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Mid-range discs are a golden tool in the game of disc golf. These discs can be used for a wide variety of shots and in a multitude of situations.
As with every disc in disc golf, there are so many mid-range discs on the market, how do you know which one to choose?
In this article, we focus on the best mid-range disc golf discs to help give you some useful information before you make a purchase decision!
What is a mid-range disc?
Mid-range discs are one of four discs in disc golf. The four types of discs are: distance drivers, fairway drivers, mid-range discs, and putters.
Distance drivers do exactly what they sound like they do: they drive distance. These are the go-to discs for covering either long distances or max distances.
Distance drivers require a lot of power and speed to throw to their fullest potential, so if you’re a beginner or newer player without a developed arm, we recommend avoiding them for now and sticking to fairway drivers instead.
What are fairway drivers you may ask? They’re a great choice for covering modest to longer distances while still maintaining accuracy and control on the drive.
These discs are lower in speed, making them more conducive to beginner-level skills.
Mid-range discs are honestly an underrated category in disc-golf.
While distance drivers are busy soaring through the air and getting all the glory, mid-range discs are the modest multi-tool carrying us through those tough spots.
These discs are slower, provide more accurate and controlled shots, and can be used for a multitude of shots.
Putters are the final category. These are the slowest discs but arguably one of the most important.
These are the discs that sink into the basket, helping you win your round.
When to use a mid-range disc
Mid-range discs have such a variety of uses that we’ll try our best to cover them all!
You can use a mid-range disc for the following shots.
Roller shots. Rollers are where you throw an understable disc on a right-hand backhand throw at a sharp anhyzer angle. Anhyzer describes the angle at which you throw the disc.
An anhyzer angle is where the nose of the disc (or the point of the disc furthest away from you) is pointed up and toward you.
With a roller, the disc will fly a bit of distance in the air before landing on its side.
Landing on its side means it will roll an additional distance down the freeway before coming to a stop.
Rollers can help you not only cover more distance, but also get your disc under low-hanging obstacles like tree branches.
Tunnel shots. Tunnel shots are where you have to fly your disc on a path between obstacles like trees.
Successfully executed tunnel shots require a lot of accuracy and control.
Without these two elements, your disc could get lost in the trees, sabotaging your score.
Mid-range discs are a great choice for tunnel shots because they’re controlled speed.
Windy approach shots. Wind can affect your disc’s flight significantly in a few ways.
Tailwinds, which are winds that blow against you from behind, cause an overstable effect on your disc.
To balance out this effect, you can throw an understable disc into a tailwind and it’ll follow a straight line.
Headwinds, which are winds that blow against you from the front, cause an understable effect on your disc.
To balance out this effect, throw an overstable mid-range disc into a headwind and it will follow a straight line.
Stable mid-range discs can be used in either situation as long as the winds aren’t extremely strong.
You might be wondering what we mean by these terms, overstable, stable, and understable. Let’s dive in and then we’ll get back to the best mid-range shots.
Discs are categorized according to a set of criteria also known as flight ratings or flight characteristics. These ratings measure speed, glide, turn, and fade.
Speed tells us how much power we need to put into our throw in order to use the disc to its fullest potential.
Speed is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. The closer the number is to 14, the more power the disc requires.
Mid-range discs are normally a moderate speed anywhere in the general ballpark of 5 or over. This means you don’t need to use a lot of power to throw them.
Glide helps us understand how much a disc will soar through the air during the fastest portion of its flight.
Glide is measured on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being max glide. Mid-range discs can be anywhere from moderate to high glide.
Turn is what tells us which way a disc will turn on a right-hand backhand throw.
Turn is divided into three main definitions: overstable, stable, and understable.
Overstable discs, on a right-hand backhand throw, will turn left. Stable discs will fly straight.
Understable discs will turn right. Overstable discs are typically denoted according to the numbers +1 or 0.
Stable discs can be anywhere from 0 to -2, depending on the manufacturer.
Understable discs can be anywhere from -2 to -5, again depending on the manufacturer.
This can be confusing at first, but the fact of the matter is all flight ratings vary from brand to brand.
There are no universal standards in place across the board, so one brand’s +1 is another brand’s 0.
Mid-range discs can fit into any of these turn categories, depending on what strategy you’re utilizing with your throw.
The final category is fade, which describes the disc’s function at the end of flight.
Fade is measured on a scale of 0 to 5. The higher the number, the sharper the fade.
Discs that are thrown right-hand backhand will fade left, while discs thrown right-hand sidearm will fade right.
Mid-range discs can have any level of fade.
Mid-range discs can also be used for putt and approach shots. These shots are where you’re within a short distance from the basket and you’re ready to advance and try to land it in the basket.
Because mid-range discs are more accurate and easy to control, they’re a prime secondary option for putt & approach besides actual putters.
Finally, mid-range discs can be used for either hyzer or anhyzer shots.
Hyzer and anhyzer simply describe the angle at which the disc is released.
On a right-hand backhand throw, an anhyzer angle is where you point the nose of the disc up and toward you.
Anhyzer normally pairs with understable discs, and will follow a line on the right side of the fairway.
Hyzer, on a right-hand backhand throw, is where the nose of the disc points down and away from you.
This angle normally pairs with an overstable disc and will follow a left line on the fairway.
Mid-range discs are not appropriate for shots where you have to cover long distances or generate a lot of speed. They’re simply not made for these shots. They aren’t useful for long, soaring glides across the freeway.
Best mid-range disc golf discs
If you’re looking for a good mid-range disc option, there are a number of products that could potentially work for your game. The following options could potentially provide a good place to start.
Discraft Buzzz Elite Z Golf Disc
A fan favorite for an overstable mid-range disc is the Discraft Buzzz. This is arguably the most famous mid-range disc in the disc golf community.
The Discraft Buzzz’s flight ratings are: speed 5, glide 4, turn .5, and fade 1.
This is a straight flying disc with subtle fade. This is a great disc option for headwind drives, tunnel shots, or putt and approach shots.
We recommend the Discraft Buzzz in the Elite Z plastic. This is Discraft’s toughest, most durable plastic.
It will maintain any disc’s flight ratings in spite of wear and tear from punishment on the terrain.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc could potentially work for your game.
Discraft Buzzz SS Elite Z Golf Disc
A stable version of the Discraft Buzzz, the Discraft Buzzz SS is a great option for beginners who want to practice their techniques and learn how to handle and manage fade.
The Discraft Buzzz SS’s flight ratings are: speed 5, glide 4, turn 0, and fade 1.
It is identical to the original Discraft Buzzz with the exception of its more stable turn.
This is another great disc for tunnels, putt and approach, or either headwind or tailwind drives.
We’ve recommended this disc in the Elite Z plastic as well for the same reason as the original Discraft Buzzz.
View at Amazon to learn more about what this disc could provide to your game.
Innova – Champion Discs DX Stingray Golf Disc
For an understable mid-range option, give the Innova Stingray a chance. This disc’s flight ratings are: speed 4, glide 5, turn -3, and fade 1.
The Stingray can be used for hyzer flips, rollers, and anhyzer shots!
This is also going to be an easier disc for beginners to learn with since understable discs are traditionally more beginner-friendly.
We’ve selected the Stingray in Innova’s DX plastic because it is comfortable to grip and easy to throw.
A note on the DX plastic: it is not the most durable plastic so the flight ratings will change and alter after some wear and tear.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com