What are the top selling putters for each disc golf brand and which one flies the farthest?
This is the question nobody is asking, but a lot of people are curious to find the answer to thanks to lots of extra Covid 19 stay at home time.
In this video, professional disc golfer Drew Gibson helps us answer these all important questions. He also likely sets the world putter distance record for about ten different disc brands.
If you’re concerned that you can’t throw a putter 500 feet, don’t be. Drew is one of the most powerful and farthest throwers in the world. Most disc golfers are happy to throw a driver the distance he gets the Stego to go.
Top Selling Disc Golf Putters by Brand
For this video, Drew used our top selling putter, over the last six months, from each disc golf brand. We carry over 40 different disc brands, but several of those brands are mostly irrelevant or no longer producing discs, so we didn’t bother including putters of disc golf brands unless their best selling at least made our top 75 putters list. The big brands like Innova, Discraft, and Dynamic Discs have dozens of different putters that all sell well. By comparison the top selling putter from Viking is not as popular as the 17th best selling putter from Innova.
Note, the Reptilian Stego thrown in this video is not really considered a putter, but as you can tell, in terms of distance it doesn’t go nearly as far as a putter, so Drew thought it would be good to compare that unique utility disc here.
In this quick clinic, professional disc golfers and UPlay Disc Golf founders Zoe Andyke and Dustin Keegan teach us basic tips of how to throw the disc farther and get more driving distance.
The number one thing that new players want is driving distance. Here are a few tips to help you get more:
1. Line up your arms to see how far you can reach back. By reaching back all the way, you have potential for more hit speed and much more power.
2. Turn your head, hips, and shoulders with your throw. Line your head up with your reachback and throw
3. Load your body for that perfect line by maintaining a perfect 90 degree angle.
4. Allow your bodies to pull through your arms utilizing the muscles in your legs and hips.
5. Allow your off hand (the one not holding the disc) to follow through.
6. Stay “springy” at the legs in an athletic position to maximize leg power. Don’t stand up straight when trying to throw for distance.
During the 2019 State of Disc Golf Survey, we asked players about their average throwing distance on drives. When looking at the overall field of players that responded to the survey, here are the percentages that claimed specific distance abilities:
You’ll notice that the largest percentage of overall players claimed a distance between 301 and 350 feet maximum. That distance represents almost 31% of players. The next largest percentage claims a distance between 251 and 300 feet, at almost 27% of those surveyed. Close behind that is the 351 to 400 foot range at 22%.
That means that if you add together those three categories with a distance from 251 – 400 feet, that covers the vast majority of players while much smaller groups claim 400+ feet. Only 2.1% of those surveyed claimed to be able to through 451 to 500 feet and a minor sliver of .5% claimed a distance of over 500 feet.
DISTANCE VS AGE
We thought it would be fun to take a look at the results broken down by age groups. So here is a very chart-heavy report, but we hope that you enjoy seeing how age influences distance. As you scroll through the age breakdowns, you’ll notice that the middle ages have a much higher number of survey participants, but the averages stay pretty close…
AGE 12 – 17
AGE 18 – 21
AGE 22 – 25
AGE 26 – 29
AGE 30 – 35
AGE 36 – 40
AGE 41 – 50
AGE 51 – 60
AGE 61 – 70
AGE 71 +
Only when you start to hit the charts for 61-70 and the 71+ age groups do the distance abilities begin a dramatic drop-off, landing more of those older players in a range under 300 feet.
DISTANCE VS ELEVATION
Now, for a little something you’ve never considered, we have a breakdown of the claimed distances from survey participants versus the elevation of the states in the USA where those players are from. Did you ever wonder how much elevation figures into distance? While higher elevations often make disc flight paths more overstable (and the reverse for lower elevations), the abilities to throw further seems to favor those who live at higher elevations.
This chart, provided by Lucid Software’s analysis team, can be a little bit hard to decipher, but it basically takes the average elevation of all the survey participants that answered for each distance. You can see that the further the distance (shown at the bottom of each bar) the darker the bar becomes, with the darker bars representing higher elevations. The average elevation is shown above each bar.
The black box feature’s Lucid Software’s bullet points (or take-aways) stating that distance data seems consistent with other sports, like baseball, and that disc golf course designers in higher elevations might consider longer hole distances. Of course, we can take or leave that advice, but the data seems clear regarding distance versus elevation of where players live.
However, here is a thought– it could be that the courses are very different at lower elevations where wooded courses are more predominant. In those lower elevation, wooded courses, players need to play with precision as their focus, rather than distance. After all, if playing in the woods, there is little need for power throws due to low ceilings and obstacles. However, at higher elevations, the trees may be less predominant on courses, making distance more of a factor. You either throw far across open fairways, or bomb high throws over the tops of the few trees on the course.
What do you think is the cause for this distance disparity when it comes to altitude? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and thanks again to all of the thousands of players who participated in the survey.
So, do you wanna throw far? Or at least farther than you can right now? As disc golfers, I think we all would say we’d like the ability to get our discs a little further down the fairway. Those of us who have had the opportunity to play long championship level courses know that the guy in the group with the longest drive has a nice advantage. Of course, you can argue, “drive for show, putt for dough” right? But I don’t think too many folks would disagree that a good drive won’t hurt your chances of pulling in that dough either.
How Far Do Disc Golfers Throw?
So, how do we throw far? I don’t think anyone will argue with or be surprised with the answer I found from the results of the State of Disc Golf Survey…but what looks like the key ingredient to throwing far is: Practice. Practice, practice, practice—specifically, field work. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers.
Here we see how all participants in the survey answered our question about average driving distance. In my last article, I analyzed how practice affected our skill levels, and I identified weekly field work as a good indicator and separator for how well we play disc golf. Well, as I broke down how far we throw compared to whether or not we did weekly field work, I found a pretty consistent pattern.
This chart shows the percentage of people within each throwing distance that do field work at least once per week. Of everyone who took the survey, 31.5% said they do field work at least every week. As we can see, there is a pretty consistent trend—The farther you throw, the more likely it is that you are doing field work at least once per week. Again, I don’t expect any of this to be surprising, but there was one other pattern I found to be pretty interesting–disc ownership.
How many discs do we own? And is there any correlation to how far we throw? To analyze this, I broke down the answers for the number of discs we own into three based on the responses we get. Each account for about 33% of the total: 0-30 discs (33.3%), 31-80 discs (35.4%), and 81+ discs (31.4%). Then I plugged these three in with how far we throw in the same way I did with weekly field work, and here is what I found.
First, a look at those who own 30 or less discs. We see the highest response percentages with those who throw the shorter distances.
The 31-80 discs range has the most representation in the middle distances.
Then, naturally, the 81+ discs answer was most popular with the farthest throwing groups.
So, does this mean all you need to do to throw far is by more discs? Not exactly, but I think what this is a good indicator of is how involved we are in disc golf. The more discs you own, I’d think the less casual your disc golf experience is.
So the secret formula to throwing far isn’t all that secret—just get out there and practice! Field work works, and stay involved in disc golf (aka, let that disc collection grow a little bit :)). Of course, proper technique is key. There are so many great tutorials out there to help you, like this one from Will Schusterick:
The mechanics for driving, putting, and approach shots are really pretty similar, just on a different scale. Professional disc golfer Ricky Wysocki gives a few tips to improve mechanics and disc golf driving distance for backhand throws, forehand throws, and rollers.
A few general driving tips:
Use a straight forward run up. Line your shoulders up and run up in the direction you want to throw.
Don’t throw across your body. It’s bad for your back and bad for consistency.
Get your timing right. Driving distance and power is all about getting the mechanics right.
Driving is all about timing and weight shift using both lower and upper body to maximize potential.
Straight back, and straight forward.
Don’t curl your wrist.
Throw essentially the same shot for a hyzer or anhyzer, just place your body in a different position.
Get a full reach back. You will get more power when you’re fully extended and reaching all the way back. Fully extend on the reach back and on the follow through.
Timing issues are best fixed with time, and practicing in the field.
The form between sidearm and backhand is actually pretty similar.
Reach all the way back and forward with your follow through in the direction you want to throw.
Keep your elbow tucked in close to your body right before you throw.