State of Disc Golf: Demographics

2022 State Of Disc Golf

 

We’re back for another look at the State of Disc Golf as we start the tournament season for 2022. Just like last year, our world and our sport is being affected by the global pandemic. While it appears society is looking more ‘pre-pandemic’ than last year, we are still dealing with its effects on the supply chain. Many molds and products are still not available. But, while we can’t control what is available to sell, we can still look at the world of disc golf and analyze the data to see how disc golf looks this year, and how it has changed over the years that Infinite has been running the survey.

 

Age, State, and Gender

 

This year we had over 7650 people take the survey. We’ll take a look at a variety of answers every week for the next couple of months to learn more about our sport and the people who play it. We’ll start with some basic demographics, looking at our age, where we live, and our gender. Let’s start with our ages.

 

Aging Divisions

 

One thing that I’m always curious to see when looking at the results of the survey is how the numbers compare to what I see in the disc golfers in our region. Our local club is small and it seems like the demographics are pretty close to how it looked when I started playing regularly about 10 years ago. But, we see other clubs at tournaments so it is still possible to get a large sample size.

What I see happening in the tournament scene is that the 40-plus divisions are getting bigger. That is encouraging to see because it means more people are continuing to play as they age. We are still getting young players take up the sport, which is great for the future of disc golf. But, the older divisions are growing. Let’s see how that compares to the survey results.

Below is a graph of the results of the question, ‘How old are you?’

 

 

We’ve seen the basic shape of the graph in previous surveys. The 30-35-year-old group is the largest, then a drop in the 36-40 group, followed by a spike in the 41-50 group. The 41-50 group is the first group that includes 10 years. In looking at previous years’ results, however, we see a sharper drop after the 30-35 group. We’ll look at a couple different years, and to compare them equally we will look at the percentage of respondents in each group, rather than the total number. Here are the graphs from previous surveys.

 

 

It’s good to see the growing size of the older groups. We’ll look at other survey questions to find out more about them and their disc golf world.

 

Where We Are From

 

The sport of disc golf is played in countries all around the world. We have seen non-US players battle it out with the top US pros on top-tier tournaments, and pick up wins. Recently, Estonian FPO player Kristin Tattar make headlines with her lucrative contract with Latitude 64. There is no doubt that disc golf is a global sport. There is also no doubt that the United States still has the largest number of disc golfers, and the survey showed that. Not surprisingly, the largest number of disc golfers are in the states with the biggest population. The states in the top ten will exchange positions from year to year. But it’s tough to find more disc golfers if your home state doesn’t boast the sheer number of people in other states. Here is the leader board for this year.

 

 

I was curious to see the ratio of disc golfers were in every state, so I got the population numbers from World Population Review website to find out. I divided the number of survey participants for each state into the population of that state. Here are the results:

State # Survey Participants 2022 population DG Density 1:x
Vermont 43 622,882 14,486
Utah 230 3,363,182 14,623
Oregon 209 4,325,290 20,695
Maine 62 1,359,677 21,930
Kansas 127 2,919,179 22,986
Colorado 256 5,961,083 23,285
Minnesota 228 5,739,781 25,174
Delaware 38 998,619 26,279
Idaho 71 1,896,652 26,713
Michigan 348 9,995,212 28,722
Missouri 206 6,184,843 30,024
Wisconsin 188 5,867,518 31,210
Indiana 204 6,842,385 33,541
Iowa 93 3,174,426 34,134
Washington 225 7,887,965 35,058
Ohio 331 11,727,377 35,430
North Carolina 291 10,807,491 37,139
Tennessee 182 7,001,803 38,471
Pennsylvania 331 12,805,190 38,686
South Dakota 23 902,542 39,241
Kentucky 113 4,487,233 39,710
Nebraska 48 1,960,790 40,850
Illinois 304 12,518,071 41,178
Alabama 117 4,949,697 42,305
New Hampshire 32 1,378,449 43,077
South Carolina 124 5,342,388 43,084
Montana 25 1,093,117 43,725
Connecticut 81 3,546,588 43,785
Virginia 194 8,638,218 44,527
North Dakota 17 774,008 45,530
Alaska 15 720,763 48,051
Oklahoma 83 4,007,179 48,279
Arkansas 63 3,042,017 48,286
West Virginia 35 1,755,715 50,163
Georgia 201 10,936,299 54,409
Texas 552 30,097,526 54,525
Maryland 107 6,075,314 56,779
Arizona 132 7,640,796 57,885
Massachusetts 118 6,922,107 58,662
Mississippi 49 2,961,536 60,440
New Mexico 31 2,109,093 68,035
California 529 39,664,128 74,979
Rhode Island 14 1,062,583 75,899
Hawaii 18 1,401,709 77,873
Florida 269 22,177,997 82,446
New York 214 19,223,191 89,828
Nevada 36 3,238,601 89,961
Louisiana 48 4,616,106 96,169
Wyoming 6 582,233 97,039
District of Columbia 6 718,355 119,726
New Jersey 68 8,870,685 130,451

 

The state of Vermont has one disc golfer who took the survey for every 14.4k people. Utah is in second place, but that likely has a lot to do with Infinite’s headquarters being in Utah. California, which routinely has among the highest number of people who take the survey, is near the bottom of this list.

Infinite has customers around the world and many of them participate in the survey every year. For Canada, we broke the numbers down by province. For the rest of the world, we had participants select the region of the world they live in. Here are the results:

 

Gender

 

When it comes to the part of the survey that asks about gender, there is never really a question of which gender will have the highest number. But I am always interested to see if there is growth in the number of women taking the survey. Presumably that would mean a growth in the number of women in our sport. With so many of the top women disc golfers signing contracts that they are excited about, and with so much exposure in terms of tournament coverage, we certainly seems poised to grow the women’s side of disc golf. Things like last year’s FPO World Championship, which was every bit as exciting as the MPO Championship, should add a little more fuel to the fire of growth.

We’ll look at the results from past surveys and compare those to the most recent survey.

 

 

Although the data shows a slight drop in the percentage of women vs men taking the survey, the raw numbers are slightly up. In 2014, 286 women took the survey. In 2020, there were 330 women who took the survey. I would hope that the percentages would at lease stay the same as the number of disc golfers rises.

The PDGA shows fairly steady ratios between men and women between 2014 and 2020. Considering the explosion of growth in disc golf, that means that at least the number of women disc golfers who take the sport seriously enough to join the PDGA is rising. As we explore the rest of the SoDG survey, we might find data that will shed more light on the subject of women in disc golf.

In the previous two surveys mentioned in the charts above, we only had two choices for gender. That is why in this year’s survey there is the third option. We wanted to have an option for those who don’t identify with the binary choices.

Best Distance Driver For 2022

This article was written for 2022. Check out this article and data if you’re looking for the most up to date best distance drivers list.

Best Distance Driver of 2022

We looked at the best selling molds, the best rated molds, and counted your votes for your favorite mold, and we can declare the winner of the Best Distance Driver. And boy was it close! The Innova Destroyer and Wraith traded position on top of the sales and fan vote categories. And the ratings were separated by a hundredth of a point!

The top five were all Innova/Infinite, which is not surprising after seeing the results of the individual categories. Four of the top five molds have fairly similar flights, the exception being the 5th place Maya, the only understable mold. Here are the top molds and their ranking in the different categories.

Mold Sales Rating Fan Total
Innova Destroyer 1 4.63 2 7.63
Innova Wraith 2 4.64 1 7.64
Infinite Discs Emperor 3 4.75 3 10.75
Infinite Discs Pharaoh 4 4.71 4 12.71
Infinite Discs Maya 5 4.58 5 14.58

Here are some comments mentioned by fans:

Matt M – “Destroyer has to be my all time mold. Why? There are so many different throws you can make with it. A controlled spike hyzer, a sidearm flick, an all out distance bomber.”

David M – “My go-to is a seasoned Star Destroyer. It has a good feel for backhand and forehand. One at a lighter weight like 167-170 if I’m wanting a little more turn. The Destroyer is the gold standard for good reason.”

Tom – “My favorite driver has always been the Wraith. As they break in the develop a little instability so I can bag several Wraith of various plastic / beat in yet have the same grip. The Wraith is also very good in wind as I find it very reliable and wind resistant. Plus what is not to like about the Halo Wraith, wicked cool stamp.”

In this series exploring the best discs of 2022, we started with putters and have been moving up the speed ratings until this week. You can check out the survey results for Putters, Mid Ranges, and Fairway Drivers by clicking these links. Today, we will finally check out the highest-speed discs, the distance drivers, or high-speed drivers. Once again we will look at the sales data to see what people are buying. Then we will rank the molds by their Infinite rating. Finally, we will ask you to vote for the distance driver that you feel is the best. Then we will compile the information and declare a winner! We will also award one lucky commenter a gift card for their input.

Best Distance Drivers

 

There is something about the feel of a distance driver that sets it apart from other types of discs. The wide rim makes you feel like there is something significant in your hand, both in terms of mass and of potential distance. The sharper edge has a distinct feeling that is unlike other discs. Their higher speed rating requires a little more effort in your throw, making the movement a little more physical. All of these things add up to a different experience when you throw a distance driver.

The high-speed, or distance driver category has been the bane of many new disc golfers. Someone new to disc golf may not understand that the name of the category refers to how fast the disc must be thrown in order to fly like it’s designed to do. Instead, newer players regularly buy discs that they don’t have the skill to be able to throw properly. Therefore, many bad habits might be formed before the disc golfer understands the need to start by throwing lower-speed discs. Lighter plastics can help someone without the arm speed to throw higher speed discs. However, there are benefits to throwing lower speed discs when starting out.

High speed drivers account for slightly over a quarter of all disc sales at Infinite. That’s pretty close to where we could expect it to be. It does trail putters as a category by a couple of percentage points.

 

 

 

 

To find out which molds were the most popular, I pulled up a list of the top 20 discs that were sold in the past year. Below is a chart with the top discs, along with the percentage of all distance drivers sold:

Rank Brand and Mold % of all distance drivers
1 Innova Destroyer 10.5%
2 Innova Wraith 9.0%
3 Infinite Discs Emperor 6.5%
4 Infinite Discs Pharaoh 5.2%
5 Infinite Discs Maya 3.2%
6 Innova Beast 2.3%
7 Innova Shryke 2.1%
8 Innova Mamba 2.1%
9 Discraft Avenger SS 1.9%
10 Discraft Nuke 1.9%
11 Innova Tern 1.7%
12 Discraft Force 1.5%
13 MVP Photon 1.5%
14 Discraft Surge SS 1.4%
15 Discraft Hades 1.4%
16 Innova Boss 1.4%
17 Discraft Zeus 1.3%
18 Discraft Thrasher 1.3%
19 Discraft Scorch 1.2%
20 Innova Katana 1.2%

 

Brands in the Top 20

 

Although most people know about the popularity of the Destroyer and Wraith, they may not know that one out of every five distance drivers sold at Infinite is one of those two molds! Those are some successful molds. In addition to holding the top two spots in the category. Innova is also responsible for 8 of the top 20 distance drivers we sell. That ties Discraft, who also holds 8 of the top 20 spots. In a distant third place is Infinite Discs, with 3 of the top 20. There were only four manufacturers in the top 20, and here is a chart with the breakdown:

 

 

 

Although Infinite Discs only had three molds in the top 20, those molds accounted for a significant portion of the distance drivers sold. In fact, sales of Infinite’s three top-20 molds surpassed Discraft’s eight molds in the top 20. Here is a list of the four manufacturers in the top 20, with the percentage of overall distance driver sales for the past year:

 

 

 

 

Best Rated Discs

 

Now let’s take a look at the Infinite Discs rating for the top molds. These are the ratings that customers have given each mold when they give a review. The ratings give us a picture of how people feel about the disc once they’ve had a chance to throw it. That’s a more accurate indication of the long-term view of people’s opinions of the disc, assuming it’s been around long enough for a significant number of people to rate the mold.  Infinite Discs’ Emperor and Pharaoh top the list, with ratings a bit above the rest of the group. Here are the top 20 discs, sorted by Infinite rating:

 

 

Infinite Discs Emperor 4.75
Infinite Discs Pharaoh 4.71
Innova Wraith 4.64
Discraft Zeus 4.64
Innova Destroyer 4.63
Innova Tern 4.61
Innova Shryke 4.6
Discraft Surge SS 4.59
Infinite Discs Maya 4.58
Discraft Hades 4.58
Discraft Thrasher 4.58

 

Fan Vote Results

We asked you to let us know which mold you considered to be the best distance driver. You responded by the hundreds, and we’ve compiled a list of the top molds. Just like the top mold sales, the fan vote was all Innova/Infinite. Topping the list wasn’t the popular Destroyer. It was the Wraith, which is like a slightly slower Destroyer. In addition to the brands you would expect to make the list, there were votes for many other brands, including Divergent Discs, Viking, Millennium, Legacy, Axiom, Kastaplast, Thought Space Athletics, and DGA.

 

Here is a list of the top voted discs, along with the percentage of people who voted for that mold.

Mold Percentage of Votes
Wraith 13.9%
Destroyer 9.4%
Emperor 4.5%
Pharaoh 4.1%
Maya 3.7%
Boss 3.4%
Grace 3.0%
Mamba 3.0%
DD3 2.2%
Shryke 2.2%

 

Thanks to everyone who voted! We randomly selected one voter to win the $50 gift card. And the winner is:

 

Let Us Know Your Favorite!

 

Now it’s your turn to let us know about your favorite distance driver. Even if your disc didn’t make the list, let us know what it is, and why it is the best disc for you. This is a great chance to show people looking for a distance driver why your favorite disc works for you!

Best Fairway Driver of 2022

Best Fairway Driver of 2022

 

To find the best Fairway Driver of 2022, we looked at the sales date and mold ratings to determine which discs you are buying the most, and which ones you rate the highest. Then we reached out to you to have you vote for the mold that you throw the most. Combining all of that data we can now announce the Best Fairway Driver of 2022! Here are the top molds:

Disc Sales Rating Fan Vote Total
1 Innova Leopard 3 4 2 9
2 Innova Firebird 1 9 3 13
3 Innova Teebird 2 14 1 17
4 Innova Thunderbird 6 11 4 21
5 Innova Leopard3 7 8 7 22

Although Innova is the consistent leader in disc golf sales, we didn’t expect a clean sweep of the top spots in the category. The fan voting really cinched it for several of the molds. The results of the fan voting is listed near the end of this blog. For now, let’s take a closer look at the top molds.

Although I would be tempted to call the top three molds, ‘old-school molds’, if I did, I would immediately get corrected by someone who has been playing disc golf from its beginning, who would remember when the Leopard, Firebird, and Teebird were the newest kid on the block. Those three molds were released in 1999, 2000, and 1999 respectively. They started selling when there were far fewer choices than we have now, at a time when ‘e-commerce’ wasn’t the popular way to shop for disc golf discs. Although that might have been a giant assist in getting the molds off the ground, they have since proven themselves as useful discs in our sport.

Innova Leopard – The flight of this popular disc is such that it can be used by a wide variety of arm speeds. The Leopard is a commonly found in starter sets because it can be thrown rather easily by someone who lacks the proper form for throwing faster molds. It is also useful for people with more experience, who will gravitate to heavier discs and more stable plastics. The Innova Leopard looks like it will be a staple in disc golf for a long time.

Innova Firebird – Even for newer disc golfers, the overstability of the Firebird can be tamed enough to use this utility disc in a variety of situations. Excellent for flick shots and headwinds, it can be flexed with full confidence that it will come out of the anhyzer and finish strong. Need to throw an must-have hyzer? Count on the Firebird to deliver. Its lower speed and variety of plastics makes it easy to see why the Firebird is consistently among the top discs.

Innova Teebird – While more overstable and a little faster than the Leopard, the Teebird can still find a home in the bag of players at a variety of skill levels. It is commonly used to shape shots in tight fairways, and is a reliable disc in medium-range shots. Like the Leopard, it can also be seen in the hands of newer players, typically in DX plastic. Even at its low speed the Teebird can be thrown into the wind with confidence.

 

 

Fairway Drivers

 

Moving up in speed on our list of best discs of 2022 we find the fairway driver. The fairway driver, or ‘control’ driver, fills the gap between the versatile midrange and the higher speed distance driver. Fairway drivers are easier to throw than distance drivers for a couple of reasons. First, their lower speed means that you don’t have to generate as much arm speed to be able to get the disc to fly like it should. That makes the disc more useful for newer disc golfers, as well as more experienced golfers that can shape the disc more than newer players. And second, their slightly smaller rim diameter means they are easier to throw for people with smaller hands. (The smaller rim, by definition, means that disc has a lower speed).

Using the common 4-number flight rating, the fairway drive has a speed rating that falls from speed 6 to 9. Some manufactures list speed 9 discs as distance or ‘high-speed’ drivers. But enough list speed 9 as fairway drivers, so that’s what we will go with for this blog post.

Like any other disc type, fairway drivers come in a variety of stabilities, from very overstable discs to molds with a lot of turn. Checking out the molds in the top 20, below, reveals a wide variety of flight characteristics, giving us a ton of different flights within on disc type. Here are the top 20 discs based on sales:

 

2022 Sales rank Disc Mold Percent of Sales
1 Innova Firebird 5.2%
2 Innova Teebird 4.7%
3 Innova Leopard 4.3%
4 Infinite Discs Exodus 3.9%
5 Innova Valkyrie 3.8%
6 Innova Thunderbird 3.5%
7 Innova Leopard3 3.4%
8 Infinite Discs Sphinx 3.1%
9 Infinite Discs Scepter 3.1%
10 Thought Space Athletics Mantra 3.1%
11 Discraft Undertaker 2.9%
12 Innova Roadrunner 2.5%
13 Discraft Heat 2.4%
14 Infinite Discs Centurion 2.2%
15 Discraft Raptor 2.1%
16 Innova Sidewinder 2.0%
17 Discraft Passion 1.9%
18 Innova TeeBird3 1.8%
19 Thought Space Athletics Votum 1.7%
20 Discraft Anax 1.7%

 

Best of the Best

 

Innova is the king of the top 20, holding nearly half of the top 20 spots, and a majority of all fairway drivers sold. That’s not surprising, given that Innova has been around for a long time and offers more fairway driver options than some smaller companies have molds in total. Discraft has a fourth of the top 20. Their chunk combined with Innova’s heaping pile doesn’t leave a lot of spots for other brands. Infinite Discs and Thought Space Athletics still managed to land in the top 20, with Infinite nearly matching Discraft with the number of molds represented. In fact, even though Infinite has one few mold, their total sales exceeds that of Discraft. Here is the percentage of sales of the top 20 molds:

 

 

 

Most Molds Sold

 

Looking at how many fairway drivers each brand offers, we see several that offer quite a few molds, but still didn’t end up in the top 20 for percentage of sales. That goes to show you how popular the top 20 brands really are. Here are the top 20 brands based on the number of different molds sold:

 

 

Best Rated Fairway Discs

 

Turning our focus from the sales records, we look at how our customers feel about certain molds once they try them out and review them. We’ll check out the top 20 molds in sales, and compare their customer rating. Topping the list are three molds from Infinite Discs. The Sphinx, Scepter, and Centurion hold the top three spots, and TSA’s Mantra was the fourth-highest rated mold. Rounding out the list at number 20 is the relatively new fairway driver from Discraft, the Passion. Here are the top 20 molds and their average rating:

 

 

Fan Vote

We asked you to tell us about your favorite fairway driver. Below are the top 20. Innova certainly dominated the polls! Over half of the top 20 molds belonged to them. Infinite and Latitude 64 were tied in distant second with three molds. In addition to the top molds, there were a lot of discs that didn’t make the cut, but still received some love from the fans. There were also votes for molds from Lone Star, Millennium, MVP, Gateway, Legacy, Streamline, and Axiom. Here’s are examples of feedback about some of those mentioned:

Joshua – “I’d have to say the Lone Star Disc’s Mad Cat! That thing is so reliable and glides a ton!

Adam – “I love the Axiom Clash. It’s a perfect straight flying control driver that has the stability to resist any power, but has a gentle reliable fade at the end. Great for both forehand and backhand, it is perfect for any skill level.

 

Here are the top 20:

1 Innova Teebird
2 Innova Leopard
3 Innova Firebird
4 Latitude 64 River
5 Innova Thunderbird
6 Infinite Discs Centurion
7 Infinite Discs Sphinx
8 Latitude 64 Explorer
9 TSA Mantra
10 Infinite Discs Exodus
11 Innova Sidewinder
12 Innova Leopard3
13 Innova TL3
14 Innova Valkyrie
15 Latitude 64 Diamond
16 Innova Roadrunner
17 Innova Teebird3
18 Discraft Undertaker
19 Discmania Essence
20 Innova Eagle

We asked you to tell us about your favorite fairway drivers and you responded! We randomly selected one commenter to win a $50 gift card. And that winner is:

Brad H.  Congrats! The card will be added to your account.

We Still Want Your Feedback!

 

Post below and tell us about your go-to fairway driver. Is there one that you throw every round? Tell those looking for the best fairway driver why you like YOURS!

 

 

 

Best Midrange Disc Golf Discs for 2022

 

The Best Midrange For 2022

Fan Vote Sales Rank Rating Overall
Discraft Buzzz 1 1 5 2.3
Infinite Discs Chariot 2 3 3 2.7
Axiom Hex 3 8 1 4.0
Innova Mako3 6 2 9 5.7
Infinite Discs Anubis 12 4 8 8.0
Innova Roc3 4 6 14 8.0

Taking first place in two of the three categories used to select the best midrange is the popular Discraft Buzzz! This perennial winner continues to dominate the category, and it is easy so see why. The Buzzz feels comfortable in your hand and has a nice, straight flight that can be utilized by beginners and experts alike. If you don’t have one in your bag, click the link in the chart above to see what the Buzzz is about!

Infinite Discs and Innova both had two molds represented in the top 6, with the Chariot within striking distance of Buzzz. Axiom also made waves with their new mold, the Hex. Not even a year old, the Hex took the top rated spot and with another year of sales might just make a bid for number one. Click the links above to check out the other molds on the list.

Best Disc Golf Midrange Discs

Like putters, midrange discs are known for their versatility and utility. They come in a variety of stabilities, rim sizes and shapes. They can easily be used as drivers off the tee pad, and just as readily be used to approach a basket. The ease of shaping their flight combined with their softer landing compared to a higher speed disc increases the number of shots that you might feel the need to pull out a midrange. Which midrange are we reaching for the most often?

Let’s take a look at its popularity for the past year. New molds always take a small chunk of the market share as people try some of the new molds being released. Even so, there is no other disc near the level of the Buzzz. Here are the numbers for the past year:

Top Five All-Time Sales

 

Not only are the Buzz sales for last year nearly double the numbers of the second most popular disc, the Mako3, the gap between first and second place for sales since Infinite began is even more pronounced. Here are the top-selling midrange molds since 2012, when Infinite began:

 

The Buzzz Family

 

As you can see, the Buzzz just dominates the competition. It has a straight flight that is easily shaped, and the Buzzz feels amazing in the hand. It comes in a variety of plastics, too, so you can choose the one with the feel and stability that is right for you. One thing to point out with those high number for the Buzzz is that the percentage does NOT include the Buzzz’s siblings, the Buzzz OS, Buzzz SS, and the Buzzz GT. If you add those molds to the numbers, the Buzzz family sales would be over 17% of all midrange discs sold at Infinite last year!

 

 

Top Rated Midrange Discs

 

Another factor we use in determining the best midrange disc is the customer rating found on our website in the review section of a disc. That tells us what you think about a disc once you buy and throw it. Newer molds don’t have a lot of reviews, so we only took molds that had at least 15 reviews. Here are the top rated molds:

 

 

Best Midrange Discs For Beginners

 

While the midrange disc is an amazing utility disc that can be shaped, floated, used for hard right or left corner shots, or accurate shorter shots, certain molds can still be bricks in the hands of newer players. Without the skill to throw overstable midrange discs, beginners will find little use for many of the discs in the previous lists. With that in mind, let’s looks at some of the discs that are manageable for those in the Recreation or Novice divisions.

 

Top Midrange Discs for New Disc Golfers
1  Kon Tiki
2 Pathfinder
3 Meteor
4 Sol
5 Buzzz SS

 

Newby versus OG

 

As we see more new companies and molds enter the market, we will see them chipping away at market previously held by molds we have been playing with for years. Sometimes those molds will succeed in the short term due to some great marketing. Even molds that have been around longer than some of us have been playing can receive a boost when a top-tier pro starts throwing that mold. Ultimately, the hype will fade and the cream will rise to the top, and we will see the most popular molds more often in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the previous years’ top molds to see which names are still making the list.

 

Top 10 Midrange Discs by Year Comparison

 

2018

2020

2022

Discraft Buzzz

Discraft Buzzz

Discraft Buzzz

Discraft Comet Innova Mako3 Innova Mako3
Dynamic Discs Emac Truth Innova Roc Infinite Discs Chariot
Innova Gator Innova Roc3 Infinite Discs Anubis
Dynamic Discs Justice Discraft Comet Discraft Buzzz GT
Prodigy M4 Discraft Buzzz SS Innova Roc3
Innova Mako3 Discraft Malta Innova Roc
Discmania MD3 Dynamic Discs EMac Truth Axiom Hex
Hyzerbomb Mortar Discraft Buzzz OS Infinite Discs Kon Tiki
Innova Roc Discraft Meteor Elevation Disc Golf Interceptor

Fan Vote

 

We asked you to vote for your choice of the best midrange disc, and you responded! We’ve added up your responses and have posted them below. This year, 30 different molds were selected by you as your choice for #1. Here are the top molds and the percentage of votes:

 

1 Discraft Buzzz 18.5%
2 Infinite Discs Chariot 10.8%
3 Axiom Hex 10.8%
4 Innova Roc3 6.2%
5 Dynamic Discs EMac Truth 6.2%
6 Innova Mako3 4.6%
7 Discmania MD3 3.1%
8 Discmania Origin 3.1%
9 MVP Reactor 3.1%
10 Innova Roc 3.1%

 

Some of the comments about the Buzzz:

Kjell R – “By far the best mid I’ve ever thrown.”

Brian J – “Buzzz Buzzz Buzzz”

Kit H – “The Buzzz holds the line so reliably. I bet the Chariot will keep gaining, though! Such a nice disc.”

We also randomly selected a winner for the $50 gift card and Kit H (see the comment above) was chosen as our winner. Congrats, and thanks for commenting!

 

We Want Your Feedback!

Once again we’ve looked at the sales numbers and the ratings of the top midrange discs on the market, now we need to hear from you. Post below and let us know your choice for the best midrange.

 

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.

For most recent data check out this article for the best disc golf putters of 2023.

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.

 

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