Axiom Envy vs. Yikun Hammer — World Series of Putters Regional Championship Round

The knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup gets started today, but the putter knockouts have been rolling for weeks here in the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters! In this series, we are 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 test 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.

It’s the Regional Championship round in the Envy region today between the last 1 seed standing, the Axiom Envy, and the last thumbtrack putter standing, the 11 seed Yikun Hammer.

To get to this quarterfinal round in the World Series of Putters, the Axiom Envy 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), and the 12 seed Discmania Sensei in the round of 16 (63 to 56). The Yikun Hammer escaped the first two rounds thanks to costly spit outs from its competitors. The Hammer defeated the 6 seed Discraft Roach in the first round (42 to 41), the 14 seed Divergent Nuno in the second round (56 to 51), and the 7 seed Prodigy P Model S in the round of 16 (69 to 56).

You can find the full results of every first and second round match 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. This round, I’ll share something I got wrong about each putter–an incorrect assumption I made or something I’ve learned about it after putting with it for four separate rounds.

Axiom Envy

An assumption I made about the Axiom Envy was that it was “just” an approach putter, and not a true putting putter. I knew that some folks used the Envy for putting, but I figured it wouldn’t perform as well as other MVP/Axiom putting putters in this competition. I also would have picked the Envy to be the first 1 seed eliminated from this competition. I was vastly wrong, as the Axiom Envy is the last MVP/Axiom putter standing and the last 1 seed left in the tournament.

The Axiom Envy has proven over and over in this event that it is a well rounded putter that is a great option for your putting putter as well.

In this event, we are using the Electron Envy, which is the grippy base plastic blend. It is a pretty stiff plastic blend that feels great in the hand and offers a reliable grip and release.

Yikun Hammer

When I first looked at and held this disc, I could tell it was an overstable approach putter that I anticipated wouldn’t last very long in this competition. I’m still struggling to admit I was wrong since the Hammer got lucky to even make it out of the first round, but it has put up solid numbers overall and is proving to be more versatile than I expected or gave it credit for at first.

In this series, we are using the Tiger Line Hammer. Tiger Line is Yikun’s base plastic that is moderately soft with a nice grippy feel that is almost rubbery.

Specifications and Flight Numbers

Like we do 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.

Envy

Hammer

Flight Numbers: 3/3/-1/2

Flight Numbers: 2/2.5/0/3
Max Weight: 174.3gr
Diameter: 21.0cm
Height: 1.8cm
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.8cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.7%
Rim Configuration: 52.00
Flexibility: 8.73kg
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Diameter: 21.1cm
Height: 1.7cm
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.3cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.5cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 56.25
Flexibility: 11.11kg

 

This is a battle of two shallow, lower profile putters, which we haven’t gotten a lot of in this event. Both of these discs are the shortest putters left in this competition. Taller putters have generally fared best in this event, but the Envy and the Hammer have been an exception.
I think part of why these putters have done so well despite being shorter than their competitors is their rim shape. I’m not sure that the thumbtrack part has helped the Hammer, but the actual shape of the outer rim of both of these discs make for a comfortable grip and release. Both discs also have a smooth, flat top that minimizes glide but also provides a consistent and reliable grip. Both putters also have a beadless rim.
But the major difference between these two discs has to be the thumbtrack and additional “speed bump” on top of the Yikun Hammer. As I’ve said before, the additional bump on top of the Hammer is in an interesting spot for me when trying to grip the putter. It is right where my thumb naturally wants to go, so I struggle to decide if I should move it inside or outside of it while putting with the Hammer.

The Match

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.
I conducted this match 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 Axiom Envy. Here is how it all played out:

(1) Envy Scorecard

(11) Hammer Scorecard

20ft: Y N Y N Y Y Y Y N Y (7/10 putts made)=21 points
20ft: Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y (8/10)=24 points
30ft: N Y N Y Y N Y Y N N (5/10)=20 points
30ft: N Y N Y Y N N N Y Y (5/10)=20 points
40ft: N N Y N N N Y N Y Y (4/10)=20 points
40ft: N N N N N N Y Y N N (2/10)=10 points
Total: 61 points
Total: 54 points

The Winner

It came down to the last four putts of the match, but the 1 seed Axiom Envy was able to hold off the 11 seed Yikun and punch its ticket into the semifinal round of the World Series of Putters. Final score: 61 to 54.

Notes from the Match

I try not to keep track of the score in my head while I’m conducting each match, but I had a feeling that things were getting interesting down the stretch. After going back and looking at the way the scoring played out, the Envy had a pretty nice lead going into the last set of putts, but it missed a 2oft and both 30ft putts while the Hammer made all four putts to take a 3 point lead going into the final 40ft putts. The Envy then made both putts to secure a 7 point margin of victory, but it was much closer than the score suggests.
Also, the Envy had a brutal spit out on a 2oft putt early in the match that almost gave the Hammer its third victory due to a spit out by the other putter. But the Envy was able to overcome the bad luck and finally bring the Yikun Hammer’s run to an end.
The thumbtrack and “speed bump” on the Hammer is what burned the Hammer in the end. There were a handful of putts particularly from 40ft that came off my hand really awkwardly as I struggled to find a reliable grip with the Hammer. I think the grip would feel more natural for longer approach shots, but for shorter putts on the putting green, it is just too much to navigate.
The Envy was nice all round long, but there were several long putts that I thought were going in that came up just short into the front rim. I blame this on the lower profile leading to less glide. You could argue that this one was on me though, as I need to make sure to adjust my putt for each putter, but I still think it is worth noting that the longer putts with this disc require a little more umph than taller putters.
Regardless, the Envy has had a solid performance all tournament long, and now it is just two more wins away from winning it all.

My Recommendation

For a putting putter or an approach putter, the Axiom Envy is a really solid option I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Tomorrow we move to the Aviar region’s championship between the 9 seed Discmania Link and the 10 seed Birdie Marvel. Be sure to come back tomorrow to get those results.