Elevation Disc Golf is a company that started about 1 year ago. They have specialized in making rubber discs that are extremely floppy. These discs sell out rapidly, and are quite useful. People enjoy these discs as they offer no ground play. The Koi, or the Intercepter are the only discs that are available at this moment.
Divergent Discs is another company that has emerge within this last year or so. They’re focusing on creating discs for the rest of us. They keep things really simple, providing a mold in one plastic type. They too have released a floppy disc, the Alpas.
These discs make for great approach discs because of their floppiness. Their flimsy form allows the disc to absorb energy and to remain where they land. This is beneficial as it lessens the chance of rollaways or bad kicks.
Elevation Koi Review
The way this disc feels very similar to the run 1 of the Interceptors, but a little more stiffer – just slightly though. Meaning it is still quite floppy and smashable. Where this is a rubber disc, gripping it feels a little odd from other typical plastic discs. The disc bends to how your hand is gripping it. It takes some time to get used to how the disc feels in your hands. This disc works best for a backhand power grip, it is difficult for me to throw forehand. It folds out of my hand too often when I try forehand throws.
The flight path of this is straight with a gentle fade at the end. It is a real easy throw, you can easily put too much power and turnover the disc. For me, it is difficult to feel confident in the angle release. The disc just hangs loose. This is good though, because when this disc lands, it stops. I’ve seen it land on a tree trunk and stay on the trunk.
Overall, this is an interesting disc, it isn’t my favorite, but the no ground play does have a certain allure to it. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for a disc that has no ground play.
Divergent Discs Review
The Alpas is an interesting disc, just like the Koi. It isn’t as soft as the Koi is, but it is still pretty flimsy. The rim is quite shallow, which can be uncomfortable for some people. My hand does feel a little cramped power gripping this disc. Gripping this disc though is still comfortable enough, and confident inspiring enough that the shallowness isn’t too much of a problem.
The Alpas is an understable putter. I could easily turn this disc over without trying. This is more of a touch approach disc than a driving putter. The angle control on this disc is manageable. It has a little bit of sag in it whilst holding the disc. The floppiness does the trick in absorbing energy and not moving once it hits the ground. So this disc does the trick in offering little to no ground play.
Overall, this is a good approach disc that doesn’t move around on the ground after it lands.
Check out the video below to see these discs’ flight.
It is kind of hard to say which of these is the better disc. They share some similar attributes but they are also different enough that they are hard to compare. The Alpas offers a little more rigidity, while the Koi is extremely soft. They are both supposed to stop rollaways, but I have seen both of them hit the ground and roll away.
Putters take center stage this week as we post another blog for our series of the best disc golf discs of 2020. With the pandemic forcing many people to stay home for an extended time, many people took the opportunity to use the time to practice putting. Our sales and inventory reflected the surge in purchases, particularly of putters and baskets. We will look at the sales of putters for this year, and compare the top sellers with the top rated putters. We will then turn the voting over to you to help us pick the best putter of 2020.
In a first for our category of Best Discs of 2020 we had a tie for first, second, and third. The popular P2 and Wizard tied for first place. These two putters didn’t take first in any single category, but still managed to average the best overall rating of any putter.
Two Discraft molds tied for second place, with each one landing in first place for one category of popularity: the Luna taking first for 2020 sales, and the Zone for the best rated disc of 2020. Although the Zone has been around for more than a decade, the Luna is relatively new to the scene. Even so, when you have the best disc golfers in the world throwing a certain mold, they tend to be more popular.
Two more molds, the Axiom Envy and the DD Judge, rounded out our best disc golf putters category. Notably, the Judge took first place in the fan voting (see results below). The Envy was the second best rated disc for this year.
The Putter Approach
In the 8 years that I’ve been playing disc golf, I’ve heard many players say that you should spend the most practice time with your putter. The theory is that you will end up putting on nearly every hole. While that may or may not be the best approach to practicing, it would be hard to deny the importance of feeling confident with your putter. It needs to feel good in your hand, which means that you need to find the best plastic and mold for you. And you need to have the confidence that the putter will end up in the basket, which means practice, practice, practice.
In addition to using a putter to finish a hole, the putter can also be used as a driver and approach disc. Many overstable molds are popular among disc golfers who choose to throw them hard off the tee. With a putter’s ability to be shaped and still land softly, the putter is also a great utility disc. And we’ve seen what a putter can do in the hands of a pro: amazing drives, touch approach shots, and lengthy putts.
Best Selling Putter of 2020
Let’s start by looking at putter sales for the year. Like with the other disc categories, the numbers are affected by Covid-19. However, putters were affected a little more. The pandemic brought a spike in putter sales, and inventory shortages that still continues. It would be nice to see what sales would have looked like in a normal year, but all we can do is check out the numbers we have. Here are the top sellers for 2020:
With the top two players in the world, Page Pierce and Paul McBeth throwing the Zone and Luna, it’s no surprise that these two molds ended up at the top of the list. With a third of the top 15 molds belonging to Discraft, they definitely dominated the category for 2020. After Discraft’s five molds, the remaining 15 spots in the top 20 were divided up among ten different manufacturers! The putter category doesn’t have the Discraft/Innova dominance like other categories.
Putter Rank and File
Let’s take a look at the top rated putters for 2020. We took the star rating and the number of reviews to get a weighted score. Then ranked them according to the weighted score. Here are the results:
# Reviews in 2020
Infinite Discs Tomb
Dynamic Discs Warden
The ratings results for the best putter is very unusual compared to other categories of discs. The top seven ranked molds are all from different companies! The Discraft Zone sits at the top of the rankings and sales. This overstable putter is versatile, and can be driven or putted. It was approved by the PDGA in 2008, and is a favorite of many top pros.
Old School, New School
Let’s look at the PDGA approval date for each mold. Here is a list of the top discs and which date they were approved. The elder statesman of the bunch is the Aviar, which was approved back in the ‘80’s, and the newest disc is the Fierce. The average approval year for the top 10 putters is 2009. That year would be several years higher if it weren’t for the Aviar.
Dynamic Discs Judge
Dynamic Discs Warden
We also wanted to look at the top selling putters for 2020 and see how those same molds rank in top sales of all time. The Luna has only had a couple years of sales, but still comes in at #6 for all-time sales. As we mentioned in another blog, the sales of the Luna have been amazing this year. As has the sales for all putters.
2020 Sales Rank
Dynamic Discs Judge
Dynamic Discs Warden
Fan Voting Results: Best Putter 2020
We asked you to vote for your favorite putter, and hundreds of you responded. We tallied the votes and have the results below. Once again the Above Ground Level (AGL) fans rallied and got one of their putters, the Madrone, on the top ten list. (AGL fans and others interested in different disc golf companies, stay tuned for a blog series introducing the smaller disc golf brands that you might not be familiar with. AGL will be one of the featured companies).
The beaded putter, the Judge, topped the charts with 10% of the votes. The Judge was also one of the top sellers in 2020, making it a solid candidate for the best disc. The mold has been around for eight years, and the straight flying putter. The comments people made about the Judge varied.
User Comments on The Judge
Steven H said, rather succinctly: (The) Judge is the best putter.
Tanner F elaborated, saying: Honestly I’ve been #teamjudge since I picked one up. Love having a bead and this is so versatile. I throw it up to 200’ for flip over shots. The new hybrid Judge is quite the addition to my top pouch.
Two older molds, the Wizard (2002) and the Aviar (1984) made the top five list. Two molds, the Luna (2018) and the aforementioned Madrone (2018) were the newest on the list. The average year of release for the top ten was 2009, while the average for the top five was 2004.
The Innova Aviar made the top five list, but has several different versions. I counted each version separately, since they are commonly known in the sport to have different characteristics. Most have different flights, while others have a different feel because of the plastic and beaded/beadless rim. I’m referring to the Yeti Pro (Jay “Yeti” Reading), the KC Pro (Ken Climo), the Aviar3, and the JK Aviar (Juliana Korver).
Variety is The Spice of Life
There were nine different manufacturers represented in the top ten molds. Only Dynamic Discs had more than one mold (the Judge, and the beadless version of the Judge, the Warden). That shows the variety of tastes we have in the disc golf community. Additionally, there were 65 molds that received at least one vote. Here are the top voted putters and the percentage of votes that they received.
Dynamic Discs Judge
Above Ground Level Madrone
Dynamic Discs Warden
Latitude 64 Pure
As we promised, we selected a random voter to win a $50 Infinite Gift Card. The random voter was Robbie S. of Illinois. Robbie chose an Aviar as the best putter. Thanks for your votes!
What is Your Favorite Putter? Tell Us!
Once again we turn to you for your thoughts on your go-to putter. Let us know your favorite putter mold, and tell us why you like it.
Infinite Discs is happy to present another Top 20 Tuesday chart, looking back at the discs that sold the most during the last week. We break these charts down by plastics as well so you can see which plastic types are most popular for each disc. New discs will often spike in the chart as other top sellers shuffle position. It can be fun to see which discs keep up the pace.
The first thing you may notice on this week’s chart is Axiom Envy claimed the #2 and #6 spots. The Gateway Wizard was a newcomer to the Top 20 at #16. The Force ESP climbed the highest in the Top 20 from #19 to #6. Paul McBeth’s Prototype Putter held the #1 spot for the second week in a row, and his Signature ESP Buzzz disc stayed in the top 5. Innova’s Star Destroyer remained in the top 3, continuing its hold as one of the more popular discs on the market.
Innova dominated the Top 20 again with 10 discs in our Top 20. Discmania and Discraft followed next with three discs each. Gateway and Dynamic entered our Top 20 with one disc apiece.
–> Each week we’ll invite you to leave a prediction for a certain chart position on next week’s TOP TWENTY TUESDAY report. The first three people to predict that chart position correctly in the comments will win a $10 gift card for the Infinite Discs website.
WINNER – Nobody guessed the Classic Blend Burst JUDGE as the #12 disc this week. Don’t be discouraged, keep your guesses coming for this weeks gift card prediction.
GIFT CARD PREDICTION FOR NEXT WEEK: Leave your comment below this blog to predict the #8 spot for next week’s chart.
Putters are very personal discs. Some players can go through a lot of different putters before settling on one, primary putter for running the chains. Other players like to keep a variety of putters on hand for different settings and conditions. Some putters are better for approaches or drives. We all have our favorites, and we could argue for hours about which one is “best,” but honestly, the “best” putter is the one that feels right to each individual player.
For example, I currently have a stack of TUI putters by RPM Discs as my primary practice putter. The owner of Infinite Discs has been putting faithfully, and very accurately, with MONEY putters from ABC Discs. Another Infinite Discs employee putts with the Latitude 64 MACANA. These putters all have something in common– none of them are best-selling putters. However, they feel right to each individual player.
So for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the one thing that can help determine which putters are the “top” putters in terms of the numbers of players using them. That can be determined by the number of players purchasing those discs, and those stats are readily at hand.
Let’s Talk About SALES
We are now approaching the month of May 2017, and we are starting to see putter sales rise as players, both veteran and novice, stock up on putters for the season. Which putters are the hottest movers? Undoubtedly, we’ll see some well known, long established putters rising to the top, but there are also some new putters that are making a splash in 2017.
First of all, here are a couple of comparison charts for the top 10 best-selling putters at Infinite Discs so far in 2017 (4 months including January, February, March, and April):
The Judge by Dynamic Discs was the best-selling putter at Infinite Discs in 2016, but has fallen behind in the first four months of 2017, dropping to 4th place while the three top-sellers are running a close race.
In second place, we see the juggernaut Aviar by Innova. With many different plastic types, it consistently adds up to being one of the top-selling putters. The McPro Aviar is the plastic blend that is pushing the sales much higher, accounting for more than 1/3 of total Aviar sales so far in 2017.
Third place is held by another long-time best-seller, the Wizard by Gateway. With probably more different plastic blends than any other putter out there, the Wizard is the top-selling disc for the Gateway brand. The most recent blends are the 4S (the most flexible, even more so than Super Stupid Soft) and Evolution Diamond, which is a premium, durable blend. Wizard sales at Infinite Discs have been given a big boost in 2017 with the addition of Wizard 6-Pack bundles which allow customers to grab a bunch of Wizards at once.
Fifth and Sixth place are both owned by discs which are actually more notorious as approach discs, rather than discs for putting. The Westside Harp is very popular, primarily because of the high profile use of the disc by pro disc-golfer, Ricky Wysocki. Sales of the Harp would be higher, possibly giving the Judge a run for the money if the most popular BT Hard plastic had been in stock. But the BT Hard blend has been out of stock from the manufacturer for most of early 2017.
The Nova by Innova is likewise popular as an approach disc, with its reputation boosted by pro disc-golfer, Paul McBeth. The sales have been helped recently by a love for the artistic frame that the over-mold design of the Nova provides. With attractive stamps and great dual color combinations, customers race to buy the most appealing discs whenever a new supply arrives.
The Atom by MVP is making a surprising run into the top 10 best-selling putters of 2017, lifted by the new release of the Atom in Proton plastic. Many fans of the Atom had clamored for a more durable Proton plastic version of the disc for driving, and it was delivered. The Atom was also released in the new Electron Firm plastic blend right at the end of April.
The 9th and 10th place putters are both 2017 newcomers. The Aviar3 by Innova flew off the shelves as a flat-topped, faster, more overstable version of the famous Aviar. Being presented as a new variation of the Aviar, it is no wonder that players want to give it a try. The momentum will likely carry on as the Aviar3 is released in more plastic blends.
The Pilot by Streamline, a brand new spin-off company from MVP in 2017, made a very strong introductory showing, spiking to 10th place so far. A lot of those sales at Infinite Discs were due to a special edition Pilot in Electron Soft plastic with five stamp variations for collectors. There were also 5-Pilot Packs and a massive 21-Pilots Pack which boosted initial sales. The long-term sales of the Pilot are yet to be seen, but it has started off the year strong.
Other Strong Newcomers
Aside from the Aviar3 and Pilot launching with impressive sales in 2017, there are some other putters that are making a splash, and as the year pans out, they have a shot at reaching the top 10.
The Slammer by Dynamic Discs is another disc which could fall more into the category of being an approach disc, though it works wonderfully as an overstable headwind putter. With limited editions helping to build anticipation, the launch of the Slammer was certainly strong, and we will see if that momentum continues.
The Caltrop by Latitude 64 is an interesting putter, being the first by Latitude 64 with a thumb-track. Sales were initially strong, as it was the first major putter release of 2017, though the momentum has slowed under the shadow of other new putters like the Aviar3, Pilot, and Slammer.
The Crown by Westside is another new putter that came out in the spring of 2017, and the initial reviews have been very positive. With a feel and style similar to two of the top 4 putters in this article, the Wizard and the Judge, it has the potential to at least become the best-selling putter released by Westside so far.
Other putters are on the way in 2017, and we will soon see what kind of a splash they make in the disc golf market. Will they dethrone other newcomers like the Crown, the Slammer, or the Pilot? Or will they fade into a growing arsenal of discs that are pouring into the market each year, becoming yet another lesser-known favorite for a few players. Stay tuned, and we’ll find out!