Fairway Driver vs. Mid-Range: What’s the Difference?

Disc golf can be very tough to understand sometimes. Especially when you’re new at it.

I mean, there’s a ton of different things to learn including different types of discs, disc plastics, flight numbers, disc brands, throws, slang, and an almost unlimited amount of disc golf terminology. It can get overwhelming pretty fast.

But that’s what my site – DiscgolfNOW.com – is here for: learning all things disc golf. And once you understand the game more, it can become one of the most fun sports you will ever play.

So today, we’re going to be looking at fairway drivers and mid-range discs. Why? Well, because these discs are awesome and you want to know the difference between them. They might seem similar, but the differences couldn’t be more staggering.

And that’s what we’re going to find out in this post – why these two types of discs are different and why you need to know. You ready? Let’s go!

What’s the difference between a fairway driver and a mid-range disc in disc golf?

While these discs are somewhat similar, in that they’re both disc golf discs, there are numerous differences between a fairway driver and a mid-range disc – so what’s the difference?

The difference between a fairway driver and a mid-range disc is the type of disc, size of the disc, speed of the disc, distance potential, accuracy, and types of shots you will use the disc for. However, even though they might be completely different discs, it’s important to have both discs in your bag for various situations on the disc golf course!

So here’s a short excerpt of each difference:

  • Fairway drivers and mid-range discs are two completely different types of disc golf discs. Each type of disc is meant to fly and perform differently. One is meant to fly far and get good distance. The other is meant to be accurate and short-range.
  • Fairway drivers are fairly thin, sleek disc golf drivers. Their edges are sharp and they’re very aerodynamic. Mid-range discs are boxier, thicker, and less capable of flying far distances.
  • Fairway drivers have a higher speed rating, which means they have to be thrown harder in order to fly correctly. Mid-range discs have a lower speed rating and don’t have to be thrown quite as hard.
  • Fairway drivers have the distance potential to fly much farther than mid-range discs. But drivers are meant to get distance, while mid-range discs are thrown more for accurate approaches.
  • Fairway drivers might get distance, but mid-range discs are much more accurate.
  • Fairway drivers are usually reserved for long drives and lengthy fairway shots toward the basket. Mid-range discs are usually reserved more for short tee shots and approaches outside of 100 feet.

So again, the main differences of these two discs are:

  • Type of disc
  • Size of the disc
  • Speed of the disc
  • Distance potential of the disc
  • Accuracy of the disc
  • Type of shots with each disc

All of the differences between the two discs (explained in detail)

Type of disc

Fairway driver: whether you’re throwing a distance driver or a fairway driver, you’re going to get some distance out of your disc. Fairway drivers get much less distance than their distance counterparts, but much more distance than mid-range discs. Fairway drivers are made for distance, shorter drives, and long fairway shots.

Mid-range: mids are a bit different. They offer much more accuracy for shorter approach shots, medium-range fairway shots, and shorter drives off the teepad. Mid-ranges are completely different discs than fairway drivers.

Size of the disc:

Fairway driver: fairway drivers are sleek and aerodynamic, sharing similar features to distance driving discs. They glide through the air and are made for distance out on the course. Fairways drivers are much thinner discs.

Mid-range: mids are much less aerodynamic, with a boxier look, and much less bladed on the edges of the disc. The disc’s edges are much more rounded, all of which cause mids to be limited in distance, but much better in accuracy. Mid-ranges are usually much thicker discs.

Speed of the disc:

Fairway driver: Fairway drivers, because of their speed rating, are more challenging discs to throw. Fairway drivers are usually made with speed ratings ranging from 6-10. Now that’s not overly difficult, but they do have to be thrown hard in order to fly correctly.

Common misconception: most newer players think a speed rating is how fast a disc can fly. This isn’t true. A disc’s speed rating isn’t how fast the disc flies, but how hard the disc must be thrown by a disc golfer to fly correctly.

If you don’t throw your disc hard enough, you’ll most likely end up with a poorly thrown disc when the disc fades hard or flies erratically. Hence the reason why brand new players really shouldn’t throw drivers at all.

Mid-range: mid-range discs are much easier to throw than fairway drivers. Most mids come with a speed rating of between 2-6, with the majority falling between 4-6. They don’t need to be thrown hard at all to fly well and usually end up being the overall best disc golf discs to use for newer players. They’re a little challenging, but most mid-range discs are perfect for day 1 beginner disc golfers.

Distance potential of the disc

Fairway driver: drivers always fly farther and get more distance than putters or mid-range discs. Between mids and fairway drivers, obviously fairway drivers come out on top in the distance category. Average driving distances for fairway drivers usually amount to about 250-300 feet or more for intermediate and advanced players.

Mid-range: you won’t get nearly as much distance with mid-range discs. But that’s okay because these discs are meant for accuracy, not distance. Average throwing distance for mids is between 200-250 feet.

To learn how to improve your distance on the disc golf course, check out this post – The 27 Best Disc Golf Distance Tips for Beginners

Accuracy of the disc

Fairway driver: much more accuracy than distance drivers, but much LESS accuracy than a mid-range. If you want distance over accuracy, drivers are the way to go.

Mid-range: much more accurate than your standard fairway driver. If you want accuracy over distance, you should be throwing a mid-range.

Type of shot with each disc

Fairway driver: fairway drivers are meant for driving and decent distance.

Mid-range: mid-range discs are meant for approaching and accurate shorter throws.

3 Reasons why knowing the difference between drivers is important

1. You’re a beginner: if you’re brand new to disc golf, it’s important to start out right. You’re a beginner, so understanding the difference between discs is a basic concept. You have to know this so that you can build your knowledge, understand what discs to begin with, and what discs you’ll be working toward playing with in the future.

So start understanding the difference between all the discs. Not just fairway drivers and mid-range discs, but distance drivers, fairway drivers, mid-range discs, and putters. Along with that, you should also be learning the flight ratings (with this flight ratings post) and learning how to improve (with this disc golf tips post).

2. Different discs for different situations: I won’t go too deep into this concept, but you need to understand the differences between these two discs to know when to use them. One is meant for drives and long fairway shots. The other is normally made for short drives and approach shots to the basket. Each type of disc has its own purpose and reason to be thrown on the disc golf course. Learn your discs and when to throw them.

3. If you want to be a great disc golfer: as you continue to grow your skills, every single thing you learn helps to mold you into a better disc golfer. The information in this post is just a small part of that knowledge, but still very important nonetheless. Learn these differences and then continue learning as much as you can about disc golf. If you do that, you’ll be an elite player in no time.

The 3 best fairway drivers

1. Innova Teebirdbest disc golf control/fairway drivers 2021

The Innova Teebird is definitely a fan favorite amongst disc golfers. But it’s very overstable, making it a challenging, yet very fun, disc golf disc. If you can handle it, get one here on Discgolfunited.com.

2. Infinite Discs Sphinxbest understable disc golf discs for beginners

The Sphinx is an awesome disc. I grabbed one when it came out and have kept one in my bag ever since. For those looking for a beginner-level fairway driver, look to the Innova Leopard, Latitude 64 River, or Infinite Discs Sphinx. Grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.

3. Axiom InsanityBest control drivers for hyzer flips

The Insanity is a phenomenal disc from Axiom Discs. It’s a decent disc in terms of both speed and stability, making it an easy disc to transition to after mastering mid-range discs. Grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.

The 3 best mid-range discs

1. Discraft BuzzzBest disc golf discs for women

The Buzzz is hands down one of the best mid-range discs ever made. It’s easy to throw and will hit any line you throw it on. Get one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.

2. Dynamic Discs Truthbest disc golf disc for beginners

This disc is the truth! No, seriously, it’s the Dynamic Discs Truth…an amazing, very beginner-friendly mid-range disc. Grab yours here on InfiniteDiscs.com.

3. Innova RocBest disc golf discs

If you’re an intermediate to advanced disc golfer, this disc needs to be in your bag. The Roc is one of the most popular disc golf mid-ranges ever made and has reigned at the top for years. Fantastic mid-range. Grab yours here on Discgolfunited.com.

Know the difference!

Disc golf is hard. But continuing to learn the game and understanding small details like the differences between fairway drivers and mid-range discs is a huge part of improving. It might take a while to learn everything, but you’re doing a great job so far.

It’s important to know the differences between these two discs so that you can know when use each disc and continue working on your skills. So remember:

The fairway driver and mid-range disc are completely different types of discs with different uses on the course.

They’re different sizes with fairway drivers being thinner and more sleek, while mid-range discs are boxier and less aerodynamic.

The fairway driver has more speed and must be thrown harder, while the mid-range is slower and doesn’t need to be thrown as hard.

As for distance, fairway drivers normally fly farther and gain more distance. Mid-range discs are more for accuracy than distance.

Again, mid-range discs win in the accuracy category. Fairway drivers are more for distance.

Lastly, because these are two completely different types of discs, they’re going to be used differently. One disc is mainly for drives and long fairway shots and the other is usually used on shorter drives and approach shots outside of 100 feet or so.

So now you know the differences between these two types of disc golf discs. Both unique, yet necessary throwing options out on the disc golf course. So use the information in this post to help boost your skills, improve your game, and crush it on the disc golf course!

Related content

Distance Driver vs. Fairway Driver: What’s the Difference?

How to Play Disc Golf: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

101 Disc Golf Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level

Don’t forget about the book!

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on how to play disc golf, check out my book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” This ultimate beginner’s guide is loaded with over 200 pages of content, helping you to improve your game AND lower score on the disc golf course. Check it out here on my site.


I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

Recent Posts

Disc Golf Secrets eBook Sale