Flight Numbers

Disc Golf:
What do the numbers on a disc mean?

The four numbers on a disc is called the Flight Rating System. These numbers are to help players know what a disc will do before they even throw it.

It is very important to note, fight numbers will vary from company to company. Even companies that use the standard 4 flight numbers, certain stats will be different.

ex. 2 discs with the same stats but made by two different companies might fly very different.

The first number is speed. The speed of a disc ranges from 1-15. Speed is the number telling you of how hard you have to throw the disc in order for the other stats to make sense.

The speed also tells you how fast the disc will fly through the air. The higher the speed, the faster it can go. This would explain why the higher in speed a disc gets, the sharper the rim it has.

Note for new players. Even if you can bench 225, when you’re first starting high speed drivers will not be for you. For one, they take a lot of control and secondly and most importantly, they take lots of power with good form to get up to speed. 

The second number is glide. Glide will range from 1-7. This number tells you how much the disc wants to stay in the air.

Now you might think, don’t you just want high glide on every disc?

While it is nice to have to have a disc that will get the most distance with less effort, sometimes you need something more consistent. And the most consistent throw in disc golf is throwing an overstable disc on hyzer. And overstable discs don’t have the most glide.

With the disc being in the air for longer, their is a higher chance something will happen you didn’t plan on. But, discs with high glide offer a potential for good distance with minimum effort.

Note: all examples and explanations in this section will be explained for a Right Handed Backhand.  If you are a lefty or just need more help understanding here will be a link you my YouTube,

The third number is turn.  More specifically, high speed turn. The reason is get that name is because when a disc would turn over in its flight is in the a disc turns over in the first part of the flight, when it has the most speed.

Turn numbers range from +1 to -5.

A disc with turn of +1 will not want to turn over at all. A disc with -5 wants to turn over a lot.

What does turn look like?
When you throw the disc, the movement to the right is turn. When a disc is turning the right edge of the disc will be lower to the ground.


Note: all examples and explanations in this section will be explained for a Right Handed Backhand.  If you are a lefty or just need more help understanding here will be a link you my YouTube,

The fourth number on a disc is the fade. Fade is how much the disc wants to go left. As the speed of the disc in flight starts to fade, this number will represent it’s tendency to go left. The term overstabe refers to a disc with high fade.
Fade ranges anywhere from 0 to 6. The higher the number the more the disc wants to go to the left.


A disc with higher fade will be more consistent due to it wanting to go left hard. Where as a disc with lower fade requires a more precise amount of power to get the disc flying as intended.
Note: Throwing nose up will cause any disc to want to fade sooner in flight and fade more than it should.

Different Flight Rating Systems

Some companies don’t use the “normal” flight number system. 

The most notable of these would be Prodigy Discs.

With Prodigy they use one number and one letter on most of their discs to represent what that disc is and does.

The first letter of the disc will represent what king of disc it is. There are 6 different letters they have for their system.

D-  Distance Drivers-These are the highest speed and can go the furthest.

H-  Hybrid Drivers-These are you 10 to 11 speeds which don’t get as much distance as the Distance Drivers, but offer more control.

F- Fairway Drivers- These give you more distance than your mids and more control than your Hybrids.

M- Midrange- Mids offer low speed meaning lots of control. Perfect for getting close to the basket.

A- Approach- These are slow just like putters but they aren’t for putting. These are specifically deigned to be thrown.

PA- Putt an Approach- These are putters made for putting, but you can throw them if you want as well.

Then there is the numbers. The numbers range from 1-7. The higher the number, the less stable the disc is.

ex. The D1 is a very overstable Distance Driver while the m3 will be a straight flying Midrange disc.

Also with Prodigy they have their Model discs. These have the same letters at the beginning that meant the same thing. 

At the end however there are 3 different letter combinations.

S- meaning stable and will be a relatively straight flying disc.

OS- meaning overstable and the disc will have high fade.

US meaning understable and the disc will have high turn.


Important Variables

Note: all examples and explanations in this section will be explained for a Right Handed Backhand.  If you are a lefty or just need more help understanding here will be a link you my YouTube,


While numbers can give you a good idea of what the disc will do, there is many things that can change those numbers.

Wind-  The wind the biggest factor a lot of days on the course. Here is a breakdown of what the wind does to your disc so you can reach for the disc that is up for the task.

Head wind- When throwing into head wind, wind that is blowing in your face and against you throw, your disc will act more understable. Tip to combat this is to not throw understable discs or discs with high turn into a head wind.

Tail Wind- Tail wind means the wind is at your back and will be blowing with your throw. In this wind, discs act more overstable meaning you can throw a disc with a high turn and it will not turn as much as it normally would. Also, tail wind has a tendency to drop discs out of the sky. This means throwing a disc with with glide is recommended.

Left to Right- This is as it reads. The wind is blowing from left to right. This wind will cause discs to want to go with the wind meaning more right. So a disc will want to turn more due to the wind.

Right to Left– This wind will cause your discs to be more overstable. Very important note, If you throw the disc and the top of the disc is exposed to the wind, your disc will get swatted out of the air like  fly and fall straight down. So in this wind, if your disc turns during the flight, it will drop a lot losing you a lot of distance.

Plastic- Plastic can also have quite the impact on flight. Plastic can take a disc with the same name from a company, and make it fly very differently.

Durability- This can apply to 99% of discs. When a disc beats in, or as you use it, the disc will become more understable. Another thing to note is the term  “out of the box.” This means brand new disc. And very commonly a brand new disc will actually be more overstable than it should be.