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We want you to get the best out of your discs and continue improving your disc golf game.

If you know disc golf, you know that strategy is key, so when choosing your discs, you need to be just that: Strategic!

If you are a beginner or intermediate player looking to step up to the next level but still working on honing your technique and perfecting your long-distance throw, this article is for you!

One of the tools to help you make the move from beginner or intermediate player to advanced is using a control driver. Keep reading to find out why!

In this article, we will focus specifically on what is a control driver disc and give you our recommendations for which ones you should add to your set. 

What is a control driver?

As mentioned above, control drivers are discs for beginner to intermediate players who are not quite yet ready to be throwing a distance driver. 

So let’s first clarify – what is a distance driver?

A distance driver is a thicker and often heavier disc that can be thrown a long distance but requires extreme power and technique from the thrower.

While distance drivers can travel further on the fairway, they require expert technique and knowledge of the discs flight pattern. 

Control drivers, on the other hand, are for those wanting to focus on accuracy and improving their technique without getting frustrated by constantly dive-bombing their discs into the ground from that initial throw off the tee pad.

Take note: if you’ve got a strong arm and can whip that first disc off the drive with the force and accuracy of the gods, maybe a control driver will be below your skill level.

The control driver is closely related to, if not synonymous with what’s called a fairway driver.

The most accepted ranking of drivers goes from fairway drive, control driver, distance driver.

However some argue that fairway and control drivers are the same.

Both of these discs – whether you agree they are same or not – are designed to give the player more control over their throw while still allowing the disc to cover a significant distance. 

The slower the disc, the more control it offers.

It goes without saying that putters are the slowest, however when you’re needing that extra distance on the drive, a putter won’t do you any good.

That’s why they invented the control driver!

Therefore if you are working up to gaining more power in your throw, the control driver is the perfect disc to bridge the gap to buying your first distance driver.

So why add a control driver to your set? What edge does it give you? You guessed it: control!

Many players, especially beginners, make the mistake of going for speed when they first start out.

The view from the start of the fairway can feel daunting so it’s easy to want to grab the fastest distance driver on the market.

But many beginners lack the power and technique to throw a distance driver well, which can seriously affect your game and, worst case scenario, even discourage you from continuing to play and improve!

So now that we’ve convinced you the necessity of adding a control driver to your set, let’s talk about what to look for (and stay away from!) when picking out the perfect one.

What to look for in a control driver (and what to avoid)

When looking for a quality control driver, it’s important to pay attention to the numbers on the bottom of the disc.

As we’ve covered in other articles, when choosing the best control disc driver for you, you’ll want to focus on the flight ratings system.

These numbers refer to how the disc will fly, assuming it’s been thrown with proper technique.

It’s recommended to choose a disc with a low speed rating, preferable below 9 and higher than 6. This will allow you to focus on the control of flight without losing control of your disc.

You’ll want your disc to stay in the air as long as possible, since distance isn’t necessarily a strength of the control driver.

Therefore, look for a high glide rating, preferably 4 or higher. This means the disc will stay afloat – it may travel slow but at least it will stay in the air!

At least some speed on the turn makes it easier to throw for beginning players so look for a disc with a turn rating between 0 and -3.

Getting closer to -5 will give you a disc that turns drastically, which may be harder to control for those just starting out.

Keep the fade rating low (between 0 and 3) as you’ll want the disc to keep a predictable path at the end of its run and not make unexpected directional changes.

Along these lines, It’s also important for the disc to be understable.

So what does that even mean?

Well, an understable disc is one characterized by its ability to “hold off” the final fade the disc will inevitably take for the longest amount of time before the end of its run.

The weight of the disc also plays a role. The lighter the disc, the easier it is to manage and control its flight path. Beginners should try and stay below 169 grams.

Now that we’ve covered everything there is to know about what to look for when buying a control driver, here’s what to avoid:

Avoid anything that says distance driver.

As you might guess, these discs will give you the distance on the drive you desire but are likely to require more power and technique in the throw.

These are for more advanced players.

With that said, if you are using a driver at all, it means you have some experience under your belt!

An absolute beginner will only need to practice with mid-range discs and putters … so when looking for the best control driver, you’ll want to avoid the latter.

The flight ratings system makes it easy to identify these factors of speed, glide, turn and fade ratings so make sure to pay close attention to those numbers.

Best Control Driver Disc Golf

While there are a wide array of control drivers to choose from, we’ve scoured the internet to find just a few that hit the mark.

This is by no means an extensive list, but it’s a jumping off point to get you started on the search to find the perfect disc for you. 

Always consult an industry professional before using any new disc for your game.

Innova GStar Leopard3 Fairway Driver Golf Disc

The Innova GStar Leopard3 can be thrown a variety of ways to take advantage of its versatility.

You can throw it with less power for a more controlled, straight flight, or add some power to get a turn.

It weighs approximately 158 grams, putting it in the perfect range for a beginner/intermediate disc.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for you.

Here’s the breakdown of this disc:

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -2
  • Fade: 1

MVP Disc Sports Neutron Relay Disc Golf Driver

This disc is especially great for beginners as it’s extremely understable and easy to grip.

It’s been around for a while and already has a reputation for being a good, reliable disc for beginners.

View at Amazon for more information on how this disc could work for you.

Here’s the specs on this disc:

  • Speed: 6
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -2
  • Fade: 1

Dynamic Discs Lucid Line Escape Disc Golf Driver

The Lucid Line Escape from Dynamic Discs is significantly understable and adheres closely to the flight predicted by its flight ratings.

It’s more adept for a variety of skill levels and will give you that consistent, reliable flight you need!

View this disc at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for control.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Speed: 9
  • Glide: 6
  • Turn: -0.5
  • Fade: 2

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com

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