Best Disc Golf Fairway Drivers of 2023

In a recent blog we took a look at the top disc golf discs in each category (Distance Drivers, Fairway Drivers, Mid Ranges, and Putt and Approach). Then we checked out the top 50 disc golf distance drivers, including the top overstable and understable molds. This week, we’ll do the same with the top  fairway drivers.

Fairway drivers have slightly slower speeds than distance drivers. They can be used for drives and approach shots in all but the longest distances. Their rims are narrower than distance drivers, making them easier to grip for most people. Plus, their slower speed makes throwing them within skill set of most people. Fairway drivers are also called ‘control drivers’.  Let’s see which fairway drivers were the most popular, and which ones you might consider throwing for 2023.

The top 50 list is based on the direct to consumer sales at Infinite Discs for last year.

Top Selling Disc Golf Fairway Drivers

Top 50 Fairway Drivers Chart. Percentage of sales of each of the best control drivers.

Sitting at the top of the chart is the Infinite Discs Dynasty. This speed 9 control driver is not even a year old, but is already working its way into many of our bags. This was one of Eric Oakley’s 2022 signature discs which helped propel it as one of the top fairway drivers. The Dynasty has a stable flight, with a little turn and a dependable, but not too harsh fade.

The Finish Line Era got a podium finish for the year. Finish Line was started by Drew Gibson. It is another very new brand, but is making a mark in disc golf. The Finish Line Era has a very similar flight to the Dynasty in Forged plastic, but is substantially more overstable in the Composite blend.

The Centurion, Sphinx, Exodus and Firebird round out the top five (the Exodus and Firebird tied for fifth) Three are sold by Infinite, and one is an Innova classic.

The Leopard and Teebird have been around for decades and are popular among disc golfers of all skill levels. Those two staples were the next two on the list, followed by Axiom’s entry in the top 10, the Axiom Insanity. The Innova Valkyrie Rounded out the top 10.

Brands In The Top 50

Disc golf brands with number of top 50 Fairway Drivers

Innova was the top manufacturer for fairway drivers with 13 molds in the top 50. Discraft was in second, but several molds behind Innova. MVP and Infinite had the next most molds. Latitude 64 and Dynamic were the only other brands with more than two molds. There were a few manufacturers with two on the list, and a lot with one mold. In all, there were 17 different manufacturers in the top 50.

Let’s see how those molds translates to sales. We listed manufacturers of the top 50 fairway drivers and sorted them by the percentage of fairway drivers sold. There are a few interesting numbers on the list.

Percent of Fairway Drivers Sold by Disc Golf Brand

It is not surprising to see Innova on top, since they had the most molds. Infinite was next in line. Although Infinite is quite a bit ahead of third place, it is even more behind Innova. In third place is Discraft. The top three make up 50% of all control driver sales for the year!

Top Overstable Fairway Drivers

Just like the distance drivers, we will find the top 10 overstable fairway driver molds. This category is for overstable and very overstable discs. Here are the top 10:

Best Overstable Drivers Graph ranked by percentage of sales

  1. Innova Firebird
  2. Innova Teebird
  3. Innova Thunderbird
  4. Discraft Raptor
  5. Thought Space Athletics Votum
  6. Infinite Discs Scepter
  7. Discraft Anax
  8. Discraft Undertaker
  9. Discraft Captain’s Raptor
  10. Dynamic Discs Escape

Discraft has the most molds in the top 10 with 4, with Innova one mold behind them. Five brands had a disc in the top 10.

Overstable Discs Approval Dates

I like to see what dates each mold was approved to see which molds have been around for a while, and which ones are newer. The older molds are well established and have been popular for a long time. Newer brands might be hype, but they might also be the popular for a long time. Here are the dates.

Mold Approval Date Sales Rank
Innova Teebird May-99 2
Innova Firebird Mar-00 1
Dynamic Discs Escape Dec-12 10
Innova Thunderbird Aug-14 3
Discraft Undertaker Apr-16 8
Discraft Raptor Dec-18 4
Infinite Discs Scepter Apr-19 6
Discraft Anax Jun-19 7
Thought Space Athletics Votum Mar-21 5
Discraft Captain’s Raptor Dec-21 9

The oldest two molds are also the top molds. The Firebird and Teebird are more than two decades old. The Votum and Captain’s Raptor are the new kids on the block, each getting approved around two years ago as of this writing.

Top Understable Fairway Driver

For this blog, understable fairway drivers are those molds that have a turn of -2 or more. Understable discs are popular among beginners and people who don’t have a lot of arm speed. Here are the top 10 understable fairway drivers.

Top 10 Understable Drivers

  1. Infinite Discs Sphinx
  2. Innova Leopard
  3. Axiom Insanity
  4. Innova Valkyrie
  5. Though Space Athletics Mantra
  6. Innova Leopard3
  7. Discraft Heat
  8. Innova Sidewinder
  9. Innova Roadrunner
  10. Latitude 64 Diamond

Innova had half of the molds in the top 10. The other five spots were taken by five different brands.

Axiom and Latitude 64 made the understable list, but not the overstable list.

Understable Discs Approval Dates
Mold Approval Date Sales Rank
Innova Leopard May-99 2
Innova Valkyrie Aug-00 4
Innova Sidewinder Nov-04 8
Innova Roadrunner Aug-05 9
Latitude 64 Diamond Mar-11 10
Discraft Heat Oct-14 7
Axiom Insanity Dec-14 3
Innova Leopard3 Aug-17 6
Infinite Discs Sphinx Mar-18 1
Thought Space Athletics Mantra Oct-19 5

Just like the overstable molds, Innova has a couple discs in the top 10 that have been around for decades and have earned their way in our bags. That didn’t get them the number one spot, but they did get second in the top 10. Infinite took first with the Sphinx. While not as old as most of the Innova molds on the list, it has still been around for nearly half a decade.

Next Blog Well Look At Mid Range Discs

What are the Best Fairway Drivers for You?

What will be the best fairway drivers of 2023? Will any brands catch up to Innova or Discraft? Or will the old school molds continue to dominate? The PDGA has already approved 17 new molds for this year (as of this writing). Maybe one of them will be a top fairway driver.

What is your favorite fairway driver? What fairway drivers do you think will be the best selling in 2023?

Ted is the Chief Writer at Infinite Discs. He is responsible for the State of Disc Golf Survey articles and most of the "best discs" posts. Ted runs all kinds of local disc golf leagues and tournaments and tournaments in Northern Utah.

37 comments

  • Love my Sphinx, so cool to see it up top. With my weak arm speed dictated in part by injury, Understable fairway drivers like the Sphinx, River, and Heat are used a ton. Surprised the River isn’t higher on the list like I think it used to be. Mine has been used so much over 5 years that it’s become a bit too unreliable if I don’t throw it at just the right slow speed or finesse the perfect hyzer flip .

  • Shocked that the Essence isn’t on the list! Such an amazing disc! I also love the River. I always considered 9 speed discs to be distance drivers so I’m surprised to see so many listed here as control drivers. And yet the Virus is a “9” and was listed as a distance driver. Kind of a fuzzy line I guess.

  • Been bagging the crave, volt, motion, and insanity. They cover most of the shots I need!

  • I’ve fallen in love with the TeeBird3, especially for my forehand. I thankfully snagged a few of the Barela Champion Glows before they become a collectors item.

  • Fairways are where I am fluctuating at the moment. My favorite that I bag in two plastics is the Innova IT. Once that mold gets some traction it will be in a lot of bags I think.

  • I bag way too many of these haha, love the heat and Firebird, I love the controllability of fairways and I use a nine speed as my my main driver

  • Like my understable fairways: underworld and diamond. Think that Tee-bird will be popular in 2023.

  • Top three in my bag are my Innova IT, Lonestar Mockingbird and Clash Cookie. Nice to see two of them make it! Though my Athena is rapidly becoming a happy go – to in my bag. Others that make the bag are my Lat64 Maul, the Leopard3, and MVP Volt. For me without a big arm, fairway drivers play a big part in me finding better lines and throws that are more manageable and set me up for a killer approach shot.

  • Sphinx is my absolute favorite! Every AM should have one in the bag, hands down

  • Shawn Christophersen

    Leopard 3 is my straight to under stable fairway driver. Champ glow plastic that is a little beat in will fly 300′ dead straight. Perfect for tunnels and tight fairways.

  • Good to see the TSA Mantra on the list! Such an amazing disc in the various plastics.

  • I’ve been using my Birdie Strike a lot here lately. A newish disc that might have a shot on the list for next year.

  • My goto will be Leopard3. Works well for my arm speed and is very accurate. I carry 3.

    For next yr, hard to see it’s not going to be traditional molds, Firebird is my guess.

  • Not sure how the explorer didn’t crack the top 50 fairways… that’s just rude… that disc is buttery smooth…

  • Love my L64 River! Glides for days. Could see TSA continue to climb the sales with their fire stamps and great plastics.

  • Where is Prodiscus? I am shocked that this awesome Finnish factory isn’t on the list. You guys definitely don’t know what you are missing here. Razeri, Laseri, Slaidi, Titan, Midari, Jokeri (the best putter of all), Sparta, Origo, Talisman and new disc for 2023 – Empire.

  • What the heck, where’s PRODIGY???

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