What is the Difference Between a Frisbee and a Disc?

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Technically, there is no difference between a “Frisbee” and a disc, but the way these terms are commonly used mean different things. Simply put, a Frisbee is a type of disc, and if you read the first article in the FAQ section you learned there the colloquial difference between a frisbee and a disc.  Here you will be given more detail into what type of discs exist and the amount of variety available.

When most people state we are on our way to play frisbee golf or “frolf” they are referring to the sport known as disc golf.  Though frisbees can be used to play disc golf, the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has a list of over 1000 discs that are approved for throwing in PDGA sanctioned tournaments. This may be the reason you see people with backpacks full of discs when you show up to your local frisbee “disc” golf course.  The reason a person uses multiple discs is because each disc is uniquely designed.  To simplify what goes into each design we will break down disc golf discs into 3 categories.

Again, frisbees can be used to play, but are designed to be both thrown and caught.  The discs discussed below are primarily designed to be thrown. They are “caught” by a basket specifically designed for catching disc golf discs.

Putter

The putter is typically the easiest disc for beginners to throw.  The overall shape of the disc is similar to a frisbee but its smaller in diameter.  With a smaller diameter you can throw with more accuracy and the throw will be less impacted by the wind.  Putters, as the name signifies, are commonly used when aiming for the basket (within 30 feet) but can be thrown at any time.  As you begin to throw discs, try throwing putters for every shot and this will help learn how a disc flies.

Mid-Range

A mid-range disc has a slightly larger diameter than a putter and is used to approach the basket.  Like putters, a mid-range disc has a similar feel to a frisbee.  If you buy a beginner set of discs from a retailer, you will be given a putter, mid-range and often a fairway driver.

 

Driver

 

Drivers are separated into two main categories: fairway drivers and distance drivers.  Where a putter or mid-range disc may look similar to a frisbee, drivers are noticeably different.  This difference is most noticeable in the rim of the disc.  Drivers have a thin edge and a thick rim.

 

 

Look at the difference between the rim of a putter (left) and a driver (right)

In summary if you want to start playing frisbee golf and have a background in ultimate frisbee, start by throwing putters and mid-range discs. They have a similar feel to frisbees and will help you learn how a discs flies differently than the frisbee your used to.

If you want to purchase a disc(s), here is a website that has a lot of different brands available https://infinitediscs.com/

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