Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

We read the reviews, bought new discs, and now present to you the best disc golf driver discs for beginners!  While this list may be related to beginner disc golfers, trust us, there are plenty of advanced players using these discs.  In fact, you will likely find one of these recommended discs being played at your local disc golf course.  Players of all skill levels find these discs easy to fly and a joy to use.

As a beginner disc golfer you might not understand all of the nuances of a disc.  I know I didn’t…my friend handed me a random disc and I played.  Looking back, I realize now that there are enough variances between discs to warrant an ongoing discussion. Knowing what to use and when to use it is half the battle.

Equally important is having an understanding of the broader categories for Driver Discs.  I won’t bore you with too much detail. The name sort of suggests the implication, but essentially you have control drivers vs distance drivers.  Don’t worry, we will explain a bit more later.

So what makes a “beginner” driver?  What makes it the “best”? Is there really that big of a difference between disc types? All will be revealed below…keep reading.

What Makes A Beginner Disc?

If you read our article 5 Best Disc Golf Discs for Beginners then you might already have a head start answering the question: What makes a beginner driver disc?

To summarize the answer a beginner driver disc is one that has 3 main characteristics: 

  1. Easy to Use Consistently
  2. Comfortable
  3. Easy to Control

But there’s a bit more to it than just that, especially when trying to choose your weapon of choice. In the list below we separate out discs that are Distance Drivers vs Control Drivers (also known as fairway drivers). Let’s start with a quick explanation of the two types of drivers to get you familiar.

Distance Drivers vs Control Drivers

Distance Drivers: driver discs typically labeled or thought of as distance drivers will normally have a bit of a wider rim than a control driver.  This will allow it to fly further given that the player can actually get it up to speed.  Most new players do not have the coordination established to really launch a disc (I might have tripped over my feet a few times when starting out – ha). Their arm strength is just not where it will be after a season of practice and playing. Therefore, we wouldn’t necessarily hand a new playing a distance driver. Then again, we all want to launch our discs 500 feet down the course. So after a few rounds, you will want to pick one of these discs up and try it out. 

Control/Fairway Drivers: typically have a smaller rim than a distance driver.  For that fact alone they won’t be able to fly as far given an equal arm speed.  That’s not to say a control driver can’t be launched several hundred feet. It just doesn’t normally take as much arm power to make it so.  These are great discs to give a new player. They typically fly a little straighter and skip less at the end. 

What Speed Disc Should a Beginner Use?

It’s recommended that beginners look for a disc with speeds between 6-9 or even less. 

In our Disc Golf 101: Beginners Guide To Get You Started article we briefly touch on the numbers printed on every disc. Those four numbers discern what a disc should do given the proper throw. Let’s focus a bit on the first one, Speed:

Speed: this number might be the easiest way to discern the difference between a distance driver and control driver.  Speed doesn’t imply distance, but rather, indicates the potential of distance. It also typically refers to the rim size, as the higher the number the wider the rim. What this means is that any speed number 10 or above is going to more than likely categorize that disc as a distance driver.  A control driver would fall more in the 7-9 range for speed.

One other aspect to keep in mind about Speed (I said we would focus on it 😉.  The higher the number also indicates that if the disc isn’t thrown with the arm speed and revolutions necessary, it won’t fly nearly as far as it will with proper speed and spin. In fact, it might do the opposite, due to the wider rim and the dynamics of wind resistance.  Again, this is why we start out with control drivers and then get into the distance drivers. 

Should Beginners Throw Distance Drivers?

Being that high-speed drivers are hard to throw and control it is generally recommended beginners steer clear of distance drivers. Instead using a midrange disc or control driver/fairway driver is a better option when starting out.

With that said though, it’s a great question to ask and debate. One would have to relate an individual to being at a beginner level. At some point you no longer are considered a beginner. The great thing about disc golf is that you can excel past this point relatively quickly. I would argue that once you’re able to throw the control drivers with some degree of comfortability and consistency, it’s time to start launching the distance drivers.

Selection of Driver Discs for Beginners!

Below we start with a selection of Control or Fairway Drivers and then move into the Distance Drivers.  As mentioned above this would be the ideal sequence for a beginner as the Distance drivers will take more power and speed to throw well.  With that said, and as a disclaimer, we did not put these discs in any particular order, as each has its merits and stands on its own as a great disc (I mean why else would we recommend it).

Control Drivers

1. Dynamic Discs – Breakout (SPEED: 8 GLIDE: 5 TURN: -1 FADE: 1.5)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

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.

Check out this quick video on 3 reasons to choose the Breakout from Dynamic Discs:

2. Discraft – Heat (SPEED: 9 GLIDE: 6 TURN: -3 FADE: 1)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

The Discraft Heat might be my favorite disc to give a new player. It’s always in my bag, especially when going to a new course that I am unfamiliar with.  This is a disc that every beginner should have as it strikes the perfect balance between speed and glide. If thrown well, it will glide for days and not curve back too much to lose distance.

It’s at the upper range of a fairway driver giving you the ability to reach out to those 300+ ft range shots.  In fact, Discraft labels the Heat as a distance driver, but with a neutral stability rating and at a speed of 9, I tend to see it as the perfect disc to step into the distance driver category.  This is also a great disc to buy in sets and take to the field for practice. Be sure to get a Discraft Heat.

Check out this video by Brad Schick for some great beginner tips featuring the Discraft Heat and discusses the stability of a disc:

3. Innova – Leopard (Speed:6 Glide: 5 Turn: -2 Fade: 1)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

I didn’t want to start out with the Innova Leopard because well, we’ve done that before: 5 Best Disc Golf Discs For Beginners.  But there’s a good reason it was at the top of that list and a good reason for it to be on here.  First, you might notice the flight numbers are significantly different than the Breakout or the Heat listed above.  The Innova Leopard has way less speed and yet keeps a good glide.  This will be ideal for beginners with slower arm movement and power.  The Leopard is another standard in the Disc Golf world and always stays close to my bag if not in it. The Innova Leopard has a predictable flight path and little fade.  These are great discs to have more than one for practice purposes.  Check out the Leopard!

Distance Drivers

1. Innova Destroyer (12, 5, -1, 3)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

With a speed of 12 the Innova Destroyer requires a little more oomph behind it.  Some would argue this is one of the best drivers out there and it’s popularity as a best selling distance driver for years would back that claim. I tend to agree and typically use this disc straight from the tee as a go-to driver of choice.  I can’t say enough about this disc, but there are plenty of reviews to read as you pick one out on Amazon – Innova Destroyer

2. Prodigy X3 (12, 5, -1, 2)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

We featured another Prodigy disc in our Best Disc Golf Putters for 2022 article and I am really starting to like some of their products. The Prodigy x3 distance driver is no exception. Similar to the Destroyer in flight numbers the Prodigy is considered slightly over stable, giving you right-hand throwers a great choice for something that will come back to the left a bit at the end of its flight.  As a beginner, you should be able to pull close to the 300 ft range giving the Prodigy x3 enough arm speed. If the Destroyer design doesn’t suit your fancy, check out the Prodigy as an alternative option.  Go getcha one here: Prodigy X3.

3. Discraft Avenger SS (10, 5, -3, 1)

Best Disc Golf Driver for Beginners

The Discraft Avenger has to be on any list for beginner distance drivers as it may just be one of the easiest to throw.  Notice the speed rating of only a 10 puts it right on the cusp between a Control and Distance driver…perfect for the beginner ready to step up to the tee.  Discraft states the Avenger SS is “a Distance Driver for the rest of us, combining long glide, ease of control, and durable Z plastic. Throw it hard and flat for a slight fade to the right, then watch the Avenger SS keep on gliding through a smooth, gentle finish. Try one, and you’ll be hooked.” I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment.  Much like the Innova Leopard, I keep this one in my bag as a go-to driver.  Be sure to grab an Avenger here: Discraft Avenger SS.

Driving It Home!

When starting out you definitely want something with a little less speed, perhaps in the Control driver category or the above mentioned Avenger SS, but don’t let that discourage you from picking up one of the higher speed discs.  A disc that feels good and glides consistently for you is always the best disc.  Try a few and see what works best for you.

Did I miss something? Leave a comment if you think there are better control and distance drivers for beginners. 

I am an avid rock climber, mountain biker, and disc golfer, who loves nothing more than a beautiful day to go play outside like a kid. I love to read and learn new things in order to gain a better understanding of our amazing world, and feel honored to share some with you. If you don’t find me at my computer typing away, you will find me outside exploring. I wrote this article because I am enthusiastic about helping you improve your disc golf skills and find a passion for getting outside!