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Midrange discs are the most important discs for players just starting out in the game. However, with the variety of discs out there, how do you know which one to choose?

What is the best mid-range disc for beginners?

In this article, we’ll consider some important factors that influence your choice to use a mid-range disc and highlight several products that may work well for use at the beginner skill level.

Disc golf disc options

There are four different types of disc golf discs: distance drivers, midrange discs, fairway drivers, and putters. Within these four general categories are a variety of colorful options.

There are quite a few disc manufacturing brands out there, and within each brand are different lines, each containing variations of the four main disc types.

Because there is so much variety out there, it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to find the best disc to suit your needs.

Distance drivers were designed to help players achieve the maximum distance possible in one shot.

These discs can be found in a variety of plastic types, models, and weights to suit any player, no matter the skill level.

Fairway drivers are hybrid discs which are useful in two situations: both driving and approach scenarios. Drive shots are long shots where your aim is to advance closer to the basket.

Approach shots are shorter shots that set you up for an easy putt. These discs are easier for beginners to manipulate than distance drivers are.

Mid-range discs are the sweet spot for beginners. These discs can serve multipurpose like the fairway drivers can, but they are the easiest and most dependable discs to handle.

Putter discs are essential to your game. The putt is any shot you make that is within 10 meters or less from the target.

Terms and definitions you need to know

Disc golf has a rating system for all discs. This rating system measures that specific disc’s speed, glide, turn, and fade. These are important concepts to know and understand when it comes to choosing a disc that’s right for you.

Unfortunately, these numbers are only consistent within brands, not from one brand to another. This is because there is no official regulation on the discs aside from the actual size they can be.

Each brand uses its own variation of measurements and plastic combinations, so every disc’s flight behavior can vary to some degree. There is no set standard.

Speed defines the rate at which the disc flies through the air. The speed is measured on a scale of 1 to 14.

Discs that are rated at the lower end of the scale require a lot of power when throwing the disc on an upwind, however they are quite predictable and manageable when thrown downwind.

Lower speed discs are best for beginners to start out with, as high speed discs require a lot of learned technique in order to use properly. For a beginner disc for mid-range, we recommend looking for a speed of between 4 and 5.

Glide defines the disc’s ability to achieve and maintain loft while in the air. Glide is measured on a scale of 1 to 7.

For a beginner, you’ll want to look for a disc with a high glide rating. This will help you focus on your form and technique while also producing a lot of distance on a throw.

For a beginner midrange disc, we recommend looking for a glide rating of between 3 and 6.

Turn defines the disc’s tendency to “turn over” or drift to the right (on right-hand back-hand throws) during the beginning of the flight. Turn is measured on a scale of +1 to -5.

Discs with a +1 rating are the most overstable discs (a definition we’ll cover below), while discs marked -5 are the most understable discs (see below).

For a beginner midrange disc, we recommend looking for a turn rating of -2 to -4.

Fade defines the disc’s tendency to hook abruptly to the left (during right-hand back-hand throws) at the end of the flight once the speeds slows. Fade is measured on a scale of 0 to 5.

Discs that are rated 0 will provide the straightest flight pattern, while discs rated 5 hook sharpest. For a beginner midrange disc, we recommend looking for a fade rating of 0 to 1.

Overstable defines the tendency of a disc to turn to the left (at either high or low speeds) on a right-hand back-hand throw.

These are usually recommended for experienced and professional players, not beginners. Overstable discs usually have around a 0 turn rating but a higher fade rating. They usually also have lower glide ratings.

Understable defines the tendency of the disc to turn to the right during the highest velocity portion of the flight for a right-hand back-hand thrower.

These discs are recommended for beginners. They will usually have a turn rating of around -2 and a very low fade rating.

Now that we’ve looked at some key definitions, let’s look at what all this has to do with choosing a midrange disc.

What to look for in a good mid-range disc for beginners

We listed above what ratings to look out for, so let’s recap that really quickly:

  • Speed: you want a disc that’s rated 4 to 5.
  • Glide: you want a disc that’s rated 3 to 6.
  • Turn: you want a disc that’s rated -2 to -4.
  • Fade: you want a disc that’s rated 0-1.

You want to avoid overstable discs and instead look out for understable discs.

These things insure that the disc you purchase will have a manageable speed without the disc being so fast that you have no control over it whatsoever.

Choosing a manageable speed helps you learn the game and work on your technique before progressing to more challenging discs.

There’s no shame in this and it’s really important you get your technique right with a lot of practice!

Having a higher glide rating allows you to make up in glide what you lack in speed.

This will allow you to still cover a fair amount of distance, even if you aren’t able to put a lot of power behind your throw just yet.

Having a lower turn rating helps you be more precise with your throw. This means that the disc will travel a straighter line during the highest speed of the throw and will take longer to hook to the left (again, this is why we want understable discs).

Finally, having a lower fade rating combined with a lower turn rating means your disc will hold the line longer and allow for a more precise throw.

These are all important aspects for beginners because, again, this is the time for you to learn technique, not try to power your throws with a lot of force and speed.

A couple of other things to look out for when choosing a midrange beginner disc: make sure the disc you choose is PDGA approved.

This means that the disc was manufactured within the guidelines of the Professional Disc Golf Association, and insures that you’re purchasing from a reputable manufacturer.

This will also help insure that the disc you’re purchasing is made from higher quality plastic material, which will make it more durable in the long run.

Finally, consider the weight of the disc. The heavier the disc, the harder it can be to power.

If you’re a younger or smaller disc golf player, you might consider purchasing a lighter disc so it’s easier for you to throw.

Similarly, if you’re bigger or can put more oomph into your shots, consider a heavier disc weight.

Best midrange disc for beginners

Innova – Champion Discs DX Stingray Golf Disc (Colors may vary)

Innova is a trusted and well-known brand within the disc golf community. This disc is PDGA approved and made from Innova’s DX plastic line.

That simply means that, as this disc continues to be used and wears and tears, its flight behaviors and characteristics will change with time.

This is okay because it will allow you to grow with the disc and be well-acclimated to its changing behaviors.

Let’s look at this disc’s ratings:

Speed: 4

Glide: 5

Turn: -3

Fade: 1

It fits within our recommendations. This disc has a manageable speed, will make up for slower speeds with its glide capacity, allowing you to achieve greater distance, and it’s understable with a more predictable flight line.

You can purchase this disc in a variety of weights: 140-150 gram, 151-164 gram, 165-169 gram, 170-174 gram, 175-177 gram, and 178-180 gram.

This is a great variety because it allows beginners of all shapes and sizes to find a disc that works for them.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product could potentially work for your midrange disc golf needs.

Pros:

  • Good ratings
  • PDGA approved
  • Made from high quality material
  • Comes in a variety of weights

Cons:

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

Discraft Buzzz Elite-Z Glo Golf Disc

Another well-known and reputable disc golf brand, Discraft manufactured the BUZZZ specifically for midrange use.

This disc is PDGA approved and made of durable plastic that glows in the dark and is comfortable to grip.

This disc’s ratings are:

  • Speed: 5
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: -2
  • Fade: 1

This disc also fits within our recommendations. It’s different from the Innova because it has a higher speed rating but lower glide.

This disc also comes in a variety of weights starting at 164 grams and extending beyond 177 grams. So this might not be the best choice for younger or smaller players.

View at Amazon to learn more how this product may work for you.

Pros:

  • Good ratings
  • PDGA approved
  • Made from durable material
  • Comes in a variety of weights
  • Glows in the dark so you can play day or night

Cons:

  • Colors vary, so you might not get the color you want
  • Comes in a heavier weight range, so might not be ideal for smaller players

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @jarih