The second round of the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters is about to begin! This is our quest to find the best putter in the world and provide the disc golf community with a plethora of information to help them decide what putter is right for them. It 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.
We are kicking off round 2 in the Alpaca Region of our bracket where the number 1 overall seed Infinite Discs Alpaca is taking on the 9 seed Clash Popcorn. In the first round, the Infinite Discs Alpaca defeated the Discraft Ringer with a score of 45 to 34. The Clash Popcorn defeated the Westside Maiden by a score of 34 to 29.
In the first round matchups I gave an overview of each disc (you can find links to every first round match at our main World Series of Putters post). For the second round, I’ll share what surprised me the most about each disc the first time I threw it.
Infinite Discs Alpaca
What surprised me the most about the Infinite Discs Alpaca has to be how tall it feels in the hand. It feels taller than it actually is because of the shape of the rim. This isn’t a bad thing–The Alpaca’s big and deep rim helps me to feel like I can trust the glide and stability of the putter as I release it on the putting green.
For today’s test and match I used the stiff and grippy P-Blend Alpacas. The P-blend is the more premium of the putter plastic blends in the Infinite Discs line. It is a bit more durable and less flexible than the D-Blend plastic.
This one is easy–the look and feel of the Clash Popcorn in Hardy plastic blend is what surprised me the most when I started throwing this disc. In the last round I described it as a grip that feels like hardened taffy candy, and not to mention it looks like candy too! It has a really nice tacky feel that isn’t chalky like a lot of other putter plastics.
A second surprise I’ll mention as well is how wide the diameter is on this disc. It isn’t much, but it is enough to recognize that the disc feels a bit bigger than most other putters.
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: 3/3/0/1
|Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.5cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.0cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.1%
Rim Configuration: 63.75
Max Weight: 177.6gr
Rim Depth: 1.6cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.2cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.5%
Rim Configuration: 69.50
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–you really can’t trust manufacturer assigned flight numbers, but it is worth noting that these two discs have the exact same flight ratings. You should never assume that just because they have the same flight numbers that two discs are going to fly exactly the same. However, in this case, I will say that I found the Alpaca and the Popcorn to be very similar at least on the putting green.
Both discs have beadless rims and a similar rim shape which in part helps them to maintain close to the same level of stability in flight. The Alpaca is a touch taller than the Popcorn. More height can mean better glide, and in this case I did find it to fly with a bit more glide during the putting competition.
I already mentioned the diameter difference, but I can’t say I noticed this impacting anything in the performance between the two discs. It was just something I noticed and navigated a bit as I prepared to putt with each disc.
I conducted this match on an early and pretty chilly morning 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 Infinite Discs P-Blend Alpaca. Here is how it all played out:
(1) Alpaca Scorecard
(9) Popcorn Scorecard
|20ft: Y N Y Y Y Y Y N Y N (7/10 putts made)=21 points
20ft: Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N N (7/10)=21 points
|30ft: N N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y (6/10)=24 points
30ft: N Y Y N N N N Y N Y (4/10)=16 points
|40ft: N Y N N N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
40ft: N Y Y N N N N N Y N (3/10)=15 points
|Total: 50 points
Looks like the second rounds starts off with a nail biter! The two discs made the exact same number of putts, but the 9 seed Clash Popcorn made 2 more from the 40ft range to earn a 2-point margin of victory over the 1 seed Infinite Discs Alpaca. The final score is 52 to 50.
Notes from the Match
What a crazy way to start the second round! Just yesterday I mentioned that the Alpaca would likely be the favorite to win it all from here on out, but I guess I underestimated the Popcorn!
These were two very evenly matched putters, but if I had to try and pinpoint the difference maker in this match, it is the plastic blend. I love the feel of P-Blend, but I really, really love the feel of the Clash’s Hardy plastic blend. I mentioned that it was a chilly morning, and as is often the case, the discs felt a bit stiffer in the colder conditions. But I think the Hardy plastic blend maintained its tacky feel better than the P-Blend in the cold, so I do think I had a bit more trust and confidence in the Hardy Popcorn. This added grip and trust is what I think gave the Hardy Popcorn the advantage on the 40ft putts.
There is a part of me that wants to talk about how I liked the feel of the height of the Alpaca more, but that feels like a moot point because the Clash’s beadless rim shape also feels fantastic in the hand, just a bit different.
There is also a part of me that feels a need to try and defend the Alpaca because of its popularity and proven performance, but it speaks for itself. It is a great disc, but today another great disc in the Clash Popcorn got the victory and will be moving on to the round of 16 of the World Series of Putters.
I’m not ready to give up on the Alpaca just yet, but I am really loving the Clash putters (Popcorn and the Butter
) in the unique Hardy plastic. The Hardy Popcorn is a great disc that more people should try.
Come back tomorrow as the second round in the Alpaca region continues. Tomorrow’s match will feature a pair of low seeds that pulled off big upsets in the first round. The 12 seed Divergent Narwhal will be going up against the 13 seed Yikun Gui.