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The more you delve into disc golf, the more you’ll realize how crucial having a good drive is to your game.
Getting the distance and accuracy you need on your long drives will mean the difference between having a clean putt, a lay-up, or else having to get yourself out of a tricky situation.
For this reason, a reliable driver will be an indispensable part of your kit and a disc you will doubtlessly find yourself going back to again and again.
But in recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of brands, models, and classifications of discs on the market, and choosing the best disc can be a little overwhelming for experienced players, let alone newcomers to the sport.
Drivers require excellent technique to function properly, and one of the worst things you can do as a beginner is to choose a disc that is too advanced for your skill level.
So with all that in mind, we’ve put together this list of the best backhand drivers for disc golf, to help you get the most out of your money and progress in your game as quickly as you can.
What is a backhand driver?
A backhand driver is a disc used for long-distance shots, such as the first shot of a particular hole.
Drivers can be subdivided into several categories, including distance drivers, fairway drivers, and control drivers, and the first decision you’ll need to make when selecting a driver is which of these categories you should look into based on your needs.
Distance drivers, as the name implies, are intended for especially long distances.
They typically boast high speed ratings (usually 11 or up) and a more aggressive design, which includes a wider, sharper rim, and more of the weight distributed in the outer portion of the disc.
But because of this, drivers with a high speed rating also require a significant degree of wrist speed, or ‘snap,’ from the thrower in order to get them moving effectively.
Snap requires excellent technique and is something that may take years to perfect.
Fairway drivers feature slightly lower speed ratings and require less speed to fly properly; these drivers are ideal for shorter drives and second-shot drives from the fairway, but can also be perfect drivers for beginning players who are looking for a long throw but lack the speed necessary to use a distance driver.
With roughly the same function as distance drivers, but with higher glide ratings rather than speed ratings, this class of driver can be much more forgiving of less-than-perfect release technique.
Likewise, control drivers are designed to fly long distances, but are especially geared towards shots that require a high degree of touch and precision, such as when obstacles are present.
Your driver is the powerhouse of your collection, and it is extremely important to find one that is well matched to your level of power and ability.
And while it is common for beginners to think that a high speed-rating translates directly into longer and more powerful throws, it is in fact better to stick with a lower-speed disc at first, and to level up only later after you have developed the necessary wrist speed.
What to look for (and avoid) in a backhand driver
In the list of discs that we’ve highlighted below, you’ll notice that although all fall under the classification of drivers, they differ markedly in speed rating, with the Beast by Innova coming in at a relatively low 10, and others scoring as high as 13.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the rating systems are not standardized from one manufacturer to another, although a higher rating will always indicate higher speed relative to other discs of the same manufacturer.
The level of speed of a disc should be paired with your skill-level as a player.
If you notice that your driver with a speed rating of 13 isn’t performing as the specs say it should, this ought to be a sign that you’re still not generating enough snap to use this disc.
All of the discs mentioned below, even the Beast, are intended for at least intermediate players, and if you are a beginner we recommend taking a look at our article on fairway drivers, as these discs may be a good alternative with lower speed ratings and lots of glide.
Best Backhand Driver for Disc Golf
And so with that being said, we’ve highlighted some of the best drivers on the market to give you all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.
These are just a few of countless backhand drivers that will five you the extra edge next time you step on the disc golf course.
Innova DX Beast Golf Disc
- Speed: 10.0
- Glide: 5.0
- Turn: -2.0
- Fade: 2.0
Compared with other drivers from Innova such as the Boss and the Destroyer, the Beast has a relatively low speed rating perfect for intermediate players.
With a less aggressive rim, the Beast is a precise disc that is also capable of great distances without the need for too much power.
It’s offered in many plastic types such as Champion, Star, GStar, Pro, and the lightweight Blizzard Champion.
The perfect disc for beginning players who want to start stepping up their driving range.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.
Innova Champion Boss Distance Driver
- Speed: 13.0
- Glide: 5.0
- Turn: 0.0
- Fade: 3.0
As opposed to the Beast, the Boss is tailored to throwers with much more power.
It is famous as the disc that holds the world record for distance, one of the factors which has helped to bolster its popularity.
This disc has a wide rim, helping to deliver increased speed, as well as a significant fade, making it suitable only for experienced throwers.
Nevertheless, the Boss is available in Blizzard Champion plastic, giving a lighter option to players lacking the power to use the full-weight version.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc could work for you.
INNOVA GStar Destroyer Disc Golf Disc
- Speed: 12.0
- Glide: 5.0
- Turn: -1.0
- Fade: 3.0
The Destroyer is the disc that became Innova’s quintessential distance driver over a decade ago, and it continues to be one of the most popular and sought-after discs on the market.
It is available in most types of plastic and at a variety of weights, including some lighter and more accessible models.
Even so, this disc is only recommended for fairly advanced throwers with a great deal of arm speed.
But if you do have the power to use this classic driver then it is definitely one that you need to give a try.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com