Welcome to Birdie Blog’s newest series: What Disc Should I Throw? This is our guide to help you better your disc golf game, make you smarter on the course, and lower your scores.
TL;DR: In this guide Birdie Blog helps you choose the best disc off the tee on a wide-open par 3!
Est. Reading Time: 2 – 3 Minutes
The Wide-Open Tee Shot
Imagine you’re on the tee pad of one of your local course’s bomber holes. You know, the hole with the wide open fairway off the tee pad that proves you can drive far to your friends and competitors. It’s the hole with nothing in your way but potential distance. Now think to yourself. How many times have you messed this shot up?
The wide-open tee shot in disc golf is often the most botched shot in the whole sport, especially for players who struggle with distance and control consistency. In its simplest form, the shot should be easy. Your run-up is on a tee pad and there is nothing pinching off your angle of attack. This shot should be your bread and butter.
Disc Selection for Wide-Open Tee Shots
Often players will choose the disc in their bag that goes the exact drawn-up line their head, regardless of wind or intended angle to the target. For reachable par 3’s, many players will reach for a trusted putter or midrange that they know will fly on a specific line to the bottom of the basket. Wide open tee shots to longer par 3’s, par 4’s, and par 5’s are where the big guns are pulled out more times than not.
In many instances off tee pads on longer disc golf holes, players will gravitate to their farthest flying distance drivers such as a Discraft Nuke, Discmania DD3, Innova Destroyer, or any of the like to chip away at the most amount of distance off the first shot as possible. In theory, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea if you are a consistent power player. But even the pros struggle with distance control and many will disc down for the sake of placement over power. Should you?
Disc Selection on Wide-Open Par 3’s
Theoretically, a wide-open tee shot on a par 3 should be the easiest shot in disc golf aside from a 5-foot putt. There is nothing stopping you from throwing straight at the basket and we’re not saying you shouldn’t do that. In case you’re interested in honing in your disc decision even further, let’s look at a couple of factors before you grab the usual from your bag.
A wide-open tee shot with wind can quickly turn into an unexpectedly difficult shot. Let’s say without wind you’d throw a Envy (putter, somewhat stable) flat right at the basket. With a headwind, your slightly stable putter may now flip up to flat and glide further straight than you’d anticipate. If the putter or midrange is neutral to understandable, the disc may end up burning out the opposite of your intended path. A tailwind will many times do the opposite to your disc and cause your Envy to fade out early, making your shot shorter and wider than intended.
Distance is often a crucial factor in disc golf par 3’s and will more times than not influence your disc selection as much as pin location. For most players, a tee shot under 200 feet without any other factors will warrant a putter off the tee pad. Anything further and we’d suggest throwing a disc you’re comfortable with reaching the target. Anything beyond 300 feet or holes that are open with extreme angles to the pin, throw a driver, or midrange you are capable of throwing with precise control. Even though it’s a wide-open par 3, don’t assume the birdie is guaranteed or necessary to gain strokes over your card.
- No Wind, Straight: Neutral Putter
- No Wind, Angle: Overstable or Understable Putter (Depending on your angle of attack)
- Headwind, Straight: Overstable Putter or Midrange
- Tailwind, Straight: Neutral, Understable Putter
- Any Wind, Farther Angle: Overstable or Understable disc (increase speed per distance to pin)
Always Keep Tee Shots Simple
In general, our number one rule is don’t overthink your disc golf disc selection. One of the reasons disc golf is so fun is that discs are cheap and fun to collect and throw. Find what works for you but don’t be afraid to test out a variety of discs off the tee.
In our next article, we’ll look at disc selection for wide-open, distance holes.