Which Discs Have Won The Most World Championships?

Which Discs Have Won The Most World Championships?

Buckle up. It’s a long, long blog, full of information and hyperlinks. But I promise it’s worth reading!

I spent more hours on this blog than any other, and I hope to be able to answer a couple of big questions at the end.

“What’s the best disc golf disc?”

“Which Discs have won the most world championships?”

The first question I get almost daily during the summer months. The second is one that I get from seasoned disc golfers who want to know more about the history of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever answered them perfectly. Of course I have biased opinions based on my playing and watching players of all skill levels for over a decade.

My answer has always been that different discs work for different people. Try them all and find what works for you, don’t worry about what’s fashionable. The scorecard doesn’t ask if you got that deuce by hyzer flipping a beat up Boss, a Nomad park job, or you hit a tree off the drive and threw it in from distance. A 3 is a 3, and a 4 is a 4.

I do believe that some discs are better suited to players on a whole than others. There’s a reason that some discs become OOP (out of production). If they don’t work for a large percent of people they’re discontinued. If a disc does perform well it sells and people use it until something better comes along.

This is an informative blog, and it’s not perfect. I wasn’t at the world championships checking bags of the winners but I have watched most of the worlds on YouTube, and watched their “in the bag videos” from the year.

There are a few questions that I hope to also be able to answer, things that I’m curious about.

How will bags change over time?

Which putters reign supreme?

What disc do we all consider ‘essential’ that hasn’t been in the bag of a world champion?

So what are my rules for this blog?

  1. If someone has 3 Destroyers, I’ll count them all as a single mold. Pros have a backup of virtually every disc in their bag, some have 2 of the same others have 5. I’m more interested in the molds themselves. The plastics are something I don’t care about either. It’s pretty much a given that they throw premium blend distance and fairway drivers and a variety of mids and baseline blend putters.
  2. What happens if I can’t find an “in the bag” on YouTube from the year they won? I’ll go to the closest year's video and see if I can find what they threw. Some years, there’s nothing I’ve found so I go to the closest year video. If I can’t find it I’ll look for an interview or instagram posts. All of the sources will be linked in the year and name, and I’ve checked to make sure that the disc was PDGA approved before the Worlds in case of someone having a new disc in their bag when they got interviewed.
  3. I’m starting with the year 2000. That’s 20 years worth of world championships, what I would call the beginning of the “modern era of disc golf”. There have been championships since 1982, but there were too few discs back then to be really diverse. If I included the other 9 Climo championships it would just be a list of Innova best sellers.
  4. I’ll split MPO and FPO players discs up. Men and Women mostly play in different divisions, so I think it’s best if I split up their discs.

a graph showing how many times a disc was used to win worlds

This is the MPO chart. There have been 20 world titles since 2000 and no disc has been used more than 14 times in MPO. But it’s the Aviar, which kind of makes sense. It’s one of the oldest discs in the game and it’s incredibly straight, accurate, and versatile inside 200 feet. It helped Barsby in 2018 on the woodsy courses of Smugglers Notch, and it helped Barry Schultz in the plains of Iowa, and desert of Arizona.
The entire right side of the chart is thanks to James Conrad, Ricky, and Discraft McBeth. For the most part we can focus on discs on the left.

For FPO it’s very similar. The Aviar reigns supreme! The next most common putter is the Classic Aviar, and then it tapers off to singles of putters. The Roc seems to be second most common for FPO as well. I notice that the Wraith, Starfire and D1 are all there.

Let’s look at the questions from up top.

How will bags change over time?

Which putters reign supreme?

What disc do we all consider ‘essential’ that hasn’t been in the bag of a world champion?

Bags changed by adding more molds. Instead of throwing a brand new Roc, and then beating in 2 or 3 others to get a straighter flight path. You can throw a Roc3 and then a Roc, and then maybe instead of a beat in Roc you can add something with less fade.

Bags have remained fairly similar to one another over the years in regards to being a mix. They’ve got a disc for everything and every situation. All players have a putter, a straight mid, and drivers that go straight, hyzer, and turn. There’s usually a utility disc, and now we’re seeing more discs devoted solely to approach shots.

The Buzzz is one of the best selling discs of all time. I recommend it and see it thrown all the time by players. But it’s only in the bag of 10% of winners!
I’m kind of surprised that the Pig hasn’t won more than a single championship! I guess it’s primarily a forehand players disc, but I think it’s still a highly valued approach disc. If Ricky did anything in his time at Innova, he revitalized that mold.

The Shryke has only been around for 6 years, but I kind of thought someone would have won with it by now. For me it’s an incredible distance disc with lots of turn. There’s very few discs that I can get consistent long turn with.
With the exception of Birgitta Lagerholm (2004 FPO World Champion) every single player from Innova has won worlds with an Aviar. It’s possible she won with one as well, but can you remember what was in your bag last year?

You can check all of my data here. I’ve linked the videos or articles I read for each of the in the bags, and let me tell you it took some time to gather. In the case of Birgitta Lagerholm I reached out to her on Instagram and she was kind enough to try to remember her 2004 discs for me as best she could in a message.

MPO Winners and their discs

2000 Ken Climo- Aviar, Condor, Roc, Teebird, Firebird, Sidewinder
2001 Cam Todd- Aviar, Roc, TL
2002 Ken Climo- Aviar, Condor, Roc, Teebird, Firebird, Sidewinder
2003 Barry Schultz- Aviar, Roc, Leopard, Firebird, Teebird
2004 Barry Schultz- Aviar, Roc, Leopard, Firebird, Teebird
2005 Nate Doss- Predator, Avenger, XL, Drone, Hawk, Challenger
2006 Ken Climo- Aviar, Condor, Roc, Teebird, Firebird, Sidewinder
2007 Nate Doss- Predator, Surge, Avenger, Pulse, XL, Force, Drone, Hawk, Challenger
2008 Dave Feldberg- Aviar, Rhyno, Roc, Whippet, Eagle, Teebird, Firebird, Sidewinder, XCaliber, Destroyer, Boss
2009 Avery Jenkins- Aviar, Gator, Whippet, Roc, Teebird, Eagle, Firebird, Destroyer
2010 Eric McCabe- Force, Surge, Predator, Buzzz, Meteor, Banger GT, Challenger
2011 Nate Doss- Challenger, Drone, Buzzz, Hawk, Wasp, XL, Predator, Pulse, Force, Nuke
2012 Paul McBeth- Aviar, P2, Roc3, Shark, Roc, Gator, Teebird, PD, Max, Krait, Destroyer, Firebird
2013 Paul McBeth- Aviar, Gator, P3, Roc3, Shark, Roc, Teebird, PD, Max, Krait, Destroyer, Firebird
2014 Paul McBeth- Destroyer, Krait, Teebird, PD, Firebird, Max, Mako3, Roc3, Roc, Gator, Nova, P2, Aviar
2015 Paul McBeth- P2, Nova, Aviar, Gator, Roc3, Teebird, Thunderbird, PD, Firebird, Krait, Destroyer
2016 Ricky Wysocki- Mercy, Harp, Shield, Compass, Stiletto, Felon, XXX, Vision, Saint, Havoc, Saint Pro, Spark, Enforcer, Giant.
2017 Ricky Wysocki- Enforcer, Gladiator, Defender, Stiletto, XXX, Saint Pro, Felon, Vision, Compass, Anchor, Pure, Harp, Dagger, Judge
2018 Gregg Barsby- Aviar, Rhyno, Roc, Roc3, Stingray, Thunderbird, Eagle, Firebird, Roadrunner, TD, Scorpius, Destroyer, Boss
2019 Paul McBeth- Luna, Zone, Drone, Buzzz, Wasp, Tracker, Predator, Undertaker, Heat, Force, Zeus
2021 James Conrad- Ion, Envy, Entropy, Reactor, Relay, Crave, Volt, Tesla, Wrath, Insanity, Fireball, Motion, Photon, Panic

FPO Winners and their discs

2000 Juliana Korver- Aviar-X, Aviar, Valkyrie, Teebird, Panther
2001 Juliana Korver- Aviar-X, Aviar, Valkyrie, Teebird, Panther
2002 Des Reading- Aviar, Roc, Teebird, Leopard
2003 Juliana Korver- Aviar-X, Aviar, Valkyrie, Teebird, Panther
2004 Birgitta Lagerholm- Magnet, Firebird, Spider, Gazelle
2005 Des Reading- Aviar, Roc, Teebird, Leopard
2006 Des Reading- Aviar, Roc, Teebird, Leopard, Wraith, Destroyer, Shark
2007 Valarie Jenkins - Aviar, Classic Aviar, Roc, Gator, Teebird, Eagle, Roadrunner, Wraith, Starfire
2008 Valarie Jenkins -Aviar, Classic Aviar, Roc, Gator, Teebird, Eagle, Roadrunner, Wraith, Starfire
2009 Valarie Jenkins -Aviar, Classic Aviar, Roc, Gator, Teebird, Eagle, Roadrunner, Wraith, Starfire
2010 Sarah Stanhope - Aviar-X, Aviar, Pig, Roc, Gator, Banshee, Teebird, Wraith, Sidewinder, Katana, Destroyer, Monarch
2011 Paige Pierce - Buzzz, Zone, Stalker, Force, Nuke, Challenger, Surge, Crush.
2012 Sarah Hokom - Hurricane, Meteor, Rattler, Avenger SS, Zone.
2013 Paige Pierce - D1, D2, D3, D4, PA4, PA1, PA2, M1, M2, M3, M4, F7
2014 Catrina Allen - PA1, PA4, M4, M2, F3, F7, D3, D1
2015 Paige Pierce - D1, D2, D3, D4, PA4, PA1, PA2, M1, M2, M3, M4, F7, F5
2016 Valarie Jenkins- Aviar, Gator, Roc, Teebird, Roadrunner, Thunderbird, Starfire, Wraith, Tern
2017 Paige Pierce -Sheriff, Defender, Enforcer, Trespass, Felon, Convict, Escape, EMac Truth, Verdict, Suspect, Marshal, Swan
2018 Paige Shue - Ballista Pro, Enforcer, Trespass, Getaway, Vandal, Maverick, Fuse, Verdict, Harp, Judge
2019 Paige Pierce - Deputy, Marshal, Suspect, Verdict, EMac Truth, Gatekeeper, Convict, Felon, Defender, Ballista Pro
2021 Catrina Allen- PA1, A2, M2, D2, H1

Fun Observations

  1. Only two players have managed to win disc golf world titles with different major sponsorships. Paul McBeth has won 4 with Innova and 1 with Discraft. Paige Pierce has won 1 with Discraft, 2 with Prodigy, and 2 with Dynamic Discs.
  2. I love the swagger of Sarah Stanhope in her interview. You don’t get to be a world champ without believing in yourself.
  3. We need a lot more in the bags from FPO players. MPO seems to do it every season. I genuinely want to know what they’re throwing, and so do plenty of other people. ESPECIALLY IF THEY JUST WON WORLDS! I literally can’t think of a better marketing video for a company than a pro in the outfit they won worlds in, at the place they won in, just have them do a quick 5 min in the bag interview with the trophy next to them. Then have them celebrate. Many sports have press conferences after an event, I don’t really want that for disc golf. Just a few minutes of their discs they used that weekend.
  4. Seeing pros wearing Dynamic Discs gear but being sponsored by other companies is so funny now. Dynamic started manufacturing discs in December 2012, before that they were apparel and designs. Kind of like how Thought Space Athletics was up until a couple years ago. I guess if you’re looking to start a disc golf brand you should go from cool looking gear to making your own discs?
  5. Innova had a real stranglehold on the Men's and Women's game for years. Climo, Schultz, Jenkins, McBeth, Reading, and Korver. Some of the greatest to ever play the game. There’s so many more companies out there now. I doubt that we’ll ever see a company with such a stranglehold on the sport again. We may see a single dominant player win 2-3 worlds in a row, but not a company take over several decades.
  6. Disc golf media has come SO far in the last 20 years. I’m really thankful for early pioneers of the game like Terry Miller (who has won 27 events and $22k by the way, he’s no slouch) who recorded interviews with all sorts of players.

Final thoughts

I think there’s nothing cooler than seeing what the pros throw, and then comparing myself to them. One of the big reasons that I throw a neon green/yellow Z Line Predator is that Nate Doss did, and he looked cool as heck when he did it.

The best disc golf disc seems to be something consistent. We all know the Aviar is great for straight putts with a lot of glide. The Roc coming in second is no surprise, a new one has that glide and fade people like. And the last think is that almost all of the drivers thrown are stable with a bit of turn. If you’re looking for something like that in your game here’s a blog I wrote about the most common turn/fade combo.

Whatever you’re throwing, I hope you have a blast watching the World Championships at Emporia this upcoming week. I don’t think anything will match the drama of Hole 18 at the Fort last year in FPO or MPO. But that’s why we watch the world championships, because anything can happen.

May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397

Streeter (PGDA #70397 )

He started disc golfing in 2011 and instantly fell in love with the flight of a disc. He has a degree in Sports Management from the university of Southern Maine and has been blogging for SDG since 2020, He writes about informational disc golf content editorials, and disc golf entertainment.

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1 comment

Interesting that only one player ever has won with 3 different manufacturers sponsorships

Paul Whitmore

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