The 9 Best Innova Fairway Drivers in 2022

by Denis Flaschner, Professional | PDGA #49081

Best Innova Fairway Drivers on a White Background

On the vast majority of disc golf courses, controlling tee shots in the 250-325 foot distance range will produce a lot of birdie opportunities. Today we're looking closely at some Innova discs that thrive in this range: the fairway drivers.

The fairway category is the most important slot in the bag, and filling it with trustworthy discs is key to carding birdies and, just as importantly, eliminating bogeys.

Too often, over-eager players are seduced by the speed of distance drivers when they would be better off sticking with the extra control and glide the fairway driver provides.

In fact, for many beginner and intermediate players, the fairway driver will be the farthest flying disc in the bag, as their extra glide and minimal fade will keep the disc penetrating down the fairway when a distance driver would fade out and hit the ground early.

The best options in this category combine the slow and controllable elements of midranges with the fast and aggressive qualities of distance drivers. Innova has long dominated the fairway driver category, so there's sure to be a disc that matches your individual needs and skill level.

After you've decided, head to our online store to shop all of these Innova discs.

Teebird

Innova Teebird Disc

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.5cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.1cm
  • Rim Width: 1.7cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 2

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • G Star
  • Star
  • Halo Star
  • Champion

The Teebird is the quintessential fairway driver. Beloved by professionals and weekend warriors alike, this classic disc is equally popular today as when it debuted in 1999.

Several Innova-sponsored world champions have bagged a Teebird during their title runs, including Ken Climo, Paul McBeth, Ricky Wysocki, and Avery Jenkins.

This disc has a perfect combination of stability and glide, allowing top-level players to send it on 400+ foot frozen ropes that finish with a reliable and gentle hyzer fade. Better than any other fairway driver, the Teebird holds a dead straight flight path. For pinpoint control and accuracy, there is no better option.

Philo Braithwaite demonstrates the all-around versatility and consistency of the Teebird in this quick video:

However, that's how it flies for the big guns. For those with average arms, a brand new max weight Champion Teebird will be an overstable disc. It takes a minimum of 350+ feet of power to activate the extended glide on this mold.

The DX and G Star varieties are much better for beginners, particularly in the 160-165 gram weight range. 

Maybe the best quality of the Teebird is how it ages over time. As it gets beat in, it will only get more and more turn and glide, eventually turning into a hyzer flip machine that can carve up tight fairways. The Star Teebird is the best option for a brief break-in period before it hits its "sweet spot." 

The Teebird3 is the souped-up version of the classic mold for a bit more speed and distance potential. Its slightly wider rim boosts the speed rating up to 8. 

Eagle

Innova Glow Eagle

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.6cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.7cm 

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 4
  • Turn: -1
  • Fade: 3 

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • Star
  • Champion

The Eagle is a close cousin to the Teebird, and while it isn't quite as popular, it remains a classic go-to fairway driver. This disc performs well on straight lines but excels when thrown at an angle. The gentle -1 turn and aggressive 3 fade combine to make it a great shot shaper, with the ability to glide on swooping hyzer lines and controlled flexes. 

Since they overlap a lot, the Eagle vs. Teebird question is one that all Innova players need to answer. Gregg Barsby and Calvin Heimburg are two notable Innova pros who prefer the Eagle.

Barsby has a signature Glow Eagle version that was initially dropped after he won the 2018 World Championship. This version is very overstable. 

The classic DX version is a solid beginner disc for less advanced players, and the Star blend is perfect for an everyday fairway workhorse. Also, note when shopping for an Eagle, there are two versions, the "X” and the “L." The Eagle-X is the more stable option.

For a full rundown of all things Eagle, charismatic Pro Gregg Barsby goes over his collection here: 

Leopard

 Star Leopard

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.6cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.1cm
  • Rim Width: 1.6cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 6
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -2
  • Fade: 1 

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • Star
  • Halo Star 

A fixture in the Innova starter pack, the Leopard, has been thousands of players' first disc golf driver. This disc has a relatively thin rim that anyone can wrap their hands around, and its understable flight and low speed make it easy to activate the high 5 glide rating. Most players will be able to put the Leopard on a straight and controlled path.

Advanced throwers can perform easy hyzer flips and long turnovers with the Leopard. This disc is perfect for players who throw only forehand or backhand, as it allows for anhyzers that keep turning all the way to the ground. It also makes for an excellent roller disc. 

We have both the Star Leopard and slightly faster and more stable Halo Star Leopard3 available. Not just for starter players, the Leopard is a super solid addition to anyone's bag. 

TL

Innova Glow TL Fairway Driver

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.6cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.8cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -1
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • Star
  • Halo Star
  • Champion

The TL is an abbreviated way of saying "Teebird Less Stable." If the Teebird and the Leopard had a baby, it would be the TL. For players who have less power or do not have the time to break in a Teebird, the TL is the best option for a straight fairway driver with minimal fade. 

The "L" could also stand in for "Longer Distance," as the extra turn makes it much easier to activate this disc's huge potential glide. Innova also offers the TL3 for a faster and more stable flight. Produced in durable Halo Star plastic, the TL3 will have significantly less turn and a much heavier fade. 

We have a brilliant Glow Champion TL available in the store and the very cool Mason Ford signature Star TL3

FD (Dark Rebel)

Innova Dark Rebel FD

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.6cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.8cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -1
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • Star
  • Champion

For years the Innova factory produced the popular FD (Fairway Driver) for the Discmania Originals line. When Discmania severed ties with Innova in 2021, they took the name "FD" along with them, but Innova kept the patent on the design.

Now rebranded as the Dark Rebel, this straight flier is a perfect beginner to intermediate level fairway driver. 

It's honestly pretty difficult to find many significant differences between the TL and the Dark Rebel. They are pretty much interchangeable, though many online reviewers note that the Dark Rebel is a bit easier for beginners to throw. I probably couldn't tell you the difference if you put both in my hands. 

We carry the Innova Dark Rebel and Star FD.

Hawkeye

 Innova Halo Hawkeye

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.7cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.8cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 7
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: -1
  • Fade: 1 

Popular Plastics

  • Halo Star

Released in early 2022, the Hawkeye is only available in Halo Star plastic and is up-and-coming pro-Hailey King's signature disc. There is a lot of speculation about what exactly differentiates Hawkeye from the Dark Rebel, with many online testimonials stating that they are the same mold with different plastic.  

Innova says otherwise, but for all intents and purposes, if you like the original FD (Dark Rebel) and want the extra durability and stability of Halo Star plastic, then the Hawkeye is the disc for you. It has the same straight flight and extended glide as both the Dark Rebel and TL. Check out our selection of Halo Star Hawkeyes here

For a compilation of Hawkeye throws, Great Lakes Disc put together this excellent video:

 

Firebird

Firebird

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.4cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.9cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 9
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 4

Popular Plastics

  • Star
  • Champion

I generally consider speed 8 as the unofficial limit of the fairway driver category. Still, I've included the Firebird here because it complements all the straight-flying drivers on this list. It certainly has the speed of a distance driver, but its overstable flight puts a hard cap on its distance potential, thus keeping it in the fairway driver range. 

The Firebird is the ultimate utility disc for spike hyzers, forced flexes, and windy conditions. This reliable and predictable disc will always finish on hyzer, and its lack of high-speed turn makes it a beloved forehand disc. The majority of Innova pros bag the Firebird, and it's likely in the bags of many players at your local course.

Nate Sexton is the pro most associated with the Firebird. Here he gives an expert overview of this popular disc: 

Gazelle

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.8cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.2cm
  • Rim Width: 1.6cm 

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 6
  • Glide: 4
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 2 

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • G Star
  • Pro 

The Gazelle is a vintage mold that has been buried under the avalanche of new fairway drivers in the past decade, but this remains one of the best drivers for beginners transitioning from mid ranges to drivers. It is basically a slower Teebird, with the ability to hold a straight line and get a lot of glide with a reliable fade. 

Like many old molds, the Gazelle has some extra dome on top. Overall it is a very controllable driver that stays in the fairway without exaggerating mistakes. A G Star Gazelle is a fantastic option for junior players. 

Archangel

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.9cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.4cm
  • Rim Width: 1.8cm 

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 8
  • Glide: 6
  • Turn: -4
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • DX 

The super understable Archangel has maximum turn and minimum fade in the fairway driver category. This disc is ideal for casual players with low arm speed. For example, if my wife–who has never thrown a disc golf disc in her life–wanted to give a driver a try, I'd buy her a 150 gram DX Archangel.  

For most players, this is a roller disc that will immediately start to flip over. Put it on a severe hyzer, and it will still turn all the way to anhyzer. As such, it can fill a niche role in the bag for special situations but is best left for brand new players giving disc golf a try. It is also a great sidearm driver.

Our Picks 

The Teebird is a perfect disc. I'm not even going to pretend to be unbiased here. I've been throwing them for decades and keep three in the bag at all times: a newish Champion Teebird3 for hyzers and flex shots, a seasoned Champion Teebird as an all-around straight flier with gentle fade, and a beat up Star Teebird for extreme hyzer flips and turnovers. 

My second choice is the Firebird. It is the perfect complement to any straight-flying fairway driver. Pair it with any of the discs above, and just about every shot shape up to 350 feet will be covered.  

But at the end of the day, you can't go wrong in the Innova fairway category. The Eagle, TL, and Dark Rebel (formerly the FD) are all great discs that can shred almost any course, and the Leopard is an iconic and beloved mold.

You can shop all of our disc golf discs here.

More disc reviews: