It all comes down to this! We’ve finally reached the final round of the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters! We began this series searching for the best putter in the world and hoping to provide the disc golf community with a plethora of information along the way to help everyone decide what putter is right for them. This is an NCAA basketball style tournament and project where every day I’ve tested two putter molds against each other on the putting green in a head-to-head competition before posting here about my experience and the results.
We started with 64 different putter molds across a wide range of manufacturers and designs seeded into 4 bracket regions, and now there are just two putters left: the 1 seed Axiom Envy and the 10 seed Birdie Marvel. Let’s review how each disc got here.
The Axiom Envy first defeated the 16 seed Millennium Omega in the first round (43-40), the 9 seed Latitude 64 Dagger in the second round (64 to 61), the 12 seed Discmania Sensei in the round of 16 (63 to 56), and the 11 seed Yikun Hammer in the regional championship round (61 to 54). In the semifinal the Envy swept the 12 seed Lone Star Jackrabbit in a best of 3 (64 to 41 and 69 to 43).
The Birdie Marvel took down the 7 seed Discraft Banger GT in the first round (58 to 42), the 15 seed Latitude 64 Faith in the second round (53 to 49), the 3 seed Prodigy PA-3 in the round of 16 (68 to 58), and the 9 seed Discmania Link in the regional championship round (74 to 62). After dropping the first match, the Marvel came back to win two in a row to eliminate the 2 seed Discraft Luna (52 to 60, 62 to 59, and 74 to 54).
You can find the full results of every match in this series over at our main World Series of Putters post.
In the first round I gave an overview of each disc. In the second round I shared what surprised me about each disc. In the round of 16, I shared what I like best about each disc. In the quarterfinal, I shared something I got wrong about each putter. For the semifinal, I shared one word to describe each disc. For this final round post, let’s just take a second to appreciate each disc.
The theme all series long for this disc has been that this event is a chance for the Envy to prove that it is more than just an approach or driving putter. No matter what happens today, making it to the final round to me has proven once and for all that this putter is a true all-purpose putter that has every right to be your choice for your putting putter.
This lower profile beadless putter that features the MVP/Axiom signature GYRO technology overmold is one of the best selling putters in the world for good reason. It is a beautiful disc that’s available in pretty much every plastic blend that Axiom makes. For our event, we’ve used the base Electron plastic blend, and it has performed wonderfully.
The Birdie Marvel is a brand new disc from a disc golf brand that is brand new to releasing discs under their own name in Birdie Disc Golf Supply. While this event has been favorable for what we might call “traditional” putter shaped discs, it has also specifically been favorable for newer releases that have “traditional” shapes and designs like the Birdie Marvel.
The Marvel features a blunt edge and a pretty unique beveled bottom that cuts inward at a pretty sharp angle toward the center of the disc. The rim is also beadless and feels very nice in the hand. The Base Blend Marvel also feels really nice as it has a somewhat chalky, stiffer feel that performs well in both hot and cold weather.
You might not have heard of the Birdie Marvel yet, but don’t be surprised when you start to see it in every shop and on every disc golf course soon.
Specifications and Flight Numbers
Like we’ve done in every match, let’s take a look at some of the specs courtesy of the PDGA and break down the major differences between these two putter molds.
|Flight Numbers: 3/3/-1/2
Flight Numbers: 2/3/0/1
Max Weight: 174.3gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.8cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.7%
Rim Configuration: 52.00
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 65.75
When looking at the trends of this event so far, discs right around 2.0cm have tended to fair better, but the Axiom Envy has been the exception all tournament long at 1.8cm. The Envy definitely is noticeably shorter and a lower profile when holding these discs. But at the same time, these discs have the same measurement for their rim depth, which makes that height difference just a bit less dramatic.
When you look at the profile picture of these two discs, you can see that they actually have a pretty similar rim shape. The Marvel is taller, so it has more of a blunt rim, and it also carries that blunt edge further down toward the bottom of the disc, which helps to create the dramatic angle at which it cuts straight into itself toward the bottom of the disc. The Envy also has a beveled rim shape, but it has a slight curve outward rather than a straight line.
As is pretty much always the case when there is a difference in height, the taller disc, in this case the Marvel, has a bit more glide than the shorter disc. This difference in glide is most noticeable on longer putts, as the less glide on the Envy makes it a bit more likely to begin its low speed fade sooner and harder. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something that needs to be accounted for while putting with these discs.
For more info on the format and scoring system I used to test these putters against each other, be sure to check out our main World Series of Putters post.
We normally just conducted one match of 30 putts from each disc, but we decided for the semifinal and final rounds to make them a best out of 3 series. We made this decision so that we could have a larger sample size for these final rounds in order to hopefully present a more accurate result.
I will present the scores from each match one at a time with each score being followed up by my notes from that match.
All matches in this series were held on a cool windless evening under a conveniently placed streetlight at my local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket.
After warming up, I flipped a coin to see which putter would be thrown first for the first round of putts, and it was the Birdie Marvel. Here is how it all played out:
(1) Envy Scorecard
(10) Marvel Scorecard
|20ft: Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y (8/10 putts made)=24 points
20ft: N Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y (8/10)=24 points
|30ft: N N Y N N N N Y N Y (3/10)=12 points
30ft: Y N Y N Y N N N N Y (4/10)=16 points
|40ft: N N N N Y Y N N N N (2/10)=10 points
40ft: N N N N Y N Y N Y N (3/10)=15 points
|Total: 46 points
Match 1 Winner
The first match was a bit of a lower scoring affair, but the 10 seed Birdie Marvel knocked down two more putts than the 1 seed Axiom Envy to secure a 1-0 series lead. Final score: 55 to 46.
Notes from Match 1
I was pretty disappointed to have some lower scores to start off this final, but I think a couple things played into this. First, like I mentioned in the last Envy match, when there is a pretty significant height difference in a match, I think it drives scores down a bit because I need to actively adjust my putt with each disc rather than getting into more of a groove when the discs are a similar height.
But maybe more than the height, I think I was just a bit nervous for the final, which feels silly to admit since I’m just by myself putting. But I’ve put a lot into this project, and I feel like my authority as a writer and reviewer is on the line a bit by pitting discs against each other in this format that I created. So I’d say the nerves were definitely heightened a bit for me during these final matches.
After another brief warm up, I flipped a coin to see which putter would be thrown first for the first round of putts, and this time it was the Birdie Marvel again. Here is how it all played out:
(1) Envy Scorecard
(10) Marvel Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y (9/10 putts made)=27 points
20ft: Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N (7/10)=21 points
|30ft: Y N N Y N N N Y Y Y (5/10)=20 points
30ft: N Y Y Y N Y Y Y N N (6/10)=24 points
|40ft: N N N N Y N Y N N Y (3/10)=15 points
40ft: N N N N Y N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
|Total: 62 points
Match 2 Winner
The 1 seed Axiom Envy made 6 of its last 8 putts while the 10 seed Birdie Marvel went 0 for 8 over the same span to even up the series at 1-1. Final score: 62 to 50.
Notes from Match 2
If you do the math, that’s a 24 point swing in those last 8 putts, meaning the Marvel had a 12 point lead at that point in the match. I was still feeling the nerves in this match, though I try not to keep score while conducting the matches so that I don’t subconsciously influence the results. So while I was overall nervous, I don’t think it would be entirely fair to say I or the Marvel “choked” down the stretch, since I really didn’t feel any added pressure for that disc in particular. I just had an unfortunately timed cold spell with the Marvel that may prove to be very costly.
At this point as well, I really felt like it could be anybody’s championship for the taking. I really like the feel of both discs in my hand, and I felt like I had a chance to make every putt with either disc at this point in the competition. It was just a matter of trying to lock in for each putt to do my best to get the best result out of the third and final match.
It’s all we could have asked for, like a game 7 in the World Series, the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters Final moves to a third and final decisive match. After another brief warm up, I flipped a coin to see which putter would be thrown first for the first round of putts, and this time it was the Axiom Envy. Here is how it all played out:
(1) Envy Scorecard
(10) Marvel Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y (9/10 putts made)=27 points
20ft: N Y Y Y N Y Y Y N Y (7/10)=21 points
|30ft: N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y N (6/10)=20 points
30ft: Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N (8/10)=32 points
|40ft: N N N N N N N N Y N (1/10)=5 points
40ft: N N N N N Y N Y N N (2/10)=10 points
|Total: 52 points
Match 3 Winner
Becoming the first to begin a match with an 8 for 8 performance from 30ft is how you win the whole dang thing in style. The 10 seed Marvel wins match 3 over the 1 seed Axiom Envy with a final score of 63 to 52 to become the World Series of Putters Champion. I repeat: The Birdie Marvel is the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters Champion!
Notes from Match 3
I said I didn’t choke at the end of the previous match…but knowing a 10 for 10 from 30ft for the Marvel was on the line may have gotten the best of me and my nerves. But thankfully for the Marvel, it didn’t end up impacting the final result.
I feel like it was a poor performance from 40ft in all 3 matches, but especially this one. But the fact that the 40ft range didn’t end up being the only difference maker in any of the 3 matches makes me trust the final overall results a bit more.
I really grew to love both of these discs throughout this project, so trying to pick out what made the Marvel the winner tonight feels difficult. However, I think the law of averages on height finally caught up with the Axiom Envy. At least for my putting style and experience, the 2.ocm height statistically was the best height throughout this tournament, and while I think the Envy’s shape and flight are near perfect, a taller disc is going to offer more glide which translates to less effort in the putting motion which then translates to less opportunities to unwanted variables impacting the putting form and causing something to go awry with the putt.
But also, the Birdie Marvel was just a really great putter especially in the last few matches. I’d have to go back to double check, but I think it was the only putter to reach 8 out of 10 from 30ft, and it did it twice.
After doing what no other putter could in winning 6 straight head-to-head matchups against a variety of other putters, how could I not recommend the Birdie Marvel? The Birdie Marvel is new, and it is fantastic. We started looking for the best putter in the world, and while I think our project definitely wasn’t a perfect test and you could make an argument for several of the discs that performed well in this event, you can’t go wrong going with the winner. If you are looking for a new putter, it’s time to give the Birdie Marvel a try.