Fairway (control, long distance, etc.) drivers are discs used for more controlled moderate distance drives. While they supposedly give more control then maximum distance drivers, the real difference is that they have a thinner rim (wing length). The reality is that most of the top rated fairway drivers today were max distance drivers a few years ago.
Due to their position between distance drivers and mid range discs, fairway drivers are ignored by many disc golfers.
Here are the average ranking of all fairway drivers made by the top disc manufacturers. Ratings were on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being “must have.” I only included manufacturers that had at least 10 votes.
[quote]1. Latitude 64 Fairway Drivers – Total Ranking 4.25 – Discs like the River helped Latitude 64 to obtain the top spot in the fairway driver category. Other fairway drivers that were also included to determine the overall rank include the XXX, Vision, and Diamond.
2. Innova Fairway Drivers – Total Ranking 4.18 – One disc stands out far above any other fairway driver to help Innova obtain the #2 spot — the Teebird. Not only does the Teebird have the highest rating of any fairway driver, but it also had the most total votes (24). The Teebirds brother the TL, as well as the Leopard and Eagle also helped out Innova’s rank as a manufacturer of fairway drivers. Discs like the Cheetah and Viper had relatively low rankings that kept Innova out of the #1 spot.
3. Discraft Fairway Drivers – Total Ranking 4.10 – While the Stalker is Discrafts highest rated fairway driver, Discraft doesn’t have any very higly rated discs in this category. The XS, Xpress, XL, Glide, and Cyclone all have ratings above 4. The Zombee, Eclipse, and Tracker all had ratings in the threes.[quote]
When it comes to fairway drivers, the big 3 — Innova, Discraft, and Latitude 64 rule when it comes to answering the question, “which disc brand makes the best fairway drivers”. Using the criteria I used for rating manufacturers based on reviews at InfiniteDiscs.com, only the big 3 actually had enough votes to even qualify. Even with a limited sample size, the average fairway drivers made by Innova and Discraft rated better than Vibram, Legacy, and Gateway, and Ching. MVP fairway drivers had a ranking somewhere between Discraft and Innova.
The Discmania Jackal (the only Discmania disc used in the study) had a 4.33 ranking with nine votes, while the Millennium JLS also had a 4.33 ranking from six different votes.