A snake draft to fill out a 10 disc bag, once a mold is picked it’s off the board
April 23, 2020 by Kingsley Flett, Darren LeMay, Christopher Wiklund and Ville Mäki in Opinion with comments
We put four writers in a Slack room together with a (relatively) basic set of rules. Assemble a 10 disc golf bag of your choosing.
The writers would be putting this bag together via a snake draft, and once a mold was chosen it was unavailable for selection by the others. That included all model variants (Roc = Roc, VRoc, Roc3, etc.). Plastic type did not matter, but they were welcome to add in if they had an opinion.
We thought we’d get a relatively quick back and forth with some minor commentary and jabs. Instead these four delivered an opus with odes to their favorite molds. I guess this is what happens when you let writers go without a word count.
So we present, the inaugural Ultiworld Disc Golf Build-a-Bag Slack Draft.
To see the final results, scroll past the next 8,500 words and don’t forget to vote on who you think came out with the best bag.
Ville: I’m sorry. I have to do it. If there was only one driver ever made… For all purposes, trusty, goes even longer when beaten, many world champs have their name on it. I must go with Star Destroyer, Avery Jenkins (3 line the name is on 3 lines of text). In Finland, they are the most desired discs and the auction prizes are usually 40 euros and up.
“If a disc was a child. A destroyer would be your favorite. When you start your journey together there are difficult times and it’s hard to get a long, but you’ll get by. As you grow a more deeper bond you start to mean more to each other. There are moments of joy and success. When a Destroyer is on it’s teens its fearless and can conquer a mountain for you. Adulthood represents a more tamed aggression but it’s still there. You just can manage it better.
When a Destroyer is older you can still achieve great things and enjoy each other in a more mellow way. Sweet and accurate with a hint of that aggression you loved about it in the beginning.”
Darren: I don’t even throw Destroyers and this almost makes me want to….incredible description. Great pick.
Pick 2: Westside Harp. BT Hard/Med. The best “in hand” feeling disc I’ve ever felt. Ricky Wysocki showed us all how to use it, then he went out and won two world titles with the damn thing.
A utility disc in every sense of the word. Not in the context that it only comes out in certain situations but for the fact that you can use it in every situation. It fills a spot in between putter and midrange but can be used as either. Most widely used on approaches, but the Harp performs off the tee, from the fairway, or on almost any scramble shot.
Ville: Thank you Darren, I wish someone can relate to my description. Destroyers start out really overstable, but they can be “molded” into something special. Great pick too with Harp. I might have had that as well.
Kingsley: It’s an interesting choice to have to make.
Am I building a bag that I think I would make me the most competitive? In that case I’m choosing discs that I’d personally find the most difficult to replace. A mold for which I can’t see a a near equivalent out there. Or, if I’m just in a race to build by bag as close to as it is, I’d choose a mold that I throw that is the most popular, to make sure someone else doesn’t take it off the board first. Tough call.
I think, in the spirit of this draft, as all drafts tend to go, I’ll choose a mold that is probably most popular. In which case it’s the Discraft Buzzz. This one is still in my bag from the 2011 worlds in Santa Cruz, when a skinny, long haired character in an army great coat came up to me in the carpark at De La Veaga, while I was browsing in the fly mart they’d set up there.
“Hey man I’ve got some discs in my car. They’ll be way cheaper.”
I followed him over and among the piles of clothes, a sleeping bag and food there was a few boxes of discs. One of which was this Crystal Buzzz that I bought off him. I was a tad new to disc golf at the time and found out later that the guy was Gregg Barsby. I’ll swear it flies exactly the same as it did when I first got it – maybe a tad more understable but that’s barely noticeable. It’s my go to fairway and long approach disc. We have a one-disc tournament here called ‘Lord of the Disc’ and it’s the disc I usually choose for that.
Ville: Nice Kingsley! I was hoping some stories will come out of this. Barsby is a great character, i met him at Lauste European Tour 2016. It was his 1st European win. I too like Buzzzes and was anticipating someone would pick it on 1st round.
Kingsley: Yeah he’s a character alright Will; and I tell you, he does the most authentic Aussie accent I’ve ever heard.
Darren: My BT Med Harp I got directly from JohnE McCray at a local tournament here in Orlando, it once had his signature but has since completely wiped off.
The VIP Harp I bag I got from Ricky the day before he won his second Worlds. Me and my daughter were following along with lead card. After he won he actually gave her a Sockibomb hat out of his cart and in pure Wysocki fashion picked her up on his shoulders. Later at the award ceremony he signed the Harp I had gotten from him after round 3.
Chris: I’m making 2 picks, right? Snake draft style? Innova Firebird. For the forehand dominant player, there is no more essential disc than the Firebird. For a big arm backhand dominant player, there is no more reliable fairway driver than the Firebird. Often imitated but never duplicated, the firebird is great in every condition, on any course. The trusty overstability at fairway speeds means that any time finding the right landing zone is paramount, the Firebird will land where you expect it.
Once seasoned, preferably in champ glow plastic, the Firebird can hold a beautiful flex line for shaping shots, and can hold the line longer than you might expect for more distance than one might expect. Firebirds make great scramble discs, especially when you hit first-available off the tee. They also are useful on forehand roller lines, especially when the wind is jussssst right.
The beauty of the Firebird is that even when you’re inconsistent, the disc is.
Chris: Second pick: Dynamic Discs (Pre-Mac) Truth. As the story goes, The Truth was molded as a Buzzz clone made for Eric McCabe when he left Discraft to join DD. The initial molds became too flippy for him, and so the well-loved EMac Truth was made. For me, I like the original Truths. They fly true to the -1, 1 flight numbers which make them a little more useful for getting controlled distance off the tee, and a little more susceptible to finishing on the line it is put on.The Truth is also handy on forehand lines, it holds up to the torque better than you might expect. The flat top helps it fit comfortably in the hand and with a clean release makes for a wonderful hyzerflip or hyzerflip to turnover disc on forehand lines.When I first started playing, The Internet told me to pick up a Truth and I have had the same one in my bag every since.
Kingsley: The Truth was my backup if someone went for the Buzzz.
I had to Google ‘Snake Draft’. That means I’m next hey? It’s 1:17 am here. But such is my dedication to this draft.
Chris: What a hero.
Kingsley: “Just how many Eagles have you got in there?” A mate asked me once.”The normal amount.” Was my reply.
I think I was running with eight then. I’m down to four now. I’ve let a couple of them get nicely beat in. I discovered that, even with a turnover fairway driver, I prefer it when they turn with some control and still fade back a little at the end, rather than flip insanely, cut-roll and break my heart. The Eagles seem to suit my throwing style too, and can be thrown with the same sort of snap that I put on a Buzzz. So if I’m faced with an inbetween distance where I can’t decide between the fairway and the midrange, I know it doesn’t really matter and that either will do. So the four there represent a nice spectrum from understable to overstable and it’s rare that I reach for anything else for my fairway shots, and quite often off the tee too.
Darren: This draft is awesome, but I’m struggling with this pick. Thunderbird.
Probably my most thrown driver. 2014 Disc of the Year. One of McBeth’s staples. The disc used for his famous Las Vegas ace. Here’s a picture of my oldest and most thrown “Thundy” received it in January 2017 at the Florida Disc Golf Championships, like all my favorite throwers it’s signed by a pro. Nate Sexton. Cannot remember why or when he signed it.
Chris: I almost went Thundy.
Ville: You know when you go and buy a new discs you have heard great things about? You are so excited and take out the new disc. You expect the disc to make you a better player instantly — same thing when you do 50 sit-ups, and expect to see a six pack on the mirror straight after.
You throw the disc a few times and it didn’t make you throw any better. Duh…I quit..this sucks..Unless! You bought a Zone! It definitely is what you expected and does nothing else but fly on hyzer and fade.
Simon noticed the black Zone on McBeast’s bag and called it “a cheat disc.” Well, it might seem that way when a champion is throwing it on backhands and forehands right where he wants it. A Zone is my go to on forehand up shots from 30m-60m. I’m not the furthest thrower but on this distance I can trust to get within 5m+- of my target. My technique on forehands isn’t the greatest, but the Zone actually helps to correct the flutter (is that a word?).
I can use it on backhands as well ofc, but my local courses are somewhat rocky, so i find my self “saving” the disc often. The Zone is somewhat new addition to my bag, but I’ve said it many times. “I must have a Zone, without it i can’t play anymore” O, and yeah! You can get Freaky with it now if you like to. Or that’s what I’ve heard.
Kingsley: Nice touch shot.
Ville: My 3rd pick! The Roc in DX plastic, preferably at least 175 grams and orange.
Why? Well, if you only had one disc to play with, it would be the Roc. Works both ways fore-back. You can get to 300ft and be accurate to 150ft too. Not the best putter but works in a pinch. The DX plastic in Rocs allows you to shape a disc to your liking. When they are new you can expect them to be stable, give the disc a year and wear it out some and you have a straight flier. Wear it out some more and you can trust the disc to hold a slight anhyzer.
They are also really cheap, somewhere around 7-9 euros. The Roc now comes in various plastics but the DX gives you a chance to play and figure out how wear and tear affects the flight of the disc. I’ve had some (if not THE most) proud moments of my disc golf “career” with the Roc.
Managed to get a hole-in-one a few weeks ago with exactly a DX Roc. That disc is just right for a slight turnover. This is (in my knowledge) the only ace so far on this hole ever. 86 meters low ceiling tunnel. Left to right with a righty backhand.
Kingsley: I’m amazed the Roc went this deep.
Chris: I almost picked it but I don’t like to them them much, only bag a Champ Roc3. Love to put it 250′ straight and let it fall out of the sky.
Kingsley: I know some players who, I reckon, would quit disc golf rather than throw anything but Rocs. I wonder if there’s another disc out there that creates such loyalty? I doubt it.
Darren: My next pick is C Line FD 175, preferably the luster C Line. Recent run was great. My main thrower as far as drivers for anything dead straight to slight right finish. Only forehand I throw are hyzers so the closer to straight or just right of that I go backhand with an FD. I’m not a huge power thrower but can get my distance drivers out to 400-415, and still throw the FD a lot. Even when I throw it hard it doesn’t flip crazy right.
It is so deadly in the woods. That being said it’s so hard to find sometimes. I’ve thought it was lost a dozen times at least.
Kingsley: I can remember early on in my disc golf how I loved the sexy looking tie dye discs. That was until I realized they had almost perfect camouflage for the mottled colors of the Aussie bush. I went for solid, mostly bright, colors after that and spent less time looking for lost discs and more time playing. There’s a mate of mine who has this tie dye champion Wraith that I reckon I’ve spent a cumulative 40 or 50 hours looking for in the years I’ve been playing with him.
Ville: Dang it, Darren.
Kingsley: I heard Nate Sexton say in his recent in the bag that he likes a disc that ‘stays in its lane’. That sums up quite a few of my disc choices. I found that having a disc that was confident wasn’t going to flip, altered my throwing style as it allowed me to throw harder in corridor situations. It was like putting a blinker on the right eye as i didn’t have to worry about the right hand side of the fairway.
The only thing that I don’t like about the Trespass is that it came into my life so late in my disc golf career. it makes me think of places like Pinto lake and Winthrop and wonder how I would have done there with this driver in my bag. Everyone’s mileage is going to vary of course because we all put our own unique combination of spin and velocity on a disc – but the trespass perfectly matches my noodle power (350-400 on a good day). I can throw it hard and it’ll turn, ride right for a while and then fade back. It also seems to fade forwards, more than any other driver I’ve thrown. So no huge flare and skip. Great for OB lined fairways with a bit of elevation. I’ve got four of them now and they’ve all but kicked every other distance driver out of my bag.
Ville: I need to try one now.
Chris: Let the Valkyrie ride! This was my first driver and I’ve always had one in blue star plastic since I started playing. As my game has progressed and (marginally) improved, I’ve kept finding new and important uses for this disc. When I first started playing, it was my overstable backhand disc and I could flick it on a frozen rope 330ish. Now I use it for turnover flicks and use it for backhand shots in the woods I want to drift to the right before coming back gently.
People forget that the Valkyrie held the world distance record for 10 years, and while disc technology has progressed significantly since 2002, the Valkyrie is probably going to be the best pure distance driver for the majority of players out there who, like me, aren’t crushing 400ft drives on the regular.
Kingsley: I had a Valk in my bag for years. Not quite sure why it drifted out. Great versatile disc. I’ve got a Christian Sandstrom story from the 2011 worlds in Santa Cruz.
Ville: I have a yellow Valkyrie in for turnover drives that need to hold the turn.
Chris: I picked up two Envy’s out of curiosity when I saw the internet drooling over it, one in Neutron and one in soft electron.
The Neutron acts as a reliable, Harp-ish approach disc. It’s an overstable putter, nothing fancy, nothing crazy. The soft electron is my go to driving putter. It has taken enough punishment to become a delightful hyzerflip machine off the tee that doesn’t really turn too much, and always comes back at the end of it’s flight.
Kingsley: I got my first Yeti Aviar in a players pack before the Victorian Open in 2011 and it felt so good in my hand that I immediately switched to it as a putter. Maybe it’s because I’ve got smaller hands and it’s a slightly shallower rim than a lot of other putters. I like Yeti’s because they are reliable in the wind and tend to fade straight, which makes aiming pretty uncomplicated. I use mine out to about 70m (230ft) as an approach disc too.
They are stable, can be thrown hard, and when it’s time to stop flying they just get straight out of the sky and stop dead. So less likely to overthrow a basket. They don’t have very good glide so they won’t suit some people as a ‘beyond the circle’ putter and on hilly terrain they can hit the ground and roll if you hit the cage. But I forgive them for that.
I’ve got to know the man himself over the years. Played on the same card as him at the 2011 Pro Worlds (first round), met up with him again at the USDGC in 2013, Queensland in 2013 and in my home town of Perth in 2017. So he’s part of my sentimental attachment to the disc and my relief that it’s dropped this deep in the draft.
Ville: You sure have the best stories about your discs. I haven’t even heard about a Yeti Aviar, maybe it’s because they never ended up to Scandinavia? None of my friends own one i’m pretty sure.
Darren: I’m taking the Discmania CD2, preferably glow C-line plastic. If not regular C-line will do, or S-line. I bag them all. A longer FD. New, they hold a similar line to a beat in Thunderbird, slight fade. Then as they work in they are dead straight, and can hold a turnover if thrown on anny. Very versatile driver. REALLY OUTPERFORMS ITS 9 SPEED!
Kingsley: One of the few 9-speeds that I haven’t auditioned for that hybrid spot I’ve never really filled well. I’ll have to give one a try.
Chris: Ah F off! I was going S-line CD2.
Ville: First of the back-to-back: the Pure.
I like the straight flight of it, and the extra glide. The zero soft plastic keeps the disc from rolling away after hitting the bands. I find it possible to putt up to 21m (been trying the Lizotte challenge, 21m is the limit i can reach with a putt). Pure fits my hand nicely, i think the rim is slightly shallower than in many other putters. I wish there was a disc that could make me a better putter. I think there isn’t.
Kingsley: I really like the Pure too. I would have been my second choice if someone had cruelly snatched the Yeti from my grasp. Kind-of different putters I know. But I like that lower profile feel. I’ve recommended the Pure to a few people and they’ve all stayed loyal to it.
Darren: As a large hands guy I’m definitely not a Pure guy.
Kingsley: Every guy who I played Aussie Rules with who had large hands had the same nickname – “Buckets.”
Darren: I’d take Buckets. Great nickname for someone who has spent years primarily playing basketball and disc golf!
Ville: Teebird to make you go ahh..I bag two Teebirds, in Gstar and Star plastics.
I got a few Teebirds in exhange for a Avery Destroyer. I picked up a few rather rare ones back in the day. The other Teebird was a KJ Nybo tournament series disc, and the other was a red PFN Teebird. This was a time when KJ had just thrown his famous ace in Järva, with a destroyer though. KJ’s success sold the disc for me. I think no other player has influenced my disc selections more than KJ. And when he got his own disc with his own stamp I had to have it. It is easy to relate to KJ – same age, Scandinavian, not too flashy.
The disc, I trust my Teebirds to hold straight in almost stormy winds, and basically keep the angle I send them to for all of their flight. They don’t usually come out of the bag too much, but they serve a purpose for longer tee shots from 300 to I guess 420 ft. I can put everything I have on the disc and it says “Thank you, I’ll fly straight now for 300+ and fade.” I managed to get a hole-in-one with the blue Gstar Teebird at Lauste. It’s my longest ace ever (102m) and now I can’t let go of my Teebirds.
When a Destroyer is hard to handle and you are not sure about your shot the little brother of Destroyer and Thunderbird, Teebird is your choice for more control. It might not quite make it there, but it sure as hell will try.
Kingsley: Another Innova classic gone. Not many left to go now. I could never gel with Teebirds somehow. Tried one in my bag a few times and just couldn’t make them fly. Hence all the Eagles in my life.
Darren: Dynamic Discs Justice. Late steal in my opinion. I was going to pick this disc two rounds ago and completely forgot.
Every DD and almost every Trilogy pro always says on the in the bag video that it’s a must bag disc. Every manufacturer wants and tries to make a Justice and never succeeds. The best super overstable mid/approach disc in the market. It’s a “mid” by speed grade but it won’t ever go too far. I use it as an extension of my approach and putter group. Unbelievably reliable. Also one of the best forehand roller discs I’ve used. Again it’s just RELIABLE. If you don’t have one, get one.
Ville: What range do you use this for? I have my Zone for up to 70ish meters. How would you compare these two if you have thrown both?
Darren: I use a Harp and a Justice. The Justice is way more O/S. You can use it for the same range as the Zone/Harp/etc, but it will go left no matter what. If I throw my harp hard it will go straight for most of the flight, Justice wants to get left much sooner. I throw it high on hyzer to get around tight corners or out of jail or obstacles. Such a fun reliable disc.
Kingsley: I’ve got a long story to tell about my next disc. It was a dark and stormy night….Just kidding.
Not much to tell about my turnover mid, the Comet, apart from realizing, just now, that some of my most fun-to-remember shots have been thrown with it. High, arcing turnovers, floating downhill shots or curving it through the trees – I don’t reach for the Comet many times during a round but I love having an excuse to.
Just look up some Michael Johansen highlights on youtube if you want to see someone make the Comet talk.
Ville: Always rooting for MJ! He is the one making the Comet famous (alongside the Banger). Never seen one live, interesting choice.
Darren: I walked along with MJ at Throw Down the Mountain last year for 2 rounds. Such a cool guy. Hole 18 at The Mountain is nuts. Throw a huge shot way down a “mountain” or extremely steep hill. Land in a smallish landing zone. Then directly back up an equally steep hill to land on the green. I watched MJ throw a comet backhand down, same disc back up, then putt with it for an easy 3.
Chris: Well, that was also gonna be my pick lol.
Kingsley: Ah sorry mate. I was going to leave it later in the draft but I couldn’t think of another disc that does what it does. Mako maybe? I’m sure there are others I don’t know about.
Chris: The Meteor is the Comet, but more…traditional feeling? It doesn’t have the fun glide for sneaky distance that the Comet does, but for dead straight tunnel shots or turnovers, that’s what you’ll want it for. It’s a no-muss-no-fuss understable mid, great for hyzerflips at my arm speed.
Chris: I picked up a Wraith in the summer of 2019 after watching GG do things with it, because I’m an easy mark like that. I didn’t expect it to do much for me but I am loving it. For my arm speed on backhand it is useful in the wind, and I tended to use it when I needed a harder fade than my CD2 would offer. As a much stronger forehand player off the tee I found the wraith to be the best replacement for a Shryke I could have hoped for. It holds straight with a touch of turn on a good rip flat, but put a touch of anny on it in the open and the thing just bombs.
Kingsley: I reckon the Wraith is one of the most versatile drivers ever made. They can be thrown at fairway speeds and also driven hard. That’s the first disc out of my bag in this draft too. Although I only bagged one as other discs have tended to replace it in recent years.
Chris: I was amped to pick the CD2 and Comet back to back this round, alas lol. Meteor and Wraith will do.
Ville: I like what Koling can do with Wraiths too on forehand, he makes the slow s-line throw look so easy.
Kingsley: I originally got a Wasp as an overstable mid for windy approaches but as time went on I started to use it more and more instead of the Buzzz as it beat in and I adapted to throwing. I just checked the history of this and it seems the Buzzz began it’s life in 2003 as a Wasp with a different bottom, for its first year it was the Wasp tooled Buzzz before becoming popular enough to receive it’s own tooling in 2004.
All this argument about Roc v Buzzz is a bit strange as they are quite different discs. It seems that the Wasp that was initially intended to compete with the Roc. The Buzzz and Wasp are quite similar apart from the Wasp’s more aggressively concave wing and the addition of a bead. It gets bloody windy here in Perth and I can trust the Wasp to be less affected by the wind than my Buzzzs .
Ville: I bought a Wasp from our clubs lost discs auction for 1,5 euros. A green pretty beat up one. Threw it a few times and didn’t find it very good. At first! Then I took it out to my practice field and saw that it holds a perfect straight line from a slight hyzer. So it sort of corrects the hyzer to straight without turning over at all and a very minimal fade. “Perfect midari!” I told my friends. I like it. If the DX Roc wasn’t so versatile the Wasp would have taken its place.
It’s exactly like you describe it. Buzzz vs Roc is not the debate. Wasp vs Roc is.
Darren: I’ll go with the Discmania MD4. Super reliable. They aren’t crazy overstable like I think it was originally intended. The stock C Lines, especially early runs, are super flat and the most stable. I don’t throw it to be a Gator, I can handle that with the Justice/Harp. I just use it for dead straight in the wind, or throw flat and fly straight to late fade, like a shorter Thunderbird.
Ville: Ok, need an understable disc to turn over? Roadrunner beepbeep!
A great choice for a beginner for first driver. Easy to get some wanted meters and distance with less power and speed.The disc gets more understable with age, and you probably will improve your skills with time. If your first driver was a Roadrunner, keep it with you, don’t forget it. It’s still there, but for a different purpose. When you need to throw a backhand anhyzer to hold the angle all the way, take out your Roadrunner. It will glide and keep the angle long ways. Sometimes there are holes when a forehand is needed and you feel like you don’t have the shot. Roadrunner to the rescue. In the lighter weight category of less than 170 grams the Roadrunner will turn over even for an amateur player. And for a pro.. it’s a useful roller disc, for it stands up quickly and finishes to the side of your throwing arm when thrown with backhand.
Not your most trusted distance driver in the wind, but definitely a disc for fun and creativity.
Ville: My pick for the longest driver is the DDx. Out of the shelf it was instantly an easy thrower for a shallow turn and forward moving fade.
Discmania just released the DD3 for the more powerful throwers to gain more distance and it could well be the choice for disc of the year 2019. However, the DD3 is not that easy to gain extra distance with. It’s more to compliment the pros and people with elite distance. The DDX is a lot more satisfying to rip, even with less of an arm speed, because you can see the results straight away even if you can’t improve on your technique. The glide is 6, combined to speed 12 with a mild fade of 2 to get a straight flight out of the DDx.
Definitely a useful tool to bang out the furthest throws you have ever thrown.
If you already have a Destroyer type disc like the DD3 or a Defender with “too much stability”, the DDX adds to your game definitely.
Darren: My next pick is the newest addition to my bag, the Discraft Force. I always heard they were super beef, like a longer Firebird, but I’ve found that when thrown hard and flat it’s like a longer Thunderbird. They hold straight for a long time (WHEN THROWN HARD) then fade like a “bird” be it Thunder or Fire!
Ville: I wonder if these are longer flyers than a Destroyer for an average arm speed? I was thinking on adding the Force to the same category as: Destroyer, Defender, D1, DD3, World but never thrown one so couldn’t say.
Kingsley: Nice one. I occasionally have a force in my bag for really windy days. They are definitely a Firebird type disc for my noodle arm.
This is another classic that I’m surprised to see fall this far in the draft. Most players I know bag a Sidewinder. I don’t throw mine all that often but it’s a pretty reliable turnover disc, even with tailwinds. I use it when it feels like the shot is a bit too far for one of my super beaten-in Eagles. I’ll occasionally use it for rollers too. My mate Dave can make his beaten-in old star Sidewinder talk. I’m not sure what he would do if he ever lost it. Stop playing probably.
Ville: Roadrunner or Sidewinder was the understable disc to choose from.
Chris: Remember 1998? Undertaker threw Mankind off the top of the cage in the hell in a cell match? I do, vaguely. But I digress. I’m taking the Undertaker because it goes straight. To me, it is the Buzzz in driver form. Easy to throw both fore and backhand, holds up to the wind OK and once beat in is fun for sidearm turnovers to navigate tight fairways.
Chris: The Gator, preferably puddle topped and in glow champ, is just some sweet sweet beef. Definitely fun to throw sidearm. One of my favorite shots to throw with it is a backhand skip shot when you need a toned down flair off some hard pan or short grass.
Kingsley: Ah the problematic 9-speed/hybrid spot in my bag. I’ve auditioned so many discs for this role over the years. There is a distance gap between my controlled fairway shots and full-bore drives that I can never seem to fill. It’s probably as much my own technique and shot selection as it is the discs fault. Currently I have two Lat 64 Saints in this role and they seem to go ok. Still not that reliable but I think that might be archer not the arrow.
Chris: Over the past 2ish seasons (been playing 4ish) I dumped all the high-speed stuff from my bag and just went back to basics, ie, learning to play vs just throw (poorly) and I’m finally getting the hang of discs in the fairway speed range. Finally seeing them act their intended way instead of everything just going straight for 250 then dumping. You can probably see that reflected in my picks, too. My most thrown disc off the tee is the Comet.
Kingsley: Improvement is never linear for sure. It’s always been frustratingly long plateaus, followed by a big step-change for me. Probably the biggest step change was getting the right fairway drivers sorted. For me it was Eagles about 5-6 years ago. Still waiting for that longer fairway/hybrid step change. It may never happen and I’ll have to get by with making the best shot selections I can and just accept that I’m playing some holes for par (or worse).
Chris: I’ve definitely hit bug step change land recently, committing to the reach back with the hips by stepping my plant at more of an angle than dead on straight. Accuracy has dropped a bit but that’ll come back as I get used to things. I’ve gone from 330ft/100m on a good rip to that distance consistently, with some on track for 370ft/112m if the trees at the end of the field don’t stop it lol.
Kingsley: Interesting that you mention that ‘commitment’ to a full hip turn. Kiwi legend Simon Feasey always says, “It’s a turn back, not a reach back.” That was a huge step change for me too. Trusting that the accuracy will be there as I commit more of my body to the throw and try to ‘steer’ the disc less. It’s what I say to beginners in coaching now. “First develop the technique.” Then aim the technique.
Ville: I pulled my groin just last week trying to imitate Drew Gibson by pushing hard on the backfoot and shooting it forward and up, like he did with Brodie. Worked for distance i guess for a few throws but then age quickly caught up. Didn’t notice a thing at first when i was warmed up, but the next day was painful to get up from the couch. Found myself on my knees a couple of times. Last week it has been standstills only. So gents, play like Sexton, not like an Eagle.
Darren: I’m going Champion Mako3. My favorite midrange. Shocked it lasted this long. Brand new they are dead straight, easy to throw on any line you put it in. Then they season quick into long (LONG) turnover discs. If beat in it will fry straight and slowly turn. Flies longer than my other mids, used as a short fairway driver. I love this disc. Cannot believe I forgot to pick it earlier.
This disc was recommended by McBeth in many in the bag videos, then at the 2017 Throw Down The Mountain he gave me a mini in the bag during a back up and personally told me to try a Mako3. “It will change your game.”
Ville: I’ve found them a little too understable. Or is it cause i quite don’t have the touch? For now i’m managing with my Rocs, but if they wear out too quickly/not at all might have to switch one of them to a Mako. M4 from Prodigy is a good competitor in this category too.
For me, utility is something very useful.
When it isn’t the best day out on the course and you are not quite “feeling it” you may find yourself in situations where you need to find a different way to approach your target. You need some useful tool to mold the line to get you there. The Max.
It isn’t afraid to attack the wind and challenge the steepest corners on dogleg shaped holes. For an average player the Max isn’t coming out of the bag for tee shots usually, but to get you out of trouble it sure is useful. Max’s are so stable they can be thrown almost vertical on an anhyzer and still they fight back to fade. You can shape some serious s-curves with them.
Cutting corners works really good too. And if there happens to be a wind so strong that it will tilt your bag over, pick the Max and it can handle that wind too. If the surface is soft and you need to stop on a dime, throw the Max on hyzer and it will cut it self to the ground and stick like a tombstone. The stability is brutal, but sometimes the conditions require a brutal approach to get the best result.
Ville: Why so serious? Asked the Joker on the tee. Disc golf is supposed to be fun, so why so serious? Yes, the Jokeri is a serious disc coming from a Finnish company Prodiscus. It’s probably the best known Finnish disc on the market.
It’s a stable putter mostly used for throwing, not putting. Why pick it? Trust, trust, and trust. You can trust it. For a long time. It can handle the wind and be straight for you on both, backhand and forehand.
When a Zone in my bag is slightly too stable for throws of over 240ft the Jokeri can exceed that distance easily for even almost up to 300ft throws. If you keep bagging a few Jokeris you’ll find that the disc will keep its stability for a long time, but you can mold a great straight flier out of the disc.
The Jokeri, for serious results, for Finland!
Darren: I’ll go with the Raider by DD, also added to my bag this year, so far I’ve only thrown the Fuzion. This thing bombs. I had the furthest in round drive of my life last week around 450 feet.
Ville: A lot Easier to throw then Destroyer for distance that’s for sure. Also the Defender which has almost the same flight numbers as the Raider felt much more stable. Good disc.
Kingsley: For me, the Discraft Drone is a frisbee in name only. I’m pretty sure it’s afraid of heights because as soon as leaving your hand it tries to get back to the ground as fast as it can. A railway peg would have more glide. I call it my flying brick.
It gets bloody windy here. A favorite Aussie saying is “windy enough to blow a brown dog off its chain.” For such days, when it’s plainly stupid to be outdoors, leaning almost horizontally into the wind and trying to throw frisbees. I reach for the least frisbee-like chunk of plastic in my bag. I throw, it goes through the air for a while before it becomes scared and tries to hide on the ground. It’s a brutish way to play the game but it gets me through the round and back home again without having to wear out too many pencils writing big numbers on the score card.
Ville: I had one of these. It felt like there was something wrong with the disc. I sold it for 5 euros. Now i sort of want it back for curiosity.
Kingsley: “It felt like there was something wrong with the disc.” Hah hah that’s about right. Apparently in some other plastics they can beat into nice flyers. But this one of mine is so over stable. But in really strong winds that can be very reassuring. Ugly conditions call for an ugly disc.
Chris: Oh boy oh boy. Judge! I putt with them. Classic plastic. Putters are all feel and a Classic Blend Judge was the first one that felt good to me. So I putt with them. Not very well, but still.
Chris: And finally: Shryke. It goes far, in no wind or a tail wind, with absolutely no need to adhere to any sort of fairway or accuracy, the Shryke will simply go far.
Kingsley: Jen Allen loves her Shyrkes.
Chris: I got a forehand out to 450 with one. Flat ground, no wind. They are fun. Super touchy, though. Even at my backhand arm speed they turn and burn in any headwind.
Kingsley: Well, y’all have done a very good job at not taking my favorite discs because when I look up the list of my picks, that’s pretty much my bag. I do have a single Thunderbird and Wraith in there which got taken before I could pick them, but looking at that list of 10, I’m pretty sure those two discs wouldn’t have made it onto the list anyway. Even though it’s pick 10 I’m glad the Westside Sword is still around. One of my few regrets in this frisbee life is that I discovered the Sword and the Trespass so late in the piece for me; after I’d been to the Worlds and USDGC when I’m pretty unlikely to go back to those events as a player now. I think of all of those great courses and what I could have done with a pair of drivers that I really had a good handle on.
The Sword is a great compliment to the Trespass for me. It’s more understable but even so, it’ll only flip out uncontrollably in strong head winds, I can still trust it to come back. Just like the Trespass it seems to finish with minimal flare and skip, which is reassuring on fairways lined with OB. I use it mainly for wooded fairways where I’m throwing with 80% noodle power and going for a touch more control. Also because my 55-year-old ex-football players body can be stiff some days; I use it on days when I just haven’t got the grunt for the trespass. Although the numbers say that the Trespass turns more than the sword (-0.5 v 0), that’s not how they fly for me.
Ville: These are called “Kalevan miekka” here. For some reason the Finnish product didn’t resonate with us Finns. Usually these are found on the bottom of the “lost disc boxes.”
Chris: Such a good disc! I lost one at Maple last year. Replaced it with the Wraith, but that thing was fun to throw.
Kingsley: How’d it fly for you, Chris?
Chris: Forehand, super fast. 350 on a rope. Backhand, too much disc for me.
Darren: I think I’m up. I’m going with my putter. I was saving it for my last pick once Kingsley and Will both drafted putters early. I already knew Chris used Judges so I had no worry. DISCMANIA P2.
I often switch between these and DD Marshals. I really like both putters. I chose P2s for this because of the availability and the variations including all plastics and tour series for the crush boys with Sky Gods 1-3 and Imperial Eagles 1-3. My P2s of choice for putting are specific. I like older run Psycho stamp 2 ring D Line plastic. Grippy but very firm. Plus I just LOVE THE OLD DM STAMPS! I have a used stack of these old Psycho stamp D Lines for practice and about 8 brand new. Only disc “inventory” I have.
For throwing I actually don’t LOVE the P2, part of the reason I like the Marshal is how good it feels with a power grip. The best feeling of all the P2s to me is the original Sky Gods in C Line and the run of Glow C Line that came out last year.
Ville: “It’s pink and pretty.”
I let my stepdaughter choose the last disc. Works as a backup for the Destroyer. Good disc, reliable, goes far, Defender.
Bonus Pick: Bags
Kingsley: And we’re done. Well done team. Just the bags to go. Chris is up with the first bag pick.
Chris: Ok, I’m going with a sentimental, unlikely pick. The Throwback Tripack bag. It was a gift from my brother in law a couple years back, and I’ve since moved on to a DD ranger bag, but this will always hold a place in my heart. It’s a back pack style bag that is also a cooler, AND a disc golf bag! It’s also got a cup holder in the top! It has two small zipper pouches which can hold your keys, wallet, and other small goodies, and mesh pouches on the side.
It can hold a full compliment of discs, which is nice, too.
Kingsley: I did a couple of long walks in the desert just prior to starting up with disc golf in the late 2000s. On some sections we had to carry a day and half’s water (about 10 litres – 2.6 Gallons) along with everything else so our packs weighed upwards of 35kg (77lbs). So when I started disc golf, all this fuss about carrying a few tiny discs one way or the other seemed a bit trivial to me.
When the Grip bags came along I thought they were a gimmick. I bought this one with some of my monopoly money at the fly mart at the 2012 Worlds in Charlotte, figuring that I’d sell it off to someone back in Australia when I got home. Then I used it for the Midtown Classic in Raleigh the week after the Worlds and…8 years later I’m still using it. The internal pockets have frayed in the sides and the bottom is a tiny bit chewed from being repeatedly slammed down onto scratchy gravel. But otherwise it’s solid and probably has another decade or so of life left in it. What sold me when I carried it was how it did diminish fatigue slightly, just ever so slightly, but then a 1 or 2% improvement is all it takes to knock a few strokes off your score. It keeps the load of discs tight in to your body in a nice compact shape. Minimizing the angular momentum of them swinging around and therefore the forces required to heft the bag.
I have used another bag from time to time (a Lat 64 one) because the Grip can be limited for space when you are playing a multi-day tournament in inclement weather and you need wet weather gear, towels, spare shirts etc – especially for those tournaments where you are out there all day and can’t go back to your car. It’s one of the original Grips (L series I think) and it’s still the bag I use for 90% of my rounds. In the fast moving culture and gear-freakiness of our sport, it’s amazing how quickly the comments on my bag have changed too. It’s gone from, “Ooh is that one of those new grip bags? How cool.” To, “Hey check out the vintage grip bag man. Kicking it old school.” In what feels like the blink of an eye.
Darren: I personally carry a Grip that I’ve had for years. It’s definitely older and has some flaws but has a ton of life left. I keep it in a Zuca bag cart and it holds up well and holds plenty of discs. Obviously Grip is off the board so…My pick is the best bag I’ve seen in person, including my Grip and the two DD bags I’ve had (Ranger and Commander).
The bag? Pound Octothorpe. Three of my buddies I play with often have Pound bags and damn it man are they nice. Incredible materials, strong construction, great colors and the custom options (I prefer all black bags). Expensive but top quality, also American made….for those that care about that.
Also the fanny packs look top notch. I plan to buy one soon, just always forget about it. I’m a big Fanny pack guy. So hopefully in this build a bag fantasy scenario I get the fanny along with the Octothorpe. Also picking an Upshot sponsor because I’m a true company man.
Kingsley: Ah superb choice Darren. The Pound bags are the only ones I’ve ever lusted after ever since I saw Big Jerms in Perth in 2017. My Grip just wont die though, so I can’t justify getting one.
Darren: Same here. I’ve had the bag about 5 years and it was used when I bought it.
Ville: I could choose a Finnish product for this one too, but I won’t. It’s worth mentioning though that Halti, an outdoor clothing manufacturer, made a reasonably priced bag which sold out all over Finland. I had the miniversion of it myself. After a while though it became small and couldn’t hold everything I needed. I found this out the hard way at the 2018 European Amateur Open when they gave a scoring folder to carry and mark the scores. It didn’t fit anywhere. I was nervous to start with and the folder made a wonderful mess of things to add some extra pressure.
So I went out to find a new bag when my goals became more difficult to achieve. I had to have better gear. Usually i’m not big on high-tech stuff and comparing products, but this time I made an effort to find the best for me. I’m quite short (173cm) so I don’t want a huge bag to carry. I was looking for an ergonomic option. So I asked to try some of my friends’ bags on my back. One guy (other Ville) had a DD Ranger. He said, “Tää on paras bägi mikä mul on koskaan selässä ollu. Ihan ku siel ei ois mitään.”So i bought it.
Ok, He was saying, “This is the best bag I’ve ever had on my back. It feels like you aren’t carrying anything.” I tried it. Wau! He was right. The fit was perfect and compact for my stature. There wasn’t anything too excessive in the bag, it was just a clean, smart looking product for a rough and demanding use. I’ve many times looked at the stitching on the handles and wondered how many layers are there. They feel really firm and well made. The whole bag is really well made. The large top compartment can almost hold anything I need, other than a rain jacket if it isn’t packed tightly and deliberately. The main issues are easily solved though. It holds enough discs for me. One large water bottle, or two if isn’t raining. Phone goes left side pocket, keys to the right, beer on top. Umm, I mean snacks on top. I expect to have many many years touring together with my Ranger. I love it, sometimes I’m sorry I don’t take better care of it, but it’s a Ranger to made go through tough conditions, it understands.
Kingsley: A local guy here has five Ranger bags. He matches them to his shirt or cap when he plays. He is completely impervious to us taking the mickey out of him about it.