Disc golf discs come with four numbers that can help players choose the right disc for their skill level and throwing style. The numbers represent the disc's speed, glide, turn, and fade.

Understanding what each number means can help players select a disc that will fly the way they want it to. Speed and glide affect how far a disc can travel, while turn and fade affect how the disc curves in the air.

Are you wondering what those numbers on disc golf discs mean? Or why it matters to understand them as a player? Whether new to the game or already an accomplished competitor, this guide is here for all levels!

What Do the Numbers on Disc Golf Discs Mean?

The Flight Rating System

A standard way of describing a disc golf disc's flight characteristics is the Flight Rating System. This system was first introduced by Innova Discs and has since been adopted by other manufacturers as well.

So, what do the numbers on disc golf discs mean?

Here are the four numbers and what they represent:

The Flight Rating System
  • Speed (1 to 14): This number represents how fast the disc needs to be thrown in order to achieve its optimal flight path. Higher-speed discs require more power and are generally used for long-distance shots, while lower-speed discs are easier to control and are better for shorter shots.
  • Glide (1 to 7): This number represents how well the disc can maintain its lift and stay in the air. Discs with more glide can stay in the air longer and are better for distance shots, while discs with less glide are more accurate in windy conditions.
  • Turn (+1 to -5): This number represents the disc's tendency to turn to the right (for right-handed backhand throwers) during the initial part of the flight. A positive number means the disc is more stable and will resist turning over, while a negative number means the disc is more unstable and will turn over more easily.
  • Fade (0 to 5): This number represents the disc's tendency to hook to the left (for right-handed backhand throwers) at the end of the flight. A disc with more fade will hook harder, while a disc with less fade will finish straighter.

All of these numbers are based on a right-handed backhand (RHBH) thrower. It's important to note that different manufacturers may rate their discs differently, so flight ratings should not be used to compare discs between brands.

Understanding the flight rating system can help you choose the right disc for your throwing style and skill level. Beginners may want to start with lower speed, higher glide, and fewer turn/fade discs, while more advanced players can experiment with different combinations to achieve specific flight paths.

Who Developed the Flight Ratings System?

In 2009, Innova Discs revolutionized the disc golf world with its groundbreaking flight ratings system.

This unique rating system allows players to easily compare and contrast each model's flight pattern - from beginner-friendly discs buzzing straight ahead without getting too crazy up in the air, all the way to more experienced options which can quickly zigzag through courses for maximum distance advantage.

Thanks to this convenient categorization tool, it has become easier than ever before for novices of disc golfing success!

Who Developed the Flight Ratings System?

The Benefits of Understanding Flight Ratings

Aspiring disc golfers often underestimate the importance of understanding flight ratings, but this knowledge can make a significant difference in their game. Flight ratings refer to a set of numbers that represent the key characteristics of a disc's flight path.

Additionally, since many players may not be familiar with flight ratings, having this knowledge can give players an edge over their competition.

Here are five key benefits of understanding flight ratings:

  1. Disc physics: You may better understand how a disc will fly and improve your game by being aware of the mechanics involved.
  2. Comparing discs: Knowing flight ratings enables you to compare discs and understand the differences between them.
  3. Choosing Discs that fit your style: By knowing which individual flight ratings measure what, you can choose discs that fit right your playing style better.
  4. Choosing discs for your collection: You can use flight ratings to learn which discs to use in different scenarios and build a disc golf arsenal that caters to all aspects of the game.
  5. Many people are unfamiliar with them: Many players may not be aware of flight ratings, giving those who do have this knowledge a significant advantage.

Disc Golf Disc Numbers for Forehand

The disc golf disc numbers you use can make or break your forehand throw. When choosing a disc for your forehand, it's important to consider the disc speed, glide, turn, and fade rating. These numbers are commonly referred to as the disc golf flight numbers and can significantly impact the disc's flight path.

For example, a higher-speed disc will require more power and generate more distance but may be harder to control. Meanwhile, a lower-speed disc may be easier to control but won't fly as far.

One of the best disc golf discs for beginners looking to improve their forehand throw is the Sidewinder. Its understandable nature makes it an ideal choice for learning how to control a forehand throw.

On the other hand, more advanced players may prefer the Destroyer, which is known for its reliability in any wind condition and can be thrown both forehand and backhand. Players like 2014 Amateur World Champ Jake LaPutka have been able to throw the Destroyer for over 465 feet using their forehand throw.

To use disc golf disc numbers to improve your forehand throw, it's essential to experiment with different disc speeds, glides, turns, and fades to find the perfect disc that matches your throwing style.

Forehand specialists like Nate Sexton recommend practicing throwing hyzer with understandable discs to build wrist speed and control. Ultimately, understanding disc golf disc numbers can help you pick the best disc for your forehand throw and improve your overall disc golf game.

Disc Golf Numbers for Overhand Throws

The number of discs in a disc golf set can have a significant impact on the success of an overhand throw. The speed rating of a disc can affect how quickly it leaves your hand, while the glide rating determines how long the disc can remain in the air.

Higher glide ratings are ideal for longer overhand throws. The stability rating can also affect your overhand throw, as overstable discs tend to have a more predictable flight path.

When selecting a disc for overhand throws, consider high-speed stability and the ability to handle torque, as overhand throws often generate a lot of force.

Some of the best disc golf discs for overhand throws include the Innova Firebird, which has a high-speed and overstable flight path, and the Dynamic Discs Defender, which has a high-speed rating and a reliable overstable finish.

By understanding disc golf numbers and selecting the right disc for your overhand throw, you can improve your accuracy and distance.

Disc Golf Numbers for Overhand Throws

What You Can Do to Increase Your Speed

If you're looking to improve your disc golf game, increasing your throwing speed is an important goal to work towards. While it may seem daunting, there are several things you can do to increase your speed and reach your disc golf goals.

One way to get started is to understand what the numbers on disc golf discs mean, as this can help you make informed decisions about which discs to use.

The following seven actions will help you speed up:

1. Purchase low-speed discs to increase your speed

2. To improve, put the disc down and use midrange discs or putters

3. Practice in open fields to focus on technique

4. Study the pros and watch their mechanics

5. Focus on proper technique and remember the pro mechanics

6. Simply practice consistently

7. Gradually work your way up to high-speed discs as your skills improve.

By following these tips, you can improve your disc golf game and become a better disc golfer in no time!

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Popularity of the Game Disc Golf


To reach the next level of disc golf, it's important to understand what each number on your discs represents and how they affect performance. Speed, glide, turn and fade ratings all have a significant impact - higher numbers don't always equal better results!

Take some time to explore various speed ranges; slower discs can be just as accurate when thrown with proper technique. With an understanding of disc technology plus practice honing your skillset, you'll soon master this ever-enjoyable sport.