Today, the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters wraps up the first round of the Envy region on its quest to find the best putter in the world. This is a project where every day I test two putter molds against each other on the putting green in a head-to-head competition and then post about my experience and the results. Today we will feature the 2 seed Dynamic Discs Judge going up against the 15 seed Doomsday Bleak.
Dynamic Discs Judge
The Judge was one of the four original disc molds that Dynamic Discs released when they pivoted to releasing their own discs back in 2012. The Judge like all of DD’s discs as part of the disc golf Trilogy is made in Sweden by Latitude 64.
The Judge is a moderately tall beaded putter. Its shape and flight is comparable to the Gateway Wizard, though the Judge isn’t quite as tall. It is a straight to overstable putting putter that is a nice option off the tee as well. The Judge has consistently been the top selling disc in Dynamic Disc’s lineup and is considered one of the best putters currently on the market.
For today’s test I got to use the Prime Burst DD Judge. Prime is the most “base plastic” plastic blend the Judge is available in, and the burst versions feature beautiful color patterns that seem to burst from the center of the disc. Prime plastic is grippy and stiff and DD’s most affordable plastic blend.
The Bleak was just released this summer, and it is the second of two putters from Doomsday to participate in the World Series of Putters. Doomsday Discs emerged during the pandemic and has really embraced the end of the world mindset with their marketing and even their product design.
Unlike the Doomsday Landmine, the Bleak has a more traditional putter shape and flight. The Bleak is tall and beadless with a rim shape that is comparable to the Innova Aviar. It is a straight and stable putter with some soft fade at the end of the flight.
For the match today I used a pair of Bleaks in the Doomsday Ration plastic blend. Ration is their base putter plastic line that looks and feels similar to Innova’s DX plastic.
Specifications and Flight Numbers
Let’s take a look at some of the specs courtesy of the PDGA and break down some of the similarities and differences between these two putter molds.
|Flight Numbers: 2/4/0/1
Max Weight: 176.0gr
Rim Depth: 1.5cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.1%
Rim Configuration: 58.25
Max Weight: 174.3gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.7%
Rim Configuration: 52.00
As far as the measured specs go, these discs are quite similar to one another except for in height. While .2 cm doesn’t sound like much, it is a pretty significant difference in putter height. This additional height in theory should give the Bleak a loftier flight with more glide. I think this holds true for the Bleak and the Judge, as I found the Bleak was less likely to drop low sooner than expected at the end of its flight.
Another contributing factor to how these discs fly is the Judge’s bead and the Bleak’s beadless rim. Beaded putters generally tend to finish with a touch more overstability than beadless putters. Again, I found this to be true for these two discs. So with the shorter height and added overstability, the Judge tended to begin its fade and drop a bit earlier than the Bleak. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just something I had to make sure to try to account for when putting with both discs.
Also, I have a quick side note about height specs. I think when you are choosing a putter, you should pay attention to how tall or short it feels in your hand and not just look at the measured height spec. In my experience, beaded putters tend to feel shorter than they actually are because so much of the measured height is in the bead rather than the rim shape. For example, the Judge has the same measured height as the Discraft Luna
, but the beadless Luna feels much taller in the hand than the Judge to me in part because of the rim.
I conducted today’s match on a beautiful morning at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket. After warming up with both discs, a coin flip determined that the Doomsday Bleak would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:
(2) Judge Scorecard
(15) Bleak Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y N Y N Y Y Y Y Y (8/10 putts made)=24 points
20ft: Y N Y N Y N Y N N Y (5/10)=15 points
|30ft: N Y N N Y N N N Y Y (4/10)=16 points
30ft: Y N N Y N N Y Y Y Y (6/10)=24 points
|40ft: N N N N N N N N Y Y (2/10)=10 points
40ft: Y N N N Y N N N N Y (3/10)=15 points
|Total: 50 points
For the second time in the World Series of Putters a 15 seed has knocked out a 2 seed in the first round. This one was another really close match as the Doomsday Bleak defeated the Dynamic Discs Judge with a score of 54 to 50.
Notes from the Match
I’ve mentioned in some of these World Series of Putters posts that I have struggled in the past when trying to putt with the Dynamic Discs Judge. Most people are surprised to hear this since I’ve always putted with Gateway Wizards and the two are considered to be very similar to each other. But it had been years since I last threw a Judge, so I was hoping to try and give it another try with a clean slate.
Unfortunately for the Judge, I still found myself struggling and not really feeling like I could get the hang of it. When I try to pinpoint why I’ve never been able to putt with much confidence with the Judge, it comes back to the grip. I love the feel of the Prime Burst plastic blend, but the shape of the disc just doesn’t ever feel good in my hand. It is at an awkward height for me. The rim also feels a bit thicker and like the bead is further into the center of the disc than what would feel ideal for me.
I didn’t love my experience putting with the Bleak either, but I blame that one more on the plastic blend than the disc shape itself. The Ration plastic feels like a standard putter plastic, but it is a bit softer than what I would prefer especially for such a tall disc. It took a bit for me to get going with it, and as I’ve seen in other rounds, I think a softer plastic blend can especially cause me issues from the shorter 20ft range.
In the end, neither of these discs won me over during the testing process. But also, 54 and 50 are respectable scores, so perhaps that says something about these two discs if they were able to put up a good score despite how I felt about them during the process. Either way, it is the Bleak that will get another chance to win me over as it moves on to the second round.
Again, neither disc was a favorite at this point. I know the Judge is a hugely popular mold, so I hesitate to not recommend it…but that’s what I’m doing. I think both these discs could be a serviceable putting putter, but I’d just as soon recommend you try out something new with the Doomsday Bleak.
Tomorrow, we start the first round in the final quadrant of the bracket. The Aviar region heats up tomorrow with a really interesting matchup between the 1 seed Innova Aviar and the 16 seed DGA Steady. This is one you won’t want to miss, so come back tomorrow to get the results!