Today, we continue our search for the best putter in the world. This is the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters, 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. I then post here about my experience and the results. For today’s match we are in the first round of the Aviar region where the 6 seed MVP Atom will be taking on the 11 seed Divergent Alpas. Let’s begin by getting to know each disc a bit better.
The Atom is designed to be the straightest flying putter in the MVP line of discs. It uses the same “core” as the Axiom Envy, and like all MVP/Axiom molds, the Atom has a GYRO technology overmold that is designed to improve every aspect of disc flight.
The Atom is very straight and stable on the putting green with very minimal fade as the disc slows. Featuring the same core as the Envy means the disc has a pretty flat top on the flight plate. The rim is beadless and the disc has a pretty average height for a traditional putter.
For today’s test I used the Electron Firm plastic blend Atom. MVP’s line of grippier putter plastics include Electron Soft, Electron, and Electron Firm. As you can tell by the name, Electron Firm is the stiffest version of Electron available.
Divergent Discs Alpas
We have another floppy putter! The Divergent Discs Alpas is a uniquely shallow and flimsy feeling putter. While the Alpas is designed to provide a super understable flight for approach shots, on the putting green it flies very slow and straight when thrown with a spin putt form.
Like all Divergent disc molds, the Alpas is designed with the amateur disc golfer in mind. Not only is that why the Alpas is very understable, but that is also why Divergent designed this disc in “Stay Put” plastic blend. The plastic blend is not just beautiful, but it is designed to keep the disc “put” and avoid skipping and rolling away. It feels very rubbery and floppy in the hand, and in that way it reminds me of the DGA Blowfly 2 that we tested a few matches ago.
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: 3/3/-0.5/0
Flight Numbers: 4/4/-5/1
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.8cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 60.75
Max Weight: 174.3gr
Rim Depth: 1.2cm
Rim Thickness: 1.2cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.6cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 5.7%
Rim Configuration: 53.00
1.9cm height for the Alpas seems like a stretch, but that also could be because it is so floppy it folds in on itself in the hand, making it feel much shorter than it actually is. Meanwhile, I thought the Atom felt a touch taller than 1.9cm. This once again goes to show that you can’t tell everything just from the spec measurements, and it is worth it to try a disc out before judging it based solely on its measurements.
The lower profile feeling of the Alpas can also be traced to its rim depth measurement, which is a measurement of the height of the inside lip of the disc’s rim. The shallower rim depth can make a putter easier to hold for smaller hands as well as more conducive to forming a power grip for driving and approach shots.
These discs really are opposites in a lot of ways, and they especially are so in the plastic blends I used. The Electron Firm Atom is super stiff and rigid, and the one I used today felt pretty slick (more on that later). The Stay Put Alpas is super floppy, bendy, and grippy. I think that plastic blend really impacts how the Alpas flies on the putting green as well. Instead of flying super understable, the Alpas flopped striaght and if it slowed down if “faded” hard. I put faded in quotes because what happened wasn’t really a fade as much as a nosedive down out of the air. I had to put a lot of speed and spin on it to keep it up all the way to the basket for longer putts.
I conducted today’s match on a clear, beautiful evening at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket under a streetlight. After warming up with both discs, a coin flip determined that the Divergent Discs Alpas would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:
(6) Atom Scorecard
(11) Alpas Scorecard
20ft: Y Y Y N Y N Y Y Y Y (8/10 putts made)=24 points
20ft: N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y (8/10)=24 points
30ft: N Y N Y N Y N N N Y (4/10)=16 points
30ft: Y N Y N Y Y Y N N N (5/10)=20 points
40ft: N N N Y N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
40ft: N N N Y N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
Total: 45 points
Total: 49 points
We have another nail biter and a real shocker today as the 11 seed Divergent Alpas defeats the 6 seed MVP Atom with a score of 49 to 45.
Notes from the Match
It isn’t the biggest upset in terms of seeding that we’ve seen, but to me, this is the biggest upset of the entire tournament in terms of the actual discs being used. I am shocked by this result. The Divergent Alpas is a super floppy putter, and the last floppy putter I tested only made 3 total putts! When I started the match, even after spending some time warming up, I didn’t expect the Alpas to come close to winning this one.
There are two main factors that I attribute this upset to. One, similar to when I tested the Innova Polecat, I learned early on that my best luck with the Alpas was going to be if I used a fast spin putt when I putted with it. Like I mentioned above, If the disc slowed down, it just fell out of the sky. The shallow profile and floppy plastic gave the disc zero glide. So I just tried to fling it straight at the basket. I thought the floppy grip would result in an inconsistent release. And while it wasn’t the most consistent performance, I think the smooth flat design allowed for more consistency than I was expecting.
Another unexpected factor that I noticed while warming up was the slickness of the MVP Atoms I was using. I immediately compared them to the Electron Firm Nomads I have when I got home, and for whatever reason, the run of Atoms I got are quite a bit less grippy. This was really surprising since I have really liked the Electron plastic blends so far from MVP/Axiom. I also consider them to be one of the more consistent manufacturers of discs, but for whatever reason, the run of Atoms I got were slicker, and I think that is what turned out to be all the difference in this match.
I don’t think I can quite recommend the Alpas as a putting putter just yet. Soft grippy and floppy plastics like that have other concerns on the putting green that I can’t ignore even if they didn’t come into play much during this match. I think the Atom is a great putter as well and would still probably be my recommendation if choosing between these two for the putting green despite its narrow loss today. But be sure to test out the plastic blend first. I’d maybe recommend choosing the Electron Atom. I usually like stiffer plastic blends, but the Electron blend is still pretty stiff compared to other “middle” putter plastics. The slight increase in flexibility should make it less likely to have the slippery issue I ran into today with the Electron Firm blend.
Tomorrow we keep things rolling in the first round of the Aviar region. The 3 seed Prodigy PA-3 will be taking on the 14 seed Yikun Claws, another uniquely designed disc mold. Be sure to come back tomorrow to get the results!