Today we wrap up the first round in the P2 region of the bracket for the Disc Golf World Series of Putters. This is a project where I test two putter molds against one another on the putting green in a head-to-head competition and then post about my experience and the results. Today’s matchup features the 2 seed Gateway Wizard taking on the 15 seed Alfa Discs Snoopy. Before we get to the results, let’s take a closer look at each disc.
The Gateway Wizard has consistently been one of the top selling putters in the world since its release 20 years ago. Gateway has come to be known primarily for their impressive lineup of putters, and the Wizard is their top dog.
The Wizard is a tall beaded putter with plenty of glide that flies straight to slightly overstable. As I’ve shared in previous articles, I putted with the Wizard for years and have always been a big fan of this disc.
Gateway has lots of putter plastic blends with a variety of grips and flexibility. Today I used a Pure White Wizard. The Pure White plastic blend is very stiff. It isn’t as grippy as other Gateway plastic blends, but it still has a nice chalkiness to it that feels great in the hand.
The Alfa Snoopy is a new disc from a new disc golf manufacturer. Alfa Discs is the first disc golf manufacturer to make disc golf discs in Norway. They have 3 disc molds in production so far, and the Snoopy is their only putter mold.
The Snoopy is a tall beadless putter with a straight flight and a slight overstable finish. The Snoopy is currently only available in Alfa’s Crystal plastic blend, which is a somewhat smokey translucent plastic that looks and feels similar to most manufacturers’ most durable plastic. It doesn’t feel like a traditional putter plastic, but it has a nice grip to it overall.
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.
|Flight Numbers: 2/3/0/2
Max Weight: 176.0gr
Rim Depth: 1.8cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.2cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 8.5%
Rim Configuration: 59.25
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.6cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.6%
Rim Configuration: 55.00
When you look at the specs, these discs are very, very similar to one another. The difference in Rim depth can be credited to the Wizard having a bead and the Snoopy being beadless. They are the exact same height and are rated to have near identical stability to one another. Generally, beaded putters tend to be more overstable than beadless putters, but at least in my experience on the putting green, there was no noticeable difference between the two in their stability.
One big difference between the versions of these discs that I tested is the plastic blends since the Pure White Wizard is a traditional putter plastic and the Crystal Snoopy is not. However, you’d probably expect the putter plastic to be the softer more flexible disc, but this was not the case for these two discs since the Pure White Wizard is so stiff. The Crystal Snoopy has moderate flexibility for a non-putter plastic, and it has a nice grip to it too.
However, one thing about the Crystal plastic, at least on the two Snoopys I was using, is the flashing along the edge of the rim. There is quite a bit of excess plastic along the rim. Excess plastic along the rim is a normal part of the manufacturing process for plastic discs, but these Snoopys are not trimmed close enough, causing a bit of a sharp edge on the rim that could cause some discomfort during the grip. I was actually surprised to see the Wizard was .1cm larger in diameter than the Snoopy, and I think that’s because I was accounting for this extra plastic in my mind. I don’t think it negatively impacted the performance of the disc for me, but it was something that needed to be navigated while gripping the disc.
I conducted this match later in the evening at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket. There was no wind or weather to speak of. After warming up with both discs, a coin flip determined that the Gateway Wizard would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:
(2) Wizard Scorecard
(15) Snoopy Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y (10/10 putts made)=30 points
20ft: Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y N (8/10)=24 points
|30ft: Y N N N Y N N N N N (2/10)=8 points
30ft: N Y N N Y Y N Y Y N (5/10)=20 points
|40ft: N N N N N N N N N N (0/10)=0 points
40ft: N N N N N N N N Y N (1/10)=5 points
|Total: 38 points
This is the biggest upset of the event so far and perhaps the biggest possible upset when you take into account that the Wizard is the putter I have the most experience with in the tournament. But that didn’t matter today as the 15 seed Alfa Snoopy takes down the 2 seed Gateway Wizard with a score of 49 to 38.
Notes from the Match
I’m not going to lie–I’m pretty shocked by this result. When I first started warming up with the Wizard, it felt so familiar and so good in my hand. I immediately felt very confident with it.
However, I also had a feeling this match could be close as I was getting started because of just how similar these discs are in size and flight. I knew that switching to the Snoopy from the Wizard and vice versa wasn’t going to require me to change much of anything in my form and power.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think the plastic blend has the biggest impact on the short 20ft putts, and I think that was true here as I shot perfect with the Pure White Wizard from that distance. But I really don’t have a good explanation for how I managed to go just 2/2o from 30ft and beyond with the same disc. There wasn’t any feature of the disc that seemed to be its demise, and there wasn’t something about the Snoopy that I felt was tipping the scales in its favor either.
At the end of the day, I think this match could have gone either way, and I don’t want to sell the Alfa Snoopy short here either–it is a great disc with a nice glide and predictable flight on the putting green that I enjoyed. I think I’d really like to try one out in a tackier putter plastic at some point if/when they become available. But the Crystal plastic performed well, and there was never a concern in warm ups or during the match with my grip on it or how it gripped the chains. It is a nice disc, and I look forward to getting to know it even better in the second round.
After years of positive experiences with the Wizard, I’m not ready to jump ship on the disc after one bad night of putting. The Gateway Wizard is widely considered one of the best putters in the game, and it is a solid option that will always be one of my top recommendations for a putting putter. But if you want to try out something different and underrated, don’t hesitate to give the Alfa Snoopy a try. It is a reliable putter with a nice height and fit in the hand that you can trust.
This match concludes the first round in the P2 region and marks the halfway point in the first round of the entire World Series of Putters. 32 putters down, 32 to go. Tomorrow we kick off the first round in the Envy region with the 1 seed Axiom Envy going up against the 16 seed Millenium Omega. See you there!