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We’ve written a lot on mid-range discs, and to continue our series we’re focusing on the best mid-range discs for sidearm shots in today’s article.
If you haven’t given sidearm technique a try yet, we highly recommend you do. Sidearm can help improve your overall game and elevate you in skill.
Using the right discs with the right technique is crucial to a well-performed game. Continue reading to learn about mid-range discs and why we recommend using them for sidearm.
Mid-range discs vs. other disc golf discs
What are mid-range discs and how are they different from other discs?
Mid-range discs are one of four categories of discs in disc golf.
They are typically short-to-moderate distance discs that are easy for any skill level to throw, are great for accuracy and control, and are quite versatile and can be used for a variety of shots.
Mid-range discs are some of the most beginner-friendly discs.
They serve a distinct purpose from the other types of disc golf discs: distance drivers, fairway drivers, and putters.
Distance drivers are what you want to use when you have a lot of distance to cover in a throw.
These discs typically require a lot of arm power in order to throw them to their max potential.
Distance drivers can be used during sidearm in addition to mid-range discs.
Fairway drivers are similar to distance drivers, but they cover a more moderate amount of distance and require less power to throw.
They can also be used for sidearm shots and are more friendly to beginners than distance drivers are.
The final category is putters. These discs are used for putt and approach shots as you advance closer to the basket. It is highly uncommon to throw putters with sidearm.
How can you tell these discs apart?
It’s actually fairly easy. Most disc golf manufacturers clearly state whether a disc is a distance driver, fairway driver, mid-range disc, or putter.
However, it’s definitely worthwhile to understand how to discern between the discs based on the flight ratings alone.
The flight ratings are four different categories which assess how a disc will likely perform while in flight when thrown properly.
These categories are: speed, glide, turn, and fade.
Speed dictates how much power needs to go into throwing a disc in order for it to fly the way it’s supposed to.
Speed is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. Mid-range discs will typically be on the lower to mid range of the spectrum, with speeds typically trending around 4 or 5.
Glide describes the disc’s tendency to achieve loft while at the speediest portion of flight (in other words, the beginning).
Glide is measured on a scale of 1 to 7.
Mid-range discs are typically moderate glide of around 5. These discs aren’t supposed to fly high and far, but they can still achieve a fair amount of reach to help compensate for lack of speed.
Turn describes whether the disc will turn right easily (on a right-hand backhand shot). Turn is measured on a scale of +1 to -5.
While the other categories are fairly consistent among discs (like distance drivers will be high speed, mid-range discs will be lower speed, etc.), there are a variety of every disc within this category. +1 discs are overstable, while -3 to -5 discs are understable. Overstable and understable discs can be used effectively for sidearm, but we’ll get more into that later.
The final category is fade. Fade is measured on a scale of 0 to 5.
Low fade discs finish straight, while high fade discs hook sharp left at the end of their flight path.
A straight finishing disc is going to be the best choice for mid-range because you’ll know where to anticipate the disc finishing instead of being surprised with a sharp hook.
What is the sidearm?
The sidearm throw is sometimes called the flick or a forehand shot.
It is distinct from the backhand throw, and can be used for a variety of shots, from rollers to tunnels to distance shots to approach shots.
There are some advantages to throwing sidearm vs. backhand in disc golf.
Some players can get either more power and distance throwing sidearm, or else they can achieve better precision and accuracy with a sidearm throw as opposed to a backhand throw.
In order to learn more about the technique for throwing sidearm, check out this great video by pro disc golf player Nate Sexton.
Using mid-range discs for sidearm
Mid-range discs are a great choice to use for sidearm shots because mid-range discs are used for precision shots.
The combination of a mid-range disc with a sidearm throw can make for an effective and accurate throw.
Understable or overstable?
We recommend a stable mid-range disc when throwing sidearm. We offer this recommendation based on the following criteria:
If you’re using a mid-range disc, you’re probably aiming for a precise and accurate shot. Maybe you’re up against a tunnel and need something straight flying.
Stable mid-range discs will fly straight and finish straight, and their flight path will be extremely predictable.
Overstable or understable discs require a little more understanding and technique.
If you’re advanced then you know which disc is right for you.
But if you’re a beginner, try sticking with a stable mid-range disc for now until you get more settled into your form.
The next best choice for newer players is to try out an understable mid-range disc. This will offer you a lot of variety because understable discs are easier to throw and can also be used for roller shots.
To throw a roller, you need an understable disc because they turn to the right, meaning the disc will effectively turn on its side and roll down the fairway.
Best mid-range disc for sidearm
There are a number of mid-range disc options that may work well for use with throwing sidearm. You should always consult an industry professional for guidance when selecting and using any new product in disc golf.
The following options may work well for your needs.
Discmania D-Line MD2 Mid-Range Golf Disc
This disc’s flight ratings: speed 4, glide 5, turn 0, fade 2.
The Discmania MD2 is a straight-flying, straight-finishing, easy-to-throw disc that doesn’t require a lot of power. It is extremely predictable and will hold any line you throw it on.
Although this is a stable disc, the weight range you select will have a subtle effect on its stability. Heavier MD2s maintain more stability, while the lighter versions are a little more understable.
The D-Line plastic line is not Discmania’s most durable plastic by any means, but it is more comfortable to grip.
More durable plastics hold their flight ratings better, but are often somewhat more uncomfortable to grip.
This disc is not a flat disc, but rather domey. This disc can handle higher speeds and still maintain control and accuracy. It is suitable for all skill levels, from pros to beginners.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your game.
Innova Disc Golf Star Line Wedge Golf Disc
The Innova Wedge can work as either a mid-range disc or a putt and approach disc. Its flight ratings are: speed 3.5, glide 3, turn -3, fade 1.
While the Discmania disc works well as a stable mid-range disc, the Wedge works well as an understable mid-range disc.
This is the type of disc you’ll want if you need something versatile that can function for rollers. We recommend this disc in the Star plastic.
The Star plastic is more durable (not quite as durable as Innova’s Champion line), and will hold its flight ratings for a longer period of time.
You’ll need an extremely durable plastic for a roller-shot disc because rollers put a lot of wear, tear, and punishment on your disc.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for your needs.
Dynamic Discs Disc Golf Lucid Justice Overstable Midrange Disc Golf Disc
This mid-range disc from Dynamic Discs is our recommendation for an overstable mid-range disc for sidearm. The Justice’s flight ratings are: speed 5, glide 1, turn 0.5, and fade 4.
This disc is going to be a low-flier, making it an awesome choice for low-hanging obstacles.
It’ll have a sharp leftward hook at the end which can be useful to get around obstacles and advance you closer to the target.
Dynamic Discs’ Lucid plastic line is a super durable blend that can withstand wear and tear while maintaining the disc’s original integrity for a decent amount of time.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for you.
Which disc is best for sidearm?
Short answer: any one of them will work! We selected three similar, yet distinct discs to give you some variety when making your choice — and these are not the only discs available, either!
All three of these discs are useful to have in your arsenal to help you maintain control, accuracy, and precision when playing.
The main differences between them lies in their turn. The Discmania MD2 is stable, the Innova Wedge is understable, and the Dynamic Discs Justice is overstable.
All three are necessary depending on the layout of the fairway you’re playing on.
If you are really just looking for one good all-around disc, we’d have to recommend the Discmania MD2. You can’t go wrong with a straight-flier and straight-finisher, and this disc is just that!
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com