Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

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Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby mikooksaram » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:13 pm

Repeat post from the "General Discussion" section because I thought it might fit in here too.

I am an Ultimate player (not sure if that counts against me or anything...) and thought disc golf looked like fun. I'd like to get into this, but have no idea what discs to get. For that matter, I have no idea what else I would need. Could I get some suggestions?

(I'm the primary handler for my Ultimate team, so I have experience throwing, but I imagine that doesn't count for much among disc golfers.)
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby Agricolae » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:13 pm

I'll suggest starting off simply, and with proven classics ...

You'll need a putter, a mid-range, and a slow driver. If discs are sold in your area, I'm sure you can find Innova and Discraft brand discs.

For putters, try an Aviar (Innova) in DX plastic at 172-175 grams; or, a Challenger (Discraft) in Pro D plastic and same weight. Mid-range, get a DX Roc (Innova) at 170-180g and/or a Buzz (Discraft) in Z plastic, same weight. For a slow driver, get a Leopard (Innova) in Pro plastic (DX is ok, too) at ~165-170g.

There are a lot of different discs out there to choose from. Most of them work really well in the right hands. If you decide you like the sport you'll probably fall to the addiction of buying/trying bunches of discs. The ones I listed have been around for a long time, are common in players bags. They are not the latest and flashiest, they just work.

Have fun!
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby aerodriver » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:40 pm

Coming from an Ultimate background myself, I found getting used to the form of disc golf the most challenging part. The discs themselves weren't the issue, it was a matter of what felt "right" in my hand.

For putters, I like most of the Innova Aviar variants without a bead. A bead is any protrusion on the bottom of the rim beyond where the top of the disc slopes inward to the center of the disc. My preferred putter is the Latitude 64 Pure. It flies very straight like an Ultrastar and has a soft left finish. They have a bit of a deeper rim to them. I would also look into a Lightning Upshot #2. That is a lid, much like an Ultrastar, but is of course smaller in diameter. For me it does not work well for my disc golf shots, but it does for a friend of mine who also has an Ultimate background.

For midranges, I like anything close to max weight (near 180g) because it flies most controllably like an Ultrastar. The two most popular as mentioned before are the Innova Roc and Discraft Buzzz. I encourage you to try out what feels best in your hands. Without experience with a Roc-like disc, I chose the Buzzz because the rim girth made my releases most like my releases with an Ultimate disc. I've since transitioned to a Westside Warship (more Roc-like) as it fits better in my new disc golf grip.

I won't recommend any drivers until you get your form and distance up with putters and midranges. I find that throwing a golf disc is much more challenging, involved, and technical than an Ultimate throw of any type form backhand to forehand, pulls (drives in disc golf) to hammers (tomahawks in disc golf). Study the film, literature, and discussions here and elsewhere and you'll begin to see it's much more complicated if you want it to be!
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby KRooster » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:29 pm

Agricolae wrote:I'll suggest starting off simply, and with proven classics ...

You'll need a putter, a mid-range, and a slow driver. If discs are sold in your area, I'm sure you can find Innova and Discraft brand discs.

For putters, try an Aviar (Innova) in DX plastic at 172-175 grams; or, a Challenger (Discraft) in Pro D plastic and same weight. Mid-range, get a DX Roc (Innova) at 170-180g and/or a Buzz (Discraft) in Z plastic, same weight. For a slow driver, get a Leopard (Innova) in Pro plastic (DX is ok, too) at ~165-170g.

There are a lot of different discs out there to choose from. Most of them work really well in the right hands. If you decide you like the sport you'll probably fall to the addiction of buying/trying bunches of discs. The ones I listed have been around for a long time, are common in players bags. They are not the latest and flashiest, they just work.

Have fun!


I came from an Ultimate background too, and I second this advice. The only thing I would change is the Roc may be a bit overstable when you're starting out, I started with a DX Shark and that was great for awhile. Then I moved up to a DX Roc, realized I wanted something less overstable than that, and switched to a Z Buzzz. Also I'd say getting into the high 170s grams for weight for a mid might be a little ambitious when first starting out, closer to 170g might be better to start with. I could be wrong about that though, I don't have that much experience with 180g discs but I used to throw 170g Rocs and also had a 180g Roc; the 180g was way more overstable than the 170g ones.

At some point I would recommend moving up to something like a DX Sidewinder and eventually a DX Valkyrie, but not for awhile; trying something that fast too early will just teach you bad habits because you won't have the speed to get those to fly straight with a level release. And anything faster than a Valkyrie is probably a bad idea until you're consistently exceeding at least somewhere around 320' or 330' on your drives.

From a technique standpoint, the most difficult thing for me was the fact that hucking an Ultrastar requires quite a bit of inside-out (called hyzer in disc golf) if I'm remembering correctly (it's been years since I've thrown an Ultrastar). For a golf disc, you want to pull it across your body at chest height and level to the ground. It's quite a different motion.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby slowarm » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:34 am

As a former ultimate player, I second all advice given above. I would first start with only one disc and after figuring out what it does I would go on to other discs. DX Shark is a great multi-purpose disc if you want to start with a mid-range. Or then get a putter, DX Aviar for example. But there are plenty of choices, they're all good. One good disc not mentioned in this thread before is Discraft's Comet. It will inform you right away if your throw isn't clean, also it behaves a bit like an Ultrastar.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby jubuttib » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:00 am

True, the Comet is probably one of the best bridges between Ultimate and disc golf, as well as one of the best discs ever.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby KRooster » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Also, should probably mention, stay away from drivers in premium plastic (champion, z, star, esp) or heavier weights (over 170g or so) for awhile. They're way more overstable. A DX Leopard is a great first driver, but a champion or star Leopard is a totally different disc.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby jubuttib » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:19 pm

Eh, I dunno. If you have a decent Ultimate pull then I see no problem with a Champ or Star Leo (S-FD or an Opto/GL River would also work fine) as a first driver.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby BentElbow11 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:07 pm

jubuttib wrote:Eh, I dunno. If you have a decent Ultimate pull then I see no problem with a Champ or Star Leo (S-FD or an Opto/GL River would also work fine) as a first driver.


^^^ agree. No reason to stay away from premium plastics as a beginner, other than higher cost if the commitment isn't there. The only premium plastics that fly more overstable per se, are Champion, Elite Z, Opto/VIP, Quantum and equivalents showing up from newer mfgrs. Base plastic is garbage that loses stability quickly. Then you're throwing beat up junk and your "beginner" form invariably suffers.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby jubuttib » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:55 am

BentElbow11 wrote:Base plastic is garbage that loses stability quickly. Then you're throwing beat up junk and your "beginner" form invariably suffers.
Don't agree with that at all. Baseline plastic is only unsuitable for drivers in the 9 and over speed range, fairway drivers, mids and putters are still excellent in baseline.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby BentElbow11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:29 am

jubuttib wrote:
BentElbow11 wrote:Base plastic is garbage that loses stability quickly. Then you're throwing beat up junk and your "beginner" form invariably suffers.
Don't agree with that at all. Baseline plastic is only unsuitable for drivers in the 9 and over speed range, fairway drivers, mids and putters are still excellent in baseline.


"Baseline plastic is only unsuitable for drivers in the 9 and over speed range..."

Really? Why? Does a DX Teebird fly anything like other Teebirds? Does a Pro D Buzzz fly like a Z Buzzz? The list goes on. They also won't retain the stability they have out of the box for very long.

Anyway, I would agree about putters.
Last edited by BentElbow11 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby BentElbow11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:47 am

Further...so you're a beginner and you start out with a bunch of cheap plastic that loses stability after a few tree and rock hits. Do you then try and tweak your beginner form to compensate? I think that would prove problematic to say the least.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby jubuttib » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:15 am

BentElbow11 wrote:Does a DX Teebird fly anything like other Teebirds? Does a Pro D Buzzz fly like a Z Buzzz?
Depending on the disc, I'd say yup and yup. For some reason most 175 DX TBs I've thrown actually faded more when brand new than my other TBs (Champ and Echo Star), after which they got straight. And every new D Buzzz I've thrown has been nice and straight, and in fact the least stable Buzzz I've thrown (brand new) was the Ti Buzzz. Add to that the fact that D-MD2s are just bloody excellent, as are DX Rocs and most other baseline mids I've thrown, as well as DX Gazelles, Banshees, Eagles and Leopards, though with Leopards I will admit that many runs have been awful lately, producing very understable discs.

It's not even about whether a baseline disc flies exactly like a premium plastic one, it's about whether they're GOOD or not. And I have never thrown a bad DX TB or a bad DX Eagle.

Furthermore the fact that the discs wear in in a reasonable amount of time is a valuable lesson to a player starting out IMO, to teach them about the stages of disc wear. And most beginners would serve themselves well by rather trying to learn how to control beat up understable discs than force themselves to use overstable ones, as is the tendency these days...
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby BentElbow11 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:28 am

You are aware that Discraft assigns different stability rating from Pro D to Z, right? And that very few, if any, consider a DX Teebird or Leopard anywhere near as stable as their Champ or Star counterparts.

As for beginner form benefitting from their disc suddenly losing stability, not likely. First reaction of a beginner is going to be "WHAT happened to my disc?"..."I can't throw it anymore." Not adeptly making adjustments to release angles to compensate. We ARE talking about beginners here.
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Re: Attempting to begin disc golf, need help.

Postby jubuttib » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:16 pm

Since manufacturing variances trump anything written on a disc anyway, I don't see it as a big deal what the manufacturers say. Only how it actually flies matters. And once again: It's not about whether or not a DX TeeBird flies like the Champ or Star counterparts, it's about whether or not it flies WELL. Which it definitely does. And for most beginners a DX TeeBird is a much better disc than a Champ one, especially after it's worn in a bit.

And yes, those are exactly the things that beginners should learn.

If you happen to play only on very heavily wooded or rocky courses, then yeah, premium plastic comes in handy. But on anything a bit more "normal" than that (any park course or slightly more open one at least) you can get a lot of usable life out of a DX TeeBird or a DX Eagle. Or a Gazelle for that matter. Good, hefty Leos can do as well, but unfortunately most of the ones I've seen recently are waxy garbage that gets destroyed immediately. Good DX blends on the other hand have given me a couple of years of use on the same disc (DX TeeBirds and DX Eagles), even with the occasional tree hit.

EDIT: I'll also add that the discs that work the best in baseline plastics are the ones that were designed for baseline plastics. This definitely includes the TB and the Eagle, as well as several other discs in the Innova range, as well as many Discraft discs as well (if I were to put a Buzzz in my bag, it'd probably be either an X or a D) but for example the FD and TD are pretty much useless in D-Line. They were designed mainly for premium plastics and have barely any stability to start with (well, the FD is usable, but the TD isn't), but the mold wasn't designed to handle hits in that plastic, so they beat in too quick.
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