As a beginner who’s new to disc golf, there is a lot to learn. One thing most beginners won’t consider is the weight of their discs and how that can affect their game.
In this article, I’ll explain why a lighter disc for a beginner can help improve your game when first starting, and also what weight is best for different types of discs.
Here is the Disc Weight a Beginner Should Use
The average weight of a disc used by a beginner disc golf player should range between 150 grams and 170 grams. The weight of the disc will depend on the type of disc and what it’s used for. A beginner should use a light disc weight for a driver and mid-range driver, and a heavier weight for a putting disc.
In this post, we’ll cover how you can decide what disc weight is right for you and what each disc should weigh for a beginner.
How to Locate the Weight of a Disc
In disc golf, the weight of the disc will be measured in grams. The weight of a disc will normally be written on the underside of the disc, near the middle of the disc.
Discraft discs have a sticker placed on the underside of the rim that lists that discs weight. The weight can sometimes be given in a range.
Other discs could have the weight stamped on the disc. More often than not, most manufacturers will handwrite the weight right on the disc.
Of course, you could always weigh the disc with your scale to check the weight for yourself.
What is a Good Beginner Weight For a Disc?
A beginner player usually won’t have the arm speed and distance on their shot to make use of a heavier disc.
A lighter disc is best for mid-range and driving. The lighter disc weight will allow for the disc to get up to speed easier, glide further when thrown at the correct speed and force the player to throw with the correct form.
With that said, disc weight can vary depending on the disc type. For example, a mid-range and a driver should be 165 grams or less. Some starter discs are as light as 150 grams.
According to PDGA published standards, no disc used in PDGA sanctioned events can be over 200 grams. Because of this, 200 grams is the heaviest you’ll usually see any disc.
A putter is different. Even a beginner should use a putter that’s a heavier weight.
This is because you’re not ever going to be throwing your putter for distance, and it’s best to practice with a consistent weight as you progress from a true beginner to a more advanced player.
Why is a Lighter Weight Disc Better For a Beginner?
A beginner disc golf player will almost always not be able to throw as fast and as hard as a more experienced player.
This is mainly due to less refined form and throwing technique. A more experienced player will throw with good form and get the most power behind their drive. It’s not uncommon for a highly-rated player to throw 350 feet and higher.
For these players, throwing a heavier disc can make sense for the stability of the disc. They have the power behind their throw to make them fly as intended.
On the other hand, when an experienced player tries to throw a lightweight disc, the result will often be instability to the point where they might consider the disc flippy or very understable.
This is the complete opposite for a beginner. You’re not going to be able to throw the same disc as hard or as fast, so these characteristics will make a lighter disc perfect for the beginner.
A lighter disc will also fly further for the beginner because of its lighter weight. It will simply take less effort behind the throw to make it fly far on your drives.
When Does a Heavier Disc Make Sense For a Beginner?
For a beginner who can’t throw a driver or mid-range as far, there are limited times when throwing a heavier disc will make sense.
There are two situations when a heavier disc is better, even for a beginner player. This is on very windy days or when putting.
When there is high wind on a course, the heavier disc will have better stability. Light discs can easily be turned off course by the heavy wind when in flight. The wind will flip a lighter disc over and affect the shot.
Putting with a heavier disc is a good idea for beginners too. Wind can be a factor too when putting, so a heavy disc will work well in these situations.
A putter won’t need a lot of distance and you’ll be throwing with far less power which can leave them open to being affected by gusting winds.
As you progress in skill, using the same putter throughout is a good way to develop skill and consistency by using the same putter.
Because you’ll naturally start using heavier discs, starting with a max weight putter is a good way to develop skill and consistency from using the same putter.
Pros and Cons of a Lighter Disc Weight
There are some advantages and disadvantages to using a lighter-weight disc. Here are the pros and cons when using a light disc.
Light Disc Pros
Throw at Higher Speed
A lighter disc will be easier for a beginner who can’t throw a driver or mid-range as far to get up to speed. The advantage of throwing a disc at the correct speed is that it will then fly as intended.
Glide For More Distance
Getting a lighter disc up to speed when throw will also mean they are going to glide further on your drives. This can help any beginner who’s trying to throw for distance on drives.
Help With Throwing Form
Throwing with the proper form on drives can be very hard for a beginner. The lighter the disc, the more a player’s form has to be on point for the disc to fly straight without wobbling at release.
This forces a beginner to throw with better form. Heavier discs can mask bad form.
Light Disc Cons
Can Easily Be Influenced By Wind
Gusting winds are going to affect the flight of a lighter disc. A headwind in particular will decrease the distance you’re going to be able to throw the disc.
Another way wind affects the flight of a lighter disc is to turn the disc over in the air in the same way a very flippy disc would.
Can Make Bad Form Worse
Depending on how you look at it, a lighter disc forces a beginner to focus on throwing with proper form, but this can also be a disadvantage too because the bad form can make throws very bad or inconsistent at best.
Lighter discs are by nature more understable than heavier discs. This means they can turn to the right when thrown by an RHBH thrower.
Typical Disc Weights for Disc Golf
As discussed, a beginner will want a lighter set of discs to start, except for the putter. Below, I’ll cover what weight ranges are the best for each type of disc.
Lighter drivers will fly farther when thrown and provide some additional glide. One disadvantage is that a lighter driver will be a little more understable.
So finding a driver that is both light and more overstable to counteract any hard turns will be beneficial to a beginner.
Look for a driver that weighs in anywhere from 160 grams to 167 grams. A driver that is below 160 grams might be too light to be thrown with consistency, so staying on the light to medium weight range is best.
A mid-range is not designed for as much distance as a driver. The mid-range will favor accuracy over more distance, so selecting a slightly heavier weight will be beneficial for a mid-range disc.
Keep your mid-range weight in a range of 165 grams to 170 grams. This will add a little weight to keep the disc flying straighter when distance is not as important.
Putters can be closer to max weight because they don’t need distance and accuracy in all conditions is key.
If there is wind to contend with, you’re going to want a heavy disc to be able to keep straight to the basket.
Keep your putters at a weight of no less than 175 grams.
Summary | Disc Weight For Beginners
No matter what you read, nothing can take the place of getting out on the course and trying out a variety of discs for yourself.
The results of using either light or heavy discs will always depend on the individual player and their personal preferences.
But, for the average beginner, it’s normally best to stay with lighter discs to start with, and progressively work toward using heavier discs as your game improves.
There will always be a time and a place for lighter and heavier discs, even if you’re a very experienced player. In other words, there is no shame in using a lighter-weight disc if the situation calls for it.