Dynamic Discs EMac Judge vs Uplay Zeal–World Series of Putters Round 1

We’re about halfway through the first round in the P2 region of The Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters where I test two putter molds against one another on the putting green in a head-to-head competition. For today’s match we’ll have the 4 seed Dynamic Discs Emac Judge taking on the 13 seed Uplay Zeal. Let’s first take a closer look at each of the discs we will be testing today.

Dynamic Discs Emac Judge

The Flagship putter for Dynamic Discs ever since they entered the disc manufacturing game in 2012 has been the popular Judge. But last year they decided to revamp the Judge mold into the EMac Judge (named after World Champion disc golfer Eric “EMac” McCabe).

The primary difference between these two molds is the EMac Judge features a microbead while the Judge has a larger traditional bead on the bottom of the rim. They are expected to fly almost exactly the same as each other, but they are just offering a different feel and grip for disc golfers to choose from.

For our testing and match today, I used a Prime Emac Judge. Dynamic Discs’ Prime plastic blend is their most economical base plastic blend. Prime plastic is grippy and moderately stiff in its flexibility.

Uplay Zeal

The Uplay Zeal is the only disc mold branded under the Uplay name. Uplay or Universal Play Disc Golf is an organization that is dedicated to bringing disc golf to young people in schools and communities. The Uplay Zeal is a disc with a cause, and portions of the sale of each Zeal goes toward its foundation and mission for the growing the sport of disc golf.

The Uplay Zeal is a very tall understable putter. It features a large rounded or almost slanted flight plate that takes quite a bit of time to reach its full height. The rim of the Zeal is beadless and very rounded to the point that the inside of the rim almost feels slanted outward as it works back toward the top of the disc. At first glance, the Zeal looks like a standard putter mold, but as you hold it in your hand and start to throw it, some of these unique characteristics become more noticeable.

The Uplay Zeal is available in two plastic blends, Inspire Soft and Inspire Firm. For today’s match I used the Inspire Firm Zeal.

Specifications and Flight Numbers

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.

EMac Judge


Flight Numbers: 2/4/0/1

Flight Numbers: 3/4/-2/0
Max Weight: 176.0gr
Diameter: 21.2cm
Height: 2.0cm
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 60.75
Flexibility: 6.25kg
Max Weight: 176.0gr
Diameter: 21.2cm
Height: 2.3cm
Rim Depth: 1.5cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.1cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.1%
Rim Configuration: 65.00
Flexibility: 4.32kg
We’ve talked a lot about height differences so far during this World Series of Putters project, and this .3cm difference might be the biggest, and I think the Zeal is the tallest putter we’ve tested so far. This height difference is the first thing I notice as I started putting with both these discs.
When holding the Uplay Zeal by itself, I don’t think I realized just how tall it is as it looks like a standard putter shape. But the way the flight plate makes such a gradual slope from the rim to the top of the disc really impacts the way I had to approach gripping the disc once I started throwing it. Finding the right grip took a little while, and the process helped emphasize the Zeal’s uniqueness among other putters. Meanwhile, the Judge’s height and microbead felt very familiar in the hand from the get-go.
These two discs have a big difference in stability as well. I think the difference in their heights also helped to emphasize the differences in stability between the understable Zeal and slightly overstable Emac Judge. Since the shallower Judge is less prone to holding its glide in the air, it usually would begin fading harder and sooner than the Zeal. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Judge, but I think it also makes it a bit less forgiving when you are trying to get the power right for longer distance putts.

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 later in the evening at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket. After warming up, a coin flip determined that the Uplay Zeal would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:

(4) EMac Judge Scorecard

(13) Zeal Scorecard

20ft: N Y Y N Y Y Y N N Y (6/10 putts made)=18 points
20ft: Y Y N N Y Y Y N Y N (6/10)=18 points
30ft: Y N Y N N N N N Y N (3/10)=12 points
30ft: Y Y Y Y N Y Y N N N (6/10)=24 points
40ft: N N N N N N N N N N (0/10)=0 points
40ft: Y N N N Y N N N N N (2/10)=10 points
Total: 30 points
Total: 52 points

The Winner

The “upsets” keep rolling in the P2 bracket as the 4 seed Dynamic Discs EMac Judge falls to the 13 seed Uplay Zeal by a score of 52 to 30.

Notes from the Match

Despite it being a tallish beaded putter, I’ve always struggled a bit with the Dynamic Discs Judge, so I was curious to give the EMac Judge a try and see if I liked it any more or less than the original. Despite the result on the scoreboard, I thought the EMac Judge was very comfortable in the hand. I think the microbead is a bit bigger than other microbeads I’ve tested, and it just felt like a more natural grip.
As I mentioned earlier, the Uplay Zeal’s grip was not natural because of the shape of the flight plate, but once I adjusted to it, there was a lot to like about this disc. First, I immediately liked the feal of the Inspire Firm plastic blend. It is very very stiff with a nice grip that isn’t overly tacky or sticky. Some might think it looks or feels a bit cheap, but I immediately had confidence in it. It is simple but it is one of my favorite putter plastics so far.
I also loved how well it glided in the air. The height is a lot, and though I did miss a few putts high off the band, I knew I could trust the Zeal to hold the line I put it on, and it became very predictable in flight. Like I said when writing the results of the Discraft Fierce’s first round matchup–maybe I actually like understable putters more than I thought I would?! I’m very interested to see how that trend plays out throughout the rest of the competition.
As you can see from the scorecard, the match was won and lost on the longer putts. I think the Judge is more than capable for longer putts, but I struggled to find a consistent balance between power and stability at 30 and 40ft. The Zeal was more stable/straight at those distances, and therefore easier to trust on the longer putts.

My Recommendation

The Emac Judge and the Uplay Zeal are great putters that do different things. The Uplay Zeal’s height may be too much for some disc golfers, but I think it is worth a try if you are looking for a nice floaty straight flying putter. It is also a good choice for beginner disc golfers since it resists that pesky fade that challenges new players in all types of throws. Plus, you know your purchase of a Uplay Zeal is contributing to the growth of disc golf.
We will be back tomorrow to continue the World Series of Putters in the P2 Region with the matchup between the 6 seed Viking Rune and the 11 seed Westside Crown. I hope to see you there!