Transitioning Discs as You Improve: Timing and Considerations for Upgrading Your Discs

In the journey of a disc golfer, one of the most exciting aspects is the progression of skill level. As you hone your technique and gain more experience, you'll find that the discs you started with may not fully serve your evolving needs. Transitioning to more advanced discs is an inevitable step, but knowing when and why to make the switch can be a bit nuanced. In this guide, we'll explore the signs that it's time to transition, what to look for in advanced discs, and how to make a smooth switch.

Signs It's Time to Transition

Increased Arm Speed

  • If you find that your discs are starting to turn more than they used to, it's a sign that your arm speed has increased.

Mastery of Basic Discs

  • Being consistently able to throw straight shots, hyzers, and anhyzers with your starter discs indicates you may be ready for discs with more complex flight patterns.

Desire for Specialized Shots

  • If you find yourself encountering situations that your current discs can't handle efficiently, like sharp doglegs or long tunnel shots, that's a sign you may need more specialized discs.

Competitive Play

  • As you start entering competitions, you'll encounter varied course layouts and conditions that may require a more versatile bag.

Considerations for Advanced Discs

Speed Ratings

  • Transition to discs with higher speed ratings (9-14) for more distance potential, but only if you have developed the arm speed to handle them.


  • A wider range of stabilities, from very overstable to very understable, will allow you to execute a broader array of shots.

Advanced Plastics

  • Consider premium plastics for their superior durability and consistency, especially if you are starting to play more frequently.

Specialty Discs

  • Consider adding specialty discs like rollers, forehand-specific discs, or overhand (tomahawk/thumber) discs to your bag.

How to Make the Transition

Gradual Addition

  • Don't replace all your discs at once. Start by adding one or two more advanced discs to your bag and get comfortable with them before adding more.

Test Before You Invest

  • Many disc golf shops have tester discs, or you might borrow from a friend. This will allow you to try out various options before committing.

Seek Expert Advice

  • Consult with more experienced players or coaches who can provide insights tailored to your specific playing style and strengths.

Course Adaptation

  • Once you have your new discs, try them out on a variety of courses to understand how they behave under different conditions.

Recommendations Based on Skill Level


  • Distance Drivers: Consider adding speed 9-11 drivers with moderate stability.
  • Mid-ranges: Opt for discs with more fade for controlled hyzer shots.


  • Distance Drivers: Speed 12-14 drivers are a good choice for maximizing distance.
  • Fairway Drivers: Look for discs that offer both overstable and understable flight characteristics.


  • At this level, it's about refining your bag to suit very specific needs, often tailored to individual courses.


Upgrading your discs is an exciting but intricate process that involves a solid understanding of your skills, needs, and the myriad options available. The key is to recognize when you're ready for this transition and to make it in a way that complements and enhances your growing skill set. By doing so, you're not just adding new tools to your bag; you're opening up new possibilities and challenges in your disc golf journey. With the right approach, transitioning to more advanced discs can be a fulfilling experience that significantly boosts your game.