The goal of DiscGolfDash.com is to get new players out on the course and #growthesport. While a lot of the banter on this site is from my own experience, my own disc golf journey per se, I often get feedback from the community as to what they want to hear about.
In this article we look at answering some recent questions presented to us from our readers and the disc golf community at large. After reviewing several disc golf discs, we wanted to compile a list of discs appropriate for the beginner and share it with you all.
Let’s get into it…
What Makes a Disc Golf Disc Easy To Throw?
There are several factors that can make a disc easier to throw for beginners, including; weight, grip of plastic, overstable vs understable, rim width, and rim depth. With those factors in mind, perhaps the greatest impact for a beginner is the weight of the disc. In fact we have a whole article on lighter discs vs heavier and the effect it has on your throw.
In general, a disc above 170g in weight is going to be harder for the beginner to get up to speed and see performance on par (pun intended) to that of the manufacturer flight numbers.
The remaining factors mentioned above essentially come down to feel and flight characteristics. It has been said both on this site and many others, the best disc is one that just feels right to you as the player. Hence the reason we all collect and try so many different discs while manufacturers gladly provide us with a wide selection to choose from.
Choosing The Right Disc For A Beginner
When I started out I had no idea the difference between discs and what the criteria for a beginner disc should be. Even worse, when I started learning what some of those numbers meant I still couldn’t get my discs to perform the way I thought they should.
It wasn’t until I took a step back, did some research, and found discs made for the beginner that I started to see improvement to my game. In fact, most players attest to this notion, making choosing the right disc a critical factor in seeing improvement and continuation of their disc golf journey.
5 reasons a disc is great for beginners:
- They are low speed: meaning, those that don’t have a developed throwing arm and good technique can still get the disc to perform as expected.
- They have high glide: I want my disc to float in the air for as long as possible, except when I don’t. These discs all have reasonable too high amounts of glide, giving the beginner an opportunity to gain distance.
- They turnover: If your disc isn’t leveling off upon release from your hand, it probably doesn’t have enough turn. This can be frustrating to the beginner and even intermediate players alike. When you’re trying to hit that mando shot and it won’t fly straight, this could be part of the reason. Turnover is tricky, it can be caused by several factors, but at the very least, we choose discs that should give the beginner a chance at seeing some degree of level flight.
- Little to no fade: for a beginner, every disc is going to fade a bit…typically due to poor angle of release and the front nose being up. But experienced players know how to use fade to their advantage and when to use a disc that has a lot of it. As a beginner though, we want discs that don’t drop at the end of flight.
- Low weight: as mentioned above, this might be the most important factor when choosing beginner discs. It not only affects the other factors on this list, but it can be the difference between you having a great game vs bushwhacking for lost plastic.
11 Best and Easiest Beginner Disc Golf Discs
Let’s start out with some putters and approach discs. These definitely need to fly straight when asked to do so, and feel good upon release…
1. Loft Hydrogen – (1, 2, 0, 0)
Loft has made a splash as a newer company to the disc golf scene. Although with the Hydrogen you shouldn’t be hitting the water hazards that often. This disc is made to fly straight. A bit heavier than what I normally recommend to beginners, this might be less of a factor for the short game.
Known for their scientific approach to design, Loft has created a putter that flies slow and gives the beginner a lot of control. I like to use mine for those 15 to 20ft shots and sometimes the tee shot with an upfront mando. Try a Loft Hydrogen and compare it to other more established brands like the options below…would be curious to see what you all think. Grab one from Amazon here: Loft Hydrogen
2. Latitude 64 Ruby – (3, 5, -3, 1)
The Ruby is herald as one of the easiest discs to throw and stems from Latitude 64’s line of “Easy-to-Use”. Without a doubt one of the best disc golf discs for a beginner. With a small grip and low weight, this disc will have a neutral flight pattern. A speed of 3 and glide of 5 means it doesn’t take much power to throw and will fly a good distance. At less than 160g in weight this should be an easy toss for those pesky upshots. Pick one up here with the opto plastic for extra grip and durability: Latitude 64 Ruby
3. Dynamic Discs Judge – (2, 4, 0, 1)
Coming in as one of the heaviest on the putter list, I wouldn’t concern yourself too much with this, even as a beginner. In fact, I bag the Judge for this very reason. Pulling it out in those windy conditions when I don’t want my disc to go flying off. I like to use mine for parking the disc next to the basket, making it an easy layup to hole out.
The high durability of this disc will come in handy for longevity and extended practices. Mine gets used every game I play and barely has any signs of wear after more than a year.
But the reason it’s so easy to throw is back to that undefinable characteristic of how it feels. I think the weight plays a bit into this, making it feel more premium, even though I have the entry level plastic. However, it’s also in the way it rolls off my fingertips…this might have to do with the rim width as mentioned at the beginning of the article. In comparison to the Innova Aviar, a popular putter and one of the better beginner discs, I feel like the Judge is less “curved” on the inner rim, giving me more control. If you’re coming from Ultimate Frisbee or just used to throwing a regular full sized Frisbee, you might like the Aviar better (see it below). For me though, the Judge is my go-to putter, hands down. Lock up a Judge in your bag today, get it here: Dynamic Discs Judge
4. Innova Aviar (2, 3, 0, 1)
Touted as having won the most disc golf world championships than any other disc, the Innova Aviar has to be at the top of our list for best disc golf putters. I personally use this putter and love it. For me the feel is that of a wide rim. Thus giving me a lot of confidence when taking the final shot into the basket. The Aviar can also be used as an approach disc as well. With just a slight amount of fade at the end, it typically will stay straight for you throughout flight. You can pick this up from here: Innova – Aviar, or if you’re starting out try the Innova starter set from Amazon.
5. Discraft Magnet – (2,3,-1,1)
The Magnet has been around a long time and continues to be a go-to approach and short shot disc. There’s a reason for putting it on our 2022 Best Putter List. This is due to the slight amount of turn it provides. This can give the player confidence that the disc will level off and fly as expected. Further, the design of the Magnet is similar to a regular frisbee. Giving it a very familiar feel to those that transition over from Ultimate Frisbee. A great disc for approach shots at the 20-40ft range, it may not fly a lot further for you, but it should fly straight. The Magnet’s flight characteristics and specs match those of other popular discs, and can be a learning tool to try more “extreme” discs. Do yourself a favor and get the Magnet through the starter set here: Discraft Starter Set.
Easy To Use Mid-Range Disc Golf Discs
Moving on from the short shooters we get out onto the fairway a bit. Mid-Range discs typically come in a speed of 4 to 6, making them the perfect disc for a beginner to pick up and start throwing at some distance. We have an extensive list of stable to overstable discs, but here I try to include a few understable options for the beginners weaker arm. However, let’s kick this section off with a couple of classics we have featured before….
6. Innova Roc3 – (5,4,0,3)
Coming in at number 6 on our easiest to use beginner discs, there is no mistaking why I put the Roc3 on this list. I personally love my Roc3 and use it almost every outing. It’s said to be one of the more versatile discs available. Performing well in the wind and providing the thrower with a consistent fade at the end. This might be the perfect mid-range to transition into the stable line of discs.
A good pull can see the beginner getting out into the 200’ plus range. Besides the flight characteristics the reason I think it’s best suited for this list is because of the weight. Use the link to get the Roc 3 and select a size in the 151g to 164g weight. Then get a second in the upper range, 178g -180g. This was the exact disc I used for a similar experiment and it taught me a lot. Don’t delay this obvious choice, grab the Innova Roc3 today!
7. Innova Shark – (4,4,0,2)
If you’ve read any other Discgolfdash.com articles you know we are fans of the Innova Shark. It may be my favorite disc to give a beginner and let them borrow for a bit…just not for too long because I use mine all the time. In fact the Shark is a disc that helped me unlock the “straight” shot. Before then I was convinced that every throw needed to hyzer as that was the only flight path I could get any disc to fly. It’s also one of those discs I keep going back to during field practice when I find my mechanics need a bit of shoring up.
Innova claims it as the best all around mid-range and I can concur with that depiction. I wouldn’t say the Shark is going to fly the farthest, nor would I say it’s always a smooth shot, but for some reason it feels good and releases well. The line holds true and almost always the same in flight. The Shark comes in the Innova Starter Set but over time, you will want to upgrade to the higher end plastic. With options coming in at 140g you can’t pass this one up to add into your starter bag…pickup the Shark here: Innova Shark.
8. Discraft Buzzz – (5, 5, -1, 1)
Now for a classic mid-range. The Buzzz might be the most popular disc golf disc ever made. As a midrange disc it is the perfect unit to start out with because it will fly where you want it to go. It’s consistent, reliable, and stable…exactly what you want when starting out and trying to improve. This is a great disc to share with others due to its ease of flight.
I’m not going to lie, I lost my Buzzz after only having it a few months. Experienced players know this is just part of the game. I haven’t replaced it only because I wanted to try other discs, but it should be replaced. It’s one of the first discs that when I picked it up the word “quality” came to mind…and that was with the lowest, cheapest, entry level plastic.
Throwing the Buzz is a mix of pleasure and challenge. It can be a bit heavier than the other mid-ranges on this list and a bit “stiffer”. But this is a great option to help you transition into slightly higher speed discs. Catch a Buzz here: DiscCraft Buzzz
9. Innova Panther – (5,4,-2,1)
The Panther came to me as a suggestion from a random player at a random course in Asheville, NC. I can’t thank him because I don’t recall his name, but I would thank him because I love this disc. With a similar speed to the other mid-ranges the advantage of the Panther is in its turn rating. This understable disc should flip up easily for the beginner and fly consistently.
One of the uses often heard from players that throw the Panther is to use it for practicing slow turnover shots. This disc will help build some confidence in that aspect of your throwing and ultimately help achieve the same with other discs on this list or in your bag. The other use, and personally what I like it for, is throwing the flick or forehand shot. I can’t really say why I prefer some discs over another for this aspect but some just seem to roll off that pushing finger better than others. Giving me a snap and reasonably good start to my forehand shot. Try out the Panther and let me know what you think in the comments below: Innova Panther
Easy To Use Control Drivers For Disc Golf Beginners
Most experienced players would say to not have beginners start with driver discs. I would agree, which is why our list starts with the putters, moves on to the mid-ranges, and will only conclude with a few control drivers. The reasons for this are simply because beginners typically don’t have the power and mechanics enough to get higher speed discs, such as drivers, up to speed. Therefore not getting to see the disc perform as it should and often walking away perplexed, if not with a sore shoulder to boot.
With that said, you could argue that if you’re throwing at least once a week or more, you will get to a level of wanting to launch a higher speed disc relatively quickly. Of course, I would argue that if you’re reading a few of our how-to articles you can get there even quicker. But, that might be my biased opinion ;). Enough banter, round out your beginner bag with a few of these options below…
10. Innova Leopard – (6, 5, -2, 1)
It shouldn’t surprise frequent Disc Golf Dash readers that the Leopard is on this list. Coming from the Innova starter set there is good reason to have this included in our easy beginner disc golf list. I love mine and own 4 different “versions”of the Leopard. I also recently starting throwing this disc forehand and find it to fly nicely.
If you’re looking for something that provides a bit of extra distance over the mid-range category this is a great option. While at the same time, the Leopard never seems to get away from me and flies with a consistent pattern.
With a speed of only 6, just about any player level can send the Leopard flying. On the bonus side of flight characteristics is a disc with a glide of 5 and turn of -2. Making it easier to turn over, level off, and float for a bit of distance. Exactly what you would expect from an understable fairway driver.
For an introduction to discs with a bit more speed you can’t go wrong with the Leopard. The newer, Leopard3 bumps up the speed rating to a 7…making it an even more enticing option. See our full review of the Leopard and pick yourself one up: Innova Leopard
11. Dynamic Discs Breakout (8, 5, -1, 1.5)
This might be the disc that a lot of individuals start out with for a fairway/control driver. It was specifically designed to be a beginner control driver and fly just slightly less than its near cousin, the Dynamic Disc Escape (a great intermediate level player control driver). That’s because it has slightly less speed and is a little more unstable. As a beginner, you may think unstable is not a good thing, but in fact it can be because the disc is less likely to curve back and dive to the ground as an over-stable disc would…causing you to lose precious distance. Pick yourself up a Dynamic Disc Breakout.
Build Your Beginner Bag…
Above are 11 options for easy to throw beginner discs. That doesn’t mean they are only for the beginner player, but rather, typically are the recommended discs for starting out. Many of which come in the manufacturers starter set for this very purpose. I recommend picking up a minimum of one from each grouping (putter, mid-range, control driver) or going for a few mid-ranges and then adding the putter and control driver later. Either way, this will help you build a beginner bag and give you a ton of practice trying various options.
Until next time,