Beginner Basics

Flight Numbers

These are the four numbers found on a disc golf disc. The first represents Speed, second Glide, third Turn, and fourth Fade. On the left you can see the AGL Alpine Cedar which is an 11 Speed with 5 glide, 0 Turn, and 3 Fade. Now what do those numbers mean?

Before getting into the details of flight numbers it is important to note that they serve as a guide, not an exact blueprint, of how a disc flies. The actual flight of a disc is impacted by many factors, but these numbers are still very important in understanding what disc you should buy.

Speed is a number between 1 and 14.5. This represents the rim width of a disc. The wider the rim width the higher the Speed and vice versa. Typically, people think the higher the speed the further the disc will fly. While this is true for more experienced players, for beginners it is not since their arm speed/technique usually is not fast enough for it. The combination of less power and speed and high speed discs results in a disc fading more than intended. This can be very frustrating for beginner players.

Glide is a number between 0 and 7. This represents how long a disc wants to stay in the air. The higher the number the more it wants to stay in the air and vice versa. Usually the more glide a disc has the more it is impacted by wind. When starting out in disc golf, you will typically want a disc with a higher glide value.

Turn is a number between 2 and -5. This indicates how much a disc wants to turn to the right during the start of its flight for a righthand backhand (RHBH) throw and vice versa for lefties (Represent!). A positive turn value, although rare, means the disc does NOT want to turn at all no matter the throw. . A -5 turn value will turn harder to the right compared to a -2 disc for RHBH throwers. Discs with a higher Turn value than positive Fade value are considered Understable.

Fade is a number between 0 and 6. This indicates how much a disc wants to go to the left during the finish of its flight when someone throws a RHBH and vice versa for lefties. A higher fade value means more finish to the left and a lower value equals a straighter finish. A disc with more positive Fade value than negative Turn value makes a disc more Stable.

Neutral: Straighter flight

Understable: Disc that wants to finish to the right for RHBH throwers

Slightly Understable: Disc that wants to finish slightly to the right for RHBH throwers

Stable: Disc that wants to finish slightly to the left for RHBH throwers

Overstable: Disc that wants to finish to the left a lot for RHBH throwers

These terms are used in the sport of disc golf, but may apply to different discs for each player. For example, John, an experienced player, may think an Innova Destroyer is neutral while Greg, a first timer, thinks it is overstable.

Beginner Step by Step Guide

1. If you are just starting, the best disc to purchase is one with a Speed between 1-3. For example, a MVP Glitch has the numbers [1 7 0 0] on the front. This disc is a 1 speed and would be a great starter disc. Another example is the MVP Terra which has the numbers [8 5 0 3]. This disc is an 8 speed and may be too fast for most beginners.

2. Second, you want a disc with some more glide. The more glide a disc has makes it more forgiving for people with slower arm speeds. For example the AGL Acacia [3 4 0 0] will be more glidey compared to the AGL Baobab [4 0 1 3]

3. Next, you want to purchase a disc with neutral Turn and Fade or one that is slightly understable. This means you would like a disc to have turn and fade numbers close to 0 and/or have a turn more negative than the positive fade. For example a Discraft Roach, which has the numbers [2 4 0 1], or the Discraft Fierce [3 4 -2 0] will most likely be easier to throw straighter compared to the Discraft Zone [4 3 0 3].

4. Buy a disc and start throwing! We hope this step by step guide helped you pick the right disc. Below, is a link to the Beginner Disc section where you can find all the recommended beginner discs we offer at our store.