Which disc golf driver is best?

Disc golf is far more nuanced than it may seem, requiring a fleet of specialized discs at the highest level of play. Among the most critical types of discs is the driver. It comes in a few varieties that can be used for the longest shots off the tee or for gliding farther down the fairway.

The best disc golf driver is the Discraft Buzzz Elite Z Golf Disc. It’s designed for use by anyone of any skill level and is sturdy enough to last but soft enough for gentle landings.

What to know before you buy a disc golf driver

Types of disc golf drivers

There are two types of disc golf drivers: distance and fairway.

  • Distance drivers require the most skill to use efficiently, but they can also travel the farthest of any disc. However, they tend to curve during flight rather than stay straight.
  • Fairway, or control, drivers require less skill to keep them gliding straight and far. They’re perfect for beginners in all cases and let pros closely control their game.

Flight numbers

Disc golf drivers have a set of four numbers that relay how a disc flies.

  • Speed tells how hard you must throw a disc to maintain its intended flight pattern. Drivers typically have speeds of 7-14.
  • Glide tells how long a disc can stay in the air. High glides can go the distance but are the most affected by wind.
  • Turn tells how likely a disc is to bend one way and then hook toward the other way, making an S-curve. The lower the number, as low as in the negatives, the more likely turn is to happen.
  • Fade tells how likely the disc is to curve toward the end of the throw. The higher the number, the more intense it can hook.

What to look for in a quality disc golf driver

Plastic

Disc manufacturers use a range of plastics to make drivers and frequently use special names, making it easier to examine the material in terms of hardness.

  • Hard plastic is the most durable and glides the smoothest. However, it can be challenging to maintain a good grip.
  • Soft plastic is easier to grip and maintain your control, but they fly slower and less far. They also skip less and don’t last as long.
  • Rubber is rarely used, but it can be useful for those who struggle to keep a close grip on their driver. It’s moderately durable, too.

Weight 

Driver weight is most linked to your skill level.

  • Light drivers of 150 to 165 grams are better for beginners. It takes less power to control them, and they fly farther distances. However, they are easily affected by wind.
  • Heavy drivers of 165 to 175-plus grams are better for pros. It takes more power to control them, but they’re easier to control and more predictable.

How much you can expect to spend on a disc golf driver

Most disc golf drivers cost $10-$15. Players of any skill can use discs in this price range, and they are built to last. The best drivers start at $15 and go up in price the better the material is. Some drivers cost less than $10, but these are entirely meant for beginners.

Disc golf driver FAQ

Does it matter if I throw backhanded or forehanded?

A. That depends on your skill level. If you’re starting out and you’re trying to keep your shots straight, you should throw in whichever manner is the most comfortable for you. If you’re trying to develop advanced skills, throwing backhanded and forehanded will help the driver to curve in opposite directions.

How long does a disc golf driver last?

A. That depends on how often you use it and the quality of its design. The average driver can last for years if you treat it properly, and it can actually get easier to use the more you break it in. It will eventually become too broken in to function optimally, and only then will you need a new one.

What’s the best disc golf driver to buy?

Top disc golf driver 

Discraft Buzzz Elite Z Golf Disc

Discraft Buzzz Elite Z Golf Disc

What you need to know: This driver is a great choice for players of all skill levels.

What you’ll love: It’s designed for mid-range throws and comes in three weights. The clean designs and simple curves help maintain this driver’s accuracy in most weather conditions. The plastic is sturdy enough to last but soft enough to prevent damage from errant throws.

What you should consider: You cannot specify what color you want, and instead, you’re just shipped one at random. A few of the more advanced consumers felt the plastic was average.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top disc golf driver for the money

Westside Discs Origio Burst Underworld Fairway Disco Golf Driver

Westside Discs Origio Burst Underworld Fairway Disc Golf Driver

What you need to know: It’s affordable, effective and sports a rad skull design. 

What you’ll love: It has a speed rating of 7, a glide rating of 6, a turn rating of -3 and a fade rating of 1. The flat-top profile and narrow rim are designed with beginners in mind to help them maintain control of their throws.

What you should consider: The helmeted skull design isn’t for everyone. It isn’t as sturdy as more advanced drivers — hard landings on concrete can chip the rim.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Axiom Discs Proton Insanity Disc Golf Driver

Axiom Discs Proton Insanity Disc Golf Driver

What you need to know: It’s a good driver that’s available in whichever weight best suits your experience.

What you’ll love: It comes in five weights, from the ultra-light 150-160 gram to the heavy 170-175 gram. Axiom Discs uses a special plastic called “Proton,” which has high durability to withstand even the harshest conditions. It uses aerodynamics and a trademarked GYRO system for accuracy.

What you should consider: Any throws outside standard straight or curved shots are hard to accomplish. The center is clear, making it difficult to find in the grass.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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