When it comes to choosing a fairway driver from Innova’s extensive lineup, two discs often come up in conversation: the Innova TL and the TL3.
Even though they’re very similar discs, there are a couple of key differences that are important to know when choosing between the two.
In this article we’ll help you decide by exploring the differences between the Innova TL and TL3 and when you should consider each disc!
Innova TL: The Trusty Fairway Driver
Let’s start with the TL, which you might now know is a variant of the classic TeeBird driver. The Innova TL is renowned for its ability to hold a line, a straight flight path, and a predictable, gentle fade at the end of its flight.
It’s a favorite among players who value control over pure distance. With a flight rating of 7, 5, 0, 1, the TL is crafted to stay true to the angle at which it is released, whether that’s a straight shot down the fairway or a slight hyzer or anhyzer line.
The TL is often praised for its versatility. Players can use it for tight wooded shots, controlled hyzers, and even long turnover shots that flex back gently. Thanks to its moderate speed rating, it’s also a disc that serves newer players well, while still being a staple in the bags of experienced players.
When many players want a consistent straight driver to help hit a gap, the TL is usually a top option.
Innova TL3: The Update with a Twist
The TL3 takes the classic TL and gives it a modern twist. The ‘3’ series from Innova is designed to be flatter and faster, which makes the TL3 a bit more suitable for those looking for a bit more speed and less fade.
THis driver carries a flight rating of 8, 4, 0, 1, indicative of its faster speed and slightly decreased glide compared to the TL. This disc is engineered to offer the same straight flight as the TL but with a little extra distance before its subtle fade kicks in.
The flatter top of the TL3 can also make it more comfortable for forehand throws or for players with smaller hands. A disc’s profile can greatly affect how it feels in your hand, and subsequently, your confidence in throwing it.
A comfortable grip can increase control and consistency, two crucial factors in a successful round. For tips on achieving a proper grip and technique, especially for forehands, here’s a guide with some valuable forehand tips.
Comparing The TL vs. TL3
Even though they don’t tell the entire story, understanding flight ratings is key when comparing discs. The speed (first number) indicates how fast a disc must be thrown to achieve the intended flight path. Speed 7 vs. 8 might not seem like much of a difference, but it can significantly influence how the disc behaves, especially in terms of distance.
Glide (second number) impacts how long a disc will stay airborne. The TL’s higher glide rating suggests it will stay aloft longer, which can be advantageous in certain situations.
While both discs have a turn rating of 0, meaning they’re designed not to turn over too easily, and a fade rating of 1, indicating a modest fade, the TL3’s increased speed changes the flight pattern slightly.
The quicker you throw the TL3, likely you are to see a straighter flight before that gentle fade, as opposed to the TL that might start fading a touch earlier due to its slightly slower speed.
Which Should Be in Your Bag?
The decision between the TL and TL3 often comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your game. Here are a few considerations to help you choose:
- Straight Flights: If you love lasers down the fairway and need a disc that maintains a straight line, both will serve you well. But if you need that straight flight to stretch out a bit further before it fades, the TL3 might be your answer.
- Feel in Hand: If you like a flatter disc for touch shots or forehands, give the TL3 a shot. For those who prefer a gentle dome and a little extra glide, the TL could be the better choice.
- Versatility: Both discs are versatile, but the TL is often touted as the “does-it-all” disc due to its flight characteristics being favorable for various shot types and skill levels.
- Distance Potential: If you’re looking to maximize distance within the fairway driver category without jumping to a much higher speed disc, the TL3 can offer you that extra bit of range over the TL.
Practice The Designed Shots
Regardless of your choice between the TL and TL3, remember that the key to mastering any disc is practice. Understanding the subtle differences through field work and course play is crucial.
Developing a strong repertoire of disc golf throws is also essential, as the same disc can behave very differently in the hands of a player with a diverse skill set.
When you’re ready to add a new fairway driver to your bag, or you’re curious how these discs might compare to another staple like the TeeBird, check out the following link for a closer look at the similarities and differences: Innova Teebird vs Teebird3.
In conclusion, whether you’re reaching for an Innova TL or a TL3, you’re getting a quality fairway driver capable of accurate and controllable flights. The decision is less about right and wrong and more about fit and feel – both for your hand and your playing style.
Consider the factors we’ve discussed, such as speed, glide, comfort in the hand, and the specific shots you need to execute on your local courses or those that challenge you the most.
Whether you favor the classic nature of the TL or the modified finesse of the TL3, each disc has the potential to earn a special place in your bag, helping you navigate fairways and shape lines with confidence and control.