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Anyone who plays disc golf competitively or recreationally knows how crucial it is to choose the correct disc type.

It can mean the difference between a triumphant hole-in-one or a feeble clunk off the rim of the basket.

So, here’s a look at the key differences between a fairway driver and a distance driver in disc golf.

First, let’s start with some basic definitions.

Disc Golf Fairway Driver vs. Distance Driver: How do they compare?

Fairyway driver

Fairway drivers are perfect for shorter drives.

Their designs have rims that are smaller than distance drivers to make them easier to handle.

These discs are a great choice for players of all skill levels, and there are many situations where a fairway driver will be just what you need.

Distance driver

Distance drivers are built to go the maximum distance.

With a sharper nose and wider rim than fairway drivers, these discs can soar over long stretches of a course.

However, they require a significant amount of force to travel so far.

Because of this, a distance driver is not recommended for those who struggle with throwing a disc fast and hard.

Key differences

As you may have noticed, both types of discs are driver discs. Not all driver discs are made equal, though.

In the disc golf fairway driver vs distance driver debate, these important distinctions make each disc unique.

Experience level

Although distance drivers can go extraordinarily great lengths, they are difficult to control.

Distance drivers often go long distances but in the opposite intended direction.

If you can’t control where the disc lands, then there might be no advantage to using a distance driver.

Players with less strength and control are usually better beginning with fairway drivers because they’re easier to manage.


Maybe you are an experienced disc golf player or maybe you just want a challenge, if that’s the case the distance driver makes some compelling offers.

If you’re playing on a long course, the distance driver will lend a significant advantage provided you can control where it lands.

It is unquestionably the best model if your ultimate priority is covering a lot of ground.


Distance drivers have sharper noses, wider rims, and have the best potential to fly the farthest.

Meanwhile, fairway drivers have smaller rims and fall between a distance driver and mid-range disc in terms of potential range.

However, these designs also ensure that distance drivers require a lot more skill and precision to control accurately, while fairway drivers often land on the mark.

Pros and cons

It’s clear that both discs have their advantages and disadvantages, so here’s a summary of the pros and cons of these two drivers with suggestions on when to use each one.

Pros of Distance Drivers

  • Out of all the discs available, distance drivers are the most powerful. They will fly for an exceptionally long time.
  • It takes a lot of skill to handle this driver correctly, so it’s a good next step for more experienced players.
  • For players that struggle with lighter discs and minute wrist flicks, it might be nice to try a disc that demands your full arm strength.

Cons of Distance Drivers

  • For new players or players with slower tosses, distance drivers may require too much power and offer too little accuracy.
  • This disc is not versatile. It should only be used in situations where you need to cover a lot of ground.

Need a disc to go the distance?

A distance driver is the best choice for courses with very little turns and long, uninterrupted segments.

For the seasoned player looking to master another disc, this is also a great option.

Pros of Fairway Drivers

  • Fairway drivers are right between the distance driver and the mid-range disc in terms of range, so it’s the happy medium for situations that don’t fit the other discs.
  • They’re a driver disc that’s easy to handle and accurate but can still go further than most other options.
  • Because they’re so simple to work with, fairway drivers are a fantastic option for beginners and experienced players alike.

Cons of Fairway Drivers

  • They’re second best in terms of potential reach to distance drivers.
  • Fairway drivers might not challenge expert players anymore, and should not be overused if a better disc is available.

If you value accuracy over distance, then fairway drivers are unquestionably the superior option.

In situations with tight lines or shorter drives that demand straight flights and leave little room for imprecision, the fairway drivers provide a huge advantage over any other disc.

Hopefully, this thorough overview gives you the information to decide the winner of the disc golf fairway driver vs distance driver debate.

Each disc provides benefits in certain situations, so choose the one that best fits you as a player right now.

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