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Some might argue that the key to a good disc golf game is a variety of discs to prepare you for every situation.
A multitude of discs with different capabilities and designs can help you be more successful by allowing you to advance closer to your basket in the fewest amount of throws possible.
In this article, we’ll explore understable fairway drivers and why you should consider purchasing one if you don’t already own one.
We’ll also give you some recommendations on the best understable fairway drivers to help you be the best disc golf player in your group.
What is an understable fairway driver in disc golf?
To understand what an understable fairway driver is, we first have to know what a fairway driver is and what understable means.
There are four different discs in disc golf: distance drivers, fairway drivers, mid-range discs, and putters.
Distance drivers are the speed demons of the disc golf world. These are the discs with capacity for max-distance.
Because they’re so powerful, they’re the hardest discs to throw. Many distance drivers are not beginner-friendly.
Fairway drivers are similar to distance drivers, but they typically have smaller rims and do not have anywhere near the same capacity of speed.
As a result, they’re easier to control.
Fairway drivers are used to cover a fair amount of speed, but at more manageable control rates for beginner and intermediate players.
While there are some distance drivers manageable for disc golf players with less-developed skills and techniques, fairway drivers are a healthy balance of speed, distance, and manageability.
Mid-range discs are multi-purpose discs used for a variety of throws.
Finding a good group of mid-range discs will help you advance your skills and get better at the game because they can help get you out of a tight spot where a strategic and controlled throw is necessary.
Sometimes, these discs can also double as putters.
Putters are used for the smallest distances where accuracy and control are priority.
These discs help you land in the basket so you can advance to the next round.
Putters are appropriate (and necessary) for all skill levels.
Any of these discs mentioned can be understable. Understable simply describes the disc’s propensity to turn right on a right-hand backhand throw.
Understable discs are easiest for beginners to throw and can be used in a variety of shots, which we’ll describe below.
So why do you want to make sure you own an understable fairway driver?
Ideally, if you’re committed to disc golf beyond it being a fun hobby or pastime, you’ll want a wide range of discs with a lot of variety so you’re prepared for any situation.
When to use an understable fairway driver
Understable discs are the optimal choice during a variety of scenarios, including:
Days where the tailwinds are strong. Tailwinds are one of three types of winds in disc golf which can greatly affect the performance of your disc.
Tailwinds, which blow against you from behind (hence the “tail” wind name), have a couple of small yet powerful effects on your disc’s flight:
Firstly, tailwinds affect your discs by making them fly more overstable.
A disc which flies understable when there’s no wind will show patterns of overstable flight in the presence of a tailwind. In order to counteract this effect, you will want to use an understable disc with varying intensity depending on the circumstance.
If you need something to follow a sharp anhyzer in the presence of a tailwind, you’ll want to utilize one of the most understable discs you can.
However, if you just need a straight flight pattern in the presence of a tailwind, something mildly understable will work just fine.
Understable discs are also great for strategic shots like hyzer flips. A hyzer flip is where you, a right-handed player throwing backhand, throw an understable disc on a hyzer line.
The understability of the disc will cause it to turn over and fly on the right line of the disc golf course.
Hyzer flips can help you weave around obstacles so you can cover distance without compromising your throws.
Understable discs are also ideal for roller shots.
Rollers happen when you throw an understable disc at a sharp anhyzer angle so that when it hits the ground, it lands on the rim and rolls the rest of the way down the fairway.
Rollers are useful to get under low-hanging obstacles, but can also be used to cover more distance since the disc continues even after it comes down out of the sky.
Best understable fairway driver
If you’re looking for an understable fairway driver disc, there are a number of options that might prove a good fit for your game.
The following options may prove a good place to start your search.
Westside Discs VIP Underworld Fairway Driver Golf Disc
A favorite fairway driver of choice amongst both new and seasoned disc golfers is Westside Discs’ Underworld.
We’ve selected the one in the VIP plastic line as our recommendation, but we’ll explain why later on.
The Westside Underworld’s flight ratings are speed 7, glide 6, turn -3, and fade 1. This disc is useful for a variety of skill levels, from beginners to more advanced players.
You don’t have to have a huge arm to power the Westside Underworld, but you still need to have a basic grasp of throwing technique.
This is a high glide disc which will help cover some ground.
Because it is a more understable disc, you can expect it to behave predictably on understable throws like hyzer flips or anhyzers. It’ll finish mostly straight with little-to-no leftward fade.
The VIP plastic line from Westside is extremely durable and ready to perform.
The VIP plastic will allow the Underworld to maintain its flight ratings for a long time before wear and tear modifies it.
The VIP plastic is appropriate for pro players or hobby players.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for your game.
Latitude 64 Opto Line Jade Light Fairway Driver Golf Disc
Coming in hot from Latitude 64 is the Jade light fairway driver. This disc is known for being light because the weight range it comes in is 145 to 159 grams.
What are some of the benefits of lighter weight?
Lighter weight discs can be easier to throw if you don’t have a big arm.
Heavier discs require more power to activate.
However, while there are pros to using a light disc, there are also cons. After all, nothing’s perfect, right?
Lighter discs are less predictable because they can be derailed by the wind more easily.
Additionally, lighter discs aren’t ideal for rollers since they bounce too much and might go off-track.
However, a lot of players prefer lighter discs because they can cut through the wind and travel further distances.
Ultimately, it’s going to come down to your personal preferences and experiences.
The Latitude 64 Jade’s flight ratings are: speed 9, glide 6, turn -2, and fade 1.
You might think this is a higher speed disc than the Westside Discs Underworld, but flight ratings cannot actually be compared from one brand to another.
Westside Discs’ 7 rating may be equivalent to Latitude 64’s 9. Only through using both will you get an accurate comparison.
The Jade will cover moderate distance but has a deliciously high glide. It’s moderately understable, so its turn is quite predictable. It’ll also finish straight rating than fading out.
We chose the Jade in the Opto line because it’s durable and has good performance.
Since understable discs are used for rollers, they sometimes end up with more wear and tear from terrain punishment.
A durable plastic will help mitigate the wear on your disc.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc might work for your game.
Westside Discs VIP Hatchet Fairway Driver Golf Disc
Our final suggestion for a great understable fairway driver comes from Westside Discs again.
Their Hatchet is slightly less understable than their Underworld, but it still has a great amount of turn.
The Hatchet’s flight ratings are: speed 9, glide 6, turn -2, and fade 2. While we couldn’t compare the Underworld with Latitude 64’s Jade, we can compare the Hatchet with the Underworld.
The Hatchet is going to be slightly faster than the Underworld, but they both have great glide.
The Hatchet will weave back to the left a little more than the Underworld will.
So, comparing the two, the Hatchet would be better for an S shot, which is where you throw an understable disc with moderate fade on a hyzer line.
The turn and fade of the disc will pull it back and forth into an “S”-like pattern.
We suggest this disc in the VIP plastic. Durable, easy to grip, functional, and lasts a long time.
Always consult an industry professional before using any new product or integrating it into your game.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com