One of the most overlooked yet crucial aspects of a disc golfer’s game is upshot or approach play. Nailing your approach game can turn those tricky long putts into no-sweat short ones, seriously upping your chances of making putts and lowering scores. While practicing approach shots is the key to improving your short game, possessing the best approach discs will undoubtedly boost your accuracy. With the right approach discs in your bag, you’ll find yourself parking shots next to the basket, sparing you those nerve-wracking long putts.
Every disc in a player’s bag has its role, especially when it comes down to those nail-biting approach shots where nailing the perfect blend of precision and consistency can make or break the game. In this article I will discuss the best straight, overstable, and understable approach discs. To determine the “best approach discs” we are utilizing the data from InfiniteDiscs.com top selling and highest rated pages combined with my personal knowledge and experience of using these discs.
Top Selling Approach Discs
Highest Rated Approach Discs
Infinite Discs Alpaca|
Infinite Discs Tomb|
Infinte Discs Alpaca|
Infinite Discs Tomb|
Determining approach discs from lists like these can be challenging, as all putters are categorized as “putt and approach discs,” though many are primarily used for putting. While some players use their regular putter for approach shots, others have distinct preferences for different discs for throwing. I’ve handpicked these lists based on what I personally consider to be “approach discs” rather than putters.
Best Overstable Approach Discs
In most cases, an overstable approach disc is the most accurate type for approach shots. Due to their overstable nature, these discs resist turning over, thus limiting your point of error to just one direction. Additionally, overstable discs generally don’t travel as far, making it easier to avoid overthrowing.
When it comes to the best overstable approach discs, there are a few standout options that consistently impress players. These discs are both top rated and top selling.
Discraft Zone – In breezy conditions, players lean on the Discraft Zone for its solid control and pinpoint precision. Players prize the Discraft Zone for its stable flight, resisting unwanted flips even during vigorous throws. Pretty much every sponsored Discraft player throws the Zone and it’s available in dozens of different plastic varieties.
Kastaplast Berg – Now, if you’re aiming for finesse on those close-up shots, the Kastaplast Berg is your go-to—it’s slow and steady, offering top-notch control for when you need your disc to land just right. This disc is completely unique in flight, feel, and shape. It flys like no other disc and although it says it’s overstable, it really doesn’t fade much. It is so slow and just doesn’t glide. Personally, I don’t jive with the Berg, but I have played with players who work magic with this disc.
Westside Harp – Ricky Wysocki made the Harp (as well as the Innova Pig) a household name for reliable overstable approach shots. If you’re a trilogy fan and like the clean feel of a flat top and consistent flight, you’ll love the Harp. It is very similar to the Discraft Zone.
Personally, I’m partial to the Clash Discs Mint for the overstable approach disc category, but you can’t lie with statistics like these. There are numerous similar overstable approach discs from a variety of smaller and lesser known brand.
Best Stable/Straight Flying Approach Discs
When you want a disc that is just going to fly straight to the basket with a nice float and very little fade, these are the best discs to choose.
Infinite Discs Tomb
Infinite Discs Tomb – The first time I tried the Tomb I was immediately in love (it definitely helps when you hit an Ace with the disc during your first round) When you’re eyeing that narrow gap on the fairway, reach for the Infinite Discs Tomb; its precision in flying straight makes it a go-to disc for those crucial approach shots. The Tomb’s flat top and snug grip pair up to nail those straight shots, key for players aiming to dial in their precision on the course. With its knack for nailing both forehand and backhand throws, this disc is a go-to when you’re trying to weave through tight spots or park it next to the chains.
Innova Nova – Next is the Innova Nova, a unique disc in the approach category. Paul McBeth made this one of the top selling discs with it’s unique ultra straight flight. The Nova’s standout trait lies in its innovative overmold tech, marrying a solid flight plate with a tacky rim to boost your control during the game. Players rave about the Nova’s knack for nailing any line it’s thrown on, be it a tight bend or a bee-line to the target. The Nova has a deep rim and feel to it that is more similar to an Ultimate Frisbee.
Westside Maiden – Rounding off our top picks for reliable straight-flying approach discs is the Westside Maiden, known for its steadfast flight path. Like the Tomb, it has a thinner shape and lower rim depth. This gives a nice feel in your hand and lets go smoothly. The Maiden flies straight with little fade. So it’s great for players wanting a disc that flies straight for approaches. With its knack for unwavering flights, the Maiden is a favorite among players for confidently hitting dead-straight lines in their game. Whether you’re aiming for a precise approach shot or sinking a long putt, the Maiden stands out with its reliable, no-nonsense flight path.
Best Understable Upshot Discs
Understable approach discs are particularly useful for low-power shots intended to stay straight, as well as for right-turning shots (for right-handed players) where an anhyzer flight is preferable to a forehand flick. These discs are not typically used for full-power throws but are valuable for touch and finesse shots.
MVP Glitch – The top-selling disc of 2023 deserves a spot on the best approach discs list. The Glitch stands out with its remarkable glide and dead-straight flight. This disc flies effortlessly and continues to glide with impressive duration when given some spin. A notable feature of the Glitch is its light and flexible nature, allowing it to double as a catch disc for various frisbee activities beyond just approach shots.
Innova Polecat – The Polecat is a distinctive disc that has fluctuated in popularity over the years. As one of Innova’s original models, nearly forty years old, it boasts an ultra-low speed of one, ideal for maintaining lines and avoiding overshooting the basket.
Innova Dart – Our final recommendation for a straight-flying approach disc is the Innova Dart. This “classic” Innova mold, dating back decades, is known for its true straight flight and excellent glide. Identified as one of our most accurate approach discs when we first began testing discs over a decade ago. The Dart features a very domey rim, which may or may not align with your preferences and disc choices.
A Few More Things to Consider
If you frequently play on hilly courses, having an ultra-soft disc can be a game-changer. These flexible discs tend to stay put, avoiding skips and rolls down hills, thus ensuring proximity to the basket. Another advantage of these floppy discs is the confidence they provide when “running it” or attempting long putts, as they are less likely to roll away, even if you miss.
Best Ultra Soft Approach Disc
Several companies produce ultra-soft and floppy discs. My personal favorite was the Vibram Soft Summit. However, since Vibram has ceased producing golf discs, obtaining one now may be costly on the secondary market. Fortunately, other manufacturers like Divergent Discs and Elevation Disc Golf have stepped in to offer ultra-soft, flexible approach discs.
The Alpas and Golem from Divergent Discs may look similar, but their flight characteristics are quite different. The Alpas tends to fly straighter, featuring a unique flight pattern with some high-speed turn and end-of-flight fade. On the other hand, the Golem is purely overstable. This disc offers limited distance and consistently finishes on a hyzer angle. Its super soft flight characteristic allows it to stay put and remain close to the basket. While both the Alpas and Golem are ultra-soft, they still retain a certain level of firmness.
Personally, I prefer the stiffer Divergent Discs, as they give me a greater sense of control during the throw, unlike the Koi, which tends to collapse in my hand. However, for softer throws, the anti-roll qualities of the Elevation Koi are unmatched. If you’re in search of an ULTRA floppy disc, the Koi is definitely the one to go for.
As we finish this look at the top approach discs for disc golf, I hope these ideas and suggestions help better your game. Picking the right approach disc can really change those tough shots into assured steps toward the basket. Picking the perfect approach disc is crucial; it transforms tough throws into sure steps closer to scoring. Whether you’re a seasoned player fine-tuning your arsenal or a beginner looking to improve your short game, the key is to find a disc that feels right in your hand and aligns with your playing style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different models and plastics until you discover that perfect disc. So, cherish the game’s highs and your growing prowess with every throw. Cheers to perfecting those upshots and enjoying the sweet success of effortless short putts!