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

  • I think the Dynasty is one of the best out there. I loved the CD2 and I’m glad it has new life as the Dynasty. I think it will easily hold onto its top spot next year.

  • I’ve been loving the dynasty, I bag 3 different plastics.

  • I’m honestly surprised that the Exodus wasn’t higher on this list, it’s so good. Maybe some recency bias there with everyone grabbing the new dynasty mold. That one is really good as well, though hasn’t found a permanent home in my bag yet as I kinda like 7 speed discs better and then when I want more I prefer to go straight to orcs and/or Aztecs.

  • Brandon Barringer

    Leaving a comment on the blog because I need some discs!

  • I’m a big fan of the Latitude 64 Explorer. I’m surprised it’s not on this list. I believe the Dynasty or Era will be at the top next year, but I expect to see the Thought Space Athletics discs move up a lot!

  • I LOVE the Sphinx! Just picked up an S-Line so I don’t crack my MF Champion in the cold weather. I think the Teebird will continue to be popular, but with Simon’s switch to MVP watch Crave sales go through the roof.

  • David Westmoreland

    I don’t expect to see any Legacy discs on these lists, but people need to try the phenom and bandit, if people just gave them a chance they would be on the fairway driver list.

  • My favorite fairway made the list! DD Escape. The Kona Escapes fly like a seasoned escape btw.

  • I want to try the Sphinx.

  • Love seeing Drew’s Era do so well, great dude to support on and off the course. The dynasty taking the top spot is also awesome, it’s become a staple in my bag bc it’s so hard to get old CD2s these days!

  • Last year I picked up a Fission Insanity and loved it for an understable fairway. Could hyzer flip reliably without it getting carried away and burning over.

  • I used to love my escapes but as my game has improved I struggle more and more to throw under stable discs. Too often they end up turning for their entire flight. Any advice from the masses out there?

  • Teebird and Firebird combo is a staple for me.

  • Long live the teebird! If I get the gift card I’ll be trying a dynasty i feel ignorant, somehow haven’t heard of the #1 mold.

  • The Halo S-Blend Centurion has become not only my favorite Fairway diver, but also one of my favorite disc in bag. I use it for multiple types of shots and love the way it flies. The one disc I expect to make the list for 2023 would be Lone Star Disc’s Guadalupe. Great disc for woods play. Perfect for a Hyzer flip to straight or Hyzer flip to slight turn.

  • I have come so close to picking up the dynasty. Hearing nothing but good about it. Most of my fairways were already MVP, so I hope I am still able to pick them up with their new signing. My favorites are the Insanity and Resistor, but I am liking the early results of the Rhythm as well. Interested to see how Discmania does the next year with what appears to be some s-line discs available.

  • I am still searching for a fairway driver I like enough to use consistently. The centurion is one that I’m hoping to try soon. Especially with those sweet halo designs

  • My personal favorite is the Firebird. I carry three in varying stages of wear. It might be my overall favorite, too. I can’t play a round without reaching for the Firebird.

  • I bet the Volt will see a big jump in popularity this year with Simon showing them in his bag. I know they’re already popular among Gyro fans and the extra publicity will help

  • 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.

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