One of the best birthday presents I ever got as a kid was an Aerobie. This orange and black flying ring was amazing. I could throw it twice as far as any frisbee, and it was so easy to catch — just stick your arm up through the hole. Aerobie made the farthest flying disc in the world. It broke its own Guiness Record when Eric Hemmings through an Aerobie 1,333 feet in 2003.
It turns out that Aerobie makes golf discs too. With decades of experience producing far flying discs, they should make some pretty good golf discs right?
That’s what I had hoped for.
About a year ago I tested out two of Aerobies golf discs: The Epic and Arrow. These discs were both atypical. The Epic has this crazy elliptical ultra thick rim, and the Arrow was just an uncomfortable putter. I was not impressed with either of these discs.
While shopping at a local sporting goods store I saw that there were three additional Aerobie golf discs available: SharpShooter 1 (driver), SharpShooter 2 (midrange), and SharpShooter 3 (putter). I had to try them out, and had hopes that they would be good Aerobie discs I could use.
After handling these golf discs, my first observation was how thick and hard the plastic is. Even Z and Champion plastics are somewhat flexible, but not Aerobie discs. The center of these discs is hard as rock, and hardly bends at all.
To my disappointment, the SharpShooters weren’t ordinary golf discs with amazing Aerobie Glide. On the outside rim they have a weird set of “steps” that are uncomfortable to hold. The steps are supposed to provide “aerodynamic lift” for the discs, but after my experience throwing, the only thing the steps do is create a whistling noise (which probably also adds drag and slows the discs down).
I took my Aerobie discs out for a test round. My first throw with the #1 SharpShooter quickly hooked left into a tree. After a few throws, the only thing I was surprised with was that my SharpShooters hard plastic didn’t actually knock any tree branches down.
While these discs are called “SharpShooters” the only thing I found sharp shooting about them was the uncomfortable hard step filled plastic. I’m sure an experienced disc golfer could get these discs to fly accurately, but only after a long hooking motion. All three discs in this set are incredibly overstable. It would be really hard to get a straight throw with an Aerobie SharpShooter.
Now I generally like overstable putters, but the #3 faded so quickly I couldn’t even use this disc for 30 foot putts. It consistently faded left of where I was trying to aim. I like overstable drivers for forehand throws, but the awkward deep rim on the #1 made it hard for me to give this disc a clean release.
After five or six holes I had enough with the Aerobie discs and had to use my traditional bag so that I could actually get some satisfaction out of my round of frolf.
I’ve tested golf discs by just about every manufacturer possible and I’d say that Aerobie discs are as bad as they get. Throwing these discs makes me covet discs made by Ching and Lightning.
At the local shop where I first saw them, Aerobie discs were the only frisbee golf discs this store carried. From its past success, Aerobie has excellent brand recognition in the flying disc department. It makes sense that sporting goods stores and such would carry stock of them.
Someone who has never played disc golf before will likely stop by a store like this, purchase the set, and head out to a course. The problem is that not only are these bad discs, they are terrible golf discs for beginners. All three of the sharp shooters have monster end of flight fade. For a beginner, these discs have got to be darn near impossible to throw. The frustrations of trying to throw them has some potential to turn a lot of people away from the sport.