Finding go-to discs is never easy

OK, it’s time to get a little personal.

What’s your go-to disc? What disc can you not live without? If you’re playing on a cold winter day and your favorite disc hits a tree and cracks into small pieces, which disc would leave you devastated over your loss? More importantly — what kind of discs are the go-to ones in your bag?

jenny_cookIt all depends on who you ask. But, what’s more interesting is, why?

In the beginning I only knew of a limited number of places to go and purchase discs and, as a female golfer, I didn’t really know what to purchase. So I would try a wide variety and, eventually, the ones that qualified made it to my bag. Then I’d play another amateur tournament, do well, and bring home more plastic. The dilemma would return yet again. Do I make new friends with these discs, but keep the old? Mix them up? Or stash the new ones in my back up bag?

It seems like the brand that made it to my bag first and most often (because of accessibility) was Innova with a peppering of Discraft. I do wish, however, that with all of the friends I made when I first started playing, that one of them would have spoken up about the plastic I was throwing. That’s not to say I couldn’t figure out for myself that, as a new player with slower arm speed and less snap, I shouldn’t be throwing an Orc.

It would have saved me not only from the aggravation of trying to get the disc to fly straight but it also would have saved me from forming bad habits. Such as forcing the disc into an anhyzer in order to compensate for less snap and finally make it land ahead of me on the fairway, instead of it quickly crashing down left into the woods.

Oh how I wish I would have taken the time to educate myself on disc selection and what might be more suitable, specifically for me, and not for all the males I would play rounds with. They were able to work the discs that I couldn’t. Was it due to better form? Or more muscle being put into the disc? My guess is a little bit of both, depending on the player.

Back then, I really didn’t care to learn about good form and proper disc selection for my throwing style. I just loved to play.

When I finally started paying attention to the details, I began focusing on the weight of the discs I threw. I found my 150-gram Teebird would mind better than my 167g. I gave the heavier one several months to get beat in, but it never seemed to reach the sweet point where it flew like the 150. Now, I use the heavier one when there’s a little headwind, or if there’s the need for it to cut faster to the left. Otherwise, I rely on the beat-up 150, as well as a newer 150.

An Innova Viking, halfway to retirement and hard to replace. This was taken at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (photo by Jenny Cook)

An Innova Viking, halfway to retirement and hard to replace. This was taken at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (photo by Jenny Cook)

Three years ago that new Teebird would be too overstable for me. Nowadays, I have learned how to generate more snap on my throw so even the newest of new Teebirds fly great for me, even right out of the box. But 150g discs aren’t the only ones I throw. My discs vary from a 167 Wildcat to a 175 CE Valkyrie, which are both musts for my bag.

Weight isn’t the only thing I focused on for drivers. I also looked at the speed and stability. It’s not that I’ve mastered understable plastic, although a flip-up hyzer shot is one of my favorites to throw, but I now need to start working with discs that have more glide.

Throwing 300-plus feet for me isn’t an issue, but I know throwing different discs will allow me to gain at least another 50 or so feet on my drives. It’s just a matter of purchasing some new plastic and getting out to a field for some practice.

Some disc golfers stick with what they know. They find a few brands they love to throw and don’t care to see what else is out there. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when you find something you love, buy plenty of backups. That way, once a disc is too beat in, you’ll have another in your bag on its way to flying the way you want it to.

Plus, you never know when the manufacturer will decide to change the fun of said disc. This leads to a frantic search for more because you don’t know how much longer they will be around. And, of course, some of those discs often become collector discs.

As disc golfers, we constantly grow as players, learning new strategies on how to stay in the fairway or throw farther. That means there might be a day when the Buzzz you once relied upon no longer performs the way you want it to. Maybe that means you’ll have to seek the Rocs you have in storage. Maybe they were too unpredictable once for you, but now could be a time to give them a whirl. You might be pleasantly surprised.

When I first started, I never would have guessed there is so much to be learned about this sport. From disc selection to the rules to improving form and even course design, there’s so much.

In the end, do your homework and ask around, because no matter what it is, education comes first.

Jenny Cook is a women’s Open-division player based in Illinois. She can be e-mailed at jenny@rattlingchains.com. You can see some of her disc golf photography at her website.

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0 thoughts on “Finding go-to discs is never easy

  1. If I lost my Vibram Ibex, I would be devastated. Good thing they are near bullet proof and hold up well, cold and hot. I made a bad throw the other day with a huge skip on some asphalt, not a scratch! The disc is fantastic as promised will hold any line.

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  2. My go to disc is a 175 champion boss that I found at my home course. It had to have been lost for a whole because some of the color had faded and it was more stable than the champion xcal that I lost at the time of finding the disc. It’s the only driver I have that I know won’t flip roll and it’s an essential disc for long wooded courses when I need a long S curve flick to get out of trouble.

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  3. I would be very upset if I lost any of my 3 ace discs. Especially my 3 ace Flick. All 3 of those discs are very dependable in my hands so they stay in my bag.

    But my “go to” disc is my 150g Champion Leopard. It was the 1st disc I got any decent distance with. The Leopard is flexible holding just about any line I put it on. And its forgiving of my atrocious technique flaws. I’ve tried other discs that are suppose to be like a Leopard, but none have come close. If I had to play a 1 disc round it would be with that Leopard. And the Leopard is easily replaceable if I lose it.

    I keep only current production discs in my bag so I never get devastated if I lose one.

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  4. My go to disc is a max weight star mako. in my bag of all my discs, it’s the only one that i can completely control. or that will go straight and not fade at the end.

    i love my esp and z buzzzes and my star and kc pro rocs, but they fade too much at times.

    i can’t get enough whip/snap to throw drivers with much accuracy lately. a beast is my fastest disc with a valk mixed in there too. a teebird and leopard finish up my bag. i only have one of each disc too.. if i lose any of them, i’d be devestated..

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  5. I can’t live without my dx beatup buzz. It will hold the line I put it on and just really feels comfortable out of my hand. I’ve hit more trees than I can count with it, but it keeps coming back for more.

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  6. I felt this same way when I first started playing. The revelation of the complexity of the game is what got me hooked. I went from a rec player to a serious competitor. I would have to say my go to discs are my challengers. I can vary my mids and drivers but when it comes to reliable approaches from 300 feet and in, I lean on my challenger.

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  7. if i did have a slightly over stable putter, a challenger or wizard, I would be sad. as far as drivers go I can work with most. My newly added champ roc plus is growing on my for anhyzers.

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  8. I always push new players (depending on size/strength) to just throw mid-ranges to learn, like a Roc or Buzz in the light 160s. I’ve always been amazed when I go play a one disc round that I end up with some of my best scores, and just using a mid-range gets it done. I think new players think of old school golf, where a mid range and driver have very different distances. A mid range and and a disc golf driver don’t fly that much differently in terms of distance compared to ball golf. You can pump a mid range pretty far, but you can only hit a 6 iron 1/2 the distance of a driver in ball golf.

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  9. I’ve gotten to try a lot of discs without buying them from dredging them from the bottom of lakes at various courses with a Golden Retriever device. I call it “disc fishing.” I’ve retrieved about 65 unmarked discs this way. I keep the nice ones and donate the rest to new players.

    My go-to disc is a 168g Valkyrie, but pulling discs out of lakes has helped me identify some specialized discs. I discovered how well suited the Surge is for throwing into the wind, I’ve discovered I don’t like wide rim discs like the Boss and the Nuke, and after pulling out some 150g class Valkyries, I carry one in my tournament bag for short range sidearm and tomahawk throws.

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  10. If I had to play with one disk it would be the FLX Buzzz. It is the best mid-range out there, I have 4 of them and they all fly the same. Demon for headwind midrange. Star Katana for distance and Champ Boss for headwind distance.

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  11. My Goto disc would have to be the 175 Teebird in Star plastic. Does not fade out too much at the end, and is just a good consistent flyer for many numerous shots and angles. I’ll often carry just that and a rhyno for putting when I want to kind of shake things up and leave the big bag at home. I’m quickly becoming a fan of the Star Rocs too.

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  12. I Throw an all Lat64 bag, so they are all pretty precious to me. They aren’t easy to find and replace in the area, and I rely a lot on buying online. But the end all be all disc I would absolutely leave a course and probably not play for a few days in mourning if i lost it would have to be my Pain. The disc is so versatile and easy to control, and one of the best midranges I have ever thrown. Without it, I’d be lost. I recently lost one in a tournament and had accidentally left my back ups at home. I was completely out of sorts due to the fact that I didn’t have my Pain to rely on.

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  13. I know several players that have hit trees and broke their favorite discs in the winter. Why throw your favorites in the winter? It just puts more dings & nicks on them. I take out my very favorites and buy new ones of each for the winter. I will make a gram or two adjustment so I can throw flat & let the discs work. By the time spring gets here & the thermals come back so the discs fly like they did last year, I have replacements already broken in. If the new ones work well enough, my old favorites may have to fight to get back in the bag. This way I am covered in case I lose one somewhere & don’t have to panic, just walk over to the trunk.

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