We've looked into the bags of the top 15 professional disc golf players (as ranked by the Professional Disc Golf Association, or "PDGA") to find the discs most commonly used by the best players in the world.
In the article below we'll review the two most popular discs in each of four categories:
- Distance Drivers
- Fairway Drivers
- Midrange Discs
The World's Top 15 Players
Data Integrity and Sponsorship Implications
The players we researched averaged 18 discs each, providing a statistically significant sample size of n=270 total discs.
Concerns over potential data skew from monetary sponsorships were greatly minimized by the fact that multiple major disc brands were well represented by several different athletes.
Additionally, several players reported the use discs from more than one manufacturer.
- Cale Leiviska
- Jeremy Koling
- Chris Dickerson
- Manabu Kajiyama
- Paul McBeth*
- Karl Nybo
- Nate Sexton
- Jushua Anthon
- Richard Wysocki*
- Cameron Colglazier
- Matthew Orum
- Nate Doss*
- Michael Johansen
Note: Players marked with * are former/current PDGA World Champions. Discmania athletes Simon Lizotte and Eagle Wynne McMahon are not listed above, but their disc selections are included in the analysis.
With this sample size and diversity, we consider the data to be highly representative of all professional disc golf players and largely free from sponsorship bias.
Disc Stability Analysis
Individual disc selections varied, but the preferred level of disc stability by disc type was very consistent:
PREFERRED DISC STABILITY BY TYPE
As you can see in the graphic above, as the speed of the disc decreases, the preferred level of stability increases.
Overstable discs deliver the most consistent flight patterns, the most specific flight distances, and the most predictable performance in the wind. As the players get closer to the basket and the need for precision increases, the more overstable their disc selection becomes.
For a complete explanation of "Turn" and high-speed stability, watch this VIDEO.
The top pros overwhelmingly preferred hard, rigid plastics for two reasons:
- Rigid plastics have the highest torque resistance, thereby increasing flight consistency
- Rigid plastics typically produce the more overstable versions of a specific mold
For more information on the impact of disc plastics, watch this VIDEO.
Top Professional Distance Drivers
The Destroyer is best known as the "go-to" driver for 4-time PDGA Champion, Paul McBeth, and ranks as our #1 best overall ultra-distance driver.
The D1 is Prodigy's most overstable ultra-distance driver, designed to provide consistent flight patterns even when thrown at very high speeds and/or into high winds.
The amazingly durable 400G plastic also ensures the D1 maintains "out of the box" overstable performance for a long time.
Top Professional Fairway Drivers
The F5 finds a place in so many pro bags because of its VERY rare combination of versatility with distance potential.
Balanced Turn and Fade provide players with an extremely wide range of shot options (simply by making small adjustments to the release angle), while its high glide and relatively wide rim also help players generate superior distance with those shots -- truly a deadly combination.
The TeeBird has been used to win 19 World Championships and is more popular than ever with today's top pros due to its laser accuracy and precision.
Overstable high-speed flight produces very consistent flight patterns (even on windy days), which are further complemented by pairing it with Innova's most overstable plastic, Champion.
Top Professional Midrange Discs
Not only is the Roc the single-most commonly used disc in this analysis, when viewing older "In the Bag" content you'll discover the Roc was also previously used by several of the other Top 15 players before they changed brand sponsors.
If there is one disc on this list that is a consensus #1 choice, this is it.
Latitude 64° Claymore
The Claymore is a relatively new disc (2014), positioned as a more overstable version of the popular Fuse. Compared to the Roc, the Claymore is slightly less overstable and has lower fade.
If you want a longer, straighter flying midrange, the Claymore is for you. If you are looking for the most predictable flight paths and superior distance control the Roc is the better option.
Top Professional Putters
#1: Innova Aviar
The Aviar has stood the test of time better than any other disc. Introduced in 1984, the Aviar has not only won more championships than any other putter, it has also won four of the last six.
The Aviar is also the disc of choice for the most accomplished putting champion of all time, Jay Reading.
#2: Prodigy Discs PA3
While the PA3 does not provide the same degree of driving consistency and distance control players get with the Aviar, the PA3 provides the straightest putting flights we've seen, particularly with putts under 30 feet in length.
If you want putts that fly incredibly straight, this is the putter for you.
Conclusion, Plus a Word of Caution
The top pros are obviously players with excellent technique and extremely high release velocities.
As a result, if you do not currently drive over 400', the wide-rim, high-speed distance drivers used by these professionals are probably not for you. For more detail on selecting the perfect disc for your ability level, watch this VIDEO.
The Midranges and Putters above, however, are excellent selections for players of all ability and experience levels.
If you have any questions about the data above, please let us know using the Contact page. We are always happy to help our readers improve their game!
Sources (Prodigy athlete information provided by Prodigy Discs):