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  • Writer's pictureChris Davies. Edited by Martin Galley

Disc Golf Flight Ratings Explained

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

For beginners at disc golf, the 4-number flight rating system invented by Innova seems very cryptic – and that’s for a good reason – it is! This is an in-depth topic, with each rating number requiring detailed explanation, and so this page addresses the issue at an increasing level of complexity as it goes along.

Figure 1: Sample Flight Ratings & flight shapes

The Flight Rating system currently has the following names and ranges:

Speed - with ratings from 1 to 15

Glide – with ratings from 1 to 7

Turn – with ratings from 1 to -6

Fade – with ratings from 0 to 5

The numbers and ranges are arbitrary.

Not all makers use this system, with MVP and Discraft having their own, silly systems. :P However, the disc golf community always rates discs according to the Innova system, as can be found at websites such as Flight Analyzer, (right)

Understanding the Jargon: Hyzer and Anhyzer

Figure 2: Hyzer and Anhyzer explained

Hyzer is the angle you release the disc on, relative to flat. Most disc golf throws require the disc be thrown close to flat.

Even small changes to the hyzer or anhyzer angle have a large impact on the flight shape the disc will make. Each disc behaves differently in the air depending on its flight rating, airspeed, spinning speed, nose angle and hyzer angle.

How does the Innova Flight Ratings system work?

The numbers indicate the expected flight shape, when thrown on flat ground, in calm air, on a flat, straight line, with a Right-Hand Backhand throw, using the power the speed rating of the disc requires.

It does NOT indicate the flight shape beginners will be able to make using them unless the discs are rated speed 3 or below, and they have decent form.

Addressing each of the numbers in the simplest way


In the most general terms, a higher Speed rating means a thicker (wider) rim, or wing.

The Speed rating does not relate to how fast the disc will fly, as is often thought. It indicates (roughly!) how fast a disc NEEDS to fly, in order to make its proper flight shape. The “proper flight shape” is described by the disc’s numbers.

It is therefore not possible for a new player to make drivers fly correctly – and indeed newbies should not throw any disc rated faster than 6 for the first few months of their disc golf career, at least.

Speed 10 discs and above are for competent players of the game, and speed 13, 14 and 15 discs are basically for experts only. For newbies, this isn’t some “oh yeah, that applies to everyone except me” rule. If you are new and throw high-speed drivers they will ruin your game.

Disc Speed ranges in their categories:

Putters are Speed 1 to 3

Midranges are Speed 4 to 6

Fairway drivers are Speed 7 to 9

Distance drivers are Speed 10+


Glide is a simple one. A low number indicates a disc which will not fly far. Higher numbers mean a disc will fly far. Much effort is required to make low glide discs fly far, while minimal effort is required to throw high glide discs far.

It is therefore much easier to judge where a low glide disc will land, than a high glide disc. There is no free lunch in disc golf, sorry!

A disc like the amazing Latitude64 Sinus has the flight rating 2 1 0 3. That means it glides like a brick and crashes into the ground after a short flight. The Latitude64 River has the flight rating 7 7 -2 1 and likes to fly past your planned landing zone and just keep on going.


Turn is the tendency of some discs to “flip up”, “flip over” or “turn over”. This characteristic is known as being understable. If you throw a disc on a hyzer angle, and it flips up to flat, or flips over and glides to the right, on an anhyzer angle, then the disc is said to have “turned”. (See Figure 2. above)

Any disc that reduces its hyzer angle at any point in its flight has “turned”, even if only a little. “Flip” and “turn” are used interchangeably. Often, you will see the phrase "Turn" referred to as "High Speed Turn", or the acronym "HST". This is because Turn only takes place during the high speed portion of flight.

There are three basic disc types:

Stable = flies straight then eventually fades gently to the left

Understable = turns to the right, before fading to the left

Overstable = fades early and hard to the left

New players need to start out with understable discs, using only putters and midrange discs initially.


Is what all discs do at the end of their flight if given enough altitude. For a right-hand backhand (RHBH) throw and a left-hand forehand (LHFH), all discs will fade to the left at the end. Both throws produce a disc turning clockwise as viewed from above.