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How to choose a disc golf disc?

Welcome to the incredible sport of disc golf!  By now, you most likely have read about and have learned a little bit about the sport, may have even tried the game once or twice, and have arrived at this page in search of some pointers on how to begin building your arsenal of discs.

You’ve come to the right place.  Here at Keystone Disc Golf we offer a wide range of disc golf discs, bags and everything else you may or may not need.

Like ball golf clubs, golf discs are designed to produce a variety of flight paths within a variety of playing conditions.  Some are designed for maximum distance, some to turn left or right, some that fly straight and some for highly controlled short distance shots.

The important thing to understand is that there is no such thing as a ‘beginner disc’.  The discs recommended on this page can also be found in the bags of many top pros.

However, there are definitely discs that are considered to be more suited for advanced players.  We’ll be steering you away from those discs until you have achieved a better understanding of the mechanics of disc golf and learn how to throw an actual disc.

What to Look For – Stability

Each disc is rated for stability.  Each disc is also rated based on a right handed, normal backhand throwing style.  Stability is a discs’ tendency to either hook to the left or fade to the right.

At the far end of this scale is a stability rating of 3.0, which indicates a very overstable and difficult to control disc.  Discs with a high stability rating will have a tendency to turn to the left, to hook or what we call ‘hyzer’, and you may find it challenging to keep them flying straight.

At the opposite end of the stability scale is a rating of -3.0, which indicates a very understable disc.  Discs with a low stability rating will have a tendency to turn to the right, to slice or what we call ‘anhyzer’.  These are much more easy to control, especially when the discs are new.  Nearly all discs become somewhat less overstable as they wear.

stabilitychart

The bottom line for your needs regarding stability is this: look for discs with a lower stability rating.  Discs with a rating of 0 will be a better disc to throw for those new to the sport because these discs will fly the straightest (no hook or fade).  Any disc with a stability rating at or below 1.0 will be more suited for your game as you advance.

I will be going into more detail about stability here in a little bit (see a couple sections below).

What to Look For – Weight

The weight of a disc can also affect its stability or flight path.  The rule of thumb is: a heavier version of any given disc will tend to be slightly more overstable than a lighter version of the same disc.  Many of the pro golfers throw the heaviest discs available.  That’s fine for pros, but you will want to start with some lighter weights around 160-165 grams.

Some discs are also available in a special lightweight class known as ‘150 Class’.  These discs all weigh 150 grams or less, and are generally the lightest golf discs available.  They can be very easy to throw, and will go a country mile!  These discs are also great for around water because they FLOAT!  Give one a try sometime.

Enough small talk – I need a disc!

Okay, okay. Let’s get to the good stuff.

There is some internal debate around the disc golf community about which model is the absolute perfect disc as a player’s first disc.  But, since I’m the guy who is creating this guide for you, my wise and experienced opinion wins out.

The perfect starter disc, from the opinions of amateurs and the pros would have to be the Buzzz!!!

The Buzzz is a midrange disc with a stability rating between 0 and 0.5 from a company called DISCRAFT.  This is a disc that won’t get squirrely on you: throw it flat, it flies flat.  Throw it left, it goes left.  Throw it hard, it goes far.  And it has just a twinge of overstabilty, which will take you a long way toward understanding how other golf discs fly.  So grab one and go.  Ten years from now, you’ll still be throwing it… and winning.

Why do some discs fly to the left, and others go right?

Like clubs in ball golf,  golf discs are designed to travel on a variety of flight paths to help you meet any course challenge.  The way we define a disc’s flight characteristics is through the term stability.

Let’s assume you are a right handed player using a backhand throwing motion.  If you throw a disc on a straight, flat line using average power and it continues to fly straight, that disc is considered to be stable, and would be given a stability rating of (0).

Now you choose another disc, and this one fades to the right.  We call that disc understable, and would give it a negative stability rating of (-1) for a gentle turn, and (-3) for a more severe turn.  When it comes to drivers, understable discs are easiest for new players to control.

Most golf discs — especially drivers — tend to fade to the left, which would put them somewhere within the overstable range.  This is the more natural flight path for sharp edged discs.  These discs get a positive rating of (1) for a subtle fade, or (3) for a hard turn.

Overstable discs fade away from the direction of the spin of the disc.  In the examples above, the spin on the disc is clockwise (to the right), so an overstable disc fades left.  The chart will need to be reversed whenever the spin on the disc is reversed.  For example, a left-handed player using a backhand throw (counter clockwise spin) will see an overstable disc fade right, not left.  The same goes for a righty using a forehand throw, and so on.

stability

When shopping for most golf discs, you’ll see a stability rating on each disc.  You might see the above symbol (a rating of 0 stability) on a putter or a mid range disc, meaning the flight of that disc will tend to fly slow and straight with little to no hook or slice.

So what should I be shopping for?

You’ll want a mix of stability in your bag.  Overstable discs are great for throwing hyzer (hook) shots on dogleg left holes, long distance ‘S’ shots, overhand air shots or for holding a line into a headwind, understable discs for anhyzer (fade) shots on a dogleg right or for roller shots, and stable discs for navigating tight, straight fairways.  As you gain experience and get to know how your discs fly under different circumstances, you’ll want to experiment with additional discs and stabilities to see which ones fit your style and to fill additional needs in your bag.  Because there are so many different discs on the market today, there are also equally as many different colors of those discs.  Some players may tell you that a color of a disc makes all the difference in the world.  But a disc in one of your favorite color can make you feel more comfortable (most men would pick a green disc rather than a pink one).

If you ever need a lesson, have any questions about the sport or want to know about any of the many, many discs and accessories that are currently available, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you out in any way I can.  Now get out there and Enjoy!