Having played ultimate frisbee for several years before converting over to disc golf, I had grown very accustomed to throwing an Ultrastar, the disc that is most used for ultimate frisbee in tournaments. When I first started to learn what disc golf was I would go play with friends from my ultimate frisbee team and we would use the only thing available to us, the Ultrastar.
We would count this as practice to throw the disc as far as we possibly could, and never even thought that we were playing disc golf correctly using an ultimate frisbee. However, when I finally made the full transition to disc golf later I was surprised to learn that the Ultrastar is a legal disc golf disc!
PDGA Legal Disc Requirements
Without getting too caught up in the nitty gritty details of disc standards set by the PDGA we will look quickly at what are the major specifications for a disc to understand a bit more why the Ultrastar is a legal disc.
The PDGA requires that all discs, unsurprisingly, look like a frisbee! They should have a saucer-like shape as well as be smooth on both the top and bottom with a rim that is “at least 1.1 centimeters deep”. With these basic requirements met, we now get a little more detailed by looking at how a disc can not be greater than “8.3 grams per centimeter of outside disc diameter”.
This means that if the frisbee has that saucer shape, has a suitably deep enough rim and isn’t too dense for its size it is a legal disc. Now, there are more specifications that go into it, but we won’t worry too much about that here. What we want to really know is that the Ultrastar is a legal disc and can even be used in tournaments for the PDGA.
Is an Ultrastar good for Disc Golf?
The other important question to answer now is: Would you ever want to use an Ultrastar in disc golf? Well, that depends. Each player will have their own play style and will grow to have their favorite disc or type of disc for specific situations. Maybe you will be a player that can boom a disc down the fairway with ease, or maybe you have a knack for more controlled and accurate shots.
Depending on how you like to play and what your strengths are you will be drawn to discs that accommodate you best. The Ultrastar is a disc that you won’t be able to throw nearly as far due to its size and shape, but you can get more accurate shots out of it. It is also much more likely to hold the curve that you throw it on.
Disc golf is a wonderful sport that allows for a lot of different ways to play and none of them are the wrong answer. Each person comes up with their own style and strategy how to play and perform better each time.
The ultrastar and any other ultimate frisbee disc is another tool in the bag that you have the option of using. It can be the tool that helps you learn how to get your form down, it can be the tool that you use exclusively for getting out of a bad situation, or, like my friends and I a long time ago, it can be a tool to just have some fun with friends!
The website to find PDGA specifications on discs is the following: https://www.pdga.com/technical-standards/manufacturer-guidelines