The DGA Pipline Precision Fairway Driver

The PIPELINE is the latest disc offering from DGA, a company that uses the slogan, “Simplify Your Game” as they’ve released some very player-friendly, easy-to-throw discs lately.  The SAIL was a recently released, understable distance driver that really flies well for beginners, as well as working wonderfully for anhyzer turns for experienced players. Now, as a compliment, the Pipeline comes into the mix as a slightly overstable fairway driver that likewise features great glide and predictable flight characteristics.

The flight numbers for the Pipeline are as follows:

  • Speed: 8.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: 0.0
  • Fade: 2.0

I decided to put those numbers and the disc’s “simplicity” to the test by taking a couple of experienced local players out to a couple of courses to play entire rounds using only the Pipeline. We started with a very easy nine-hole course that basically tests short drives, approaches, and putts. Of course, the Pipeline is not designed for putting, but we used it for everything. Basically, that first game was a game of ace-running, since the holes were all 150-200 feet, well within the range of a control driver like the Pipeline. We were surprised to find that we were overthrowing the target more often than expected because of the disc’s great glide.  For short shots, we really needed to pull back the throttle because the disc seems to fly further than the “speed 8” would suggest.  A newer players would find it easy to get this disc out onto the fairway.  But the disc definitely has that overstable fade at the end of the flight, so it turns early with softer, lower-speed throws. The fade is never overpowering– this is by no means a meat hook.  It’s a straight flyer with a moderate fade.

The Pipeline is also well-behaved when thrown in different ways. When thrown higher with a hyzer line, it takes a long, swooping flight that curves consistently, as you’d expect. When thrown with an anhyzer angle, it holds that line quite a while before fading back at the finish, or in some cases, just leveling and gently settling to the ground. All in all, the disc does what you want, with the exception of utility-disc style, extreme shots that only a specialty disc could make. For instance, you’re not going to get this thing to fall out of the sky quickly at a steep angle, since it loves to stay airborne as long as possible.

20160711_094824Addressing the issue of shot variety, the second course we played was a very technical course with blind shots, long shots, short shots, elevation changes, and fairways with many obstacles.  Such a course would really put the Pipeline to the test.  In general, we found that the Pipeline doesn’t always work wonderfully as a utility disc to get you out of a jam. There were times when one of the players really needed something that could be tomahawk thrown out of some trees, or thrown for very sharp S-curves, and a general purpose driver like the Pipeline wasn’t going to get the job done, but when it came to threading needles on straighter shots or pushing the distance on longer shots, the Pipeline was very compliant.

We found that the Pipeline could be thrown even with the kind of power used on a 10-12 speed disc and it would hold a line for a long time, rather than just flipping and crashing over to the understable side. A couple of those longer drives carried so far that the disc never actually faded before it hit the end of it’s flight by sliding into the grass or hitting trees at the end of the fairway. One shot was launched high, over the tops of some tall, mature trees to drop over the top onto a hidden basket, and it actually went really well, putting the player within putting range.  When it hit the high point and began to fall, it turned and glided steeply into the opening like a champ.  Another long, downhill drive looked like it was going to land well to the side of the basket, out of bounds, but the disc’s closing fade glided strongly and level enough to result in a great skip right back in-bounds for a birdie putt.

In conclusion, the Pipeline proved itself to be a very good general purpose driver, both for controlled short drives, as well as for longer power drives in the 200-300 foot range.  Though putting with a driver is not necessarily a good practice, I actually putted better at moderate distances with the Pipeline than I have with my putters lately.  The disc simply holds a line well, as long as you account for that finishing fade.

I’d compare the Pipeline to popular discs like the Innova TeeBird or the Discraft Undertaker, though faster than the first, slower than the second, and with a longer glide “hang time” than both.