To achieve maximum flight distance, the optimal driver choices for many senior disc golf players can be different from those of a twenty-something athlete. In this guide, we will demonstrate three different options for players who throw discs at a moderate release velocity and want to increase their drive distance.
Note: This is not a guide for “Beginners”, this is a guide for “MVA’s”: Moderate Velocity Athletes.
“Beginners” are players with limited distance due to poor technique. For this guide, however, MVA’s are assumed to be players with reasonably good technique, but with short drive distances due to limited flexibility and/or physical strength.
Option #1: Light Weight Drivers (under 165g)
Studies have proven the number one factor impacting flight distance is release velocity, with each incremental mile per hour of release velocity generating (on average) an additional 7.2 feet of flight distance.
Reducing disc weight enables MVA’s (and all other players) to immediately increase their release velocity. For example, the force required to accelerate a 175g disc to 50MPH is the same force needed to accelerate a 155g disc to 56.5MPH. In short, the same amount of effort can yield an additional 6.5MPH in velocity and 47 feet in extra distance.
The Downside: Light-weight drivers are more susceptible to the impacts of wind (click here for more detail), and should be used on relatively calm days or when in the shelter of trees.
Option #2: Understable Drivers
To achieve optimal distance, players must throw discs with sufficient velocity to cause them to “turn over” during the high-speed portion of flight. Disc Stability is often described as the “tendency” of discs to turn-over in flight, but Stability is more accurately described as the “velocity required” to make the disc turn over. Because Understable discs turn-over at lower speeds (than Overstable discs) they are an excellent option for MVA’s.
The Downside: Understable discs provide more variable flight patterns that overstable discs (click here for more detail), and should be used only by MVA’s with consistent throwing techniques.
Option #3: High Glide Drivers
Glide is an often misunderstood concept in Disc Golf.
In basic terms, Glide is a measurement of lift generated by the disc, with high-Glide discs having a tendency to stay in flight longer while also softening the low-speed fade. On low-wind days, almost all players can benefit from high Glide, but MVA’s most of all.
The Downside: High Glide discs tend to gain height and lose speed very quickly when thrown into a headwind, so always be aware of wind conditions.
Putting It All Together
These options can have a synergistic effect when combined into one disc, but we strongly recommend choosing discs that only combine two of the above. Combining all three will create a disc with too many limitations to be functional for broad use.
Here are two of our top recommendations:
Innova Star Mamba
The Mamba is one of the most Understable high-Glide drivers available, providing MVA’s with a max-distance flight pattern at relatively low release velocities. As stated above, stick with a heavier plastic like Star to help give the Mamba the versatility needed to be your primary driver.
Innova Blizzard Wraith
The Blizzard Wraith holds the current women’s distance record (Jennifer Allen, 568.5 feet!) and the record for fastest thrown disc (95mph!) due to its low gram weight: perfect for MVA’s in the 130-149g class. While much more Stable than the Mamba and with slightly less glide (5), the Blizzard Wraith’s light weight can significantly increase release velocity to help create high-speed turnover and generate the lift needed to stay in flight longer.
Seniors Value Pack
Because many of our readers would like to add both of these discs to their bags, for your convenience (and savings!) we’ve created a 2-disc value pack in our store. Having both in your bag allows you to use the best disc for the specific course and wind conditions you are playing.
Share Your Experiences
We hope this guide helps you find the perfect disc option to achieve maximum distance, and if you are a Senior Player PLEASE share your experiences with the concepts above using our Comments section below!
If you have any questions about this guide, please let us know using our Contact page!