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This article can be directed towards both beginners and advanced players, as understanding the importance of weight in disc golf discs is crucial to your success in this game. Think back to when you were a beginner and you picked up a max weight (175 gram) driver. It sure would have been nice if someone had steered you in the right direction of 150 gram beginner class discs, right? This 25 gram differential in weight may not seem like a lot to some, but when a player is still learning the proper technique of snapping your wrist — the lighter the disc, the more chance of success they have of launching that piece of plastic the way they see the advanced players chucking it.
The reason we say this article is applicable to both beginner and advanced players is due to the fact that there is only so much information that you can know about a disc. Let’s think about all the factors you can know about your disc: 1.) make of disc (driver, mid range or putter); 2.) type of plastic (Star, Pro, Champion or DX); 3.) model of disc (Roc, Shark, etc.); 4.) disc rating (flight characteristics) and; 5.) weight. That may seem like a lot of knowledge, but it really isn’t. The only thing that takes a lot of skill is knowing the flight characteristics of the all different discs and the difference between plastics — how they respond to weather, wear and tear, and their associated stabilities.
When you buy a disc from the store, the bottom of the disc is blank, except for the initials of the disc and the weight, which are written in light pen. Before too long, that pen wears off and players are none the wiser of the weight. Any player that values their discs immediately puts their name and contact information on them in sharpie in case they lose it. More times than not, though, they don’t actually write the weight of the disc down. Why not? To us, it’s just as important as knowing the flight characteristic of the disc itself!
You can see the importance of weight by the simple fact that several players have multiple of the same disc in their bag, just a different type of plastic and a different weight. I, personally, have multiple Roc’s in my bag — one is 166 grams and the other is 171 grams. I use the 171 gram disc on more “feel” shots where I need more control and know that it will sit quick when it touches down. I also use this disc in windy scenarios when I need the disc to bore through and not lose its line. The 166 gram disc on the other hand is primarily used for longer approach shots where using my Eagle (fairway driver) isn’t suitable. When I rip it well, I can throw my Roc (mid range) further than almost any driver in my bag!
As previously stated, the other scenario I use my 166 gram Roc for is upshots where there is a severe change in elevation. Roc’s are a wonderful disc due to their control and amount glide that you get all in one package. When faced with an upshot, I typically pull out my trusty 166 gram Roc to help compensate for the change in elevation. To get all the way up to the basket, I would have to rip my 171 gram Roc or another mid range/putter with lesser glide. Instead, the 166 gram Roc is the perfect choice as the high amount of glide of the disc, paired with the lesser weight, enables me to put less force (and thus more control) on the disc — ultimately letting the disc do the work instead of me.
Disc golf is an incredibly fun sport, and can be as easy or difficult as you make it. Hopefully this article helps you take a deeper look into disc weight and the importance of knowing exactly how heavy each disc is in your bag. Max weight discs (175 gram) are very situational discs, but are great to have in your bag nonetheless. If you are an advanced player, maybe you are ready to throw these on every scenario, but for beginners in the game, a 170 gram driver is all you need, if that. We will touch on 150 gram beginner class discs in another article entirely, but for now, make sure to get out that sharpie and write down all the weights of your discs before it’s too late!