Winter is a great season for disc golf. You heard that right. Walking from hole to hole lets you savor the beauty of winter, which can be hard to appreciate from behind a pane of glass.
Winter play helps competitive and casual disc golfers alike rediscover the fun factor. Chilly temperatures, wind, snow—none of these elements promotes top performance, so winter rounds become less about setting records and more about simply enjoying the game. In inclement weather, when everyone else is warming their toes by the fire, you’re a champ just for stepping onto the course and reaching into your bag.
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 all-weather grip. Top-of-the-line durability. Learn with the best.
In those first winter rounds of the season, many players discover that their go-to discs don’t behave like they did in summer. Plastics are sensitive to temperature swings, so the same disc that obeyed your every command last July might feel uncontrollable come January. Cold makes many plastics brittle and hard, so they lose flexibility and grip.
Best Discs for Winter – Top 5 Cold Weather Plastics
- GStar – Best for winter
- Driver Pro – Grip/Flex at a good price
- R-Pro – Handles cold and wet
- Glow DX – Soft feel in the cold
- XT – Grippy all-weather disc
Trying to keep discs warm doesn’t work. “If they are warm when you throw them, the snow will melt and refreeze on them,” says Innova pro Cooper Arnold, who stores his discs in the car the night before a winter game so that the plastics are well adjusted to the cold.
Most pros also switch over to an assortment of cold-tolerant discs. “I swap out some of my more nicely seasoned discs for ones that are less prone to cracking,” says Innova pro Brad Lescalleet. He puts his beloved, beat-up KC Rocs in winter storage, and brings out a Star or Champion Mako3.
GStar: The Perfect All-Weather Plastic
“Even at freezing temperatures, GStar will remain pliable, while other plastic types become stiff or brittle,” says Innova co-founder and disc inventor Dave Dunipace.
GStar is made of the same material as Star and Champion, so it’s just as durable. But GStar is a softer grade of plastic making it better at maintaining flexibility during cold-weather play. That means players won’t have to compensate for plastic rigidity by adjusting their form. Throwing cold-stiffened discs often forces golfers to adapt their technique, but GStar performs similarly in winter and summer temperatures, so it’s reliable in any weather.
GStar also offers superior grip. That’s important in fall and winter, when cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels make players’ hands particularly dry. Since Dave Dunipace, Innova’s co-founder, suffers from chronically dry skin year-round, he sought a gummier compound that he could grip comfortably—and the result is GStar. “Its high-speed stability is on par with Champion and Star,” says Dunipace.
Yet GStar isn’t a winter-specific plastic. It’s simply less temperature-sensitive than most other compounds—so even in 110-degree temperatures, it’s not floppy. When charted against other materials at various temperatures, GStar has a fairly flat curve for flexibility.
XT: Where Durability Meets Grip
XT plastic is more temperature-sensitive than GStar, so it loses some flexibility in the cold. But it offers excellent durability and grip—at an affordable price. Golfers who cherish their well-worn KC Roc in summer might switch to XT for fall and winter play. It offers the tacky grip of Driver Pro plastic, with more stiffness. And with better grip, you can hit greater distances. “The more friction you can get, the more power you’ll be able to transfer to the disc,” says Kobyn Dunipace, who oversees Innova’s disc production.
The Best Discs for Winter Golf
Hot Winter DiscsWith so many options in our winter-friendly plastics, where do you start? Here are a few standouts in our lineup.
- Driver: GStar Charger: For players who lean on the Star or Champion Destroyer in warmer weather, the GStar Charger will feel familiar, but perform better in the cold.
- Midrange: XT Atlas: This forgiving overmold disc helps smooth out throwing errors.
- Putter: DX Invader: One of the best driving and approach putters available. Its flat top and low profile make it easy to grip-n-rip consistently straight flights.
- Putter: XT Nova: The soft, grippy rim sticks landings, making this putter perfect for cold-weather play.
- Putter: R-Pro Xero: Reliable grip and a straight flight at low speeds make this disc a year-round favorite.
Winter Pro Tips
“When you’re bundled up for the cold, your reach-back and arm speed will both be restricted. Disc down to a lighter or less stable disc.” -Craig Nettleship, Innova ambassador
“Drink lukewarm water, and more than you feel like you should drink, as you are dehydrating under all those warm layers. And finally, breathe through the nose.” -Das Loomis
“Swap out white discs for more easily seen colors in the snow,” suggests Innova ambassador Brad Lescalleet. But Kansas-based Das Loomis takes it a step further. His maxim? “Never throw white after Halloween.”
“Being ‘hair challenged,’ I must have a beanie. GoreTex, preferably.” -Jerry Davis
“Best way to play disc golf in the winter? Move to Las Vegas!” –Jeff Jacquart
Winter Disc Golf Apparel and Accessories
Burst Pullover Hoodie
Innova’s Burst Pullover Hoodies will keep you cozy during your Fall and Winter disc golf rounds. Made from Air jet yarn, they are super comfortable and soft. Lightweight, warm, and easy-to-maneuver in, these hoodies will help you stay warm without impeding your throwing motion. They’re also perfect for a lazy day off the course.
Innova Beanies and Caps
Innova Glow Light
Glow disc golf can be a fun and different way to get in that much-needed round without being constrained by the days getting shorter. With the Innova Glow Light, night rounds have never been so easy.
Real Warriors Brave Winter
Looking to play disc golf throughout the winter season? Many clubs have winter leagues and other series—like the Winter Warrior series run by Mile High Disc Golf Club in Denver, Colorado. The hardy souls of Colorado’s mile-high city don’t let winter squelch their passion for disc golf.
“We’ve played in two feet of snow, in 30-mile-per-hour winds, and in negative temperatures,” says Josh Kreutzer of the Mile High Disc Golf Club. His Winter Warriors tournament series stages a random draw doubles match every Saturday from early November through late January—totaling 14 events over 13 chilly weeks. Why? Because, he insists, it’s fun.
It all began in 2005, when MHDGC members Mike Webster and Randy Anderson wished that they could play more disc golf in winter. They called up a few friends, and started meeting for occasional games.
But the momentum snowballed: More members joined in, the games took on a lighthearted tournament structure, and participants started pitching in cash donations to Ice Bowl and giving that annual fundraiser a two-month head start. The MHDGC has raised more than $179,000 for the Food Bank of the Rockies. It also holds the Ice Bowl record for annual contributions ($40,100). “We’re very proud of it,” says MHDGC board member Ray Woodruff.
But the Winter Warriors series (as it is now known) does much more than generate cash for worthy causes. It also sustains club membership over the winter, strengthens the community aspect of the club, and renews the game’s fun factor.
“It acts as a break for the highly competitive tournament players,” says Woodruff. That’s because every Winter Warriors event includes wacky requirements: Players might have to wear a silly hat while throwing, or throw into a laughably tiny basket, or putt sidearm—while blindfolded. “Players can laugh at themselves,” says Woodruff. “There’s less stress, because normally when you get paired with top players, you worry about letting them down. But with Winter Warriors, everyone gets to try shots that they would never get to try otherwise,” he says.
Ribbing is de rigeur. And that—along with the weather everyone braves together–fuels the club’s camaraderie. “We swap horror stories about white-knuckle drives through snowstorms, and years later, people are still talking about rounds they played in hip-deep snow,” says Woodruff.
Not only does the Winter Warriors series make players feel part of a fun and lively community, but it stimulates the club’s annual membership drive (which kicks off January 1). “We don’t have to wake everyone up,” says Woodruff. Players’ discs aren’t gathering dust in the basement. Instead, the club remains relevant, and people’s disc golf friends stay top of mind. Says Kreutzer, “It’s an excuse to go freeze your butt off with wonderful people.”
Photo of Winter Warrior Co-founders, Mike Webster and Randy Anderson, courtesy of Mark Bell.