Welcome to the first ever match of the first ever Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters! We are starting things off in the Alpaca Region with the number 1 overall seed Infinite Discs Alpaca going up against the 16 seed Discraft Ringer. Before we reveal who will be moving on to the next round, let’s get to know the competitors better.
Infinite Discs Alpaca
The Infinite Discs Alpaca has garnered a pretty big following in less than two years as it is already the top selling putter at InfiniteDiscs.com. The Alpaca is a tall, beadless putter that offers a straight flight with a lot of glide. The Alpaca, like all of Infinite’s disc molds, are manufactured by Innova Champion Discs, and it is commonly believed that the Alpaca mold is the same or very close to the same mold as the old Innova manufactured Discmania P2. The Alpaca is available in several different plastic blends, but for our testing and competition we used the stiff, tacky P-Blend Alpacas.
The Ringer is a classic Discraft mold that has been around since 2009. It features a small beaded rim and a very shallow and flat flight plate that makes it a popular choice for spin putters. It is an overstable putter that sometimes gets lost in the mix between the very overstable Zone that features a similar build and the other straighter flying putters in Discraft’s lineup like the Luna or the Roach. For this match we used a pair of the beautiful 2022 Ledgestone Special Edition Metalic Z plastic blend Ringers.
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.
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: 174.3gr
Rim Depth: 1.2cm
Rim Thickness: 0.9cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.2cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 5.7%
Rim Configuration: 67.75
The major difference between these two putters is the height differential. Though a .2 cm difference doesn’t sound like a lot, it is the first thing you notice when you hold these two putters at the same time. I also found as I started putting with each disc that I had to adjust my grip just a bit depending on which putter I was using in order to feel confident in my release of each disc.
The other difference of course is the beaded rim on the Ringer and the nonbeaded rim on the Alpaca. I’ve always been a fan of beaded rims, but the Alpaca’s height and sharper rim shape makes the disc actually feel similar to a beaded disc in my hand, so the difference in bead was a bit of a nonfactor for me when comparing the two discs.
Another difference that has a limited impact on the putting greens where we are testing for this series is the increased overstability that the Ringer boasts. The Alpaca can be pretty overstable as well in S-Blend or C-Blend plastics, but the Ringer should be consistently more overstable regardless of plastic blend. Again, until you get out to the edges of circle 2, that difference in stability shouldn’t be too noticeable when putting, depending on your putting style.
I conducted this match on an early windless morning at a 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, and it was the Infinite Discs P-Blend Alpaca. Here is how it all played out:
(1) Alpaca Scorecard
(16) Ringer Scorecard
20ft: N Y Y N Y N Y Y Y N (6/10 putts made)=18 points
20ft: Y Y Y N Y Y Y N Y N (7/10)=21 points
30ft: N N N Y N N N N Y Y (3/10)=12 points
30ft: N N N N N N Y N Y N (2/10)=8 points
40ft: Y N N N N N N Y Y N (3/10)=15 points
40ft: N Y N N N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
Total: 45 points
Total: 34 points
It was pretty close at first, but the number 1 overall seed Alpaca avoided upset and will be moving on to the second round of the 2022 World Series of Putters by beating the Ringer 45 to 34
Notes from the Match
Based on my personal preferences, I anticipated that I would prefer the Alpaca to the Ringer, but I actually liked the Ringer a lot. I thought it felt comfortable in my hand, and though the Metallic Z plastic blend is a more premium plastic blend that is less commonly used for putting, it felt just fine in my hand and I never doubted my grip with it.
Premium plastics are also not usually used for putting because more base plastics tend to grip the chains better and avoid spit outs, but I actually had the opposite experience during this match as I had two pretty bad spit outs, but both of them happened with the P-Blend Alpaca and not the Metallic Z Ringer.
What ended up costing the Ringer the match goes back to that main difference between these two discs–their height. Because the Alpaca has more height, it glided/floated in the air with more ease while the Discraft Ringer required a slightly harder thrown putt to stay in the air at the same rate. I knew this going in and tried to give the Ringer that extra umph with each putt. It worked sometimes, but consistently I was coming up just short. There were 4-5 putts from 30-40 feet out that out of my hand I thought were winners, but they ended up crashing into the front of the rim instead. At the same time, a handful of misses with the Alpaca were high off the top band as I struggled a bit adjusting back and forth between each disc.
For the putting green, I think both these discs are a great option, but I would have to give an edge to the Alpaca as I think it is more accommodating to various putting styles and a touch easier to find accuracy with at a longer range. That being said, the Ringer is no slouch, and I’d especially recommend it to disc golfers who have more of a spin putting style. And that does it for our first match! We will be back tomorrow with the 8-9 matchup in the Alpaca region between the Westside Maiden and the Clash Popcorn.