What Is Turn in Disc Golf? Find Out the Answer Here!


Disc golf is a thrilling outdoor sport that’s gaining popularity around the world. If you are a newbie to the game, you might have known the term “turn” being thrown around, yet aren’t sure what it means.

We’ll explore the concept of turn in disc golf and how it affects your game. Whether a seasoned pro or a beginner, understanding turn is crucial to improving your score and enjoying the sport to the fullest. 

So let’s dive in and learn all about turn in disc golf!

Flight Numbers (Flight Ratings) of Disc Golf

Flight numbers, also known as flight ratings, are four numbers assigned to each disc golf disc to describe its flight characteristics. These numbers consist of speed, glide, turn, and fade. 

The speed number ranges from 1 to 14 and indicates how fast the disc needs throwing to achieve its optimal flight. The glide number indicates the disc’s capacity to sustain lift in the air, which spans from one to seven. 

The turn number, ranging from -5 to 2, represents the disc’s inclination to veer off its typical flight path or turning ability. Meanwhile, the fade number, ranging from 0 to 6, reveals the disc’s power to conclude its flight.

The combination of these numbers provides valuable information about the disc’s flight behavior and can help players choose the right disc for the shot they want to make. 

Understanding these numbers is crucial for players of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals, to maximize their performance on the course.

There are four flight ratings, including speed, glide, turn, and fade (Link).

What Is Turn in Disc Golf?

In disc golf, “turn” aims at the tendency of the disc to curve or bank to the right during the portion of its flight. 

This happens due to the angular momentum generated when people throw the disc with the correct amount of spin and speed.

The disc with a high turn rating will tend to turn more to the right, while this disc with a low turn rating will watch for flying straighter. 

Turn is also one of the four numbers that make up a disc’s flight rating, along with speed, glide, and fade. 

When you throw a disc, the turn becomes apparent in the latter portion of the flight and ceases when the disc begins to lose speed.

The turn is simply the disc’s capacity to move in a direction that deviates from its natural flight path. 

For instance, if a disc is thrown level and spinning clockwise, the turn happens when it differs from its straight course and begins to go to the right.

The turn ends when the disc begins to fade or moves leftward back toward its typical flight path. The turn will involve the disc’s propensity to turn left and disappear if it spins counterclockwise.

The Turn Number: What Does It Mean?

The Turn number is a rating used to describe the flight characteristics of a disc golf disc. Precisely, it reflects the disc’s tendency to veer off from its natural flight path or its ability to turn. 

A lower Turn number indicates that this disc is more likely to turn against its natural flight path (where clockwise spin goes left and counterclockwise goes right), while a higher Turn number means that disc is less likely to turn and will fly straighter until the fade.

All Turn numbers are generally negative, with lower numbers indicating more significant turn potential.

For example, the disc with a Turn rating of -3 will turn more than the disc with a Turn rating of -1. The lowest possible Turn rating is -5, and the highest possible rating is 2.

Turn refers to your disc's capacity to move in a direction that differs from its natural flight path.
Turn refers to your disc’s capacity to move in a direction that differs from its natural flight path. (Link).

What Is Fade in Disc Golf?

Fade is a term used in disc golf to describe a disc’s tendency to hook or curve at the end of its flight. More specifically, as a disc slows down and starts to descend, it tends to connect in the opposite direction of its natural flight path.

Due to the disc’s inherent clockwise spin, most right-handed backhand throws in disc golf tend to curve to the left. 

When a disc slows down and starts to fall, it will curve more aggressively and abruptly to the left. Yet, a disc with a low fade rating will turn more gradually and is likely to stay straighter before bending for a more extended period.

The Fade Number: What Does It Mean?

Fade is the fourth and final number in the flight rating system for disc golf discs.

Simply put, a disc golf disc’s “Fade” rating tells you how effectively it finishes flying. The stronger the fade and the earlier the disc starts to slide to the side, the higher the “Fade” number.

On the other hand, the longer your disc is in flight, the weaker the fade will be and the lower the “Fade” value. 

The scale goes from 0 to 5, with 0 being an extremely weak fade, which means the disc will continue to fly straight and end straight without falling to the side.

Higher “Fade” rated discs are typically harder to throw and get farther with, whereas lower “Fade” rated discs are simpler to throw farther.

What Does Negative Turn in Disc Golf Mean?

In disc golf, a negative turn rating means that the disc tends to turn in the opposite direction of its natural flight path. 

Specifically, for a right-handed backhand thrower, a negative turn rating indicates that the disc will turn to the right during the early part of its flight before fading back to the left. 

A disc with a high negative turn rating, such as -5, will have a powerful tendency to turn to the right, while a disc with a low negative turn rating, such as -1, will have a more moderate tendency to bend. Discs with negative turn ratings are generally called “understable” discs.

Negative turn is also known as understable discs
Negative turn is also known as understable discs (Link).

How Do Turn and Fade Work Together?

A disc’s turn and fade significantly influence its stability as they work against each other. A low turn number places the disc on the understable side, while a higher turn number places it on the overstable side.

Similarly, a high fade number puts the disc on the overstable side and a low fade number on the understable side. The combination of these numbers accurately represents the disc’s stability.

Add the turn and fade numbers together to determine whether a disc is understable or overstable. 

The larger the sum, the more overstable your disc is, and the smaller the aggregate, the more understable your disc is. A sum of 0 indicates a stable disc, which flies straight because the turn and fades cancel each other out.

How to Increase the Turn on your Throws?

If you’re seeking ways to achieve more turns in your throws, follow these three easy ways:

Choose discs with more turn and less fade 

One way to achieve this is by purchasing discs already designed with this feature. Discs with -2 to -4 turns and one or fewer fades are recommended, especially for novice players. Such discs are “understable.”

Increase throwing speed

Throwing faster and increasing the disc’s spinning speed usually results in more turns. However, throwing too hard can compromise your form, so find a balance.

Use anhyzer throws

When you throw the disc with the top facing you slightly, it will cause the disc to turn more. This relates to an anhyzer throw. 

On the other hand, throwing the disc with the top facing away from you results in a hyzer throw, which makes the disc fade more.

You can achieve more turns in your throws by applying these three ways
You can achieve more turns in your throws by applying these three ways (Link).


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Final Thoughts

Turn is a critical aspect of disc golf that can significantly impact a disc’s flight. 

The turn number represents a disc’s ability to fly against its natural flight path, and it works against the fade number, which means a disc’s ability to finish flying. 

By understanding turn, disc golfers can choose the right disc for their throwing style and experience level. 

Remember, if you’re looking to add more turns to your throws, you can choose discs with more turns and less fade, throwing faster or throwing anhyzer throws. 

Hopefully, this guide will help you discover the secrets of turn in disc golf.

Happy disc golfing!

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