Many players sport a backpack with 15 plus discs in it because different discs fly differently if thrown properly. For your first round, you only need one disc (maybe two of the same if the only disc golf course near you is full of thorny bushes and/or water hazards). It’s tempting to start with a driver because throwing far is more exciting than throwing slow and steady. But beginners can generally throw a slower speed disc such as a Putt & Approach or a Midrange further than a driver until they learn to power a higher speed disc.
Putt & Approaches and Midranges
We recommend that beginners learn to throw a Putt & Approach and a Midrange straight and then learn to throw them with different angles of release to learn how release angles affect flight path. Note that many experienced players often play a one disc round to dial in their form and throwing mechanics. A one disc round also simplifies the game and allows you to focus on throwing and not on which disc to use.
There are a lot of Putt & Approach discs available and most people can learn to play with any Putt & Approach, but the best one for you is the one that feels best in your hand in terms of disc depth, whether it has a bead or not, and the feel of the plastic. Note that Putt & Approach discs can be further broken down into putters which are used for putting into a basket at a closer range and approach discs which are thrown at a basket from further away.
So you can (ideally) throw a Putt & Approach and a Midrange straight and far and want to graduate to a driver with the goal of throwing much farther. Fairways, also known as control drivers as opposed to distance drivers, are slower speed drivers so they require less power to throw which should result in more accurate drives. For beginners looking for more distance than what they can achieve with their Putt & Approach and Midrange, we have an Easy-To-Throw Drivers collection which lists popular and best-selling easy to throw Fairways with a speed of 6 to 9 and a high speed turn of -2 to -5. Please note that this collection only includes molds which are currently available in a wide range of weights; control drivers which are only currently available in the maximum weight ranges are not represented.
Starter sets are very appealing to beginners because grabbing a starter set is much easier than choosing one or two discs from a plethora of choices. Who knew a golf disc could come in such variety? If you know what you want to and can throw, you can choose the exact weight and colour of the disc mold you want; however, if you are feeling overwhelmed some starter sets are great for beginners. Most starter sets come with one putt & approach, one midrange and one control driver.
Beware that not all starter sets are made equal. You will notice that we have categorized all disc golf sets as “Disc Golf Sets” and not “Starter Sets”. Why? Because some disc golf sets are definitely not made for beginners. Most beginners will have more success with lighter and understable discs if they are learning to throw a backhand. On a proper throw, an understable disc will spin to the right and then spin back to the left at the end of its flight for a right-handed player who is throwing a backhand and an understable disc will spin to the left and then spin back to the right at the end of its flight for a left-handed player who is throwing a backhand.
The Innova Starter Set and the Latitude 64 Beginner Disc Golf Set both include three discs in base plastic in the 150 grams weight range which should work well for most beginners. There are many other disc golf sets which generally include heavier discs and/or premium plastic which may not work as well for beginners; they may be better suited as an introduction to someone who wants to try a new brand of discs.
If you ask any player who has been playing for a while, they will probably tell you that their biggest regret was starting out with drivers instead of starting with only a few slower speed neutral flying discs so that they could practice form and play with different release angles to learn better technique faster. We encourage beginners to delay using drivers until after you have put in some practice time throwing the slower speed discs. Throwing far is way more fun when your disc actually flies in the right direction.