The MLB World Series has come and gone! But the Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters is just heating up as we’ve concluded rounds 1 and 2 and are moving on to some sweet, sweet matchups in the round of 16!
From the beginning we said we wanted to find the best putter in the world while also providing some fun and helpful content as you decide what putter is right for you. You can find the links to the full results of all 32 of the first round matches and all 16 second round matches over at our main Disc Golf Reviewer World Series of Putters post.
For today’s post, we are taking another one-day hiatus from the head-to-head matches like we did after round 1 to look back at some of the data and trends that are showing up after round 2. We are also going to look ahead to what we can expect to see in round 2. We will mostly run through the same data and trends as we did after the first round, so for added context and additional nerdy disc golf data, be sure to check out the round 1 recap post as well.
In the first round, we learned that just because a disc has a popular brand name printed on it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best putter. One of the biggest names in disc golf, Innova Champion Discs, went 0-4 in the first round while smaller brand names tended to do pretty well in the first round. Did that trend continue into the second round?
Here is how each disc brand performed in the second round of the World Series of Putters.
Second round record by disc golf brand (from best to worst)
- Discmania: 3-0
- Prodigy Disc: 2-1
- Alfa Discs: 1-0
- Birdie Disc Golf Supply: 1-0
- Dynamic Discs: 1-0
- Gateway: 1-0
- Lone Star Disc: 1-0
- Axiom: 1-1
- Clash Discs: 1-1
- Discraft: 1-1
- Yikun Discs: 1-1
- Divergent Discs: 1-2
- Latitude 64: 1-2
- DGA: 0-1
- Doomsday Discs: 0-1
- Infinite Discs: 0-1
- MVP Disc Sports: 0-1
- Uplay: 0-1
- Westside Discs: 0-2
Bigger brand names like Discmania and Prodigy Disc have found their way to the top of the list, but that doesn’t necessarily serve as proof that big name putters have an advantage. The bigger names generally started with more putters in the contest, but smaller brands like Alfa Discs and Birdie Disc Golf Supply are undefeated with their single entry into this series.
So in taking these results along with the results from the first round, we don’t really see a correlation between brand names and putting success. Though I will note that Discmania entered with 4 discs and has gone 6-1 overall, which is pretty impressive and worth keeping an eye on in the next round.
How does the shape and features of a disc impact its performance? Let’s first look at how certain elements of disc design performed in the second round.
To Bead or Not to Bead
Is a beaded or beadless disc golf putter better?
In the first round, we saw that beadless putters had a pretty significant advantage over beaded putters, with beadless putters winning 11 out of 15 matches where a beadless putter and a beaded putter were matched up against one another. Did this trend continue in the second round?
The second round was more evenly matched. Out of 9 matches that featured a beaded putter and a beadless putter, the beadless putters won 5, which means the beaded putters won 4. That moves the overall score between beaded and beadless putters for the series to 15 to 8 in favor of the beadless putters.
So, are beadless putters better? At this point, the answer is a solid maybe. There are sure to be a few more beaded vs. beadless matches as we get to the final rounds of this event, so it will be interesting to see if the beaded putters have enough time to cut into the beadless putters’ lead.
What is the best height for a disc golf putter?
With all discs measuring within a centimeter of each other in their height, the margins are razor thin in this department, but we did see a bit of a trend in the first round.
The average height of all putters that entered the World Series of Putters comes out to about 2.01cm. The average height of discs that won their first round match is 2.03cm. The average height of discs that lost their first round match is 1.98cm.
Obviously, this means the average height for all discs in the second round was 2.03cm. In the second round we have a smaller sample size and a taller average starting point, both important considerations that impact the averages of the second round. The average height of discs that won their second match is 2.00cm, while the average height of discs that lost their second match is 2.04cm.
Also it is important to keep in mind that there were matches where both discs were above or below that 2cm height, so one of them had to lose and inevitably add a higher or lower score to the average. When we just take into account matches where there was a difference in height between the two putters, the taller disc won 7 matches while the shorter disc won 8. Keep in mind this is also after the taller discs in a matchup went 16-9 in the first round. So for the whole tournament taller discs are 23-17.
Taller discs maybe have a slight advantage, but it’s not about a head-to-head competition at this point–we are looking for the ideal height, and so far it seems to be floating right around that 2cm range.
For the first round we divided discs into “traditional” putter shapes and “nontraditional” putter shapes. Only 3 of the 10 “nontraditional” putters made it into the second round, and only one is moving on to the round of 16. That disc is the Yikun Hammer, which has benefitted greatly from some fortunate (or unfortunate) spit outs from its competitors to eek out two close wins.
There is some variance in the traditional shaped putters as well, but at this point it feels safe to say that there is a pretty solid reason for the tradition. I’m all for ingenuity and trying new technologies and designs to grow the sport and improve scores, but so far, the far-out unique putters just aren’t performing up to snuff.
After premium plastic blends went just 1-5 in the first round, the Crystal plastic blend Alfa Snoopy won once again in the second round. making premium plastics an overall 2-5 on the tournament.
With only one premium plastic disc left, it’s hard to glean any significant additional info on this topic. But I stand by what I’ve found both in this tournament and over 10 years of playing this sport–premium plastics are more prone to spit outs, so I would never recommend putting with them, because why risk it?
In the first round I threw 1,920 putts, and I added 960 more putts in the second round. So I’ve now attempted 2,880 putts in this project, and that’s not including all the warm up putting I do before each match.
Not every disc improved their score in the second round, but I was happy to see that on average, scores were up in the second round. This bodes well both for the integrity of the competition in this series as well as for my own development as a disc golfer, which hopefully is an added bonus of this project for me!
First, here’s a quick reminder of how these scores are calculated–for each match, I putt 10 times with each disc from 20ft, 30ft, and 40ft totaling 30 putts per putter and 60 putts per match. Putts from 20ft are worth 3 points, 30ft putts are worth 4 points, and 40ft putts are worth 5 points. It isn’t perfect, but I think it gives a reasonable sample size for just one person trying to conduct such a large project.
In the first round, the average match score of all putters was 45.64. In the second round, the average score was 51.97, or about 2-3 more made putts.
Discs who won their match in the first round averaged a score of 52.97. In the second round, average winning scores were 57.38.
Discs who lost their match in the first round averaged a score of 38.31. In the second round, average losing scores were 46.56.
These stats mean the competition is getting fiercer. Scores are getting higher, and the margin of victory is getting smaller.
Now let’s take a look at some of the individual discs and their performances. Here are the top 5 scoring putters in the second round:
- Alfa Snoopy: 71
- Latitude 64 Pure: 69
- Discraft Luna: 66
- Lone Star Jackrabbit: 65
- Axiom Envy/Discmania P2: 64
The 15 seed Alfa Snoopy was out to prove its upset victory over the Gateway Wizard in the first round was no fluke! And it is worth noting that the Discraft Luna was the only disc to be a top 5 scorer in both the first and second rounds.
I called this list the wall of shame after the first round. Perhaps that was a bit harsh, and it feels less true now that all these discs won a first round match. But still–you don’t want to be on this list. These are the 5 lowest scoring putters in the second round:
- Yikun Gui: 22
- Axiom Proxy: 30
- Divergent Alpas: 35
- Clash Butter: 38
- Divergent Narwhal/Prodigy PA-3: 39 (both of these discs still won their match)
The Divergent Narwhal was on the top 5 scores list in the first round. The fact that match winners were on the low scorers list in this round again supports the fact that a lot depends on the kind of day I’m having on the putting green when I conduct these matches, so it isn’t completely fair to just compare scores across the board.
As I’ve said throughout this event, seeding disc golf putters is much different than sports teams, so upsets were bound to happen.
In the first round we saw lower seeds win 21 of the 32 first round matches, or about 2/3 of the matches. All of the 11, 12, and 13 seeds combined to only lose one match.
In the second round however, higher seeds held their ground with only 3 of 16 matches being won by the lower seeded putter. That feels like a bit of a hollow stat however since lower seeds did so much damage in the first round. Going into the round of 16, 10 of the remaining putters were seeded lower than 8 in their brackets.
What to Watch for in the Round of 16
I’m a bit scared to say anything here since my naming favorites seems to have jinxed the Gateway Wizard and Infinite Discs Alpaca.
But my pick for the favorite moving into the round of 16 would have to be the Discraft Luna. As the 2 seed in the Alpaca region, the Luna has put up two high scoring performances and has been maybe the most consistent disc for me so far.
The 1 seed Discmania P2 put up a much better score in the second round and is starting to look like a real contender, and the Discmania Link and Alfa Snoopy have proven they are capable of putting up a big number as well.
Underrated sleepers that could win it all
Every disc I mentioned in this category got wiped out in the second round! So again, sorry to these discs if talking about them right now is a jinx.
But the three discs that come to mind here are the Lone Star Jackrabbit, Birdie Marvel, and a disc I just mentioned above in the favorites section, the Alfa Snoopy. All 3 of these discs were released during the last year, so they are still relatively unknown and looking to make a big splash in these final rounds.
Round of 16 Begins Tomorrow
We love testing discs at Disc Golf Reviewer! I really hope this project is providing useful information for the disc golf community as we start up another off season of putting leagues and then another great season of disc golf.
Check back tomorrow for the first match of the round of 16 between the Clash Discs Popcorn and the Divergent Discs Narwhal!