We all want to get more distance on disc golf drives. But, would a heavier disc or a lighter disc fly farther when thrown? I’ve tried both to see if disc weight will affect throwing distance.
In this article, we’ll look at what weight of disc flys farther and when to throw a heavier disc, and when to throw a lighter disc.
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Does a Heavier Disc Fly Further When Thrown?
A heavier disc golf disc thrown by a beginner will not fly further than a similar lighter disc. This is because a less experienced player won’t have the arm speed and refined form needed to throw the heavier disc with the power needed. An advanced player will often throw a heavier disc further.
In this post, I’ll explain why a heavier disc does not always fly further when thrown, and when to use a lighter disc or a heavier disc.
Typical Weights for Disc Golf Discs
For a newer player, lighter drivers will fly farther when thrown and provide some additional glide.
Typical weights for a driver are between 160g and 175g.
A new player should choose a driver in the weight range of 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 more advanced player will commonly choose a driver weight of around 170g to 175g.
Mid-range drivers aren’t designed to be thrown as far as the driver. The mid-range will favor accuracy over more distance, so selecting a slightly heavier weight will be beneficial for a mid-range disc.
Typical weights for a mid-range driver are between 175g and 180g.
A beginner player will want to use a mid-range weight between 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.
The typical weight for a putter is 175g.
How Disc Weight Can Affect Flight Characteristics
The weight of the disc can affect the flight characteristics of the disc when thrown. For example, a heavier disc will be more overstable and perform better in the wind because of the additional weight.
A lighter disc will be more understable and more prone to being affected by a strong headwind.
If you’re a beginner player, the lighter disc will be easier to get up to speed and should fly further.
Are Heavier Discs More Stable?
A heavier disc will be more stable when thrown with the correct amount of speed and spin.
When a heavier disc is thrown with enough power to get it up to speed, the weight of the disc will maintain spin and cut through the air.
If you’re unable to get a heavier disc up to speed when thrown, you’re going to find that the lighter disc will often fly farther, but it won’t be as stable or have as much control.
The wind can be a factor affecting stability. If a heavier disc is thrown into the wind it will be more stable than a lighter disc. The additional weight of the disc will make it less likely to turn over in flight.
Are Heavier or Lighter Discs Better for Disc Golf?
As you can probably see by now, there are times when a lighter or heavier disc weight is right. It depends on a player’s experience, skill level, and age.
But, whether to throw a heavier or lighter disc can also depend on the situation.
Here are some common situations you might encounter and can help you decide which disc weight is best to use.
Best Situations to Throw a Heavier Disc
- Throwing into a headwind
- Throwing a driver or mid-range as an advanced player
- When you need a more overstable disc
- If you need more control over the throw
Best Situations to Throw a Lighter Disc
- Throwing a driver or mid-range as a beginner player
- When there is a tailwind
- If you need the disc to glide
- When you need a more understable disc
- Throwing uphill
What is the Max Weight of a Disc?
According to the PDGA Technical Guidelines, no disc used in a PDGA sanctioned event can exceed 200g. Most disc manufacturers follow these guidelines when producing their discs.
You won’t often find a disc that is heavier than 200g. If you’re playing for fun, you can use any weight of disc that you want.
Here’s How to Find Disc Weight
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 Disc Weight Do Pros Throw?
A pro player will never throw a disc in a competition that weighs over 200g. This is because of the PDGA Technical Standards that we discussed earlier.
The PDGA rules state that no disc used in competition can exceed this 200g limit.
Pro players won’t automatically use a heavier disc just because they are a pro. Often a professional player will use whatever disc weight best suits the situation.
Remember, they are trying to win, not just throw a heavier disc because they can. With that said, a professional disc golf player has the choice to throw a wider range of weights.
If you’re a beginner, you won’t have the option to throw a heavier disc correctly because you haven’t gained the skill and experience required to properly throw a heavier disc.
A pro player might use a driver weight of under 170g if they are throwing with a tailwind, uphill, or need a more understable disc for the situation.
The most common weight range for a driver thrown by a pro will be between 170g and 175g.
Why Do Pros Throw Max Weight Discs?
A pro might throw a max weight disc in certain situations like a strong headwind, or for stability and control over the throw.
Experienced pro players have very good throwing form and exceptional arm speed behind their throws, which means that they are more able to throw a max weight disc with the spin required to get it up to speed.
Although, pros and amateurs alike will throw a heavier disc when it comes to putting. When you’re ready to putt it at a closer distance, a heavier disc is almost always the better choice.
Not only will you have more control, but the heavier weight of the disc will catch the chains of the basket better.
Final Thoughts | Do Heavier Discs Fly Farther?
The truth of the matter is that a heavier disc won’t always fly further, but it can fly further depending on the conditions and the person throwing the disc.
Disc golf takes skill and experience to play, and more advanced players know when to throw heavier and lighter discs to get the shot they need in certain situations.