It’s Valentine’s Day, not April Fools Day, and according to this latest announcement you’ll now be able to throw a “mixed-bag” all under the same Discmania name.
Discmania CEO Jussi Meresmaa has announced that they will offer “more choices to reinvent your game” by partnering with Latitude 64 in Sweden and Yikun Disc Sports in China to create two new sub-brand discs.
Over the past twelve years, Discmania brand discs were manufactured exclusively by Innova Champion Discs. These discs will continue being sold and produced under the name Discmania Originals.
The disc line produced by Yikun will be using the sub brand Discmania Active. It appears that the partnership with Yikun is primarily to get very low-cost plastic, as the Active line discs are only scheduled to be released in a base plastic called, Base Level Plastic. Five discs have been announced for release in the Active Line: Guardian Lion, Spring Ox, Fox Spirit, Sea Serpent, and Sun Crow. All five of these discs are scheduled for release in March. It appears that the Active line is going to keep it really simple with these discs being available in just three colors: pink, white, and blue.
How will this change effect the disc golf industry?
It’s hard to say for sure. What we do know at Infinite Discs is that in terms of sales, the Discmania brand has been our fastest growing brand over the past three years.
The Latitude 64 brand has been struggling in terms of growth/market share, and Yikun sales represent less than 1% of our total sales and are not included on this chart. This partnership will definitely help Yikun discs find a way in more disc golfers hands, and will likely increase the distribution of plastic manufactured by Lat 64.
This partnership also leads to a lot of speculation and questions. How much will this impact Discmania’s already rapidly growing brand? Discmania can now offer versions of the best molds in the best plastics from the two top manufactures in disc golf. They will also be able to offer very inexpensive discs that will likely help them increase their distribution in sporting goods and big box stores that focus primarily on price.
Will the fact that Latitude 64 manufactured discs will no longer be distributed exclusively by Dynamic Discs hurt the Trilogy brands growth? How will this separation impact Innova? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so please comment below!
This seems like a silly question doesn’t it? Disc golf, like traditional ball golf is generally a one man or one woman show. It’s you against the course. It is an intimate mental battle. You aren’t relying on others to play their part to bring home a team win. Unless we are talking about a unique format like doubles or team match play, disc golf is a competition between individuals. And unlike other singles sports like tennis, the performance of each competitor does not directly influence anyone else’s performance. The golfer before you on your card could throw out of bounds or a hole in one. Either way, you have the exact same shot to throw. The course and elements are not changed. Golf in all forms—disc, ball, foot—is a lonely mental battle.
So why is it that this time of year our social media feeds are filled with news about disc golf “teams” and disc golfers of all skill levels announcing their allegiance to these teams?
This off-season has been especially exciting with big names like Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki announcing that they are switching teams. Paul McBeth signed a contract worth a cool $1 mil. to join Team Discraft while Raptor Legs Ricky jumped over to Team Innova and took Paul’s old spot on the stock stamp of the top selling Star Destroyer.
Now the mass response to these moves has been…interesting to say the least. There have even been folks selling their entire Innova stock of discs and searching for “the Discraft equivalent” discs to change their entire bag. While extreme responses like this may not be the majority, we at Infinite Discs have already seen an uptick in Discraft sales as can be seen in our recent top selling Tuesday posts as well as our report on the best selling discs of the fourth quarter of 2018.
So why do we respond this way? And where do our true loyalties lie as fans and players of the sport—with the pros or their disc manufacturers aka “teams?”
Over the last 5 years of working at Infinite Discs, I have spent a lot of time manning our storefront. That has given me the opportunity to watch the spark of joy in new players who first come in buying cheap misprint beginner discs, and then come back again and again over the next few weeks asking me what discs they need to continue to improve. I love being a part of these new players’ start on their disc golf journey. Before long, they build up the courage to come out to the local weekly leagues and make new friends.
And then, there is a common trip to the shop that usually happens a few months after the first visit. These new players walk in with their first putters and favorite drivers and ask me, “Okay, what is the (Insert disc manufacturer here) version of this disc?”
I usually respond with a few similar discs, but I try to explain to them that if they like the disc they are throwing, the disc that is going to be most like it is that exact disc. But usually this is fruitless. They buy the similar disc.
Then on the next visit, they have a list of discs all from that same manufacturer that they got from an “In the Bag” video from their new favorite disc golf pro. And I think you can figure it out from there.
Jokingly, I call this the “Indoctrination Process,” and disc golf companies are getting pretty good at it. I think my journey into the disc golf world was just before the indoctrination and team disc golf culture hit disc golf hard. But how did it become that way?
I’m no expert, but I can share my story. I began playing disc golf in the Spring of 2010 and I was hooked. I bought my first disc—an overpriced DX Innova Aviar from my local Sports Authority. After that I became a frequent shopper at a small shop called Soccer Rockers. Soccer Rockers was a soccer shop that slowly saw disc golf expand from a small wall display to an entire room dedicated to the sport. With the help of my friends and the shop owner, I developed my 4 disc repertoire that I thought I’d never need to change. They were all Innova discs because I found their flight ratings system easier to understand and navigate than the former Discraft one. I also did some research online and discovered a some YouTube tutorials and learned about a few disc golf pros like Ken Climo and Nate Doss. At that time, I thought there were only two disc golf manufacturers in the world—Innova and Discraft.
Then I took off for two years to serve as a missionary for my church. I got the chance to play a round here or there, but for the most part I was disconnected until the start of 2013. I returned to my hometown and returned to Soccer Rockers and began expanding my disc choices. I also began attending local leagues and getting more involved in the community. At Soccer Rockers I learned about new brand names like Latitude 64. There was also this new funky putter and midrange company that made discs with a different outer rim called MVP Discs. And then there was a company that was taking the disc golf world by storm—Prodigy. I stuck with Innova discs until it was time for me to pick a new putter. I remember spending nearly an hour at the shop agonizing over the decision, but the owner helped me decide to give a Gateway Wizard a try. I consider this one of the best and most influential decisions of my young disc golf life. I fell in love with the disc.
That fall I moved to Logan, Utah where I began attending the local league and met the owners of this new online shop called Infinite Discs. I decided to check out their warehouse one day, and I thought I’d walked into heaven. Discs…everywhere. I didn’t start working there for another few months, but I became very close to the operation and learned a ton about discs and decided to try out all sorts of discs, and the rest is history. I have been a mixed bag player ever since. I have my favorite molds and plastic blends, but any sense of loyalty to a specific manufacturer has felt pointless. If I find a disc I love, why should I care who makes it?
Oh, and this is when I really learned about the pro game. After my mission was when Paul McBeth mania was just getting started, and it was hard to not be a fan. I have since made friends with several professional disc golfers, so choosing a favorite is a little more difficult, but just as a pure fan of the sport, there was nothing like watching Paul McBeth do work at that time. However, I think I was in the game enough before watching McBeth that it didn’t really change what I was throwing. But I could tell that the culture of disc golf and the relationship with disc manufacturers had changed since before my mission.
How Did We Get Here?
I think that the extreme brand loyalty that we see in today’s disc golf culture can be traced back to three main events in disc golf history.
First, the launch of Prodigy Disc was huge. Prodigy hit the shelves in 2012, and at that time there still were really only 2 big names in the game, especially in sponsoring professional disc golfers. But what Prodigy Disc did was a game changer. They didn’t just offer cash sponsorships for their players, but they offered them stock in the company. So the players who joined the new Team Prodigy weren’t just getting support on tour, but they were personally invested in the company. Naturally, these players were pushing their brand with more motivation than ever before because their own money was at stake.
And these weren’t just small name regional pros. Some of the biggest names in the sport at the time jumped on board. The original Team Prodigy featured touring pros like Will Schusterick, Paul Ulibarri, Catrina Allen, Paige Pierce, Nikko Locastro, Jeremy Koling, Garrett Gurthie, and a little known up and comer named Ricky Wysocki.
Another event that happened around the same time (we can call this event one and a half) was former World Champion and long time Innova team member Dave Feldberg joined team Latitude 64 to help promote the growing Swedish company. Also in 2012, Jeremy Rusco and the Dynamic Discs team joined forces with Latitude 64 to begin manufacturing discs under the popular Dynamic Discs name. So around this time we have all these moving parts helping to dismantle the two horse race between Innova and Discraft that had dominated disc golf sales for years. And most noteworthy for our purposes was Prodigy Disc getting professional disc golfers literally invested in disc sales as well as their own performance on tour which they were already invested in.
Our second event that has led us to our brand loyalty and team culture is Paul McBeth’s extremely dominant 2015 season. This was the Grand Slam year, meaning McBeth won all five of the PDGA Majors held in 2015 including the one that had gotten away from him every previous year—the United States Disc Golf Championship. Before this season, we all knew Paul McBeth was a special talent winning two straight World Championships and recording the highest PDGA rated round ever, but 2015 propelled him into a class of his own. As a fan and spectator of the sport, it was truly amazing to witness.
So how did such a dominant season contribute to brand loyalty? Well you have to look at the framework of what happened leading up to this season. Paul McBeth won the 2014 PDGA World Championships in a playoff against Ricky Wysocki, who was having a breakout year for himself.
This leads us to our third event—Ricky Wysocki left Prodigy Disc to join team Latitude 64. This was one of many moves in the world of professional disc golf endorsements that Latitude 64 made during this time including adding several former Prodigy Disc players, but Ricky Wysocki was the most influential. Almost instantly Wysocki became the darling of the Trilogy family (Latitude 64, Westside Discs, and Dynamic Discs for those unfamiliar with that term).
So a rivalry that was developing on the course between two competitors on the disc golf turned into a rivalry between brands. I believe 2015 was the season that we started to look at wins for individuals as also wins for their sponsors. When Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki faced off, for some fans it was the same as Innova facing off against Trilogy. And in a lot of ways the narrative fit. McBeth was the established champion and Wysocki was the newcomer trying to prove that he could compete on the same level as the reigning champion. Innova was the established disc golf powerhouse, and the Trilogy brands were trying to challenge the establishment. But as McBeth dominated on the course showing Wysocki and the world that he wasn’t backing down, so did Innova send such a message to the smaller brands that were growing over the previous few years.
And then, of course, if 2015 was the year of McBeth, 2016 was the year of Wysocki with Ricky winning his first ever PDGA World Championship putting a stop to McBeth’s 4 year reign as the world champ. If we want to stick with this brand vs. brand narrative, this was also a win for Latitude 64 and the collective rest of the disc golf world.
All of this was setting the stage for years dominated by products featuring signatures and tour series fundraiser discs. These were especially popular from Innova and their Factory Store including discs made with “McPro” plastic—a plastic blend literally named after a sponsored player. This wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking for Innova (see the KC, JK, and Yeti Aviar), but it again shows the efforts being made by the disc manufacturers to assimilate the identities of their pros with their brand identity.
A Look Outward
For those of us who work in the industry and those who eat sleep and breathe disc golf, it’s easy to just kind of go with it. The comparisons aren’t perfect, but still if we take a look outward, the disc golf community’s relationship between disc manufacturers, professional players, and consumers is a bit of an enigma.
First let’s look at one of the oldest industries in American sports to navigate the professional endorsement game—basketball sneakers. It is a dream for many young ballers to one day have a shoe made with their name on it, but the bigger dream is sustained success at the professional level and taking home championships. On this level, the disc golf world is similar. Signature discs are great, but success on the course comes first.
Now when we add the third element of the consumer is where things get interesting. For our purposes, we will look at two loyalties of the consumer. There is the consumer loyalty which is the side that purchases sneakers and other products, and there is the fan loyalty which is the side that cheers for the athletes and teams.
The easiest way to analyze this for me is to look in the mirror a bit. I am a huge fan of LeBron James. I am also a huge fan of the Utah Jazz. Whenever LeBron is playing, I cheer for him and the team he is playing for unless he is playing against the Utah Jazz. My loyalty to my favorite team is stronger than my loyalty to my favorite player which I’d imagine is common in the basketball world as well as in other team sports.
On the consumer side, LeBron is sponsored by Nike. I’m no sneakerhead, but overall I have had good experiences with Nike and would consider them a favorite brand. However, I am not one to purchase a product just because of a professional endorsement. That doesn’t mean those endorsements don’t work—in fact they do work. Nike just signed LeBron James to a lifetime contract, and Under Armour has had a lot of success breaking into the market since partnering up a few years ago with an undersized up and coming guard in the league you may have heard of, Steph Curry.
But this is where disc golf steps it up a notch. Do fans of basketball watch in hopes that the Nike sponsored athletes will outperform the Adidas athletes? Are Steph Curry fans happy when Joel Embiid has a good game because he is also sponsored by Under Armour?
Now a common explanation I have been given when bringing this up to other disc golfers is simply, basketball is a team sport, so of course we will cheer for the teams. I have also been told that the disc golf manufacturing team support is often fueled by sports fans’ desire to bring that team element that they like in other sports to a singles sport. I think these explanations are fair, but it doesn’t check out when we look at other singles sports like tennis or our closest relative, golf.
I grew up during the heart of Tiger-mania. I have lots of memories of watching Tiger Woods on Sunday afternoons with my family. The world of professional golf has evolved over the last few years without Tiger, but with Tiger winning the tour championship in 2018, we are already seeing that he may still have a few more years left.
For our purposes, Tiger Woods is a perfect case study because Nike Golf was a brand built entirely around Nike’s relationship with Woods. Nike began manufacturing clubs after they signed on Tiger when he first turned pro in 1996. But as Tiger fell, so did Nike Golf who discontinued their club and ball manufacturing in 2016. Nike still sponsors Tiger as an apparel sponsor, but he now is endorsed by Taylor Made for clubs and Bridgestone for golf balls. Obviously the story of the success and failures of Nike’s endeavors in the golf industry is more complex than just Tiger Woods, but it does illustrate the influence these endorsements can have for companies.
And we see a lot of the same elements in the golf endorsement game as we do in basketball and disc golf. Consumers will buy products with signatures, custom logos, and names that feature their favorite athletes. Some may even develop an allegiance to the brands that sponsor their favorite athletes. But how far do they take that brand loyalty with them when they are watching the pros compete? When watching the Master’s this year, will the hardcore Tiger Woods fans who have developed a brand loyalty to Nike also cheer for Rory McIlroy or Jason Day just because they also wear Nike Golf apparel? You really don’t see that very much in golf.
To be fair, another element that does bring in a team aspect to golf is country. I remember as a kid my dad who was a casual fan of the sport would often cheer for the American and Spanish golfers over all the others. He was an American obviously, and he lived in Spain for two years as a missionary. It is common in golf media coverage to see the flag of a golfers home country next to his or her name on a scoreboard.
But here is where it comes full circle again. Where that home country’s flag is in golf coverage, the disc golf manufacturing sponsor’s logo has been showing up in recent disc golf coverage.
A Personal Experience
I am going to keep this pretty general to protect the identities of everyone involved, but I was watching the final round of a bigger disc golf tournament a few years ago. I was following along in the gallery with a few people including a friend of mine who was a newer fan of the sport. This young fan fit the mold I described earlier about newer disc golfers who would jump all in on a disc golf brand of their choice. Also in our group of people watching the end of the tournament happened to be a touring pro who was sponsored by the same brand my friend had allegiances to.
This final round we were watching ended in a tie between two competitors and went to a playoff. The first competitor was sponsored by the same brand while the second was sponsored by a different company. In the end, the first of these two won the tournament.
As we were walking back to tournament central, the sponsored pro who was in our group made a comment that they were happy that the first competitor won.
My friend responded, “Yeah, go team (blank)!”
The sponsored pro immediately said, “Oh, no! I don’t care about that at all,” and explained how the first pro was just a friend, and it had nothing to do with their common endorsement.
I have always found this experience interesting because it shows that the team sport culture and mentality that we see and develop as fans doesn’t necessarily carry over to those who compete in the sport at the highest level. Friendships and support for one another are not formed just because you throw the same brand of discs. And this should be obvious right? Even in team sports, just because you are on the same team doesn’t mean you automatically get along and are best buds. I think the current state of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL is enough to prove that point.
In simple enough terms, we have created a team sport culture in a sport that has no teams. Is there anything wrong with that? What’s the big deal?
Well, I think that depends on who you ask and in what context we are talking about. Obviously for the disc golf manufacturers, they are never going to complain about brand loyalty, and if the team loyalty that fans experience in other sports are being assigned to their brands, that has to be a dream come true.
Think about that one for a second. I think team loyalty is one of the strongest bonds in sports. You may love an athlete, but if they do something controversial or under-perform, as a fan you can just cut ties, and we do cut ties to athletes who break the law or cheat like Tom Brady…well, I guess not all of us, but you get my drift.
But if your favorite team hires a terrible head coach and makes a foolish trade and finishes the season worst in the league, are they still your team? In Cleveland, team loyalty had them burning LeBron’s jersey after “the decision,” and some of us in Utah are still pretty hurt after Gordon Hayward left because we are loyal to our team. Like I mentioned earlier, I love LeBron, but I always cheer for my team when they play, and that can be said for any of my favorite players and teams in any sport. The team comes first.
So if disc golf brands can get fans of the sport to develop that team mentality and loyalty to their “teams,” then that’s a huge win for them.
Ironically enough though, the team culture may not be so positive for the professional disc golfers. They are the ones who are doing the work that the disc manufacturers try to reap the benefits from. Don’t misunderstand, professional disc golfers benefit financially from endorsements as well, but money from disc sales go first to the disc manufacturers, and how much of that gets kicked back to the pro depends on the exact terms of their contract. There have been some rocky relationships between companies and disc golfers in recent years resulting in endorsement changes. Paul McBeth has made it clear that his main reason for leaving Innova was money.
During free agency periods in team sports, we often see players make moves from one team to another because of money, but I think this is especially pertinent in disc golf because it is still a small sport with less money. Also, in singles sports, your success is not predicated by which team you are on, so equipment endorsements–which is really all these “teams” are for the players–come down to the financial benefit and viability for the players.
And if you think that it has anything to do with the actual products available from each manufacturer, you are wrong…mostly. If they feel like they have a full repertoire of discs available to them, disc golfers will follow the money. Again, there still isn’t a lot of money in disc golf, and that includes tournament payouts.
So for these professionals who are trying to make disc golf their full time job and pursuit, they have to jump at the opportunities to make more money. Those who hope or expect these professionals to make their decisions based on “team” loyalties are going to be disappointed as the sport grows.
Which brings us to my personal number one concern for the sport. How does a team sport culture in disc golf influence the growth of the sport? Let me grab my soapbox really quick…
In my opinion, disc golf needs to and will outgrow this “team” phase that it has been in for nearly ten years. Does that mean I want to be rid of manufacturing sponsors? No, of course not. I believe that disc manufacturers will always have their personal “team” of players. But as we grow we will also see apparel and other equipment endorsements make their mark on the sport. We have already seen this sporadically with companies like Adidas, Keen, and Oakley. So in the next few years we could see professional disc golfers become members of a variety of big name “teams.” These additional endorsements will help make the current team structure irrelevant to the fans of the sport.
Personally, when the news broke that Ricky Wysocki would no longer be sponsored by Latitude 64, I was so hopeful that he would be joining Paul McBeth at Discraft. How would the fans have responded to the two biggest rivals in our sport now competing for the same “team?” Well, the ironic thing is that they wouldn’t be competing for the same team. Disc golf is not a team sport. They would be competing for the same team, themselves. They would just be using discs manufactured by the same company.
But that didn’t happen. Ricky Wysocki will be throwing Innova and Paul McBeth will be throwing Discraft this season. I think one of the most interesting demographics in the sport to take a look at are Paul McBeth fans who chose to throw only Innova discs when they play disc golf because of that fandom. What do they do now? Do they stick with Innova because they truly believe they are the superior manufacturer? Or do they jump ship and change their entire collection of discs because their favorite pro is now using different discs?
Again, a quick jump to golf—do you think fans of Tiger Woods who bought Nike Golf golf clubs a few years ago would get rid of their perfectly functional clubs just so they could get Taylor Made golf clubs to match what Tiger is now using on tour?
The Ricky Wysocki fans are also facing an interesting predicament because Ricky has joined the “team” his rival was on. So do they stick with their trusted Trilogy plastic, or start throwing discs from a company they had viewed as being “the dark side?”
To those who may be struggling with these or similar dilemmas, here is my advice—just do you. Throw the discs that you have the most confidence in, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I’d also recommend deciding who you cheer for on the tour based on something more than what discs they are throwing. There are a lot of great guys and gals out on the tour right now who deserve support regardless of who they are sponsored by.
The Times They Are a Changing
Some of the sentiment expressed in that last paragraph was also expressed by Dave Feldberg in the video we just released announcing him as a member of Team Infinite this year. Part of the agreement with Dave joining Infinite Discs is that he can throw any disc he wants regardless of manufacturer. This is a crucial part of the agreement with the direction he is taking the Next Generation Tour, and it works well with us and our standing policy for members of Team Infinite.
I also think in some ways Paul McBeth joining Discraft helps in moving disc golf away from team allegiances. I mentioned that the two big names for a long time were Innova and Discraft, but in recent years Discraft sales took a hit as Trilogy, Prodigy, and other manufacturers got into the market. They also had a relatively quiet team presence in the disc golf world, but as they make waves again with new stamps and of course new endorsements, their sales numbers have already seen an increase.
In a lot of ways, I think all of the moves this off-season gives us a chance to reevaluate our disc golf culture. As we collectively think about our identity as disc golfers, are we divided into many tribes within the culture, or are we one big family focused on growing the sport as a whole? There has been a lot of talk about the perils of tribalism in our society today, and I hope that we can choose to come together as a disc golf family. Of course, we will always be individuals with our personal preferences, and I think rivalries and competition are great for the sport. But that shouldn’t change our common goal to grow the sport together.
So, is disc golf a team sport? No, of course not. A few years down the road we may look back and remember how much we used to care about the “teams” we were a part of or that we supported. But I believe disc golf as a whole will be on to bigger and better things.
It is time to announce our winner of the Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Disc: Roller Discs! We recognize that all of these posts are subjective, and this category is especially subjective as there are lots of popular discs used for rollers. But in choosing our nominees and the eventual winner, we tried to pick discs that are popular and offer great performance for all skill levels. Here are the nominees once again:
This is the Innova Sidewinder‘s second nomination and first win. Like was mentioned above, this category is especially subjective, but for disc golfers of any skill level who want to learn how to throw a roller, the Sidewinder is a great choice. The Sidewinder is an understable driver that offers a nice smooth turning flight pattern that can easily be manipulated for rollers. So whether you are new to the roller or a roller veteran, the Innova Sidewinder is a fantastic disc to throw. Our next category and nominees will be announced soon!
Well, the holidays are over, and it is the dreaded disc golf off season! But we at Infinite Discs are doing our best to make the snow and cold more bearable! It is time for the next article in our best discs series. Today, we are announcing the nominees for The Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Discs: Roller Disc. It has been a couple weeks, so just to review, the two key words we always use when choosing our best discs are popularity and utility. The utility part of this equation is a little tougher when it comes to roller discs, because a roller shot is generally a skill shot that is executed by more experienced disc golfers. However, we will try to include popular discs and ones that are good for learning how to throw the roller. This is a difficult category, because the roller can be executed in a variety of ways with a variety of discs. All that being said, here are our nominees!
The Prodigy F7 is considered THE roller disc in the Prodigy lineup. It is their most understable fairway driver, and it is available in lots of weights and plastic blends. Prodigy is sometimes considered not beginner friendly because their discs tend to be less understable, but the F7 is a great choice for learning the roller, and continuing to use as your game improves.
The Discmania FD was nominated in our best beginner discs, and in that post I mentioned how the D-Line FD is noticeably more understable than the other plastic types. A lighter weight might be too understable for roller shots, but a heavier D-Line FD is a great choice for learning the roller shot and executing it with consistency.
The Latitude 64 Fury has become somewhat of a forgotten disc in the Trilogy lineup of discs with all the new releases they have come out with in recent years. But the Fury remains as one of the great understable fairway drivers in their lineup that is great for air shots and rollers. It is a great roller disc for golfers of all skill levels.
Similar to the Fury, the Westside Hatchet feels like a somewhat forgotten disc in the Trilogy lineup of discs. But for those who have been using both of these discs, many would find it hard to replace them. The Westside Hatchet performs a bit more understable than it’s flight ratings indicate. It is a fantastic fairway driver that disc golfers of all skill levels use not just for rollers, but also long turning air shots.
This is the third nomination for the Innova Leopard. This is one of the most popular fairway drivers for beginners and experienced disc golfers, and it can be used in a variety of ways. The Leopard is a great choice for learning and executing the roller shot that is available in a variety of plastic blends.
The MVP Orbital is an extremely understable distance driver that works well as a distance roller disc. This disc is a great first distance driver for newer golfers. Then as those beginners’ arm speeds improve, the Orbital can then be used by those same players as a roller disc.
The Westside Queen is by far the highest speed disc on this list. Generally Fairway drivers are chosen for roller discs, but the Westside Queen is very understable for how fast it is, and it allows for a lot of air time before it makes contact with the ground and begins its roll, which makes it a good choice for longer distance rollers and ones in a more open fairway.
This disc was also nominated in our beginner discs post, and in that blurb I mentioned that it has grown in popularity as a roller disc. The Innova Sidewinder has been a popular choice for players of all skill levels for a long time. Newer players may have a hard time rolling a max weight Sidewinder, but they should be able to work with the lighter weights. Part of what makes the Sidewinder so popular is its use for hyzer-flip air shots and roller shots.
THE INFINITE DISCS BEST DISC GOLF DISC: ROLLER DISC
This is the Innova Sidewinder‘s second nomination and first win. Like was mentioned above, this category is especially subjective, but for disc golfers of any skill level who want to learn how to throw a roller, the Sidewinder is a great choice. The Sidewinder is an understable driver that offers a nice smooth turning flight pattern that can easily be manipulated for rollers. So whether you are new to the roller or a roller veteran, the Innova Sidewinder is a fantastic disc to throw.
Share Your Opinion
Do you throw rollers? What discs work best for you on your roller shots, share your opinion in the comment section below.
We have had a busy start of the year here at Infinite Discs! So this post is a bit delayed, but the time has come for us to announce our winner for the Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Disc: Beginner Discs! Here are the nominees once again:
This category was difficult to choose a winner in. All of our nominees and many others that were not nominated are great discs for beginners. But the Latitude 64 Diamond is one of the few disc golf discs that is manufactured specifically for beginners, and it has become one of the most popular and loved discs in that category. The Latitude 64 Diamond is one of the most understable fairway drivers on the market, and it is only manufactured in lighter weights which gives it more understability. This in turn makes it one of the easiest drivers to throw for players who are just learning how to throw disc golf discs. It is also a great selection for weaker arms and children who are starting to play disc golf. If you are new to disc golf and have struggled throwing some of the old discs that your friends have let you borrow, grab a Latitude 64 Diamond and give it a try. Our next “best discs” article will drop next Friday, January 18, so come back to get more tips and for a chance to win a new disc!
Only a few more days until the new year! Sounds like a perfect time of year for us to discuss the best disc for beginners! What is a beginner disc? Today we are looking for discs that you would purchase for someone who has never thrown a disc before or maybe only played a handful of times.
Like always, the two key words we use when choosing our best discs are popularity and utility. We want to choose a beginner disc that is popular and can be utilized by many disc golfers. Since this category is beginner discs, the last key word is kind of baked into the name of the category. It is vitally important that the best beginner disc can be utilized by beginner disc golfers (obviously…).
So, without further ado, here are our nominees for The Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Disc: Beginner Disc!
The Discraft Archer is one of the newest discs on this list as it was recently the disc featured in the 2016 Discraft Ace Race. The Archer is kind of a hybrid between a midrange and control driver featuring a small rim that fits comfortably in all sizes of hands. As will be the case with all of our nominees today, it is an understable disc. The midrange in the disc allows it to glide and hold straight in the air with minimal fade at the end.
A few of our nominations today are discs that were designed and made specifically with the beginner in mind, and the Dynamic Discs Breakout is one of those discs. The Breakout is available in a few plastic types, but it is only made in lighter weights. It is not the most understable of the beginner made molds, but the lighter weight allows the disc to perform more understable and makes it a great choice for the first driver for newer as well as younger players who do not have the arm strength of an adult.
The Latitude 64 Diamond is also a disc designed for the beginner disc golfer. The Diamond is available in several plastic types but again, it is not available in heavy weights. The Diamond is one of the most understable discs on the market, and when you combine that with the lighter weights it is made in, the Diamond becomes a great choice for people who have never played disc golf before.
The Discmania FD is a beginner disc that players can grow their game around as it is still a popular disc among experienced disc golfers as well. As mentioned in previous posts, Discmania does a good job of differentiating different runs and plastic blends for each disc, and the D-Line FD is noticeably more understable than the other plastic types, making it a great choice for beginners.
The Latitude 64 Jade is kind of the cousin of the Diamond. Both discs are only available in light weights and designed specifically for beginner disc golfers. The Jade offers a little more stability than the Diamond, but it is still a great choice for an understable beginner driver. So if you tried the Diamond and think you’d want to try something with just a hair more stability, the Jade would be a great next disc for you.
The Innova Leopard was featured as one of our fairway drivers nominees, and like the FD it is also a disc that players can learn to build their game around. The DX Leopard is featured in the popular Innova Starter Sets, and is one of the most used discs for beginners as it is widely available in sporting goods stores. It is also popular as it is one of the least expensive plastic blends, so folks who are maybe just wanting to give disc golf a try will choose a cheaper disc like a DX Leopard.
This is by far the highest speed disc on our list today. Generally distance drivers are not great beginner discs, but the Innova Mamba is so understable it has been a popular choice for beginners for a long time. The Mamba is also a popular second or third disc choice for beginners, and is a great first distance driver for those who are trying out the higher speeds for the first time.
These final two nominees are pretty similar, and players who haven’t used either of them often get them mixed up. But the Innova Roadrunner is the slightly more understable of the pair of discs, which in some ways could be used to argue that it is also more beginner friendly. Another nice thing about the Innova Roadrunner is beginner disc golfers can learn to continue using this disc as their game improves.
The Innova Sidewinder has been around for a long time, but has definitely seen a resurgence in the sales charts. Part of this could be because of its increasing popularity as a roller disc. But the Sidewinder also has always been a popular choice as a beginner disc with an easy to use understable flight that is easy to learn and grow with.
And those are all of our nominees! Check back next week to find out our choice for the winner!
THE INFINITE DISCS BEST DISC GOLF DISC: Best Beginner Disc Latitude 64 Diamond
This category was difficult to choose a winner in. All of our nominees and many others that were not nominated are great discs for beginners. But the Latitude 64 Diamond is one of the few disc golf discs that is manufactured specifically for beginners, and it has become one of the most popular and loved discs in that category. The Latitude 64 Diamond is one of the most understable fairway drivers on the market, and it is only manufactured in lighter weights which gives it more understability. This in turn makes it one of the easiest drivers to throw for players who are just learning how to throw disc golf discs. It is also a great selection for weaker arms and children who are starting to play disc golf. If you are new to disc golf and have struggled throwing some of the old discs that your friends have let you borrow, grab a Latitude 64 Diamond and give it a try.
Share Your Opinion – Best Beginner Discs
When you were a beginner, what golf discs worked best for you? What discs helped you break through to get more distance and take your game to a new level? Share your opinions in the comments below.
Welcome to December disc golfers! Hopefully these best disc golf discs posts are helping you survive the off-season! And today we have a category that may cause some fights. We all have our favorites, but today we at Infinite Discs are going to try to select one disc golf putter as the best!
Before listing the nominees for The Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Disc: Putter, let’s break down what we are looking for when making our selection. The two words I always come back to are popularity and utility. We want to choose a popular putter that is utilized by disc golfers of every skill level. Also, please note that this category is titled “Putter” and not “Putt and Approach.” We will be splitting those categories. For our purposes today, we are naming discs that are most commonly used as the disc inside 50 feet or so when you are trying to hole out. So for example, the Westside Harp which is an overstable Putt and Approach disc that is most commonly known for approaching will not be nominated in this category.
That being said, let’s take a look at the best selling Putt and Approach discs of 2018 so far:
Some of you might be surprised to see the Innova Sonic make the top 10, but there were some special editions released during this year that helped to boost those sells. Beyond that, these are all very familiar names that those who are close to disc golf shouldn’t be surprised to see make the top 10.
The Putt and Approach category is what helped put MVP on the map, but the MVP Atom wasn’t released until a few years later and has become the most popular putter in their lineup. It has a very comfortable rim that seems to be the perfect middle ground between their two original putters, the Anode and Ion. The Atom offers a flight that is straight and reliable, and of course, MVP gives you its signature Gyro technology with the overmold on all of their discs.
This disc is a common first putter to own with the DX Aviar available at most sporting goods stores, but it is the McPro Aviar that has kept this mold at the top of the sales chart. It will be interesting to see how Innova brands that plastic blend next year with Paul McBeth leaving. Either way, the Aviar is a beadless putter that offers a straight and reliable flight that is great for disc golfers of all skill levels.
The Latitude 64 Dagger is the tallest putter on the market, which allows for a nice glide. The large bead and “deep dish” might make the Dagger a little harder for smaller hands, and it is an adjustment for golfers used to pretty much any other putter, but those who learn to use it can be lethal with long range putts (just ask Raptor Legs Ricky…).
The Axiom Envy is a slightly overstable putter that flirts with the line between approach and putting putters, this putter has a flatter top and of course the gyro technology overmold. The Envy like the Dagger, is not your typical putter, but those who take the time to practice with it enjoy the way it feels in their hand and the way it performs on the course.
The Dynamic Discs Judge has become one of the standards of the Putt and Approach category since its release in 2012. The Judge is a beaded putter that has a comfortable height that is perfect for all hand sizes and ages. The Judge is a straight flying putter that is very predictable and easy to learn to use.
The Discmania P2 has been on the market for over 10 years, but recently it has become one of the best selling discs in the world regardless of category. The P2 is a popular approach putter as well as putting putter. It is a tall, beadless disc that offers a very comfortable grip and predictable, straight flight. Discmania does a good job as well of differentiating the different plastic blends and the benefits of each blend. But regardless of plastic type, the P2 offers a flight that offers something for disc golfers of all skill levels.
The Latitude 64 Pure is another unique putter that has a strong following among those who use it. It is a shallow, beadless, and understable putter that feels just a bit different when compared to other putters. The small and short rim might be uncomfortable for players with larger hands, and the understable flight is not ideal for the wind, but in the right conditions this disc flies true to its name–pure. The Pure goes straight for a long time, making it great for longer putts.
The Warden is another standard in the Dynamic Discs family. The Warden‘s mold is basically a beadless Judge that flies just as straight and just as consistently. If you have tried the Judge and decided you like it but the bead isn’t for you, then you shouldn’t skip a beat switching to the Warden. And of course, vice-versa.
The Wizard has been doing it for over 15 years, and has become the “old reliable” in the putters category. It has an average to slightly taller height and a beaded rim that fits great for all ages and hand sizes. The Wizard is a straight flying putter that can be lethal from distance as well. Gateway has also done a great job of making the Wizard available in LOTS of plastic blends. So from Firm to Really Freakin’ Flexible or anywhere in between, you should be able to find a Wizard that is right for you.
This might be our most debatable selection so far, but the Wizard has been a popular choice for disc golfers for years. The Wizard is a great disc that covers just about everything you need in a putter, and when you add in the fact that it is available in a plethora of plastic blends, there is a Wizard for just about everyone. You don’t see the top sponsored pros throwing the Wizard much due to Gateway being a smaller fish in the sponsorship market, but when you take a look back in time to what some of the big names were throwing before they got manufacturer’s sponsorship, a lot of them were putting with the Wizard. For example, Kevin Jones, who just announced he will be throwing Prodigy Disc equipment in 2019, was a big proponent of the Pure White Wizard during the 2018 season.
What are your favorite disc golf putters?
Which putt and approach discs do you like for different weather conditions, wind, rain, cold etc? Share your opinion by commenting below!
It’s time to keep naming the absolute best disc golf discs in the world! At least, the best in our opinion! Today we will be naming our nominees for the best disc golf midrange discs on the market today.
Before I list the nominees for The Infinite Discs Best Disc Golf Disc: Midrange Disc, lets break down what we are looking for when selecting these discs. Like with all of the discs in these posts, we are using two keywords for choosing our nominees: popularity and utility. We will choose popular midrange discs that can be utilized by disc golfers of all skill levels.
First, lets take a look at which midrange discs have been the best sellers so far in 2018.
It doesn’t look like there are too many surprises in the sales chart. The Innova Rat was released at the start of 2018, and it looks like it has been able to maintain positive sales numbers throughout the year. It will be interesting to see how this disc performs over the next few years as well.
Far and away the most popular disc in the Discraft lineup, the Buzzz is a staple of the disc golf world. It has been part of the game since 2003. For many years disc golfers had two main choices for midranges, either the Buzzz or the Innova Roc. As the sales numbers show, both of these discs have proven to stand the test of time. The Buzzz offers a smooth, beadless profile that fits comfortably in the hand for all sizes and grips. It offers a very stable flight that can be used by disc golfers at all skill levels.
Another disc to show that age doesn’t matter, the Discraft Comet has been a part of the game for over 20 years. The Comet‘s mold is unique with a significant bead and more significant dome that offers a very understable flight with lots of glide. The Comet is great for beginners looking to get some distance out of their midrange, and perfect for more experienced throwers trying to navigate tight fairways.
The Emac Truth is DD’s third effort at crafting a midrange with a “true” straight flight pattern after the disc now named the Verdict was too overstable and the original Truth was just a bit too understable. But the Emac Truth was worth the wait, as it is an excellent midrange disc for all skill levels. It offers a flight that is right in between a Buzzz and a Roc in stability. Faster armspeeds shouldn’t have to worry about turning it over, and newer players who find the Roc fades out more than they’d like, the Emac Truth should be just the right fix.
The Innova Gator is one of the original “utility” midrange discs. The Gator is designed to fight stiff winds and dive around tight corners on the course. It is a great approach disc for more experienced throwers who can master its very overstable flight. The Gator is not a beginners disc by any means, but it has its purpose on the course.
The Dynamic Discs Justice brought an entirely new meaning to the term, “overstable” when it was released in 2015. Take everything I just said about the Gator and multiply it 2 or 3 times. The Justice is a true “Meathook” designed to hold up to any kind of wind out on the course. Try to turn it over, I dare you. Again, not for beginners, but still a great disc that fulfills a great purpose for those who have learned how to throw it.
The Prodigy M4 is a midrange that hasn’t gotten a lot of hype recently in the disc golf world, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. The M4 is a straight flyer that is just a bit more understable than the Buzzz. Of all our nominees, it is one of the most beginner friendly midrange discs. It has a beadless rim design and is offered in a variety of Prodigy’s premium plastic blends.
The InnovaMako3 is another very beginner friendly midrange disc. More experienced throwers like to use the Mako3 for longer hyzer-flip shots and is great when you need a midrange to hold straight throughout the flight with very minimal fade.
The Discmania MD3 has grown in popularity as Discmania team members like Eagle McMahon have been throwing it all over the course. Probably the most comparable disc to the MD3 from this nominee list would be the Emac Truth. they both hit that sweet spot in stability that is right in between a Buzzz and a Roc.
The Hyzerbomb Mortar is another utility midrange. It is very overstable, but not quite as much as the Gator. This is because of the only real difference between the two molds, which is that the Mortar is beadless. This makes the Mortar very popular for disc golfers who prefer to forehand their approach shots in the wind, as the beadless design allows for an easier and more consistent forehand grip and release.
One of the original midranges in the game, the Roc has been flying around disc golf courses for now over 30 years. The Roc is a domey disc that has a comfortable beaded rim. This beaded rim makes the disc a bit more overstable than several of the other midranges on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beginner friendly. This disc flies straight for a long time and then has a reliable strong fade at the end.
Normally we wouldn’t give discs like the Roc and Roc3 their own individual nominations, but the Roc3 has shown that it has its own following that is seperate from its predecessor. They Both have very similar beaded rims, but the Roc3 is a bit flatter, and it is rated to be just a bit faster than the Roc, which allows for a little more distance in the air. Both discs have proven to be staples of the midrange category.
And the 2018 choice for best Midrange Disc Golf Disc is…..
Best Midrange of 2018: Discraft Buzzz
If you have been following these posts, you should know by know that we aren’t picking upsets. The Buzzz is the old standard for midrange discs. It is a pure, straight flyer that disc golfers of every skill level love to use. The old debate of Roc v. Buzzz will never die, but we had to choose the Buzzz because of its friendlier stability for newer players and the comfortable beadless rim that allows for the occasional forehand throw. The Discraft Buzzz is our choice for the best midrange on the market today.
What are your favorite midrange discs? Share your opinion in the comments below.