” is so pretty to watch, but challenging to consistently create. The Sidewinder performs these in its sleep, if, in fact it did sleep.

Speaks From Experience:

Hall of Famer Alan Beaver
“My Star Sidewinder is the oldest disc in my bag. I use it for long turnover shots. With my arm speed, I can throw with slight hyzer and it will flatten, then slowly turn to the target.”

Also Consider:

Champion/Star Roadrunner
Akin to the Sidewinder, but even more flippy, the Roadrunner is your choice for any kind of anny and it’s an ideal candidate for when you’re ready to take on the roller shot.

Speaks From Experience:

Madison Walker – Team Champion
“After injuring my elbow, I started learning backhand, and the Roadrunner was an early favorite. I could throw similar right-finishing lines that I would throw with forehand shots, but I could get them to finish much more gently and go much further! The Roadrunner became my go-to turnover driver, allowing me to throw the disc flat or on hyzer and let the disc do the work for me. This thing will never leave my bag!”

Gear It Up: Innova Hats

Last year’s dirt, grime, and sweat are probably still on your trusty disc golf hat. Time for a new one? Select from a bundle of styles and colors that would make a hat junkie drool.

4. THE BIG HYZER FINISHING SHOT

Whether you’re throwing a backhand or a forehand, everybody needs something that you can crush, but will still dependably fade back. Spike Hyzers fall in the category, too.

Beginner Mid-Range:

Champion Roc3
If you can’t go through obstacles, best go around them. In the hands of a beginner, the Champ Roc3 will bend around trees no problem. A predictable fade, with the ability to hold a line in variable winds, it’s so good that Paul McBeth claimed it as a signature disc.

Metal Flake Gator

Intermediate/Adv. Mid-Range:

Star/Metal Flake Champion Gator
You certainly won’t be hearing those lyrics, “Baby Come Back” from your card mates after throwing this guy.

Speaks From Experience:

James Conrad – Team Star
“I go to my Gator for shorter range (up to 200’ or 250’) spike hyzers. I can trust it will fight the wind, not glide too far off target, and spike down at a steep enough angle to avoid skips. It can also be very useful for low hyzer shots, but be ready for the skip!”

Coming This Season:

Champion Caiman
A turbo charged bulldozer of a Mid-Range. Sounds pretty fun, huh?

Beginner Driver:

DX Thunderbird
You don’t have to try too hard to get this thing to hyzer around objects. Right off the bat, you can tell, this disc wants to fade back to ground.
Watch Paul McBeth make this hole look easy with a Champion Thunderbird.

Star Destroyer

Intermediate/Adv. Driver:

Star Destroyer
There are many reasons to have a Destroyer in the bag. One of the big ones is to know you can smash a drive and know it’ll fade right where it should. Fast, stable, with glide, the Destroyer is the quintessential power driver.

Gear It Up: INNsulated Canteen

Whether you like to chug whole milk, sweet tea, or just plain water during your round, the INNsulated Canteen will make sure it stays cold. Amazingly it can do the opposite too, if you prefer hot cider for chilly morning rounds.

5. VERSATILE APPROACH SHOT

You just threw a great drive. Any thoughts of messing up your approach will be erased with these handy discs.

Beginner:

XT Nova
This disc is great at giving you manageable putts. Try it on for size and you’ll find yourself in your make-able zone more often than not.

Speaks From Experience:

4-Time World Champ Paul McBeth
Paul McBeth relied on the XT Nova disc to safely land him on the perilous Hole 17 island green at the 2015 USDGC. “I threw my Nova all four times on that hole and birdied it all four times during the tournament. I threw the same shot every round and was in the same spot every round.” McBeth later won that USDGC and captured disc golf’s first Grand Slam.

Star Aviar3

Intermediate/Adv:

Star Aviar3
Not only is this disc clutch for approaches, it’s bred for short drives too. Built for speed and less glide, the flat-top Aviar3 is designed pinpoint upshots and aggressive putts.

KC Pro Aviar

Overlooked Approach Disc:

Aviar Driver, Pro KC Aviar (Big Bead)
Before the AviarX3, before the Aviar3, the Aviar Big Bead was the clutch disc for those in need of a beefy approach. It still passes the test.

Speaks From Experience:

2016 US Champ Jeremy Koling
“Facing a throw of 150 feet with a tailwind, headwind or whatever can make for a tricky approach. The Big Bead Aviar makes it manageable. It will hyzer when thrown with a hyzer. It will hold a turnover when thrown anhyzer. And, it will still fly straight when I throw it hard without fluttering. It’s a really important disc in the bag.”

Hot New Disc:

Star AviarX3
Even more stable than the popular Aviar3, this approach disc will fight wind with the best of them. Get aggressive with your backhand or forehand throws. The AviarX3 is our most overstable, beadless Aviar. If you like the Aviar3 grip but seek more fade to the flight, look to the AviarX3.

Gear It Up: Proto Pattern Umbrella

So spacious, it’s like opening up your own personal storm shelter. Plus, it opens and closes like a dream, without those pinchy metal things that really smart.

6. INSIDE-THE-CIRCLE PUTT

Hitting most of your putts inside the 10 meter circle – that’s the difference between winning tournaments and almost winning tournaments.

Beginner:

DX Aviar
There’s a reason this disc is sold in thousands of starter sets every year… because it works. Many players never stop using it.

Intermediate/Adv:

Pro KC Aviar
Used to bring countless victories to the Champ (Ken Climo), The KC Pro Aviar is probably the winningest putter of all time.