If you’re around it enough, one of the things you learn about disc golf is that everyone pretty much starts out the same way. We all get excited and buy discs that are too fast and overstable for us. Then when another friend gets into the game you’ve forgotten how overstable that driver is and you give it to them to start. Thus begins the cycle anew.
One problem I see right away is that people just getting started are all given the same advice, “Go buy a starter pack”. In fact I’ve given that advice, but recently someone asked about good forehand discs to start with and I thought about it. Current starter packs are geared towards backhand players! If you’re a sidearm disc golfer, you’re going to be learning on discs that aren’t designed for your style. Throwing a Shark or Leopard forehand isn’t easy and requires touch and lots of practice. It might work for some people, but most players will struggle.
If you’re just getting into disc golf you’ll find that there are hundreds of discs to choose from. And how many kinds of plastic are there? How will you know which discs are good for forehand and which ones are good for backhand? It can be overwhelming for new players, so here’s my quick guide into finding the forehand discs to get started. Remember if you’re unsure you can always come into the shop and whoever is behind the desk will be happy to help introduce you to discs. You can always drop a comment here, or tweet @playsdg so I can answer you directly. At Sabattus Disc Golf we’re all about making sure that you get a disc you’re happy with, and that will help lower your score. We’re not trying to sell you discs you don’t need.
Let’s start with putters.
Generally putters are the most difficult discs to forehand because they don’t hold up to torque resistance well. I mean they mostly flip over and you’re left with a roller and disappointment. So which putters are good for upshots? Generally when you’re throwing a putter forehand you’re either approaching the basket, or you’re in trees and pitching out to the fairway. These putters are designed to help you with either of those situations.
The Innova Invader and Discraft Zone are both excellent choices for sidearm if you’re looking for a putter. Why? This is because these discs can handle that extra torque. They should fit flat over your fingers. Another thing about them is that they all have a flat flight plate and are overstable. These discs will all fight that anhyzer and stay flat. Look for these putters to fly 50-150 feet; you’re using them for control not distance. The Invader is a new disc from Innova that’s reliable and not as overstable as the zone, so give it a look.
Next Up Mid Ranges
The mid range is where you can start to throw a number of different discs with the sidearm style. You’re going to be getting more distance from them than putters. These discs sort of cut through the air, and they also float on it. Some popular discs to forehand will be the Discmania MD3, Innova Caiman, and Discraft Buzzz. Each offers something different in the flight but they all share great stability. The Caiman will be overstable and can handle plenty of zip, the MD3 is straighter and still has that strong fade finish. And the Buzzz will be the straightest flyer and the one that can hold an anhyzer line.
Drivers, he’s going the distance, he’s going for speed.
As I mentioned before the Leopard isn’t the best disc to learn forehand with. What I recommend players start with is going to be the Innova Eagle, Innova Sidewinder, and the Innova Roadrunner. The Eagle is the slowest of these, but it’s the most stable. If you read my blog from a couple weeks ago it’s the most popular turn/fade combination. The Sidewinder and Roadrunner are understable and will have plenty of early turn. When you have a slow arm speed (which most folks starting out do) then you need a disc with extra turn. The reason I recommend these discs in Star plastic and not the cheaper DX is for durability. Drivers tend to be thrown when you have longer to go, and therefore require more power to get there. So when they hit a tree it’s harder, and DX plastic isn’t as lenient to high speed impacts.
These are my disc recommendations for a forehand player just starting out. If you’re looking for tips on your forehand you can read my blog from back in April. If you’re unsure about any of these discs leave me a comment here and I’ll get back to you about your questions. We’re all in this together for lower scores.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
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I’m a sports management student at USM and for the most part I don’t like pay-to-play sports. I’d argue that they’re detrimental to the growth of the sport, target rich people, and ruin the fun nature of sports.
But disc golf is different.