Whoa! It’s 2022 already, disc golfers! It’s pretty weird to say that but we’ve made it. I don’t know about all of you, but 2020 and 2021 were pretty rough. As we continue moving toward (hopefully) the end of the Covid Pandemic, one thing that has steadily helped me get through all of the craziness is disc golf. Yep, disc golf is awesome. If you’re not hooked by now, you will be soon 😉.
So I’m glad you’ve found this post. In it, we’re going to talk about a few things including:
- A word of caution for using drivers as a new player.
- 3 reasons why you need a control/fairway driver and…
- The 7 best disc golf control/fairway drivers for beginners in 2022.
Alright, let’s get started!
Word of caution
Before you continue on to our disc recommendations in this post, I want to caution you on something: if you’re brand new to the game of disc golf, you should NOT be buying or playing with any drivers in your first 10-15 rounds (or your first 2-3 months of learning the game).
Almost all drivers are way too hard to throw for beginners. You may be thinking, “but they’re all just frisbee discs. How are they too hard to throw?” Well, all discs have a speed rating (you can learn more about that in my post here: “What is Speed in Disc Golf?”).
That speed rating is how hard a disc must be thrown by you to fly correctly. Drivers require a lot of speed and beginners normally can’t throw a disc very hard at first. So that’s why I always recommend starting out with a putter and/or a mid-range disc. If you’re brand new, check out the posts below ⬇️.
3 reasons why you need a control/fairway driver
1. Control and distance
Control drivers don’t have to be thrown nearly as hard as distance drivers. With that being said, you can get fantastic distance from a control driver without having to throw it ridiculously hard. These drivers are also easier to control on those somewhat long approach shots or drives. They’re “control” drivers and control over your shots is exactly what they give you.
Control drivers allow you to maintain control and get that distance that you want, all while helping you stay focused on playing with good technique.
3. Distance drivers? Nope, not yet
So you can see that control drivers are easy to throw. And that they’re good for getting good distance while helping you still focus on good technique. But there’s another reason why you need to throw control drivers…
You just may not be ready to throw distance drivers yet. Distance drivers need to be thrown hella fast. You might be a good player, but if you don’t have the arm speed, you won’t do well with distance drivers. So work your way up, starting with control drivers.
What’s the difference between control and fairway drivers? Does it matter for beginners?
So as you see in the title, it says “best control/fairway drivers.” When I first started playing, I was curious why these drivers had multiple names. Well, upon researching a little bit, I came upon a debate in the disc golf community. That debate surrounded whether or not there were two different types of drivers in the control and fairway categories of drivers.
One side of the argument states that control and fairway drivers are different. That fairway drivers are slower and that control drivers are a step up under distance drivers. Fairway drivers are speed 6-8 and control drivers are speed 9-11.
The other side of the argument says that control/fairway drivers are called both names and sometimes just differentiate because of how the disc is labeled (i.e. the disc might say control driver but also be called a fairway driver). Whatever speed the disc is doesn’t matter.
Technically, there are discs called fairway drivers. There are others called control drivers. And then there are a few that are called power drivers. There is a good argument for differences in all of these discs.
But I, personally, am on the side of simplicity. I don’t overthink my game and my discs. I don’t think it matters all that much so I call discs both control and fairway drivers. As a beginner, this is how you should think. You need to learn the game and build your skills up – from putters to mid-range discs to control/fairway drivers. Learn the game and don’t worry about if there’s a difference right now.
When you’re an advanced player, you can look into this. But for now, just play and learn. Now that we’ve got all that squared away, let’s take a look at the 7 best control/fairway drivers in 2022!
The 7 best fairway/control drivers for beginners in 2022
Our #1 Pick – Innova Leopard (6, 5, -2, 1)
So if you’re ready for drivers, the first driver I think every new player should get is the Innova Leopard. This disc is basically a mid-range shaped (disguised, really) as a driver. I mean, it is so easy to throw that you could theoretically use this disc, your mid-range discs, and your putters to help improve your disc golf game. I won’t go too far, though, because this is still not a disc for brand new beginners.
The Leopard’s speed is what sets it apart from the rest of the fairway/control drivers made. The funny thing about this disc is that in real life, a Leopard is actually a very fast animal. But this disc is one of the slowest drivers on the market (if not THE slowest driver). That doesn’t make it a bad disc, though, by any means. The Leopard has a speed of 6, making it very easy to throw. It has 5 glide, so it will stay in the air for a decent amount of time. And the -2 turn and 1 fade make this disc somewhat understable and perfect for newer players.
If you’d like to try out the Leopard, you can grab one here on Discgolfunited.com.
2. Westside Discs Underworld (7, 6, -3, 1)
The Underworld is another awesome disc for newer players looking to get into throwing drivers. This disc is easy to throw with only a 7 speed rating. The glide is incredible (making the 6 glide rating completely accurate). At -3 turn, the Underworld is pretty understable. And the 1 turn rating doesn’t even really come into play with this disc.
The Underworld is an interesting disc, though, because it can serve the purpose of either a beginner driver or a utility driver for rollers, big anhyzers, and hyzer flips. The moderately-sized rim of the disc will help all players with their control ultimately leading to more distance, increased accuracy, and better scores. If you’re looking for a control driver that can get you a lot of distance, the Underworld is that disc.
3. Dynamic Discs Maverick (7, 5, -3, 1)
The Maverick is a pretty cool little driver from Dynamic Discs. Now I’m a fan of just about all of the Dynamic lineup and the Maverick is no exception. This disc is easy to throw, feels good in the hand, and flies really well. This is a very versatile disc, and like a few other on this list, can be utilized by both beginners and advanced players. Beginners will have help with the Maverick’s speed and turn which will allow for easy, straight shots. More skilled disc golfers can rely on the turn for harder shots and finesse play. Whatever your skill level, you can benefit from the Maverick.
If you’d like to try out the Maverick, grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
4. Prodigy F7 (7, 5, -3, 1)
Prodigy is hit or miss for me. I’ve liked some of their discs and absolutely hated others. I wasn’t a fan of the F3. But the F7 is a disc that I actually like quite a bit. It’s a bit understable, but it generally flies how you want it to. I’d say it compares pretty well to the Underworld and the Maverick above. Not being hard to throw, good glide, a bit of turn, and very little fade make the F7 another ideal driver for newer players.
To get yourself an F7, check it out here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
5. Discmania FD (7, 6, -1, 1)
The FD, otherwise known as the Fairway Driver (shocker, I know), is a decent driver for newer disc golfers. Discmania has always made great discs, ever since I’ve thrown them, and the FD fits that mold of a “great disc by Discmania” perfectly. The speed of 7 isn’t too hard to throw and the glide of 6 helps the FD really gain distance. The -1 turn/+1 fade helps the FD fly very straight. I’d say that the FD would be a perfect step-up disc after trying out either a Leopard, Underworld, Maverick, or F7 (or other very understable control/fairway driver).
6. Latitude 64 River (7, 7, -1, 1)
I’m a huge fan of the River. Latitude did a REALLY good job when they designed and crafted this disc because I believe that it’s one of their best disc golf discs. The River doesn’t require much speed before showing you its absolutely incredible glide. The 7 glide rating let’s you know that this disc is one of the best gliding discs on the market. It’s also a very straight-flying disc. So if you put a little bit of power behind it, it will glide in a straight line for a LONG time. It makes a good distance fairway driver.
To grab a River, check it out here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
7. Discraft Passion (8, 5, -1, 1)
The Passion is the newest disc (as of the date of this post) in the Paige Pierce lineup of discs from Discraft. I absolutely love the color, design, and plastic of this disc. The green looks sick and this disc flies insanely well. After mastering a starter fairway driver, the Passion is a disc that you could easily move up in to.
In my best discs of 2022 post, I stated that newer players can benefit from the Passion “because it is lightweight, highly versatile, and has a unique flat outer rim configuration that makes it easy to handle.” Those characteristics make it easy for beginner level players to really take advantage of a higher-speed fairway/control driver.
If you’d like to try the Passion, grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
Honorable Mention – RPM Discs PekaPeka (9, 5, -3, 1)
PekaPeka! This almost sounds like Pokémon disc. But it’s not. The name actually comes from a Seaside locality/beach in New Zealand, the same place RPM Discs is located.
This disc, though, is relatively new and was just featured (along with the Passion above) on my 22 best discs of 2022 list. I put it as the honorable mention disc because I believe that it’s kind of on the line of “being a beginner disc/not being a beginner disc” because of its speed. 9 isn’t that fast but it’s definitely not a speed that a brand new player can handle. It is pretty understable, though. So once you try out a disc like the Leopard first, you can soon step up into something like the Passion or the PekaPeka.
If you think you’re ready for this disc, grab it here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
All in all
The list above features some of the absolute best control/fairway drivers on the market for newer disc golfers. If you’d like more options, you can check out the posts I put in the beginning of this post. Just see those at the top of the page. But you should be able to at least find one or two great fairway drivers on this list. If you’re ready for drivers, you’re almost ready to handle distance discs! So keep practicing and you’ll be there soon! Thanks for reading, disc golfers.
Check out the book!
Before you go, don’t forget to check out the best beginner disc golf book on the planet, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” This ebook is packed with over 200+ pages of the best tips, tricks, and advice for new players. This book is Epic. So don’t miss out!