Lone Star Armadillo vs. Discmania Sensei–World Series of Putters Round 1

Let’s keep the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters rolling! 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 we are in the Envy Region where the 5 seed Lone Star Armadillo is going up against the 12 seed Discmania Sensei. In both the Alpaca and P2 regions we saw the 12 seeds pull off the upset. Will that trend continue today? Let’s find out!

Lone Star Armadillo

The Armadillo is one of the several new disc molds to be released this year by Lone Star Disc. And though it is a new release, it has a bit of an old school design. The Armadillo or the “Dillo” has a tall blunt edge around the outside of the rim and a flat top that drops down from the edge of the disc with a small notch or groove.

Some disc golfers might recognize the Dillo’s design as being reminiscent of two classic Innova molds–the Rhyno and the Pig. They also feature a blunt rim and a notch or “thumbtrack” on the top of the disc. But unlike the two overstable Innova molds, the Armadillo is stable, and will hold straight for a long time when used as an approach or driving putter.

For today’s test and competition I used a Bravo Armadillo. The Bravo plastic blend is a premium blend that still has a nice grip and plenty of flexibility.

Discmania Sensei

The Sensei is one of the putters available in Discmania’s Active line. The Active line of discs are made in China by Yikun Discs and are meant to be more affordable and beginner friendly. The Active line should not be overlooked however, as they are still quality designed and made discs, and the Sensei is no exception.

The Sensei is a somewhat tall straight and stable beadless putter. It is designed to hold a nice straight line before giving way to a soft fade at the end of the flight. It looks and feels similar to the Viking Knife (also made by Yikun).

I used an Active Baseline Sensei for today’s testing. The plastic name is pretty self-explanatory, as it is their base plastic blend that feels somewhat soft and grippy like a traditional putter plastic.

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.

Armadillo

Sensei

Flight Numbers: 1/2/0/1

Flight Numbers: 3/3/0/1
Max Weight: 176.8gr
Diameter: 21.3cm
Height: 1.9cm
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 0.8cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.6cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 90.75
Flexibility: 4.89kg
Max Weight: 176.8gr
Diameter: 21.3cm
Height: 2.3cm
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.2cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 71.00
Flexibility: 10.68kg
I am shocked–shocked! by the Sensei’s height spec. Maybe the original runs that got PDGA approved came out with a lot more dome, but there is no way the ones I used for today’s test were 2.3cm tall. That height ties for the tallest disc in the competition so far. I would say that the Sensei does not feel that tall at all, and while I thought it had a nice glide and feel to it, there are much taller feeling putters out there.
Because of the height spec I am struggling to trust the accuracy of these specs, but I do think it is interesting that despite the height difference, both discs still have the same rim depth. I find that spec more believable because they both felt about the same height in the hand.
An obvious big difference between these two discs is the thumbtrack on the Armadillo. This thumbtrack rim design helps the putter fly at a slower speed, and it acts like a midrange in that it really holds the line it is put on at first. It took some getting used to for both the rim grip and the flight.

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 today’s match on a clear evening at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket. There was little to no wind or weather throughout the match. After warming up with both discs, a coin flip determined that the Lonestar Armadillo would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:

(5) Armadillo Scorecard

(12) Sensei Scorecard

20ft: N N Y Y N Y N Y Y Y (6/10 putts made)=18 points
20ft: Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y Y (9/10)=27 points
30ft: Y Y Y N N N N N N N (3/10)=12 points
30ft: N Y N Y N Y N N Y N (4/10)=16 points
40ft: Y N N N N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
40ft: N N N N N N N N N N (0/10)=0 points
Total: 35 points
Total: 43 points

The Winner

The trend continues! 12 seeds are undefeated so far in the World Series of Putters as the 12 seed Discmania Sensei defeated the 5 seed Lone Star Armadillo 43 to 35

Notes from the Match

This one was pretty close, and if I’m being honest, at first I didn’t think it would be that close. The Armadillo was difficult for me to get used to. I finally decided I trusted it the most when I really committed to a spin putt with it. This allowed me to embrace the thumbtrack grip and fling the putter. But as we can see from the results, it wasn’t enough.
I think a big part of the Armadillo’s demise was how flexible the Bravo plastic was. I don’t think Bravo is meant to be crazy flexible, but on the really thin flight plate of the Dillo, it was very flexible and I struggled to trust my grip. I’d be very curious to see how I would have done with a more traditional putter plastic blend like Lone Star’s Victor blend.
The Sensei was good, but I had concerns with it as well. While the Active Baseline plastic was a bit softer than what I’d have preferred, the main issue for me was the flashing along the bottom of the rim. The Sensei is beadless, and the bottom of the rim comes to a bit of a sharp edge. Lots of putters have this design on the bottom and it isn’t a problem for me usually, but the new Sensei putters I was using had quite a bit of excess plastic on this part of the disc that felt especially sharp and irritating on my finger while gripping the disc. Usually something like this will scrape off after a few weeks of use, but it was still disappointing.
So I can’t say I loved either of these discs based off of this first impression with each, but I think they both offer a nice straight stable flight. I just think the Armadillo maybe requires a bit more practice to get really good with on the putting green.

My Recommendation

At this point, there are probably other putters out there I’m going to recommend before these two. If I had to choose between these two, I’d have to pick the Discmania Sensei for the putting green. But the Lone Star Armadillo is a nice disc, and if you like to use Thumbtrack putters as your putting putters but want something less overstable, I think the Dillo is definitely worth giving a shot.
But it is the Sensei moving on in the Envy Region of the World Series of Putters. The Sensei will take on the winner of tomorrow’s match between the 4 seed Streamline Pilot and the 13 seed Clash Butter.
5/5 - (3 votes)
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