How To Read Disc Golf Numbers – What Do The Numbers Mean?

If you are new to disc golf you’ve probably seen all the numbers that are printed on the front of nearly all disc golf discs. You might be wondering what do these disc golf disc numbers actually mean? It can be slightly overwhelming when you first start and It can feel very complicated, but thankfully when you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to understand how to read disc golf numbers and how to use them to improve your game!

Disc Golf Numbers – Flight Rating System

I always recommend beginners spend a little bit of time getting comfortable with disc golf numbers because it will help you narrow down discs that are better suited for your style, technique, and power. If you don’t learn about these disc golf numbers then you could be using a disc golf disc that isn’t helping out your abilities.

disc golf numbers

In this article we’ll be breaking down what the numbers on discs mean in an easy to understand fashion, and how you can use the disc golf disc numbers to pick the best disc golf disc for your style.

So What Do The Numbers On A Disc Golf Disc Mean?

You’ll see four numbers on most disc golf discs, and this is referred to as the disc’s flight rating system. These 4 numbers represent 4 performance metrics of that individual disc, and this includes the Speed, Glide, Turn and Fade of the disc. By understanding these numbers, you’ll understand how this individual disc is supposed to fly, and this will help you gauge if it’s a disc that’s suitable to your technique and experience.

  • Speed (1 to 14): The first number is Speed, which is on a 1-14 scale. The higher the number refers to the faster the disc needs to travel through the air to perform at its best. If you are a beginner or someone with a slower arm speed, then it’s not recommended to pick a disc with a high Speed, because for that individual disc to fly optimally you’ll have to be able to through it much quicker. I would consider this one of the most important metrics to look at when picking a new disc.
  • Glide (1 to 7): The next number is Glide, which is on a 1-7 scale. This simply refers to the amount of time the disc will stay in the air, or glide through the air. The higher the number the more likely it is to glide farther and give you more distance on your throws. If you have a low glide number this means that disc will need more speed to generate more distance. If you are struggling for distance, then I would recommend finding a disc with a higher glide number to give you a bit more distance on your throws.
  • Turn (1 to -5): The next number is Turn, which is on a scale from 1 to negative 5. Turn refers to how much the disc will turn to the right when first thrown, by a traditional right handed backhand thrower. If you are throwing left handed, this will be flipped. The lower the number, the more likely the disc is to turn to the right immediately after being thrown.
  • Fade (0 to 6): The last number is Fade, which is on a scale from 0 to 6. Fade refers to the discs likelihood to fade to the left at the end of the flight pattern, for a traditional right handed backhand thrower. If you’re throwing left handed, this will be flipped. If you have a 0 Fade, this means the disc will likely stay as straight as possible at the end of the flight pattern. If you have a 6 fade, this means it will fade heavily to the left at the end of the flight pattern.

Who Created The Disc Golf Disc Flight Rating System?

The Disc Golf Flight Rating system was created by Innova Champion Discs, one of the leading manufacturers of disc golf discs. Innova introduced the system in the late 1990s as a way to standardize the characteristics of different disc golf discs and make it easier for players to understand and predict how a disc will behave in flight. The system was later adopted by other disc manufacturers and has become an industry standard for describing the flight characteristics of disc golf discs.

Why Is The Disc Golf Flight Rating System Important?

The Disc Golf Flight Rating system is important because it provides a standardized way to describe the flight characteristics of disc golf discs, which makes it easier for players to choose the right disc for their needs and predict how a disc will behave in flight.

The system uses four numbers (speed, glide, turn, and fade) to describe the disc’s flight characteristics, which allows players to understand the disc’s stability, how fast it needs to be thrown, how much it will stay in the air and how much it will turn or fade at the end of its flight.

Additionally, this system allows players to compare different discs from different manufacturers and find one that suit their throwing style and skill level. For example, a beginner player may prefer a more overstable disc with a higher turn rating while a more advanced player may prefer a more understable disc with a lower turn rating.

Overall, the Disc Golf Flight Rating system helps players make more informed decisions when purchasing and using disc golf discs, which can lead to a more enjoyable and successful experience on the course.

Final Thoughts On Disc Golf Flight Numbers:

I hope this guide on disc golf numbers meaning was helpful and helped to explain the benefits of understanding this system. By understanding what the numbers means it helps you understand how an individual disc will fly, and allows you to purchase a disc that’s best suited for your needs!


About James

My name is James Francis, and I’m an avid disc golf player ever since I was introduced to the sport by my brother in 2008.  I fell in love with the sport because of the laid back & casual attitude, the ability to enjoy the great outdoors, and the technique needed to master the sport.

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James Francis