In learning about different types of disc golf discs, drivers add distance to your game. Yet, you'll come across two different types: distance and fairway drivers. While the former travels farther on the course, it requires more skill and control.
A fairway driver, meanwhile, represents a transition between the midrange and the distance driver: It delivers more speed, has straighter flights and less skip, and can manage shorter distances. As such, players working their way up and improving their skills are recommended to hone their technique with a fairway driver before moving onto a distance driver.
All disc golf discs are grouped by speed and flight characteristics. As the bridge between midranges and distance drivers, fairway drivers have speed ratings ranging from 6 to 10, based on over- and understable flight paths.
To achieve these patterns, fairway drivers tend to have a lower profile, which improves aerodynamic characteristics in relation to midranges and allows this disc to travel a greater distance at a faster speed.
Compared to a distance driver, however, the fairway will have a less-sharp edge, perhaps somewhat more rounded or blocked, and will include a smaller rim and wider shape. For beginners and players with smaller hands, this design allows for a more comfortable grip as you're practicing your throw.
In considering these factors, the typical fairway driver can reach a distance of 250 to 350 feet with the right amount of power and technique. Beginner to intermediate players often find this disc type easier to control and therefore will be able to achieve this distance at their skill level.
As a note, not every player will develop the strength and speed to comfortably use a distance driver. In turn, the fairway driver becomes the default, in terms of control, for longer shots.
On the course, your fairway driver comes in handy when a midrange won't cover the ground you need, but a distance driver will travel too far - or could be overkill. As well, if the course gets a bit windy, a fairway tends to have more power to reach the shot, in comparison to a midrange.