On a whim (and on sale), I picked up a starter set of disc golf discs and have been fooling around with them at a park near the house.
I have been intrigued by disc golf as I often pass by course near my office and near the house and it seems to be a low key endeavor. While I haven't played traditional golf in the past 5 years, nor am I talented with a disc, I wanted to check it out.
After trying to throw the discs like I would play catch with a Frisbee, I realized that there is a little more athleticism and physics involved in disc golf. A lot of the speed comes from a full body rotation and a whip of of the disc across the body, kind of like starting a lawn mower. The disc needs to be gripped very firmly and released precisely. Throwing the disc angled down is creating a hyser angle. Throwing the disc angled up is creating an anhyser angle.
Discs are produced by a host of manufacturers. They have varying weight and edge profiles. The edge profile determines the function of the disc (driver versus putter). Further discs are designed for varying player capabilities in terms of Speed of release. Finally the flight of the disc is dictated by Glide (lift) as well as Turn and Fade which contribute to the stability of the disc (under stable or over stable). Depending on what you want the disc to do, savvy players would change disc selection accordingly.
Leopard Fairway Driver (150g) [6 5 -2 1]
Shark Midrange (147g) [4 4 0 2]
Aviar #1 Putt & Approach (147g) [2 3 0 1]
[Speed Glide Turn Fade]
Speed is on a 1-14 scale, with higher speed rated discs being harder to get started, but stay spinning longer due to the amount of perimeter weighting.
Glide is on a 1-7 scale, with a higher glide rating producing more lift (L). Based on Air Density (P), Air Speed (V) and Glide Rating (A*CL).
L = 0.5*P*(V^2)*A*CL
Turn is on a +1 to -5 scale and indicates the tendency of a disc to turn over or bank to the right. A +1 disc is most resistant to banking and is over stable. A -5 is very likely and is under stable.
Fade is on a 0-5 scale and is the tendency to hook left at the end of flight. A 0 will finish straightest and a 5 would hook left hard at the end of flight.
My driver therefore is designed for lower speeds (beginner), provides significant lift, has moderate stability and should finish straight. The midrange is more stable (less likely to bank right), but will bank harder to left at the end of flight. Finally the putter is stable and should not hook left much either.
Of course since my throw is so wildly inconsistent, none of this is particularly meaningful, but it is fun.