Best Beginner Discs for 2022

Discs for Beginners

Best Disc Golf Discs for Beginners

With the unprecedented growth we’ve seen in our sport the last couple of years, one question comes up repeatedly among those starting out in the sport. “Which disc should I start with as a beginner?” Someone just starting out in the sport doesn’t have the technique and arm speed that many discs need in order to get any distance. Fortunately, there are many molds that are made for people without the ability to throw faster, heavier, more overstable discs. Let’s take a look at some of the best discs for beginners.

The biggest factors in deciding which molds would be best for beginners are weight, speed, and price. Speed is the first number in the common four-number flight rating. The higher the speed number, the faster we have the throw the disc in order for it to fly like it should. Since most beginners can’t generate a lot of arm speed, lower speed discs will fly farther than high speed discs for them. Throwing a lighter disc helps newbies throw farther, since it takes less effort to throw.

Disc Golf Brands Focused on Beginners

While the dominant disc golf brands cater to and focus primarily on the advanced and professional players they sponsor, their are a few disc golf brands that focus specifically on beginners. If you’re looking for affordable beginner discs to get started in disc golf, these recommended brands are a great place to start.

Dino Discs Logo

Dino Discs – Discs designed for Kids!

The Dino Disc brand makes a unique, ultra light disc golf discs designed for kids. These discs are ultra light weight and feature colorful plastics and dinosaur themes. Dino Discs are recommended for young children aged 10 and younger.

Divergent Discs Logo

Divergent Discs – Discs for Recreational Players

Divergent is an up and coming disc golf brand with a focus on recreational players who have a throwing distance of less than 300 feet. They now offer a full line of discs for casual players. One of the best things about Divergent Discs is that the plastic quality is substantially better than other disc brands at affordable prices.

Sune Sport

Like Divergent, Sune Sports Discs are designed specifically for beginners and recreational disc golfers. They have starter sets and 7 different low costs discs that all work well for beginners. Two of the discs are in an ultra soft light weight. “safety line” plastic that is ideal for kids.

The Best Single Disc for a New Disc Golfer

Choosing a Winner

To find a winner, we looked at the key components mentioned above, combined with sales. Letting the market speak, while not necessarily definitive, is a great way to see what molds people are drawn to. As a bonus consideration, we gave points for molds that players can continue to use as their skills improve. We also favored molds that came in base plastics.

Beginner Disc Golf Plastics

Plastic types affect the flight of the disc and should be considered heavily when comparing beginner discs. More stable plastics such as Champion can change a mold from a nice beginner disc to something too overstable for inexperienced players. Entry level plastics not only make a mold less overstable, they also break in faster to add more ‘flip’ to the flight of the disc. As a nice bonus, entry level plastics are less expensive, making it less costly to get into disc golf. Most of these popular disc molds are available in a variety of different plastic types and prices.

Here are discs considered the Best Beginner Discs:

  • Innova Shark
  • Innova Leopard
  • Infinite Discs Sphinx
  • Latitude 64 Diamond
  • Latitude 64 Jade
  • Discraft Heat
  • Discmania FD
  • Dynamic Discs Breakout
  • Divergent Discs Kraken

Innova Shark – The Innova Shark is a popular midrange that is found in many starter sets. Its straight flight and low speed makes it a good candidate for a beginner disc. It is available in lighter weights in DX plastic. It still has a strong finish at the end, but even beginners should get a good flight out of the Shark.

Innova Leopard – Another mold that is frequently found in starter sets is the Innova Leopard. It is a good combination of low speed, lighter weights, and a little understability. Those qualities make the Leopard popular for beginners and advanced players alike. In Innova’s DX plastic, the Leopard is a very inexpensive beginner disc.

Infinite Discs Sphinx – There are several speed 9 molds on the list, and the Infinite Discs Sphinx is one of them. This mold comes in a variety of weights and plastic types, and the lightest weights make a great starter disc. Plus, as your skill improves, you can keep using the Sphinx by simply get a heavier disc and/or a more stable plastic.

Latitude 64 Diamond – The Latitude 64 Diamond is one of a few molds that were targeted at beginners. Initially, the Diamond was only available lighter weights, which is better for beginners. Its lower speed means the rim is the right size to feel good in the hand while being narrow enough for smaller hands to easily grasp.

Latitude 64 Jade – Another mold that was designed specifically for beginners is the Latitude 64 Jade. It is one speed faster than the Diamond and slightly less understable. However, the light weight of the Jade makes it good for newer players. Although it might make a good beginner disc, the higher speed might make a better second disc, after throwing something lighter or slower.

Discraft Heat – The Discraft Heat was one of the molds in the Discraft Ace Race a few years ago. Its flight numbers are similar to the Sphinx, with a lot of understability or ‘turn’. It is a fairway driver that in more inexpensive plastics make a great option for beginners. For more experienced players, the Heat is popular for turnover shots and rollers.

Discmania FD – The Discmania FD is another one of the molds on this list that can be used for beginners as well as experienced players. Starting with base plastics, newer playing will find the FD easy to hold and throw. Once a player advanced in skill level and distance, getting the FD in premium plastics will give them a useful tool in their disc golf arsenal.

Dynamic Discs Breakout – The Dynamic Discs Breakout is another mold that was designed with the beginner in mind. It is available in desirable lighter weights, and a few different plastic types. It doesn’t have the understability that some of the other molds on the list have. But, the lighter weight can help compensate for the straighter flight.

Divergent Discs Kraken – The Divergent Discs Kraken is a fairway driver that has a little flip to its flight, followed by a solid fade. It is available in lighter weights, making it a solid candidate for a beginner disc, even though the plastic is a premium plastic. The Kraken’s flip makes it a good disc for more experienced players looking for a roller disc. One nice thing about the Kraken is that it’s least expensive plastic is substantially more durable than most of the other mentioned beginner discs.

 

Percentage of sales among the top candidates for Best Beginner Disc

 

 

 

And the winner is…

 

 

 

Innova Leopard! There is a reason this mold is found in many starter sets. Its low speed means the disc is easy to grip and throw for beginners. The Leopard has a flight has a good amount of turn and a gentle fade at the end. Available in base plastics the mold is inexpensive as a starter disc. And it is available in premium plastics. Even though the Leopard is great for beginners, it can find its way into the bags of advanced players. With the turn of the Leopard it can be used as a turnover disc that will hold its turn for most of the flight. In tight woods the mold can be gently thrown on a hyzer-to-flat flight and get a decent amount of distance. Check out the Innova Leopard HERE.

Runner-ups –

Discmania FD – The FD is a great disc to start with, and one that you can keep throwing as your disc golf ‘career’ advances. As of this writing, the FD is unavailable due to material shortages. Click HERE to sign up for a notice when the mold comes back in stock.

Infinite Discs Sphinx – Just like the FD, the Sphinx is useful for players with a wide range of skill levels. In lighter weight I-Blend plastic, the Sphinx can be easily thrown by beginners and younger players, even though it is a faster mold than the FD. As of this writing, the Sphinx is unavailable. Click HERE to sign up for a notice when the mold comes back in stock.

Your Take

What do you think the best disc golf discs, sets, and brands for beginners are? What worked for you when you were just starting to play disc golf. Let your voice be heard in the comment section below.

 

Best Disc Golf Putter of 2022

Best Putter of 2022

Sales Rank Rating Fan Vote Average
Discraft Zone 1 2 1 1.3
Infinite Discs Alpaca 2 3 3 2.7
Axiom Envy 5 5 2 4.0
Gateway Wizard 3 9 9 7.0
Dynamic Discs Judge 6 15 5 8.7
Innova Aviar 4 17 8 9.7

The final rankings for the best putter are very close to the sales rank for the past year. The Zone took the number one spot in both Sales and Fan Vote. There were a lot of comments about the Zone not being a putter, but rather a throwing disc. However, the category includes putt and approach, so we didn’t make a distinction. Check out the best putters list by clicking the links above.

 

The Top Selling Putter

Although the Pandemic is still in full swing, the supply chain is slightly better than in past months, so the sales are a little more indicative of the popularity of discs, rather than sales based on whatever discs might be available. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top sales for putt/approach discs for last year. These are ranked only against other putt/approach discs, not all types of discs.

 

 

Top Putters By Sales

Rank Disc Manufacturer
1 Zone Discraft
2 Alpaca Infinite Discs
3 Wizard Gateway
4 Aviar Innova
5 Envy Axiom
6 Judge Dynamic Discs
7 Pig Innova
8 EMac Judge Dynamic Discs
9 Warden Dynamic Discs
10 Roach Discraft
11 Praxis Thought Space Athletics
12 Pilot Streamline
13 P Model S Prodigy
14 Pure Latitude 64
15 Ruin Infinite Discs
16 Link Discmania
17 Luna Discraft
18 Banger GT Discraft
19 Penrose EV-7
20 Rune Viking Discs

 

New Brands, New Molds

 

In addition to the unprecedented growth in the numbers of disc golfers in the past few years, we’ve also seen an explosion of new manufacturers and molds. This gives us more options to choose from and takes a little bit of market share from the historically popular putters.  In 2020, we posted a list of the best putters and Discraft held a third of the top twenty discs. This year, although Discraft still maintains the top spot with the most molds, their number shrank. They now hold 20% of the top 20. Additionally, nearly half of the manufacturers in the top 20 only have a single mold. Here’s a look at number of molds by manufacturer:

 

Manufacturer # of Molds in the top 20
Discraft 4
Dynamic Discs 3
Infinite Discs 2
Innova 2
Axiom 1
Discmania 1
EV-7 1
Gateway 1
Latitude 64 1
Prodigy 1
Streamline 1
Thought Space Athletics 1
Viking Discs 1

Top Rated Discs

One of the tools we use to determine the Best Putter for 2022 is the individual disc ratings on our website. It gives us a picture of our customer’s opinion about the disc over time. Customers can rate a disc on a scale from 1-5, and comment about what they like or don’t like about a disc. It’s a great tool to check out when considering which discs to buy.  Here is a list of 20 of the top-rated discs, along with the customers rating.

 

Disc Mold Customer Rating
Praxis 4.93
Zone 4.90
Alpaca 4.87
P Model S 4.86
Envy 4.82
Pilot 4.81
Link 4.78
Rune 4.76
Warden 4.74
Wizard 4.73
Pure 4.73
Pig 4.68
Roach 4.66
Luna 4.65
Ruin 4.64
Judge 4.62
Banger GT 4.59
Aviar 4.44
EMac Judge 4.40
Penrose 4.38

 

The Age of These Putters

If you follow the sport of disc golf very much you’ll probably notice that several of the discs out of the top 10 are very new to the disc golf world. It is impressive that such new molds are competing for the title of Best Disc Golf Putter against tried and true classics. Maybe they will be the classics of the future, or maybe they are hyped molds that will fade into oblivion in the near future. We’ve seen that in the past, where a mold becomes popular due a a particular player, only to slow down in sales once the marketing ends. Only time will tell how popular molds will be in the future. Still, we wanted to look at the ages of the molds and see which ones have earned their way onto the list by virtue of years of sales. The newest kids on the block are the Emac Judge and the popular Alpaca. On the other end of the lifespan spectrum is the Aviar, a mold that has been around longer than a lot of current disc golfers. The average age of all the top 10 molds is about 10 years old. That age would be three years newer were it not for the Aviar. Here is a list of the top 10 molds and the date they were PDGA approved:

 

Disc

Date Approved

Aviar

1-Jan-84

Wizard

9-Jan-02

Pig

20-May-08

Zone

28-May-08

Judge

7-Dec-12

Warden

14-Oct-13

Envy

12-Jan-14

Roach

30-Nov-15

Alpaca

16-Nov-20

EMac Judge

5-Jan-21

Fan Voting

 

We asked you to help us out with our list of the best discs, and you let us know! Here is the list of best discs as taken from the comment section. Many of you had trouble narrowing it down to one mold. However, when we added the results, the top discs were clear. Here is a list of which molds you voted for:

Rank Mold Percent of Votes
1 Discraft Zone 17.0%
2 Axiom Envy 9.9%
3 Infinite Discs Alpaca 6.3%
4 Discmania P2 6.3%
5 Dynamic Discs Judge 5.8%
6 Latitude 64 Dagger 5.4%
7 Discraft Luna 4.9%
8 Innova Aviar 4.0%
9 Gateway Wizard 4.0%
10 EV-7 Penrose 3.6%
11 Kastaplast Berg 3.1%
12 Dynamic Discs Emac Judge 2.7%

The top 12 molds were divided among 10 manufacturers, which is unusual. Percentage-wise, however, Discraft captured more than a fifth of all the votes. Still, it’s good to see the putter love spread among manufacturers. Here are some of the comments we received about the top disc, the Zone. :

David – “I love the zone, it’s my favorite disc/ most used disc. I find myself really liking the Eve 7 Penrose as well”

Josh D – “I have trouble believing the Zone is a putter. If it was “what’s the best approach disc” then no question.”

Tyler – “The Zone will stay at the top because it’s so reliable”

We counted all of your comments, then randomly selected one commenter to win the $50 gift card. The winner is Aaron D, who was notified via email.

 

 

 

We Still Want to Hear From You

Let us know YOUR best putt disc. Comment below to let us know which putt/approach mold you find yourself using more than any other in your bag! How does your selection compare with the putters on our list?

 

Shipping Cut-off Dates for Christmas 2021

Shipping cut-off dates for 2021

 

Although it is nice when we can get our holiday shopping finished well in advance, the reality is that there are a lot of us that wait until the last minute to shop for gifts. Thankfully, the USPS recently released their ‘last minute’ delivery schedule, and UPS offers a shipping calculator to find cut-off dates.

The following dates are the last days that items can be shipped and still arrive in time for Christmas. We recommend ordering sooner to avoid unforeseen delays.

 

The Post Office announced the following dates as the last days to order and still arrive before Christmas. Because they anticipate another heavy year for package delivery, orders must be placed a full week in advance to ensure delivery by the 25th. Here are the respective delivery services and cut-off dates:

First Class Mail – December 17

Priority Mail – December 18

 

 

 

United Parcel Service isn’t issuing dates, but instead is offering a calculator to figure out shipping times (link below), based on date and location of the sender, and location of the receiver. For example, shipping from Infinite (Logan, Utah 84321) to Gainesville Florida. If the package is shipped on December 20, won’t arrive until after Christmas. Packages shipped on Friday 12/17 would arrive on Christmas Eve. Use ‘Logan’ as the shipping city and ‘84321’ as the shipping zip code, and your city and zip as the receiver on the calculation page below. Items are shipped UPS Ground.

 

https://wwwapps.ups.com/calTimeCost?loc=en_US

 

 

Introducing TD Extraordinaire: Mook

Mook with his custom spotter’s sign

Brandon “Mook” Merzlock

 

One of the best aspects of disc golf to me is attending tournaments. Reuniting with people I’ve played with before and meeting new people adds another dimension to the sport. Cheering on friends adds to the enjoyment. Although there are many things that differ from tournament to tournament, such as format, tier, location, layout, and payout, there is one thing they all have in common: someone has stepped up and was willing to run a tournament. Usually more than one person. I would like to introduce to you someone who has stepped up more than anyone I know.

If you’ve played a disc golf tournament in Idaho or Utah in the last couple decades there is a good chance you’ve played in a tournament run by Brandon “Mook” Merzlock. Mook has been playing and running tournaments for nearly 20 years. He currently owns Mook’s Infinite Tour and the Infinite Discs St. George, Utah store. I asked him about his experiences running tournaments. Here is our conversation.

When did you run your first tournament? Did it turn out like you thought?

The first event I ran was in 2004.  It was the Portneuf Open.   It turned out to be more work than I originally thought, but the event boasted a 225% payout so it had great reviews.  By the way, a 225% payout in 2004 brought $200 to first place in the Open division.  I think the registration fee was like $25.

What made you want to run your first tournament? Is that what still drives you?

The local club president Steve Larsen thought I would be a good tournament director.  He encouraged me and helped out with some aspects of the event.  I was enthusiast about growing the sport.   That is what has driven me since day one.  I loved disc golf since the first day I heard the Frisbee hit the chains.  That’s all I wanted to do.  That is still what drives me.   I love this sport and am relentless in my vision to help it grow.

How many tournament have you ran?

This week I will be running my 108th tournament.

How much time does it take for you to run a C-tier? (From planning, until it is completely finished)

I wouldn’t classify the time that it takes to run an event by the tier.  I’ve run non-PDGA events where I had to set up a temporary course from scratch.  That took a long time.  I ran a night Halloween tournament for 10 years that was the time demanding event I ran every year.  I would tell tournament directors that there is no black and white answer on how long it takes to run an event.  Just make sure you have the time and the resources, and after that it will be more work than you thought.  Now, there are so many tools to help you run your event.  Something like a Match Play or NADGT event can be very simple to run.

What is the biggest tournament you’ve run?

I’m running the 4th Annual Infinite Discs Red Rock Classic with 200 players this week.  That would be it.

What is the most satisfying tournament you’ve run, and why?

There isn’t one event I can think of that I could say “That was the best tournament I’ve run”.  The next tournament is the most satisfying tournament I run.  Seeing disc golfers fill my events is the most satisfying of all.  We don’t do it unless the players show up.

What is the biggest challenge when running a tournament?

Patience.  The complaint I have heard from tournament directors over the years is the lack of respect and appreciate for what tournament directors do.  We receive complaints no matter how good the event is.  We have players who blame us for their bad play and it drives tournament directors away.  Be patient.  It helps to have thick skin.

Are you in favor of having TD’s make money from tournaments? What would be a fair amount for someone to receive for running a C-tier?

Absolutely!  Most TD’s want the best payout ever and donate all funds to the event which is honorable.  I have always treated myself to something from tournament funds, but it’s always some cheesy like a new laminator or OB stakes to make the next event easier to better.   I don’t think you should base your pay off of the tier.  Some of the most frustrating things to do is find sponsorship for the event.  If I was going to run a C-Tier event, I don’t need any sponsorship to fulfill the required 85% payout.  So, I would say this, take a percentage of all the sponsorship you have raised for the event.  That’s where the work is at.  Say 10-15%.  If I raise $10,000 in sponsorship it doesn’t seem far-fetched to take a $1500 paycheck to me.

If you could send a text/email to every disc golfer on earth who will be attending a tournament, what message or advice would you give?

READ THE INFORMATION THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR HAS PROVIDED BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS OR ATTENDING THE EVENT.

If you were interviewing a TD, what question would you ask that hasn’t been asked in this interview? What is your answer to that question?

Q What are the keys to running a successful event?

A- Transparency and consistency.

 

Review: Apex Disc Golf Hand Warmer

Since we play disc golf year round here in Northern Utah, we end up playing many months of the year in cold temperatures. Knowing that, I’m always on the lookout for products that keep my hands warm during the colder months of the year. When Infinite recently started selling the Apex disc golf hand warmer, I was excited to try it out and see if it would be something that would help keep my throwing hand warm when the temperatures started falling below freezing. I was VERY happy with the results of my testing!

 

When the temperatures start to dip here in Cache Valley, we slowly start adding layers, covering bare skin, and seeking devices to warm us when we’re playing those chilly winter rounds. There are a few options out there for keeping our hands warm. There are the disposable hand warmers, catalyst hand warmers (Zippo hand warmers, for example), and rechargeable electric hand warmers.  Although I like the disposable type for their effectiveness, I prefer not to keep spending money all winter long.

 

When Infinite first got the Apex hand warmer, I immediately started testing it to see if it was something that I could use for the upcoming winter months. Here is a breakdown of the features of the warmer.

  • Four LED lights to indicate the heat level of the warmer
  • Four heat setting that you can scroll through with the push of a button
  • Two USB ports for charging a phone or other item.
  • Soft pouch for holding the warmer
  • Micro-USB charging cable

 

 

To test the Apex, I just turned on the warmer and set it to the lowest setting. Then I put it in my pocket and timed until I noticed it stopped producing hear. Then I charged it up and tried it on the next level. By the time I got to the third level, it was actually a tad too warm in my pocket. Plus, I wanted to test the Apex in conditions that were more like how I would be using it: in the cold. So, I put the warmer inside my Rovic Mitten and put it in the freezer. A thermometer in the freezer indicated temperature ranged between 2-7 degrees Fahrenheit. On the fourth level, I just set the warmer inside the freezer, then checked it every half hour or so. Here are the results of the testing.

 

As I mentioned above, the warmer also has USB ports that can be used to charge things like cell phones. To test that, I charged my iPhone from 60% to 100% to simulate charging it enough to use it. Then I set the Apex to level two and ran it until it died. Even after charging the phone, the warmer lasted 9 hours!

 

One of the down sides to the Apex hand warmer is how long it takes to charge. It isn’t something you can charge for an hour before you leave to play disc golf and expect it to stay warm the entire time. It takes over seven hours to fully charge using a 2 Amp wall charger. That isn’t a big deal if you remember to charge it the night before you’ll need to use it. However, I did want to test it to see how long it would stay warm if you forgot to charge it until you were getting ready to play. To do that, I ran it until the battery died, then charged it for an hour. Then I set the heat to level 2 and timed how long it lasted. It only lasted about an hour and a half.

Long term testing

 

The only issue I’ve had with the Apex so far is with the four LED lights. Two of them are slightly dimmer than the other two. I don’t know if they shifted inside the case, or if they are faulty. That doesn’t affect the performance of the warmer, it just makes those two lights a little more difficult to see in sunlight. The LED’s were all functioning properly when I first got the warmer and I noticed the change a couple of weeks after constant use.

 

I will keep testing the Apex warmer to see how long it keeps working. I’ve only had it for about six or seven weeks, using it nearly every day. So far, it keeps on heating like it did when I first got it. I’ll keep testing it and update this blog after I’ve used it for another couple of months.

 

 

 

 

Even with the Apex I’m still not looking forward to winter disc golf. But it’s nice to know that I will stay a little warmer because if it. It’s a product I highly recommend checking out. The Apex hand warmer lasts a long time and produces some amazing heat. Check them out here:

https://infinitediscs.com/Products/Accessories/18399/Apex-Disc-Golf-Electronic-Hand-Warmer

 

 

 

 

Team Infinite’s Kade Filimoehala

Kade Filimoehala:

The Quest to Win the Junior World Championship

 

How old were you when you started playing disc golf? In the 2021 State of Disc Golf survey the average age that we started playing disc golf was around 27 years old. In the next couple of blog posts, we’ll take a look at two players who started playing disc golf in two extreme age groups: under 12 and over 70. They are both Team Infinite players who are active in disc golf and who recently competed in their respective PDGA World Championships. In this blog we’ll start with the younger player, Kade.

 

Heading Into Junior Worlds

 

Kade Filimoehala played in the 2021 Junior World Championships in July of this year. It was the culmination of a goal set years ago when he first attended Junior Worlds. Although he was excited to be competing in Championship, he also a little nervous entering the tournament. He was the highest rated player and this was his last chance to win the tournament.

Adding to his nervousness was a first round result that was less than he hoped for. To be more accurate, it was a great round of disc golf. But it put him a little further outside of first place than he wanted. Kade knew he had his work cut out for him if he wanted to take the top spot for the tournament. But, before we get to the results, let’s get to know Kade a little better.

About Kade

 

Kade lives in Northern Utah, in the community of Kaysville. His name is Tongan. He is one-quarter Tongan and his grandpa on his dad’s side is full Tongan. Despite having numerous courses within a fairly short distance of his parent’s home in Kaysville, he stumbled onto the sport on a family vacation in Idaho. They were at Lava Hot Springs and noticed some disc golf baskets at a park near the hot springs pool. He and his family visited a local sporting goods store and picked up a few Echo Star Destroyers and played the course. That is where his passion for disc golf began.

 

 

First Trip to Worlds

 

Although Kade’s disc golf career essentially began as a 10-year-old on a humble 9-hole course in Idaho, something happened later that had an important impact on his game: He attended a PDGA Junior World Championship in 2018. His performance there landed him toward the back half of the pack. But that fueled his desire to come back to the tournament, and win!

Though not satisfied with his finish, his experience in Emporia that year was positive. “Junior Worlds is such a well-run tournament and it is so fun to play with people my age,“ he said.

 

Competing to Improve

 

Kade played in numerous regional tournaments in 2019, mostly as an Amateur, winning some and slowly improving his rating and his skills. He also returned to Junior Worlds, finishing slightly better than the year before.

In 2020 Kade started playing more in the open division, even playing in numerous DGPT events around the country. He gained a lot of experience. He also got to see what it was like to be a younger player in a group with older competitors.

“Now I don’t get treated any differently,” said Kade. “But when I first started playing disc golf tournaments, I sometimes wasn’t handed the scorecard, and the other three guys just did the scorecard for me.” That’s something for the rest of us keep in mind, too. Especially since we’re seeing more amazing young players entering the pro ranks.

During that year he won a few tournaments as an Open player, but declined the cash payout, as is the prerogative of an Amateur player who wants to maintain their Amateur status. He still had in mind his goal to win the Junior World Champion title that year. Then, unfortunately for his plans, the pandemic hit and it got cancelled.

Getting Ready to Win

 

Undeterred by the cancellation, Kade continued to play as much as he could and continued to grow as a player. His MPO wins for that year included two B-tiers and a C-tier event. And his rating continued to climb.

This year, 2021, found Kade back playing competitively, this time exclusively as an MPO player. He competed at many local, regional, and a few DGPT events in preparation for achieving his goal to win Junior Worlds. Then, in July of 2021, Kade returned to Emporia to make the attempt.

As mentioned in the opening of the blog, Kade was less than impressed with his start at Jr Worlds. In his words he, “didn’t play my best that first round.” But, he did what everyone should do after a bad round, he focused on what he needed to improve for the next round. It worked and his next round was much better.

 

Meeting a Hero

 

At the Peter Pan Course in the second round Kade shot a 1028-rated round, which moved him from 14th place to 4th, and he made it onto the lead card. Something else special happened that round: Fellow Team Innova player Ricky Wysocki followed him and watched him play! That was special for Kade because Ricky has always been a hero to Kade. “Ever since watching the 2012 World Championships, my favorite disc golfer has been Ricky Wysocki,” he said. Following the round Ricky invited him to dinner with Innova team manager Joe Rotan.

 

Finishing Strong

 

The third round of Junior Worlds was another round that wasn’t his best, but wasn’t horrible either. He maintained his place on the lead card, and even moved up a spot to third place. After that, he started the pick up speed.

Round four was another 1000+ rated round, and in rounds five and six Kade shot the hot round! Shooting some amazing disc golf he was able to coast into the final round with a 7-stroke lead. Even then, he didn’t let off the gas and shot the hot final round en route to a 9-stroke lead and the championship!

It was a great week for Kade. Not only did he win the championship, he won the long drive competition with a throw of 555′. Plus, he took first in his division’s Double’s tournament with his brother Andrew, another rising star.

 

Kade, left, and his brother Andrew

 

Turning Pro

 

The win at Emporia was a memorable event for Kade. It was the achievement of a goal he had set years earlier and the results of countless hours of practice and competition. It also put him in a position to make a big career decision. Should be remain an amateur, or become a professional? It was an easy decision for him.

“I had set a goal to win Junior Worlds and because I accomplished that I felt like I was ready to move on,” said Kade. Plus, he was planning on attending college a few months later, so he didn’t know if he would have the time to train properly for Am Worlds. So, he turned pro.

He is glad he did that. He has already finished near the top in a few tournaments, and was actually able to take cash for his efforts.

“It felt great to get rewarded for good play and feel like I’m competing for something more than a trophy and a good round rating,” he said.

His Future in Disc Golf

 

Although he doesn’t know exactly where disc golf will take him, he still has goals he will be working toward. Those include achieving a rating of 1030 or higher by 2023, make a DGPT Elite Series lead card, and finishing a DGPT tournament with 100% C1 putting. Given his history, he will likely see those goals fulfilled, too.

Pro Tips

 

Since he started playing when he was fairly young, he knows the challenges that face younger disc golfers as they rise in the ranks and play with older players. He was asked what advice he would give to someone starting out in the sport, who want to play competitively.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up and take a turn at doing the scoring,” he said.  “Also, don’t be afraid to speak your opinion on a close call.  It is very easy to conform to what the rest of your card is saying. As a young player playing with adults, it is important not to be intimidated, and let your card know what you think regardless of what they are saying.”

When things go wrong during a round, he has a tip that really helps him.

“I immediately start thinking about the next tee shot. I think about the disc I’m going to throw, the angle I’m going to throw it on, the wind, and where I want the disc to land. That seems to help me move on.”

Learning and Teaching

 

In addition to Ricky Wysocki, Kade has other pros that he looks up to, including Drew Gibson. “Drew’s backhand is what I have used to model my backhand.” In watching Kade throw, the similarities are apparent.

Recently, Kade started making himself available to teach lessons. He’ll show up to a session with a video camera and radar gun, then proceed to observe, record, measure, and give tips that will help that individual improve their game. When asked for the most common mistakes he sees people make, Kade said it usually has to do with upper body.

“The most common mistake I see is rounding. It usually stems from having an ultimate background, or when people try to throw really hard a lot of the time, they pull their shoulders through too fast. It causes the disc to lag and usually causes a massive power and accuracy loss.”

 

 

In His Bag

 

As for what Kade has in his bag, it’s no surprise that he throws Innova and Infinite molds. Here is what he throws the most:

Driver: Innova Destroyer

Fairway driver: Infinite Exodus

Midrange: Innova Roc3

Putter: Infinite Alpaca

Conclusion

 

From his start on a small course in Idaho to winning the Junior World Championship, Kade has worked hard to improve his skills as a disc golfer. Given that history of discipline and practice, the sky is the limit for this Team Infinite member!

 

Support Kade by checking out his new signature disc, a  Metal Flake Glow C-blend Exodus here:

https://infinitediscs.com/Infinite-Discs-Exodus/Signature-Metal-Flake-Glow-C-Blend

 

 

Introducing Alfa Discs

Inspired by Infinite Discs

 

It isn’t often that people who stop by the Infinite Discs store in Logan, Utah are impressed enough with their visit that they start their own disc golf manufacturing business, but that is exactly what happened to brothers Alexander and Benjamin Eliassen. The pair, who hail from Norway, dropped by our store in 2019 during a family vacation to America. Here is their story.

Made in Norway

If you hop on a boat traveling East from New York City you could navigate the Atlantic Ocean until you got to the North Sea, east of the UK and south of Norway. If you head north on the Oslo fjord to the Drammensfjorden, you could make your way to the Drammenselva River, which flows right next to Hokksund Norway. In Hokksund you will find the Nostetangen Museum, where visitors can learn about how glass was made anciently. You will also find the Haug Church, which was originally constructed in 1152. Hokksund is also home to Alfa Discs, one of the newer disc golf companies, and the only manufacturer in Norway.

Inspired by Infinite

 

Shortly after their visit to America, and Infinite Discs, Alexander started studying Entrepreneurship and had to come up with an idea for a student project as part of the degree. Remembering the excitement he felt at seeing how successful Infinite had become, he and his brother decided to start the disc golf store they were dreaming about.

The brothers started their business two years ago by selling online and at local tournaments. They started selling only Infinite molds, but soon expanded by added more and more brands, until they had a well-rounded selection of discs. Unfortunately, several months after they started, Covid hit.

Making Their Own Discs

 

The global pandemic was a double-edged sword in the disc golf world. The sport is perfect for social distancing, and grew significantly. Unfortunately, the increased demand for discs, combined with slower production due to shutdowns and materials shortages, meant that there was a much bigger demand than there was supplies to meet the demand. This shortage was felt throughout the industry, and Alfa Discs was no exception. The owners decided that the best way to ensure they had the discs to sell was to manufacture their own. That’s when they decided to become the first manufacturer in Norway.

The founders of Alfa Discs (L to R): Alexander Eliassen, Christoffer Eliassen, Reidar Finnerud, Benjamin Eliassen

 

The decision to manufacture their own discs was made in June of 2020. The next few months were spent planning and working out the details to become a manufacturer. After much thought and discussion, the team, which now included a third brother and a friend, decided to make a stable midrange as their first disc. And thus was born the Apollo.

The Apollo

 

The Apollo is a straight flying disc that can be easily shaped for long, technical approach shots, or for a drive where distance is necessary. The mold was designed to be a good fit for beginners, and experienced players.

Their inaugural mold was named after the Apollo 11 mission, which flew the first people to the moon. That name seemed fitting for the first mold produced. The challenge of starting a new company, then producing their first mold, felt like an achievement akin to standing on the moon for the first time. As for the names of future molds, we will have to wait to see what they come up with.

Alfa discs has two different plastic types. The first Apollo release will be in their Crystal plastic. This is a premium plastic that is extremely durable. In fact, Alfa discs makes their premium plastics a point of pride. They want only the best discs for their customers. To that end, they even inspect each disc to make sure they are perfect. The Apollo and future molds will also be made in Chrome plastic, which is another premium plastic.

Future Molds

 

As for any future molds, Alfa is keeping the details close to the vest. They suggest checking their website for updates on future discs. They are planning on releasing a few more molds next year (2022), and will be working toward providing a full lineup of molds for their fans.

Even though Alfa is a young company and just producing their first mold, they want to help grow the sport by sponsoring players. Currently, they only have one sponsored player, but expect to add more to the roster as they grow and expand. Their current pro is Morten Brenna. Morten is one of the best disc golfers in Norway. And he loves the Apollo. He qualified for the UDGC, so you may very well see the Apollo flying around Rock hill this year!

 

Alexander is very optimistic about the future of the sport. Although disc golf is a much newer sport than ball golf, he believes that it could be just as popular as its cousin. He recognizes the role that Alpha Discs has in helping the sport grow, and looks forward to businesses like his having even more sponsored players and increasing the visibility of the sport. He will do his part by providing unparalleled customer service.

“Our customer is our boss,” said Alexander. “And we will listen to them no matter what.”

The new Apollo was just released and are available now! Check out the link below and get your first run Apollo from Infinite Discs.

https://infinitediscs.com/Alfa-Discs-Apollo

Check out Alfa Discs’ sponsored player, Morten Brenna, PDGA #79859, you can see his Norwegian-language In The Bag video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLqACdLX9IA

Visit the Alfa Discs website here:

https://alfadiscs.com/

We would like to give you an opportunity to win a First Run Apollo from Alfa Discs. To enter, let us know in the comments below what midrange mold that you throw that has a similar flight to the Apollo. Next week we will randomly select three commenters to win an Apollo.

 

 

A Look At New Disc Golfers

New Disc Golfer on Mountainous Course

2021 State of Disc Golf

New Disc Golfers

As has been pointed out in numerous blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and even this blog series, the pandemic has created a boon for the sport of disc golf. A perfect storm of having more time on our hands, the need to socially distance from people, in many cases a bump in income from the federal government, and a sport that is relatively inexpensive and easy to get into has led to unprecedented growth for disc golf. That growth has not been without its pains. Shutdowns, materials shortages, and the increase in demand have led to challenges in maintaining inventory.

Even with the difficulties we are experiencing, and have experienced, it is great to see so many new people embracing the sport we love. Those new players are going to be the focus of this blog. We’ll take another look at how many survey respondents indicated that they started playing last year. Then we’ll look at why they started, how many discs they’ve amassed, and we’ll take a peek inside their bag to see what they are throwing. Finally, we’ll also compare their responses to the ‘veteran’ disc golfers to see what we can learn about them and us.

New To The Sport

Let’s start by seeing when people indicated in the survey that they started playing. In a previous State of Disc Golf 2021 blog we learned that nearly 20% of respondents started playing last year. Here are those results:

 

Let’s take a look at a few previous years’ survey results to see how the pandemic might have affected the results of the same question (as if we really wonder how it was affected!) Here are the results from two previous years. The chart shows the survey year, and the percent of people who started playing disc golf the previous year:

2015 9.70%
2019 10.20%
2021 19.20%

Given that extraordinary increase in the number of people who joined the PDGA last year, the 19% figure could have been a lot higher and it wouldn’t have surprised me. Still, one in five of all survey respondents starting last year isn’t too shabby.

Introduced To Disc Golf

The follow-up question in the survey was for people who indicated that they started last year, and that question was, “How did you get into disc golf?” I discovered in writing this blog that the spreadsheet format excluded some of the answers in the previous blog, so I ran the data again and here are the accurate numbers for that question:

 

 

Just like last time, the number one reason people started playing disc golf was because of a friend. What better way to share the sport than inviting a friend? Close to half of all respondents who started last year were looking for something to do during the pandemic. Over 28% wanted some way to get exercise, while 22% just stumbled onto the sport. Even though the smallest number of respondents found disc golf from seeing it on a sports program, I like the idea that people are intrigued enough from watching disc golf to give it a try.

In Their Bag

Alright, let’s take a look at what the new disc golfers are throwing. Because of the disc shortages experienced last year, I expected the discs in the bags of the new golfers to look like Infinite’s inventory: full of whatever we could get our hands on. It turns out that the typical new-person bag looks very similar to what everyone else’s bag looks like, statistically speaking. Here is the graph of the average bag, followed by the graph for the discs in the average new player’s bag.

 

 

For comparison, below is a chart from last year’s survey showing what discs were in our bags. As you can see, the numbers are similar to the ones in the graphs above. That is both the percentage and the overall ranking of the top brands.

Although there are some differences with the new player’s numbers, most of them are pretty close to the group numbers. Many of the statistics are driven by available supply. However, taking a look at last year’s chart for the same category, we can see that they numbers aren’t too far away from what we’ve seen in the past. It will be interesting to see what changes take place in the future, based on what people had in their bags last year. How many people ended up trying new disc brands because that was all that was available? And will they stick with brands they were forced to try?

Give The Gift Of Disc

I was curious to see where new players got their discs, and how many got them from their friends who invited them to play. That would help explain why the charts look similar. According to the survey, 45% of players who started playing last year received, among other sources, a disc as a gift. We didn’t differentiate in the survey between discs that were given by another player versus discs that were received as a present for Christmas, birthdays, etc. Getting a disc from another player might mean they are receiving brands that the friend throws.

One other survey question I want to explore will tell us a little bit about how hooked the new players are on disc golf. We asked how many discs people own. Here is a graph of everybody’s answers:

 

And here is a graph of the players who started playing last year. Although the new players have the lead compared to seasoned golfers up to the 31-40 discs category, after that the long timers take over as the leader. That makes sense because we have a tendency to increase our disc golf collection over time, whether we are keeping discs we don’t throw, have more wall hangers, or start to collect discs. Here is the graph:

In The Future

It will be interesting to see how the influx of new players affects the sport in the long run. Growth is good and hopefully will compound in the near future. We REALLY hope the supply/demand dynamic will flatten out soon so we can escape the hoarder mentality and be able to buy what we want when we want it.

Check back next week for more of the 2021 State of Disc Golf.

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