The weather is starting to cool off and so is the disc golf tournament season! The dreaded “off-season” of disc golf is just around the corner. While your local course may be buried by inches of snow or the air just too cold to bear for a full 18-hole round, the off-season is a great time to get your practice putts in! You also probably have a local indoor putting league you can attend to keep the disc golf competition going all year long.
The off-season and putting leagues are a great opportunity to assess your putting game–are you happy with your current putters? Are there some new putter molds and plastic blends you should spend this time trying out?
It was only a few years ago when there were just a handful of really reliable putters that most everyone used. But with so many new manufacturers and molds hitting the market, trying to find the best putter has become nearly impossible. Nobody has the time to put all these putters to the test–until now!
Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters
The bracket has just been revealed! View the bracket over at our bracket reveal post.
***Round 1 is in the books! Check out our Round 1 recap!
Disc Golf Reviewer will spend the next two months conducting one of the most comprehensive putter tests that has ever been done. We will be taking 64 unique putters that span a variety of manufacturers and test them against each other. We will be using a March Madness style bracket system that pits two molds against each other head-to-head in a simple performance test. The putter that performs the best wins the match and moves on to the next round. This will continue until the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters Champion is crowned!
We won’t just reveal the winners of each round either. For each match we will write up a detailed review of both discs that were tested to help you decide what discs you want to try out, even if they aren’t the winner of their match.
The primary goal of the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters is to provide a plethora of disc golf putter reviews to help you find the right putter for you. We hope that the large bracket and head-to-head nature of this project will be both informative and entertaining for those who take the time to follow along and read each of the articles.
To select the 64 putters to enter the World Series of Putters, we will be consulting recent and historical sales data from InfiniteDiscs.com. As the largest disc retailer in the world, their sales numbers provide a nice pulse on what putters are in demand in the market right now.
For this competition, we will be removing traditional “approach” discs that are often also called “putters” (think Discraft Zone, Westside Harp). There may be some crossover, but for this project our goal is to test “putting putters.”
For the World Series of Putters, we are awarding 32 “automatic bids” and 32 “at large bids.”
Automatic bids were awarded to the top 32 selling putters at Infinite Discs year to date. In awarding at large bids, the Disc Golf Reviewer team considered sales data, lesser known/new molds and manufacturers, and “unique” molds (unique in terms of shape, molding, flight).
The Bracket, Seeding, & Matchups
The 2022 Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters bracket is here! You can now view the bracket over at our bracket reveal post. You can also fill out your own bracket to follow along and have a chance to win a $100 gift card from Infinite Discs! The Bracket is divided into four “regions” named after the number 1 seed in each region.
Like NCAA March Madness, we created 4 1-16 seeded regions. Seeding was determined by the Disc Golf Reviewer team. We consulted recent and historic sales data, but also, seeding putters we know is a VERY imperfect science (we expect lots of “upsets”).
We will post the full list of first round matchups here shortly, but they can currently be viewed at the bracket reveal post.
For each match, the tester (me) will spend some time practicing with both putters so I can get a feel for how they fly and grip the chains. After I feel confident enough with both discs, I will begin the competition portion of the match.
The rules and scoring system I’ll be using is quite simple, but I believe it will provide a fair opportunity to find a proper winner as we seek to find the “best disc golf putters.”
Each disc will be thrown 10 times from 3 separate distances, totaling 30 putts each. They will be thrown from 20 feet (just outside my personal “gimme” zone), 30 feet (a common “circle’s edge” putt), and 40 feet.
A made putt from 20 feet is worth 3 points, 30 feet is worth 4 points, and 40 feet is worth 5 points. The disc with the most points at the end of the competition wins the match.
It isn’t perfect, but it is a fair test that should give us all a valuable assessment of each putter.
The Results & Schedule
I will keep this section updated with the results of each round.
Round 1 Results
|1. Infinite Discs Alpaca||45||16. Discraft Ringer||34||Full Results|
|8. Westside Maiden||29||9. Clash Popcorn||34||Full Results|
|5. Innova KC Aviar||34||12. Divergent Discs Narwhal||64||Full Results|
|4. Discmania Rainmaker||50||13. Yikun Gui||56||Full Results|
|6. Ev-7 Penrose||44||11. Gateway Voodoo||55||Full Results|
|3. Axiom Proxy||50||14. Latitude 64 Hope||44||Full Results|
|7. Doomsday Landmine||38||10. Prodigy P Model US||53||Full Results|
|2. Discraft Luna||63||15. Viking Knife||52||Full Results|
More Details on Scoring & Process
For each test I will be using 2 new or nearly new identical putters of each mold. To try to keep the results as fair and accurate possible, I will test both discs at the same time, alternating every other shot and changing the distance I putt from every 4 throws.
For example, I will begin a match between putter A and putter B at 20 feet. I will throw two putts with putter A, then throw two putts with putter B. I will retrieve the discs and repeat the same 4 throws in the same order from 3o feet. I will retrieve the discs and repeat the same 4 throws in the same order from 40 feet.
After retrieving the discs again, I will return to 15 feet, but this time I will throw two putts with putter B, then throw two putts with putter A. Putter B will be the first thrown again from 30 and 45 feet, and I will switch back to putter A the next time I return to 15 feet. This will repeat until each putter has been thrown from each distance 10 times and the match is completed. Which putter I throw first in the first round will be determined by a coin flip.
The tests will primarily be conducted in my driveway using an MVP Black Hole practice basket, though for some rounds I anticipate conducting the match early in the morning. For those matches, for my neighbors’ sakes, I will travel to a local park course and use their permanent Innova Discatcher baskets.
All tests will be conducted outdoors on a flat surface (concrete in my driveway, grass at the park). I will wear my usual disc golf shoes and disc golf attire.
Personal Putting Style & Preferences
We all putt a little different, but I think my putting style is conducive to providing a pretty accurate picture for all the putters. My putt is sort of a “spush” putt that gets more push the closer I am and gets more spin the further away I am. I putt with a traditional staggered stance, and I don’t usually incorporate a step/jump putt until I’m outside of 60 feet or so (I will not jump/step on any of the putts from 40 feet, though they are “outside the circle”).
My PDGA membership has lapsed, but I was consistently ranked right around the high 800s/low 900s. My putting accuracy has gotten worse over the years, but I also anticipate the scores will increase in the later rounds of the tests due to all the putting this project will require me to do.
As for my personal preferences with putters, I have generally preferred tall, stiff, beaded putters. For a long time, I putted with the Gateway Wizard, and I’ve recently been trying out and liking the Infinite Discs Alpaca.
While these preferences could influence the results of this contest, I’m actually really interested to see if I actually perform better with a putter that doesn’t fit into my perceived preferences. I, like most people, don’t have the budget to try out every putter in every plastic blend, so maybe I will find that I will putt better with a shallower or softer putter than I would have ever given a chance if not for this project.
Complete A Bracket for a Chance to Win $100 Gift Certificate
As the official sponsor of this competition, Infinite Discs is providing a $100 gift card to the winner of the bracket competition. This contest has closed since the competition has begun, but you can still download and fill out a bracket to follow along for fun if you’d like over at our bracket reveal post. Good luck to those who entered the contest! If you’re good at predicting which putters will perform best for me, then you can win yourself a nice putter pack, or anything else you want from the world’s #1 disc golf retailer.