The second round of the Aviar region of the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters continues today! In this series, we are searching for the best putter in the world and hoping to provide the disc golf community with a plethora of information along the way to help everyone decide what putter is right for them. This 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.
In today’s match we have the 3 seed Prodigy PA-3 taking on the unique 11 seed Divergent Alpas. In the first round the PA-3 defeated the 14 seed Yikun Claws 46 to 24, and the Divergent Alpas got a surprise victory over the 6 seed MVP Atom with a final score of 49 to 45.
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’m sharing what surprised me the most about each disc the first time I threw it.
I think the biggest surprise when you first hold the Prodigy PA-3 is just how flat the top of the disc is. The PA-3 is the closest disc to the traditional tall beaded putter shape that discs like the Gateway Wizard or Innova KC Pro Aviar have, but it is still pretty different. It maintains a really flat top over most of the diameter of the disc which then causes more of a blunt edge. Also the bead on the bottom feels pretty prominent in the hand. In a way it kind of looks and feels like a smushed Latitude 64 Dagger.
For the match today I used a pair of PA-3 putters in 200 plastic blend. Prodigy’s 200 plastic is the most base plastic blend that is moderately soft with a nice grip.
Divergent Discs Alpas
A few matches before the Alpas’s first round match, I only made 3 putts total with the super floppy and flimsy DGA Blowfly 2. The Alpas in Stay Put plastic blend feels a lot like the Blowfly, so I expected to have a similar result. I was surprised to make as many putts as I did and was even more shocked that the Alpas won its first match. It wasn’t if we are just going off rankings, but I think the Alpas winning in the first round was the biggest upset of the tournament so far.
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: 3/4/0/1
Flight Numbers: 4/4/-5/1
Max Weight: 174.3gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.7%
Rim Configuration: 66.00
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
This section is going to be all about the Alpas’s unique traits. Is the Alpas even a putter? Its feel and shape are reminiscent of a slower midrange disc. I think the most accurate moniker for the Alpas is it is a true approach disc. The floppy Stay Put plastic blend is designed to stick to the ground more than the chains.
In terms of stability, the Prodigy PA-3 is a traditional straight to overstable putter. But while the Alpas is rated to be very understable, it actually performs like a super overstable disc on the putting green. Since it has no height and is super floppy, once the disc slows down, it just drops out of the air. So when putting with it you have to put a good amount of power into the throw to get it to hold straight long enough to make it to the chains.
While this is technically a beaded putter vs. beadless putter matchup, the shallow floppiness of the Alpas kind of negates the beadless qualities of the disc.
I conducted this match on a perfect evening under a conveniently placed streetlight 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 Prodigy PA-3. Here is how it all played out:
(3) PA-3 Scorecard
(11) Alpas Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y (10/10 putts made)=30 points
20ft: N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y N (6/10)=18 points
|30ft: N N N Y N N N N N N (1/10)=4 points
30ft: N N Y N N Y N N Y N (3/10)=12 points
|40ft: N N N Y N N N N N N (1/10)=5 points
40ft: N N N N N N N N Y N (1/10)=5 points
|Total: 39 points
The Alpas came close to pulling off another upset, but by the thinnest of margins in a super low scoring match, the 3 seed Prodigy PA-3 is moving on to the round of 16 after eliminating the 11 seed Divergent Alpas with a score of 39 to 35.
Notes from the Match
Talk about a disappointing match. This is by far the lowest scoring match of the second round so far. Only 2 putts made beyond 20ft, and the PA-3 somehow still came out on top.
Let’s get the Alpas out of the way first–the Divergent Alpas is a disc that really has no business on the putting green. I can fling it and give it a chance to go in a few times and put up a score that might knock off an underperforming putting putter, but the Alpas itself is not a true putting putter.
As for the PA-3, I’m starting to have my doubts about beaded putters. I guess more accurately, I’m starting to have my doubts about some beaded putters. Putters that feature a more prominent feeling bead I think are more susceptible to misfires caused by the bead making unwanted contact during the release. My misses with the PA-3 were kind of all over as I struggled to get a consistent grip and release on the longer putts.
A perfect score from 2oft is great and is not a given in this tournament, so I think the PA-3 is a great disc, and maybe in different conditions or on a different night I’ll be able to dial in the release from 30ft and beyond. But tonight, the bead and flat top shape of the PA-3 were giving me fits, and I think the disc is lucky to escape tonight with a win.
But here’s one reason to give the PA-3 the benefit of the doubt. In every match so far, the PA-3 has had a low scoring victory, but it has been matched up against some really unique discs in the Yikun Claws and the Divergent Alpas. I’ve found that in rounds where one of the discs is a unique shape that impacts how I grip and throw the disc, I think it negatively impacts the performance of the other more traditional shaped putters. So perhaps the next round will look better for the PA-3.
The Divergent Alpas is not a real putter. Do not use it for putting. The PA-3 is a great putter, but like I said about the Prodigy P Model S
earlier this week, if you’ve struggled with or been hesitant about using beaded putters, this isn’t the one for you to try. I could be wrong, you might really like the feel of this putter’s rim and grip, but it wouldn’t be my first recommendation at this point.
The PA-3 will have a chance to win me over though in the round of 16! It awaits the winner of tomorrow’s final match of the second round between the 10 seed Birdie Marvel and the 15 seed Latitude 64 Faith. Be sure to check back tomorrow to get the result!