What Do The 4 Numbers on a Disc Mean?

Do you want to know how to understand flight ratings in disc golf? Well, you've come to the right place! Flight ratings are a key component in determining the flight characteristics of a disc golf disc. They consist of four numbers that represent different aspects of a disc's flight: speed, glide, turn, and fade.
The first number in the flight rating system represents the disc's speed. This number ranges from 1 to 14 and indicates how fast the disc needs to be thrown in order to achieve its intended flight. A disc with a lower speed rating, such as 1 or 2 (typically putters) are much easier to get up to speed as they require very little throwing power. On the other hand, a disc with a higher speed rating, such as 13 or 14 (typically distance drivers), requires more arm speed and power to achieve its maximum distance potential. Contrary to what some people think a higher speed disc doesn’t mean it will go farther. The disc is designed to go farther, however they are much less forgiving when thrown without proper form. Beginners or intermediate players can often throw a midrange driver disc farther then a high speed distance driver. That is because a midrange driver has a lower speed and are often times more forgiving than high speed discs.

The second number in the flight rating system represents the disc's glide. This number ranges from 1 to 7 and indicates how much lift or hang time the disc has during its flight. A disc with a higher glide rating, such as 6 or 7, will stay in the air longer and have more time to cover distance. This can be beneficial for players looking for maximum distance or for shots that require a lot of carry.

The third number in the flight rating system represents the disc's turn. This number ranges from -5 to 1 and indicates the disc's tendency to turn to the right during its flight (for right hand back hand throws). A disc with a negative turn rating, such as -3 or -5, will have a strong tendency to turn to the right for right-handed backhand throws (opposite for left-handed throws or forehand). This can be useful for shots that require a right-to-left curve or for players with less power who need more assistance in achieving distance.

The fourth and final number in the flight rating system represents the disc's fade. This number ranges from 0 to 5 and indicates the disc's tendency to hook or fade to the left at the end of its flight. A disc with a higher fade rating, such as 4 or 5, will have a more pronounced hook or fade to the left for right-handed backhand throws (opposite for left-handed throws or forehand throws). This can be beneficial for shots that require a left-to-right curve or for shots that need to hyzer at the end of their flight.

Understanding flight ratings is essential for selecting the right disc for your desired shot and for your progression in the game. By knowing the speed, glide, turn, and fade of a disc, you can make more informed decisions on what discs to use for different types of throws and course conditions. So the next time you're out on the disc golf course, take a look at the flight ratings of your discs and see how they can help improve your game!

Here's to a great round!
Back to blog