DiscGolfWarrior.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.
Putters are one of the most overlooked discs in disc golf because they’re honestly not the most glamorous discs to throw. They’re typically very simple and straight-forward shots–or at least, that’s how they appear.
However, just because some disc golf players have a tendency to overlook their short-game doesn’t mean you should fall into that category!
In this article, we’ll walk you through our recommendations on the best disc golf putters for beginners to help you increase your skills and better your disc golf game. We also offer a few putting tips as well, so read on!
What is a putter in disc golf?
A putter is one of four discs in disc golf. The putter is the disc you use for “putt and approach” shots, where your intention is to get the disc into the basket.
The other three discs: distance drivers, fairway drivers, and mid-range discs, are used for advancing your disc closer to the target.
In some cases, those discs might actually land in the basket, but the general use is simply to get you closer.
Putter discs do not have vast capacities for speed, distance, or tricks; rather, they’re quite simple: their goal is to go into the basket and end the round.
Although their use is simple, throwing them is sometimes not so simple.
That’s why we have recommendations on which putter discs are appropriate for beginners, and which are better reserved for more advanced players.
Beginner tips on putting
Some basic tips on putting include:
Proper form. Whether you’re putting forehand or backhand, make sure you practice appropriate form. Proper form includes keeping your feet appropriately distanced, maneuvering your weight from one foot to the other as you wind your arm, and then releasing the disc with controlled speed and power so that it makes it into the basket without bouncing off the chains and off-course.
In order to ensure you have the most positive and successful experience while putting, consider a few variables:
What are the weather conditions like? Weather can affect your disc and cause it to fly differently from how you anticipate it.
Most notably, wind is a significant factor in your disc’s flight.
If a tailwind is blowing (which is the type of wind that blows against you from behind), consider throwing a more understable putter. This is because tailwinds cause your disc to fly rather overstable, so an understable putter can help balance out those effects.
If a headwind is blowing, you’ll want to utilize an opposite rule: throw an overstable putter.
Headwinds create an understable flight path for your disc which an overstable disc can help balance.
Following these tips will help you throw your disc with better aim and strategy, and hopefully improve your overall game.
How will you know if a disc is understable or overstable? Pay attention to the flight ratings on your disc. Every disc golf manufacturer has to disclose the flight characteristics of the discs they create.
These ratings are not going to be consistent from brand-to-brand, but they are good guidelines to help you understand the intention behind the disc.
In some cases, the flight numbers are printed directly onto the disc.
If not, a quick Google search of your disc will show what its flight ratings are.
The flight ratings are organized according to speed, glide, turn, and fade. Speed helps us understand how much power needs to go into throwing a disc in order for it to fly to its full potential.
Glide tells us how much an individual disc is capable of loft during the highest-speed portion of the flight.
Turn is what helps us understand if a disc is overstable, stable, or understable. In most cases, a disc is overstable if its rating is 1 or 0, stable if its rating is 0 or -1, and understable if its rating is between -2 to -5.
Another tip on improving your putting game is to try purchasing a narrow basket.
These at-home practice baskets are made to help you improve your putting game because they’re half the circumference of a regular disc golf basket.
By practicing putting with a narrow basket, you train yourself to throw successfully at a smaller target, which means when you’re on the course playing with a full-size basket you’ll be that much better.
Our final tip is to practice, practice, practice your short game! Putting and short game is often neglected in favor of practicing those glorious long-range shots.
But you cannot underestimate the value of well-developed short-range skills. Putting well can be the difference between winning or losing a match against your competitors!
What to look for in a good disc golf putter for beginners
It seems like every year, disc golf manufacturers produce more and more putter discs, which lends the question: How do you know which is the best one for beginners?
What criteria can you judge a disc golf disc by in order to determine whether or not it’s appropriate for your level of skill?
Putters are putters. They’re beneficial for both beginner and advanced players.
However, we believe that beginners need higher glide putter discs so that they can focus primarily on their form, rather than their primary focus being generating power.
Securing a disc with a moderate glide rating of 3 or 4 is ideal.
We also recommend that beginners stick to stable putters since those will be the most straight-flying discs.
Understable discs are also typically easy enough for beginners to use since understable discs turn right on a right-hand backhand shot.
Overstable discs are harder for beginner players to throw. These discs fade left on right-hand backhand shots and are often harder for beginner-level players to throw.
On the subject of a straight-flying disc, make sure the disc golf putter you select has a low fade rating of either 0 or 1.
High-fade discs are going to be essential down the line as you become more skilled and face more challenging obstacles, but for now stick to as straight a shot as possible!
A note on plastic: as a beginner, you’ll want to ensure the disc you’re throwing is comfortable.
Since form and technique are your primary focus points as a beginner (after all, you need to solidify those movements in your muscle memory!), you don’t want to worry about the uncomfortable grip of a hard and inflexible plastic.
Our recommendations below will include our plastic recommendations as well.
Best disc golf putter for beginners
There are a number of discs that might work well for a beginning disc golf putter. It’s important to consult an industry professional before using any new product for your game.
The following options may prove a good solution for you.
Innova DX Aviar Putt and Approach Golf Disc
The Innova Aviar is a popular putt and approach disc perfect for beginners. Its flight ratings are: speed 2, glide 3, turn 0, fade 1.
Its flight ratings perfectly fit our criteria for a good disc for beginners.
This disc will fly a straight, clean shot into your basket with little power needed.
We recommend the DX plastic for beginners because Innova’s DX plastic line is a great line to break-in and learn with.
Innova describes their DX plastic thusly: “Our DX line offers the widest selection of models and weights. These discs are affordably priced and provide an excellent grip in a variety of weather situations. DX discs wear in with usage and over time will eventually take on new and varied flight characteristics. Many top pros carry several DX discs of their favorite models to provide different flight patterns for different situations.”
We mentioned above that you want a comfortable grip as a beginner. Innova’s DX plastic line provides just that.
The DX plastic is not the most durable or weather-resistant plastic line out there, but it is suitable for beginner skill level.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for you.
Discraft Z FLX Line Challenger Golf Disc
The Discraft Challenger provides a little more “approach” to putt and approach than the Innova Aviar does.
This disc can be used for some longer-distance putts and still fly a nice straight path.
Its flight ratings are: speed 2, glide 3, turn 0, and fade 2.
For all intents and purposes, it looks nearly identical to the Innova Aviar, but remember that flight ratings cannot be compared between brands.
This disc does have a bit of a higher fade, meaning it will travel more towards the left (on a right-hand backhand throw).
Regardless, it’s a great putter and should definitely be included in your arsenal to help you develop your short-game.
The FLX plastic is sturdier and more inflexible than the Innova DX plastic. It’s not as stiff and sturdy as Discraft’s Z line, but it’s a better blend of durability and gummy grip.
If you’re brand new to disc golf, between the Innova Aviar in DX plastic and the Discraft Challenger in FLX plastic, the Aviar is probably a better choice because it is a simple and straight-flying, moderate glide disc in a comfortable, grippy plastic blend.
However, if you’re not brand new but still pretty new, you might like the Challenger better!
Ultimately, we never advise against purchasing multiple discs and trying them out in different weather situations to see which you like best. You can never have too many discs!
View at Amazon to learn more about this disc.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com