Today, the search continues for the best putter in the world with the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters. This NCAA basketball style tournament is a 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. This match is in the first round of the Aviar region between the 4 seed Thought Space Athletics Muse and the 13 seed Westside Shield.
Thought Space Athletics Muse
The TSA Muse is a newer putter that has already climbed up the sales chart at Infinite Discs. The Muse is TSA’s most popular putter in their still very new lineup of discs. Like all TSA discs, the stamp on the Muse features beautiful artwork, which is what Thought Space built their brand name on for years before getting into the disc manufacturing game.
The Muse is a tall beadless putter. It features a round rim shape and a pretty thick rim that makes for a bit of a unique feel in the hand. It actually reminds me of a thicker rimmed Dynamic Discs Warden which was featured in yesterday’s match.
Today I tested the Nerve Muse. Nerve plastic blend is TSA’s soft and grippy putter plastic blend.
Like other Westside putting putters, the Shield hasn’t always been a top seller, but it still has been a very reliable putter option in the Trilogy line of discs for years.
The Shield is a tall putter that features a very small microbead along the bottom of the rim. The rim also features a beveled bottom that gives it a similar shape to the Discmania P2 or Infinite Discs Alpaca.
For today’s match I used the BT Hard Burst Shield. BT Hard is the stiffest and most durable of the Westside base putter plastics. Like all Trilogy brands, Westside’s discs are made in Sweden by Latitude 64. So BT Hard is comparable to Latitude 64’s Zero Hard and Dynamic Discs’ Classic. The “Burst” versions of these plastics feature a pretty color pattern that looks like color is bursting from the center of the disc.
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: 3/3/0/2
Max Weight: 176.0gr
Rim Depth: 1.6cm
Rim Thickness: 1.2cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.8cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 7.5%
Rim Configuration: 61.50
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.0cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 67.00
Now and then, there are measurements on the PDGA approval listings for these discs that I have a hard time believing, and we have one of them here. The PDGA measured the Westside Shield at 2.5cm in height. That is .2cm taller than the measurement on any of the other discs we’ve tested so far. The Shield feels tall, but not that tall. I just compared it to the Discmania P2 and the Infinite Discs Alpaca that I have, and they look nearly identical in height. Maybe the one they measured for these specs was a really domey run, but for our purposes today, just note that it is a taller disc than the TSA Muse.
Another important difference that should be noted is the shape of the bottom of each rim. The Muse has a really thick and rounded rim that feels like it rolls back into the center of the disc for a long time before cutting back to the top of the disc. The Shield is rounded out and away from itself at the bottom of the rim which creates that lip feeling on the grip.
Though they are both grippy putter plastics, the Nerve Muse and the BT Hard Shield feel quite different form each other. The Nerve plastic blend feels thick but with quite a bit of flexibility as well. There are softer plastic blends out there for sure, but Nerve plastic feels pretty soft. BT Hard is just that–hard. Though it is quite hard and stiff, it still has a nice grip and texture that makes it a trustworthy plastic blend for the putting green.
I conducted today’s match on a 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 Thought Space Athletics Muse would go first on the first set of putts. Here is how it all played out:
(4) Muse Scorecard
(13) Shield Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y N N Y Y Y Y N Y (7/10 putts made)=21 points
20ft: Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y (9/10)=27 points
|30ft: N N N N Y N N N N Y (2/10)=8 points
30ft: N N Y N N Y Y Y N N (4/10)=16 points
|40ft: N Y Y N N Y N N N N (3/10)=15 points
40ft: N Y N N N Y N Y N Y (4/10)=20 points
|Total: 44 points
13 seeds officially go an undefeated 4-0 in the first round of the World Series of Putters as the 13 seed Westside Shield puts up a big number to defeat the 4 seed Thought Space Athletics Muse with a final score of 63 to 44.
Notes from the Match
If you’re keeping track, that makes beaded putters 3-1 against beadless putters so far in the Aviar region. And while I do generally prefer beaded putters, this one was about much more than the bead.
The primary factor where I felt like the Shield gained an advantage over the Muse was the shape of the bottom of the rim on the Muse. The round bottom felt very big and was a bit awkward to grip because it felt like it was pushing my fingers away from the lip of the rim where you would naturally place the first joint of your pointer finger. Another disc that had a similar feeling rim for me was the Clash Butter, but that disc wasn’t as tall as the Muse, so it didn’t feel as prominent.
I also wasn’t a very big fan of the feel of the Nerve plastic blend on the Muse, but I think that could have been overcome. However, the rim shape and how it fit in my hand was a big problem for me that couldn’t be ignored.
Also, I need to give another shout out to Westside Discs for putting up another high score with one of their less popular putting putters. The Westside Crown
gave a dominant performance in the P2 region as well. Though Westside is one of the bigger brand names in the disc golf world, I’m starting to develop the opinion that their putting putters are getting severely overlooked.
The Thought Space Athletics Muse and the Westside Shield are both high quality putting putters. But if I had to choose one over the other, I’m always going to recommend the Shield because the grip felt more comfortable and natural in my hand.
So far the Aviar region has had 8 traditional shaped putting putter molds, but that starts to change tomorrow as the 6 seed Atom will be going up against the very unique Divergent Discs Alpas. See you there!