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Disc golf is a fun, rewarding sport, but there is a lot to learn about it when you first get started. There are a ton of different terms, definitions, techniques, and strategies that go into the game, and all of these are built on the laws of physics.

In today’s article we’re going to try to simplify some of the terms and concepts as much as possible to help you find the best disc golf putters for beginners.

The putter disc is a crucial and non-negotiable part of the game, so it’s imperative that your choice make the most sense for your skill level!

Difference between a putter and other discs

There are four main types of disc golf discs:

  1. Distance Driver. The distance driver is one of the hardest discs to manipulate. It is meant to do exactly what it’s called: drive distance. This is the disc you want when you have a long play to make, and this disc requires a lot of power and speed to manipulate it appropriately.
  2. Fairway Driver. This is between a distance driver and a mid-range disc (the next disc we’ll discuss). It is also made to go longer distances and help you advance closer to the basket. At times, it can even be used to throw directly into the basket rather than landing next to the target.
  3. Mid-range Disc. This is one of the best choices for beginners. It’s an overall, all-around good disc to have for a multitude of purposes.
  4. Putter. Arguably one of the most important discs, the putter is what you use for a putt (a putt is defined as any throw within 10 meters or less from the target).

Important terms to know

Everything discussed in this article is based on either right-hand back-hand throws or left-hand fore-hand throws, which means the disc is spinning clockwise. Keep this in mind going forward.

Turn

First, let’s look at the concept of “Turn.” In disc golf, “Turn” measures the high speed stability of the disc. To measure turn, you have to understand the velocity that is required to turn the disc the way you want it to.

Overstable discs can require more speed and power, therefore usually making them more appropriate for experienced disc golf players rather than beginners.

The turn of the disc is dependent on how much power and speed with which you throw the disc, as well as the relative stability of the disc itself. 

In disc golf, all discs have a set of 4 numbers on them. The third number from the left (second from the right) is what measures the relative stability of that particular disc.

To make things more complicated, these numbers are not based off any objective regulations within the disc golf industry.

The only time you can compare numbers between discs is when you compare discs within the same brand. A -2 on an Innova disc is not going to be the same thing as a -2 on a Dynamic Discs disc.

Anyway, getting back to turn and stability. Stability is measured on a scale of 1 to -5, and the discs can have any of the following ratings: 1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, or -5. 1 represents the most overstable discs, while -5 represents the most understable discs.

Overstable/Understable

Now let’s look at these stability terms. Overstable discs are discs that tend to veer left when through right-hand back-hand.

Understable discs, on the other hand, tend to veer right when thrown right-hand back-hand, but then fade back left once their speed slows.

Wind and weather conditions will also have an impact on the flight patterns of these discs.

Why is all this important to know? Because when you’re a beginner, you want to find a putter that will allow you to focus on perfecting your putting form, rather than having to focus on generating enough power for your throw.

This is why we recommend putters that are mostly stable or somewhat understable rather than overstable putters.

Glide

Glide, in disc golf, refers to the disc’s ability to provide and retain height (or loft) during flight. High glide discs are best for beginner disc golfers, and are measured on the disc from 1-7.

Speed

Speed is how fast the disc will go relative to the amount of power you put into it.

Discs with lower speed numbers are slower discs which require more power, while higher numbers represent discs that can go faster and farther with less throwing effort.

This is measured on a scale of 1-13.

Fade

Fade describes the disc’s tendency to veer one way or another. It is rated on a scale of 0-5. So discs with a 0 fade rating are more likely to maintain a straighter flight pattern, while discs rated 5 will have an abrupt hook at the end of the flight.

Types of putters

There are 3 different types of putters we’re going to consider:

  • Driving Putters
  • Hybrid Putters
  • Putting Putters

For true beginners, you want to start with a putting putter. These discs will provide a straight flight at a low speed.

True putts (within 10 meters or less from the target) are typically going to happen at low speeds anyway.

These discs will provide you with a predictable flight pattern so you can focus more on your putting form and less on your speed and throwing technique.

Hybrid putters can be used during high or low speed throws. Experienced and professional players understand how to manipulate these discs to suit their needs. These are typically not a good choice for beginners.

Driving putters are used at high speeds. They are generally overstable discs and not a good choice for true beginners.

What to look for in a good beginner disc golf putter

The first thing we suggest you look for in a disc golf putter is a 0 or -1 for the turn number. Remember that all disc golf discs have 4 numbers on them that tell you something about the disc.

The 4 numbers represent speed, glide, turn, and fade, all in that order. So the putter that you purchase should have a 0 or -1 as the third number from the left or second number from the right.

New players who are looking for the best beginner disc golf putter will also want their putter to have a lot of glide, so look for a disc with a 3-4 glide rating (second number from the left or third number from the right).

You’ll also want to look for a disc with lower speed (the first number from the left). This helps you control the disc better so that it is less likely to travel farther than you want it to.

It’ll also give you the chance to figure out your throwing technique. For your beginner putter disc, find one with a 3-4 speed rating.

Finally, you want a low fade number. This means your disc will stay on a more straight and predictable flight pattern. Make sure your putter has a fade rating of 1-4.

The last thing to look out for is the weight of the disc. The average disc golf disc can be anywhere from 140-180 grams.

The heavier the disc, the more overstable it tends to be. Beginner disc golfers will want to start out using lighter discs, like those that fall within the 160s.

Best disc golf putter for beginners

There are a number of putters that may work well for use in disc golf. The following products may work well to help you get started.

Innova DX Aviar Putt and Approach Golf Disc (Colors may vary)

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 1

This disc fits into the recommended criteria for an appropriate beginner putter’s speed, glide, turn, and fade scores.

This disc is PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) approved, and made of Innova’s patented DX plastic, which is one of its most popular lines.

One of the main attributes of the DX plastic is that its flight characteristics will change over time with the more wear and tear you put on your disc, making it a good disc to grow into.

With the Innova DX Aviar, you have the option to choose from a multitude of weight ranges. This particular disc can be purchased in a 145-150 gram, 151-159 gram, 160-164 gram, 165-169 gram, 170-172 gram, or 173-175 gram. For beginners, we recommend choosing a putter anywhere from 145 to 165 gram range.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your putting needs.

Pros:

  • Good speed, glide, turn, and fade numbers
  • PDGA approved
  • Multitude of weight options
  • Durable, comfortable plastic

Cons:

  • Colors may vary, so you might not get the color you want

Westside Discs BT Medium Burst Harp Putter Golf Disc [Colors May Vary]

The Westside Harp Putter is a solid choice if you want a bit of a heavier disc.

Its ratings are:

  • Speed: 4
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 3

This disc is also PDGA-approved, and made of Westside Discs’ BT Medium Burst Plastic. That plastic blend simply has one of the best combinations for both durability and grip.

This one does weigh between 173-176 grams, so it is not as light as the Innova.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for beginners when putting.

Pros:

  • Good speed, glide, turn, and fade ratings
  • PDGA approved
  • Durable, comfortable plastic

Cons:

  • No variety of weight choices
  • A little heavier than desirable
  • Colors may vary, so you might not get the color you want

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @jarih