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Disc Golf Numbers Meaning: All You Need To Know

Anyone who needs to learn disc golf will face a learning curve toward mastery of the sport. If you are a beginner just starting disc golf, we recommend learning what the numbers mean on disc golf.

Learning and mastering its purpose will help you shape your ability and skills in throwing various shots in different situations.

Today, we will explain these numbers in the simplest of terms. Also, we will deliver information about each number and how it can affect the behavior of a disc during the flight.

What do the numbers mean?

What do the numbers mean?
What do the numbers mean? Source

Each disc type has a distinct flight path, making it unique. Flight ratings of disc golf are broken into four main critical categories: speed, glide, turn, and fade. 

Those characteristics can be used to rate various aspects of each disc’s flight.

Speed

What is it?

As we all know, the speed of a disc is how hard it must be thrown to work correctly. It is represented by the numbers 1 through 15. High-speed discs are up at the top, let’s say, about 12, 13, 14, or 15. 

At the lower top of that scale, the required speed is less. For example, 1-speed discs require little effort and speed to work correctly after it is thrown.

On the other hand, high-speed discs are typically drivers. Models with moderate speed ratings are typically mid-range discs, while low-speed discs are frequently putters and approach discs.

Why is it important?

Speed is the crucial factor, as it is the only flight rating you physically determine.

The disc’s speed is the main factor that determines whether the disc will fly correctly. Specifically, speed will determine whether the disc will turn, glide, and fade per those ratings on it.

If your disc has a lot of glides and is meant to stay in the air, you must throw it at the speed listed on it to glide like it is supposed to. The same will also go with the other flight ratings.

Once you have understood speed better, you will have to work on how fast the disc can be thrown and get it up to speed.

If you don’t, chances are high that you will never be able to use the better, faster, higher-rated disc in your game. 

What are great discs for speed?

  • Dynamic Discs Sheriff.
  • Innova Katana.
  • Innova Champion Boss.

How to improve your speed?

  • Towel drill.
  • Field practice.
  • Simply practicing.
  • Buy low-speed discs to build up your speed.
  • Study the experts and watch their mechanics.
  • Disc down and use putters or midrange discs to get better.
  • Focus on your techniques, and remember the pro mechanics.

Glide

What is it?

Glide refers to the ability of a disc to maintain loft during flight. It is essentially how long a disc can stay in the air. This rating is measured from 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest and 1 being the lowest amount of glide.

Why is it important?

This factor is essential as it keeps a disc in the air longer. If you are looking for more distance when throwing, you should focus on discs with many glides.

It is also often the advice given to any new player. Discs with a high glide and a high-speed rating can fly the farthest on a course.

What are the best discs for your glide?

  • Innova Wombat (also known as Wombat 3).
  • Latitude 64 River.
  • The Innova Dragon.

How to increase your glide?

  • Purchase discs with a high glide rating.
  • Use discs in your skill level.
  • Ensure you improve your speed.

Turn

What is it?

The high-speed turn of discs refers to their ability to turn over to the right after first thrown (for RHBH throws), typically with a fair amount of speed behind this disc.

This rating is represented by the numbers 1 to -5. A disc with a turn rating closer to -5 should feature more turns.

Why is it important?

Discs with a lot of turns will be more likely to be understandable.
Discs with a lot of turns will be more likely to be understandable. Source

Disc stability and turn go hand in hand. Discs with a lot of turns will be more likely to be understable (the disc turns to the right with an RHBH thrower). 

Understability is excellent for beginners. The fact is that a high glide, high turn, and low-speed disc will be ideal for beginners. Also, the turn is suitable for players looking to perform roller shots or tricky anhyzer shots.

What are good discs for the turn?

  • Innova Valkyrie.
  • Innova DX Leopard.

Fade

What is it?

The low-speed fade of a disc is its ability to hook left at the end of the throw.

Once your disc has made it through most of a flight and starts to slow down, the fade typically kicks in, and your disc turns to the left (RHBH thrower). The fade ranges between 0 and 5. The higher the number, the more a disc will fade.

Why is it important?

A high fade, typically an overstable disc, is essential for several reasons. Firstly, they can be utilized for distance control.

Moreover, it is ideal for flex shots. Finally, they will be great in headwinds and can help the golfer crush a windy round.

What are the best discs for the fade?

  • Prodigy F1.

Plastics Affect Flight

Discs with a lot of turns will be more likely to be understandable. Source
Different plastics can impact the flight ratings of discs. Source

Different plastics can impact the flight ratings of discs, especially longer-range drivers. Glow Champion and Champion deliver discs with fewer high-speed turns than other premium plastics, such as GStar,  Star, and Driver Pro.

  • All of the premium plastics, such as GStar, Star,  Champion, and Driver Pro, should retain their original flight characteristics for a long period.
  • XT, DX, R-Pro, and KC Pro Plastic will change flight characteristics faster than premium plastics over time. It is one of the desirable traits for some golfers who will carry the same model in many stages of wear to get different flights for many situations while they throw the same mold.

Star

  • Great all-weather grip.
  • Provide predictable performance.
  • Best plastic for usage with the INNColor process.
  • Long-lasting, even on rugged or wooded courses.
  • Most models are available for Custom Hot-Stamping.
  • Great for people who like the durability of plastic with a superior grip.
  • Retain flight characteristics longer than Pro or DX Plastics.

GStar

  • Look amazing.
  • Ideal for playing in cold weather.
  • Great for those with less grip strength.
  • Most enhanced and comfortable grip.
  • Same durability as Star plastic with extra flexibility.
  • Retain flight characteristics longer than Pro or  DX Plastics.

Champion

  • Most models are available for Custom Hot-Stamping.
  • Certain models are available in glow-in-the-dark plastic.
  • Retain flight characteristics longer than Pro or DX Plastics.
  • Several models are available with colorful and unique I-Dye designs.
  • High-quality plastic, providing reliable performance and superior durability.
  • It is firm and suitable for the increased throwing speeds of a professional player.

XT

  • Durable and firm.
  • Affordable and great value.
  • Amazing all-weather grip.

Driver Pro

  • Increased glide.
  • Many models are available with colorful I-Dye designs
  • More economical than the Champion or Star line Plastic.
  • Deliver an improved grip over the Champion line plastic.
  • More durable. Retain flight characteristics longer than the R-Pro or DX lines.

KC Pro

  • The grip improves with use.
  • Provide a firm grip that champions prefer.
  • More economical than the Star or Champion line Plastic.
  • More durable. Retain flight characteristics longer than the DX plastic.

R-Pro

  • The grip improves with use.
  • Provide terrific soft weather.
  • More economical than the Star or Champion line plastic.
  • More durable. Retain flight characteristics longer than the DX plastic.

DX

  • Most economically priced.
  • Some models are available for Custom Hot Stamping.
  • Available in the widest range of disc models and weights.
  • Some models are available in special glow-in-the-dark plastic.
  • Wear in progressively to deliver new and varied flight characteristics.
  • Provide superior grip that will perform well in most weather situations.

Brief Description of Terms

  • Stable is a flight that does not turn.
  • Overstable is a flight that turns left (RHBH throw).
  • Understable refers to a flight that turns right (RHBH throw).
  • Stability refers to a description of the disc’s flight path.
  • Skip is known as a shot that is meant to fly after hitting the ground.
  • Spike and Spike Hyzer involve shots that land almost vertically and don’t skip.

The Bottom Line

Knowing how to read numbers on disc golf is essential, especially if you are one new disc golfer. It will help you in various ways in improving your skills and also in selecting a disc during the game.

These rating numbers will hint at what to expect, but you must also consider other factors. The key is to find go-to discs that can be trusted in various game situations and will deliver the best result.

As we can see, the possibilities are endless but are what makes the sport both challenging and fun. If this article was helpful to you, please share it.

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