For your Quick Tip Tuesday this week, Infinite team member and employee Kesler Martin shares his insights on how you can best score out on the disc golf course.
First, this tip is for ALL throwing formats. Whether you are teeing off, approaching, or even trying to make a long putt, this tip is going to help you stay under par.
Second, plan on landing in circle one or circle two when you are throwing at the basket. While throwing an ace or parking your shot feels great, you will score more consistently if you aim for circle one or two.
And Third, make sure you are practice putting a lot. When you land in the circle, you will feel more confident making your putt rather than trying to make a putt when you haven’t practiced as much.
See the full tip by watching the video on our channel –>
The number one question that we hear disc golfers ask when they are checking out a new disc is, “How does it fly?” A discs flight characteristics can determine whether or not it is one we want to add to our bag. Generally speaking, although there are many variables that determine the flight of the disc, such as wind speed/direction, elevation, skill of the thrower, etc., what they really want to know about a disc is how the disc will fly for THEM. And more specifically, they want to know about the flight numbers.
To answer the question about how a particular mold will fly for a customer, I start by explaining the common flight rating system. I then find out about their skill level so I can find the flight they are looking for based on their ability to throw. Let’s take a look at those flight rating numbers. Then we can explore some of the variables that I discuss with customers. We will also discuss the more accurate Infinite Discs flight rating system. Let’s assume for this discussion that the throw is right hand, back hand (RHBH)
Four-Digit Flight Rating System
The four-digit flight rating system commonly used today was created by Innova as a way to describe how a disc flies. Other brands have tried using their own methods of expressing the flight of their discs, but the four-digit rating system is the most common. The four characteristics are (in the order that they appear on the disc or on a chart):
The first number indicates the relative speed that the disc needs to be thrown at in order for the other numbers to be accurate. It has probably been responsible for more disappointed disc buyers than any flight number. That number does not mean that the disc will automatically fly faster than a lower speed disc, as many beginners erroneously assume. It means that a speed 13 disc needs to be travelling much faster than a speed 7 disc in order to fly like it should. Unfortunately, few beginners have the technique in order to get high-speed discs flying fast enough, so the disc flies a short distance, then fades hard to the ground. Throwing high-speed discs that are very light weight is kind of a cheat code for beginners, but lower speed discs are a better option for someone starting out.
The second of the four flight numbers indicates how long the disc tends to stay in the air before fighting to get to the ground. While getting the maximum time aloft for a drive on a long hole may be desirable, there are other times we want the disc to get down faster to hit the landing zone we are aiming for. The common approach to determining how much glide a person should seek in a disc is that beginners should get the most glide possible. More experience disc golfers can get lower glide discs, because they have more skill in hitting technical landing areas. They want discs that they know won’t travel an excessive amount in the air, so they have more control over when it will come down.
Also called ‘high-speed stability’, this flight number describes how the disc will behave during the first part of the flight when the disc is traveling the fastest. With a RHBH throw, the more negative the number is, the more the disc will turn to the right during the fast part of the flight. If the TURN number is positive or zero, it will likely not turn to the right at all. Those discs are helpful when throwing into a headwind. They have the ability to resist turning, even in a headwind. Conversely, discs with -3 to -5 as a TURN number will roll to the right during the high-speed stage of the flight. Some will turn so much that they will be difficult to control, and may come crashing to the ground or even result in an unintended roller. Thrown in a tailwind, the same disc will have a small turn and get great distance. Disc with a more negative TURN are called ‘understable’ discs
The final flight number indicates how the disc will fly as it begins to slow down. Also called ‘slow-speed stability’, the fourth number ranges from 0 to 5. The higher the number, the more quickly the disc starts to head to the ground. It will roll to the left a lot faster and hit the ground at a steeper angle than one with a lower FADE number. A lower number will finish its flight a lot more straight and level. Discs with higher FADE numbers are called ‘overstable’ discs.
Infinite Discs Flight Ratings
While flight numbers can give you a general idea of how a particular mold flies, which is good, it doesn’t give the most accurate representation of the flight of a disc. Although flight numbers are based somewhat on the physical dimensions of the disc, they are determined by each manufacture. Since, they vary from company to company, that makes it difficult to compare one brand to another. To find a more accurate method of determining the flight of a disc, Infinite Discs has created a more inclusive method of determining how a mold flies: The Infinite Discs flight rating system.
Infinite’s flight rating system comes from the reviews of each mold. Reviewers indicate what THEY think the flight numbers are for the discs they are throwing. This gives a much broader view of the disc and how it actually flies. If you combine that flight number with the other useful information in the reviews, you get a better sense of how that disc will work for you. Here’s how it works:
If you pull up the web page that shows the Infinite molds, you’ll see that the Sphinx has an Infinite flight rating of 9, 6, -2.8, 1. It is the average flight rating of EVERYONE who has reviewed that mold on our website. If you click for details about the mold, you can then see the manufacturers rating for the disc. By comparing the two numbers you can see that most people think the Sphinx is close to what the manufacturer determined the flight numbers are, and only slightly less understable. This gives you two flight ratings to compare and help you decide if the mold it right for you.
If you want to further refine the results, you can filter the reviews by skill level, which helps you see what people with a skill level similar to yours think the flight numbers actually are. That information is more useful than taking the suggested flight numbers from a manufacturer alone.
In addition to learning about a molds average flight number, there are additional benefits to checking out the review. You can learn more about a disc by checking out the reviewers with your skill level to see how they rate the disc and some of their comments about the mold. And finally, you can see if the mold is beginner-friendly, which helps for the newer players.
The four-digit flight number system may be replaced by a better system in the future, but for now it is what we have. The Infinite Discs Flight Rating system is a user-generated way to see how a disc will fly. That system, along with the other user-supplied ratings, will help you pick the perfect discs for your disc golf game.
Elevation Disc Golf is a company that started about 1 year ago. They have specialized in making rubber discs that are extremely floppy. These discs sell out rapidly, and are quite useful. People enjoy these discs as they offer no ground play. The Koi, or the Intercepter are the only discs that are available at this moment.
Divergent Discs is another company that has emerge within this last year or so. They’re focusing on creating discs for the rest of us. They keep things really simple, providing a mold in one plastic type. They too have released a floppy disc, the Alpas.
These discs make for great approach discs because of their floppiness. Their flimsy form allows the disc to absorb energy and to remain where they land. This is beneficial as it lessens the chance of rollaways or bad kicks.
Elevation Koi Review
The way this disc feels very similar to the run 1 of the Interceptors, but a little more stiffer – just slightly though. Meaning it is still quite floppy and smashable. Where this is a rubber disc, gripping it feels a little odd from other typical plastic discs. The disc bends to how your hand is gripping it. It takes some time to get used to how the disc feels in your hands. This disc works best for a backhand power grip, it is difficult for me to throw forehand. It folds out of my hand too often when I try forehand throws.
The flight path of this is straight with a gentle fade at the end. It is a real easy throw, you can easily put too much power and turnover the disc. For me, it is difficult to feel confident in the angle release. The disc just hangs loose. This is good though, because when this disc lands, it stops. I’ve seen it land on a tree trunk and stay on the trunk.
Overall, this is an interesting disc, it isn’t my favorite, but the no ground play does have a certain allure to it. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for a disc that has no ground play.
Divergent Discs Review
The Alpas is an interesting disc, just like the Koi. It isn’t as soft as the Koi is, but it is still pretty flimsy. The rim is quite shallow, which can be uncomfortable for some people. My hand does feel a little cramped power gripping this disc. Gripping this disc though is still comfortable enough, and confident inspiring enough that the shallowness isn’t too much of a problem.
The Alpas is an understable putter. I could easily turn this disc over without trying. This is more of a touch approach disc than a driving putter. The angle control on this disc is manageable. It has a little bit of sag in it whilst holding the disc. The floppiness does the trick in absorbing energy and not moving once it hits the ground. So this disc does the trick in offering little to no ground play.
Overall, this is a good approach disc that doesn’t move around on the ground after it lands.
Check out the video below to see these discs’ flight.
It is kind of hard to say which of these is the better disc. They share some similar attributes but they are also different enough that they are hard to compare. The Alpas offers a little more rigidity, while the Koi is extremely soft. They are both supposed to stop rollaways, but I have seen both of them hit the ground and roll away.