How Much Do Disc Golf Discs Cost?

Cost of disc Golf Discs

Looking out of my window to see 8 fresh inches of snow doesn’t exactly set the mood, but the reality is that spring and the disc golf season are just around the corner. In fact, I’m playing in my first disc golf tournament this weekend. It’s time to shake off the winter dust.

Since the snow is preventing me from going out to test and review any of my newly acquired discs or practice for my upcoming tournament, I’ll utilize a different focus for today’s article.

A common question from newcomers and those not familiar with disc golf is, “How much do disc golf discs cost?” Having purchased more discs than most people on the planet, I have a pretty good expertise on this topic. In this article, we will discuss how much discs cost and the reasons for the significant disparity in costs.

True Cost of Disc Golf Discs

Disc golf discs can range in price from $5 to $30 each. Truly collectible discs can fetch more than $100 on the secondary auction market. In this article, we will explore why the cost of disc golf discs varies so much and where to find the highest quality discs at the lowest costs.:

The cost of disc golf discs is determined by:

  1. Plastic Quality
  2. Brand of Disc
  3. If it is used as a pro support fundraiser disc
  4. Where the disc is manufactured.
  5. If it has defects and is sold as an X-Out or Factory second.

Plastic Quality

Low Quality DiscThere isn’t just one grade of plastic; within disc golf, there are dozens of grades, additives, and special effects designed to enhance performance and aesthetic appeal.

The cost of the discs you purchase is largely determined by the quality of the plastic used. There’s a reason you can find 6 discs on Amazon from Chinese companies for the price of one disc from the US. The comparison isn’t fair, as the quality of these inexpensive Chinese discs is poor, lacking durability, and barely better than trash. I’ve written numerous reviews on these low-quality Chinese discs. It’s best to avoid them at all costs.

Even within brands, manufacturers utilize various plastic grades for the same disc mold. Don’t assume you’re getting a great deal on a name-brand disc without first considering the plastic blend, as there’s a good chance the exceptionally low price is for the “base” plastic blend version.

Disc Brands

In all markets, brand matter to many consumers. Even if the quality of “name brand” discs isn’t necessarily superior, these companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in branding, associating their products with professionals, and advertising. These marketing efforts are costly, forcing the companies to charge more for their discs to cover branding expenses. However, successful branding convinces consumers to pay premium prices, believing in the added value of name brand discs.

Within disc golf the biggest brands include Innova, Discraft, MVP, Latitude 64 and Dynamic Discs.

Pro Support Discs

Disc golf uniquely supports its professional players through disc sales. Major manufacturers sponsor pro players, offering “signature” or “tour series” discs from which the pros receive royalties for each sale. Pro support sponsorship discs are an extreme form of branding, adding an additional cost layer to these discs (the royalties for pros), making them among the most expensive on the market.

The rationale behind disc golf brands is the belief that consumers will view a disc with a pro’s name as superior, attributing the pro’s skill to the disc and justifying the higher price. Some buyers purchase these discs knowing they support pros, with a portion of the proceeds helping their favorite players continue touring.

The pro support model is effective. Often, the best-selling discs are those endorsed by popular pros like Simon Lizotte. Many players don’t mind paying twice as much for these types of discs compared to standard editions.

Where the Disc is Manufactured

The manufacturing location also influences a disc’s cost. Unlike most products, the majority of disc golf discs are made in the USA, with a significant portion produced in Europe, especially by Latitude 64 in Sweden. European manufacturers like Latitude 64 and Kastaplast are typically the most expensive disc golf brands. Manufacturing in Europe is not cheap, and there is significant cost in transporting goods overseas.

The fastest-growing segment in disc manufacturing is in China, where discs are produced at a much lower cost than in the US or Europe. Discs priced at $5 or less are likely made in China. While many Chinese factories make very bad disc golf discs, there are several companies controlled by US entities like Prodigy and Discmania that oversee the manufacturing of Chinese discs that make very good products.

Defected Discs: X-Outs and Factory Seconds

Innova Factory Store LogoThe injection molding process for disc golf discs is more art than science. Perfecting the plastic blends and machine temperature settings involves trial and error, leading to a high number of factory seconds, or slightly defected discs. These defects are usually minimal but significant enough that companies opt not to sell these discs at full price, listing them as factory seconds at a reduced cost. Innova, the largest manufacturer in disc golf, even operates a factory store primarily selling these discs.

Errors can also occur during the hot stamping process, where the disc’s stamp is applied. Hot stamping, a somewhat primitive technology, requires frequent adjustments for different plastic grades and foil types. Misprints, where the foil doesn’t fully adhere to the plastic or where incorrect pressure is applied, result in visually imperfect discs. While not as discounted as factory seconds, misprints are priced lower than standard discs that pass all manufacturing steps, as these defects don’t affect flight performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are disc golf discs or Ultimate Frisbees more expensive?

For the most part, disc golf discs are more expensive because they are made of more expensive higher quality polymers. most disc golf discs are made of TPU plastic. However, some disc golf brands manufacture some discs in TPE plastic varieties, and these discs are usually less expensive than an Ultimate Frisbee.

Where is a good place to get disc golf discs at low costs?

With as much as disc golf has grown, it is easier than ever to find a place that sells them. Your best choice is to find an independent local disc golf retailer if you have one in your area. If there is one, they likely have a section of used or low cost discs. If you cannot find a local disc golf retailer, then this article has great tips of where and how to get golf discs for cheap.

Is Disc Golf Expensive?

That’s one of the best aspects of disc golf: it’s affordable, or at least it can be. You can purchase a disc golf set for under $20, and most courses are free to play. If you’re content with playing recreationally, disc golf is extremely inexpensive.

However, if you delve deeply into disc golf and decide you need the latest pro series discs, top-end bags, start traveling to play in tournaments, or start a disc golf blog where you test and review every new disc, then it can become a sport where you spend thousands of dollars annually. Even for the most dedicated disc golfers, compared to many other hobbies, the cost of disc golf remains relatively low.

Can you rent discs for disc golf?

In most instances, disc golf courses don’t have a pro shop since they are often situated in free public parks. This situation can make it challenging to rent disc golf discs.

However, if a disc golf course does have a pro shop, you’re likely able to rent discs. My local shop, Infinite Discs, offers “loaner” discs that people can use for free to test out different discs. Should you come across a local disc golf club, it’s highly probable that you will find discs available for either rent or complimentary use.

Where can I find cheap disc golf disc prices?

If you have a budget and are looking to stay under it when shopping for your discs here are a few links that can help you out. Discount Disc Golf, the online store with the lowest disc golf prices period has a selection of discs by price.

Another great way to get disc golf discs at a low price is to purchase them as part of a set. Check out this article for recommendations on the most affordable disc golf sets.