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Disc golf drivers are the most elusive discs for beginners. This is because they have the highest speed and power capacities, and therefore require a lot of power and technique to throw accurately and over a long distance.
While it is normally recommended that beginners steer clear of drivers, for some beginners it might be necessary to own one.
So what’s the best disc golf driver for beginners?
In this article, we walk you through what to look for in a driver as a beginner and highlight several products that may work well for use for your beginner driver needs.
What is a disc golf driver?
If you’re a true beginner and new to the disc golf world, you might be wondering what a disc golf driver even is.
Let’s take a look at the four main categories of disc golf discs:
- Distance drivers. These are the most difficult discs to power accurately. These discs are used for long, high flights down the fairway to help achieve maximum distance.
- Fairway drivers. These discs are generally easier to use than distance drivers, but they still require a more intermediate level of technique. They are a good hybrid disc, and can be used for either drive or approach shots (more about that later).
- Midrange discs. These are the best discs for beginners because they can be used on longer or shorter throws. They’re quite easy to throw and are great starter discs to help you learn proper form and technique.
- Putter discs. These are the discs you use when you go in for the close. Putters are typically used within 10 meters from the basket to help you score that final shot. Putters are another good disc to start with as a beginner.
What to look for when selecting a good beginner driver
There are a few terms to know before we look at specific discs that we consider good beginner disc golf drivers.
Above, we mentioned drive and approach shots.
Drive shots describe what happens when you throw the disc a long distance in order to get it closer to the target. Approach shots are what happen when you are approaching the basket and are ready to try to land your shot.
Flight ratings are another important concept to grasp when it comes to picking the right disc. Flight ratings are divided into four categories: speed, glide, turn, and fade.
What can be frustrating about the flight ratings is that they’re not consistent from brand to brand.
The only time flight ratings are consistent is within a brand. So, Innova’s Speed 9 is not going to be the same thing as Discraft’s Speed 9.
Speed is rated on a scale of 1 to 14 and describes the rate at which the disc flies through the air. The higher the speed, the more difficult the disc is to throw and manipulate.
For a beginner disc golf driver, look for an average speed rating of between 6 to 9.
Glide is rated on a scale of 1 to 7 and describes the disc’s ability to achieve and maintain loft while flying through the air.
Since beginners usually do not have a lot of power to put into the speed of the disc, higher glide ratings can help make up distance.
For this reason we recommend beginners looking for disc golf drivers keep an eye out for discs with a high glide rating of between 5 to 7.
Turn is measured on a scale of +1 to -5 and describes the disc’s tendency to turn over to the right (on a right-hand back-hand throw) during the initial part of the flight.
Discs that are close to +1 are more resistant to turn over while discs close to -5 are more likely to turn over.
Discs more prone to turn are easier for beginners to throw. For a beginner disc golf driver, we recommend looking for a turn rating of -2 to -3. This will make the disc easier to throw.
Fade is measured on a scale of 0 to 5 and describes the disc’s tendency to hook left (during right-hand back-hand throws) at the end of a flight.
Discs with high fade are going to hook sharply once the disc slows down at the end of the flight, while discs with lower fade will remain on a straighter flight throughout.
For a beginner disc golf driver, look for a Fade rating of 0-1. This will help you have a more accurate throw.
Disc golf weights usually are anywhere from 140 grams to 180 grams. The heavier the disc, the more wind resistance it has.
But, the heavier it is, the harder it is to power and throw. For beginners we recommend looking for some middle ground like the 160 to 170 gram category.
Finally, it’s important to understand rims and how they affect your game. The PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) instituted a regulation that state the max width of a rim is 2.6 centimeters.
The close a rim is to this width, the faster its speed capacity and the more difficult it will be to manipulate.
Beginners should look for narrower rims under 2 centimeters because these will be easier to throw and easier to grip.
In order to find the best beginner disc golf driver, look for a Speed of 6 to 9, a Glide of 5 yo 7, a Turn of -2 to -3, a Fade of 0-1, a weight of 160 to 170 grams, and a rim that is around 1 centimeter.
These attributes combined will set you up for the greatest success as a beginner learning how to use a disc golf driver.
Best disc golf driver for beginners
There are a number of drivers that could work well for disc golf beginners. It’s important to consult an industry professional before using such a product, especially if you are a beginner to the sport.
The following products may work well for your needs.
Innova Star Leopard Golf Disc (Colors may vary)
The Innova Leopard is a solid choice for a disc golf driver for beginners. This disc is a fairway driver, so while it will take some practice to get used to, it’s not as advanced as a distance driver.
Flight ratings: Speed 6, Glide 5, Turn -2, Fade 1.
This disc comes in a few weight categories: 165-169 grams, 170-172 grams, and 173-175 grams. Its rim width is 1.6 centimeters
This disc is manufactured using Innova’s Star plastic blend. Their Star line is grippy and durable. The grippy texture will help you have greater control over your disc, and the durable material means your disc will last longer.
As you continue to grow in skill and technique, you’ll be able to use this disc for hyzer flips and long range rollers as well.
The only downside about this disc is that the colors vary, so you may not get your desired color. Aside from that, this is an all-around great choice for beginner disc golf players.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your disc golf needs.
- Great choice for beginner
- Appropriate flight ratings
- Grippy, durable material
- Multipurpose disc
- Varying weight options
- Narrow rim
- Colors vary, so you may not get the color you want
Discraft is a reputable and high-quality disc golfing brand. This disc has great glide and makes it quite easy for beginner disc golf players to achieve distance.
It is a little more high-speed than some of the other discs we’re reviewing today, but it is still manageable for most beginners.
The plastic blend for this disc is one of Discraft’s cheapest blends, though it is still durable and will hold up well in the elements.
Its smaller rim and softer material makes it grippy and comfortable, allowing you to maximize control.
Flight ratings: Speed 9, Glide 6, Turn -3, Fade 1.
The max this disc weighs is 176 grams and comes in a lime green color. Its rim width is 1.2 centimeters.
View at Amazon for more information on the potential use of this product with a beginner.
- Appropriate flight ratings
- Grippy, comfortable material
- Great choice for beginner players
- Narrow rim
- No weight category or color choice options
- A bit high on the speed scale
Prodigy 400 Series F7 Driver
Prodigy is another well-known brand in the disc golf world. This disc is a fairway driver, but it can also be used for turn shots and rollers as you continue to grow in skill and technique.
This disc is made with one of Prodigy’s highest quality materials. It is grippy and comfortable to grasp, and it is quite durable for long-term use.
Flight ratings: Speed 7, Glide 5, Turn -3, Fade 1.
This disc comes in a limited weight range: 165 to 170 grams, and 170 to 176 grams. Its rim width is 1.8 centimeters.
If you are a physically bigger player, the Prodigy driver might be the best option for you because it has wider rims and will allow you to grasp it better if you have bigger hands.
As with most disc golf discs, the colors may vary so you may not get the color you want.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for use with a beginner.
- PDGA approved
- Appropriate flight ratings for beginner-level
- High-quality material
- Comfortable and durable
- Multipurpose disc
- Appropriate for beginners
- Limited weight range
- Colors vary so you may not get the desired color
- Wider rim than some of the other options
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @juhajavinen