Updated: Apr 23
Disc golf is a sport that is growing in popularity all over the world, and as more and more people take up the game, there is a lot of confusion about the different disc golf numbers and what they mean. As someone who has been playing disc golf for several years, I have had my fair share of experience with different discs and their numbers, and I am here to share my knowledge with you.
When it comes to disc golf discs, there are four main numbers that you need to be aware of: speed, glide, turn, and fade. Each number is important in determining how a disc will fly, and understanding them can help you choose the right disc for your game.
Disc Golf Numbers - Basic Breakdown
Speed: The speed rating is the first number on a disc golf disc. This number ranges from 1 to 14, with higher numbers indicating a faster disc. Speed is important because it determines how much power you must put behind your throw to get the disc to fly correctly. A slower disc (i.e., a disc with a lower speed rating) will require less power to throw, while a faster disc will require more power.
Choosing a disc with a speed rating that matches your throwing ability is essential. When I first started playing disc golf, I bought discs with high-speed ratings, thinking they would help me throw farther. However, I quickly learned I did not have the arm speed necessary to make those discs fly correctly, and I threw many errant shots. Once I switched to slower discs with lower speed ratings, my accuracy improved dramatically.
Glide: The second number on a disc golf disc is the glide rating. This number ranges from 1 to 7, with higher numbers indicating more glide. Glide is the amount of lift that a disc generates as it flies through the air, and it is important because it helps the disc stay in the air longer and travel farther.
Discs with high glide ratings are great for players still developing their throwing technique. When I was first starting, I found that discs with high glide ratings helped me to get more distance out of my throws, even if my technique wasn't perfect. As I became more experienced and my technique improved, I found that I could generate more glide on my own, and I started using discs with lower glide ratings.
Turn: The third number on a disc golf disc is the turn rating. This number ranges from -5 to +1, with negative numbers indicating that the disc will turn to the right (for right-handed throwers) and positive numbers indicating that the disc will turn to the left. Turn is important because it determines how much the disc will curve as it flies through the air.
Discs with high turn ratings are great for players with great power in their throws. When I started playing disc golf, I didn't have much power behind my throws, so I tended to use discs with low turn ratings, as I found that they tended to fly straighter for me. As I developed more power in my throws, I started using discs with higher turn ratings, which helped me achieve the curve I was looking for.
Fade: The fourth number on a disc golf disc is the fade rating. This number ranges from 0 to 5, with higher numbers indicating more fade. Fade is the amount of left-to-right movement that a disc will have at the end of its flight, and it is important because it helps the disc to stop at the end of its flight.
Discs with high fade ratings are great for players who need a disc that will finish to the left (for right-handed throwers). When I first started playing disc golf, I tended to use discs with low fade ratings, as I found that they tended to keep going straight for longer before eventually fading to the left. However, as I developed more power in my throws, I needed discs with higher fade ratings to get the distance I sought without sacrificing accuracy.
Importance of Disc Golf Numbers
It is important to note that these numbers are not set in stone and can vary depending on the manufacturer and model of the disc.
For example, one company's "speed 9" disc may feel different than another company's "speed 9" disc, so it is essential to try out different discs to find the ones that work best for you.
In addition to the four main numbers, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a disc golf disc. The first is the weight of the disc. Most discs range in weight from 160-180 grams, and the weight of the disc can have a big impact on how it flies. Generally speaking, heavier discs will require more power to throw to the disc golf basket but will be more stable in windy conditions, while lighter discs will require less power to throw but will be more affected by wind.
Another thing to consider is the type of plastic that the disc is made of. Different plastics have different levels of durability, grip, and flexibility, and choosing a plastic that suits your needs is important. For example, some players prefer more durable plastics that withstand tree hits and other obstacles, while others prefer softer plastics that provide a better grip.
Finally, choosing a disc that suits your throwing style is essential. Some players prefer discs that require a lot of finesse and control, while others prefer discs that allow them to power through their throws. Finding the discs that work best for you may take some trial and error, but with practice and experimentation, you can find the right combination of discs to take your game to the next level.
Disc Golf Numbers FAQ
Q: What are disc golf numbers?
A: Disc golf numbers are a set of four numbers that describe the flight characteristics of a disc golf disc. These numbers are speed, glide, turn, and fade.
Q: What does the speed number mean?
A: The speed number indicates how fast the disc needs to be thrown in order to achieve its optimal flight. Discs with lower speed numbers require less power to throw and are generally easier to control, while discs with higher speed numbers require more power and are more difficult to control.
Q: What does the glide number mean?
A: The glide number indicates how much lift the disc will generate as it flies through the air. Discs with higher glide numbers will stay in the air longer and travel further, while discs with lower glide numbers will drop quickly and have a shorter flight.
Q: What does the turn number mean?
A: The turn number indicates how much the disc will turn to the right (for right-handed backhand throws) or to the left (for left-handed backhand throws) during its flight. Discs with positive turn numbers will turn to the right (or left for left-handed throws), while discs with negative turn numbers will turn to the left (or right for left-handed throws). Discs with a turn rating of 0 will fly straight.
Q: What does the fade number mean?
A: The fade number indicates how much the disc will fade to the left (for right-handed backhand throws) or to the right (for left-handed backhand throws) at the end of its flight. Discs with higher fade numbers will finish harder to the left (or right for left-handed throws), while discs with lower fade numbers will have a more gentle fade or may even finish straight.
Q: How do disc golf numbers help me choose a disc?
A: Disc golf numbers can help you choose a disc that matches your throwing style and skill level. For example, a beginner player may want to choose discs with lower speed and turn numbers, as they are easier to control, while more advanced players may want to choose discs with higher speed and fade numbers, as they allow for longer throws with more accuracy. The glide number can also be important for players looking for distance, as higher glide numbers can help a disc stay in the air longer and travel further.
Q: Do all disc golf manufacturers use the same number system?
A: No, not all manufacturers use the same number system, although most use a similar system. It is important to check the specific number system used by a manufacturer when selecting a disc.
Q: Are disc golf numbers the only thing to consider when choosing a disc?
A: No, disc golf numbers are just one of many factors to consider when choosing a disc. Other factors include the weight and type of plastic used, as well as the player's throwing style and skill level. It is important to try out different discs to find the ones that work best for you.