What is the best weight for a disc golf disc?
Does the weight of a disc golf disc matter?
What is a max weight disc?
Why would I throw a heavy disc instead of a light disc?
Deciding on the proper weight for a disc golf disc is difficult and knowing the answer to the above questions can help your disc golf game. Understanding the difference between disc weights is difficult because it requires time and testing, but we can give you a jump start on deciding what weights might fit your game best.
These are all very legitimate questions, keep reading to learn more!
Disc Golf Disc Weights
Let’s start with how much a disc golf disc weighs. Discs are typically weighed in grams and according to the PDGA technical standards, a disc must not exceed 200 grams. There are a few other weight specifications for approved golf discs, but those details are beyond the scope of this article. Most discs weigh between 160 and 180 grams but there are some that weigh more or less which usually have specific purposes. A special designation of 150 Class is given to discs below 160 grams.
Does Disc Golf Disc Weight Matter?
Simply put, yes, the weight of your disc golf disc matters and can significantly affect the flight of your golf disc. On the most basic level, lighter discs take less effort to throw than heavy discs and as a result are often more accurate. However, light weight discs are also generally affected by wind more than heavy discs so you may find heavier discs can maintain a consistent path more effectively in windy weather.
Although not always guaranteed, lighter discs often have a tendancy to turn more at high speeds than heavier discs. Be careful though, because there are many other factors that affect the stability of a disc more than the weight. There are plenty of other things to consider when deciding on the weight for your disc golf discs.
Should I Throw Heavy or Light Disc Golf Discs?
You’ve probably guessed by now that the decision to throw a heavy weight or light weight golf disc depends on what you want to do with it. There is no right answer but here are a few situations in which a heavy or light disc may be a better choice.
Disc Golf Driver Weights
When selecting the best weight for a disc golf driver, the most common factors to consider are distance and wind resistance. As mentioned above, light weight golf discs have the potential to fly further. However, wind is often a larger factor to consider for drivers because drivers are usually in the air for a longer length of time therefore wind has more time to affect the flight. Wide rim drivers cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time so the effect of wind can be amplified on long throws.
For maximum distance, I typically throw a medium weight driver around 167 to 169 grams. I personally find that the decreased consistency of a 150 class disc is not worth any extra distance I can gain. I have seen disc golfers throw 150 class Innova Bosses quite far and maintain control, but I know my own limits. As mentioned above, light weight drivers often turn harder than heavier weight drivers and I have difficulty controlling that extra turn. To counteract this I try to find a mold that has a little more overstability or sometimes switch to a plastic that is more overstable. My current maximum distance driver is a 167 gram Discraft Titanium Crank; the Titanium Crank won’t turn as much as a Z or ESP Crank so this allows me to throw a lower weight. (Here’s a link to try a Crank)
Pro Tip: Try throwing an overstable mold but in a lighter weight, this can provide a little extra distance and workability to a disc that will provide consistency. (Try this with an Innova Blizzard Destroyer)
Light weight drivers can also be advantageous for beginners or those with less distance. Since light weigh discs require less power to throw, they can help beginners focus on their form while still acheiving some distance. Beginners can increase the weight of the drivers over time as their form improves to ensure that they are not using light weight drivers as a crutch and eventually masking form deficiencies. Medium to light weight discs are also often used by advanced disc golfers needing to reach distance on touch shots because a light weight driver may flip up more easily allowing for a gentle hyzer flip that glides for extra distance. (I use a 166g Discraft Heat for light flip shots)
In gusty conditions or stiff headwinds I typically throw a driver close to max weight, usually 174 to 175 grams so it has a better chance at fighting the wind. There are exceptions of course, for example I will sometimes throw a lighter weight driver when I have a tailwind so the wind can carry my disc for extra distance.
Another consideration for disc weight is temperature. In very hot temperatures discs become less stable so the light weight discs have a tendency to turn more and throwing a heavier disc can help maintain consistency. On the other end of the spectrum, discs become more overstable in cold temperatures and it can often help to throw lower weight discs for the extra distance. This can be tough to balance with wind!
Disc Golf Midrange Approach Weights
All of the same weight principles apply to midrange discs as disc golf drivers, but more focus is put on accuracy rather than distance because that’s usually what midrange drivers are for. Here, the balance between effort to throw the disc and consistency is crucial. Lower weight midrange discs are easier to put on a specific line since more attention can go into proper form. However, midrange drivers are slower than distance drivers and often have more rounded noses so the wind can have more amplified effects on the flight path of midrange discs than on distance drivers.
I often carry one midrange, usually a Buzzz, which is less than max weight. I’ve found that a 170 gram Buzzz provides a touch more accuracy than max weight Buzzzes but it’s a better balance of consistency and accuracy than Buzzzes in the 160 range. (Here’s a link to try a Buzzz)
Weight also has an impact on skip shots; heavier discs usually skip more often and harder. The same can be said for drivers, but it is often more apparent for midrange drivers with blunt noses that are thrown lighter thus requiring more momentum to skip. Heavier weights can be advantageous in producing a skip on grass as well since grass has a dampening effect on the disc’s landing. (A heavy Streamline Runway will give you a good skip)
As with distance drivers, temperature can be a large factor in determining the best midrange disc weight and the same concepts apply as above.
Disc Golf Putter Weights
When considering the best weight for a disc golf putter, the focus is usually on wind resistance since a putter is usally thrown softly and even a slight wind can significantly impact accuracy. Most disc golfers prefer heavier weight to max weight putters. There is certainly an advantage of using a light weight putter to reduce the power required to reach the basket, but this advantage is usually outweighed by potential impact of the wind. Beginning disc golfers usually see the largest benefit from light weight putters, or occaisionally disc golfers using a putter for approach shots.
When selecting a driving putter, most disc golfers prefer max weight putters since they are usually a little more torque resistant than light weight putters and won’t turn as hard. You could simply grab a very overstable putter that naturally doesn’t flip, but when you want a straight to understable flight path without the putter turning too hard a heavier weight putter can often help. I throw a max weight Discraft Focus which flies very straight if it’s a heavy Focus but shows turn if it’s lighter weight. (Try a Discraft Focus here)
When to Throw Heavy Disc Golf Discs
- During windy conditions to reduce the effect of wind
- Into a headwind to control the turn on a disc
- When consistency is more important than precision
- When extra stabilty is desired
- In hot temperatures
- When throwing a skip shot
- When putting and concerned about wind
When to Throw Light Disc Golf Discs
- When extra distance is important
- Into a tailwind to help the disc float
- When precision is more important than consistency
- When focus on form is important (such as for a beginner)
- In cold weather
- When a softer landing is desired
The Best Disc Golf Disc Weight?
By now you should know that the best weight for a disc golf disc entirely depends on the situation and what you need the disc to do. The best thing you can do is find your favorite disc in a few different weights and throw them, afterall you won’t know how any particular disc will fly for you until you throw it. Do you have other reasons to throw heavy or light weight discs? Let us know!
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