The Putter Challenger - Part 2

by Ernst Schneidereit

We’re presenting another review of putters after considerable interest in our last wrap sheet on wind fighting, aerodynamic putting discs. Now we’re looking at more of Discfly’s lineup, aero or not. Call it the UFO/Bucket Covers challenge.

Representing the Bucket Covers (putters with relatively flat, wide edges) are the Discraft Magnet Pro D (our standard by which all other putters are judged), Rattler and Putt’r X along with the Innova Rhyno and Birdie.

Representing the UFOs are the narrowed-edge Innova XD and Aviar (perhaps the favorite putter name from Innova), the Discraft APX X and the Omega AP, with the Lightning #2 Putter barely making it into this group instead of the Bucket Covers.

All the putters weighed in at over 170g, most weighing between 172g and 174g. Each putter received more than fifty throws from distances ranging up to thirty feet.

Bucket Covers (putters with relatively flat, wide edges)

Innova Birdie Putter Innova Birdie DX: The Birdie can be side-armed if you like and it performed amazingly well at distance. You need to be firm with this disc, not letting up on the spin, which isn’t usually the case with this style of putter. That can make it a difficult disc for beginners.
Discraft Elite X Puttr Discraft Putt’r X: This is a soft, ring-catching disc. More than any other putter in this test, when the Putt’r X caught a chain it dropped into the basket. Not much contact is required to get this disc to score for you. Unremarkable at distance, but a good choice for beginners or experts closer in. The Magnet Soft Pro D would likely show similar performance.
Discraft Rattler Discraft Rattler: An average putter—it didn’t perform poorly, but it wasn’t the best either. Like the Birdie, it did quite well from distance, finishing second it that category. This is a good disc for "one putter" players who want a single disc for 35 feet and in. Another good sidearm disc, it also performed well in straight-line tests.
Innova DX Rhyno Putter Innova Rhyno: Like it’s near twin the Birdie, it sidearms well. A little more rounded and aero than the Birdie, it also likes spin to perform. This disc was the least kind to beginners.

UFOs (narrowed-edge)

Lightning #2 Putter

Lightning #2 Putter: This is the bulkier cousin of the Rubber Putter. Available in glow models, it also floats, making it a good choice for nighttime games with island greens. I continue to be amazed at the accuracy available from distance with the Lightning models. This is a disc for experienced golfers and provided the best results of the test, but only for veteran players.

Millennium Omega AP

Omega AP: The Omega is recommended here for experienced golfers only. A good set of results was obtained from all ranges for experienced players able to put some spin on the disc, but it’s unkind to the starter misbehaving badly if lightly tossed. Not for slow putters.

Discraft APX Putter

Discraft APX X: The hardest plastic disc in this test, the APX tied with the Innova XD for best long distance putter for beginners. It also looked the best after getting tossed around all afternoon.

Innova Aviar Putter

Innova Aviar: Some buy the Aviar because the see others using it. From its design, it looks like it should be a good distance putter, but looks are stereotypically deceiving. While the Aviar was fine at all levels for close putts, it was dismal at distance, tying with the Rhyno for lowest distance putting score. Keep it in the bag past 20 feet.

Innova XD DX Putter Innova XD: This disc has a lot going for it. It performed well in the sidearm test (decidedly understable when used this way) and was also an excellent straight-line flyer at distance. It tied with the APX for best beginner distance results, giving the novice the best chance of equaling expert performance out of all discs tested.

For beginners my best recommendations include the Innova XD or Discraft APX X as your all-around putter. For closer shots the Putt’r X was the favorite and the Aviar and #2 Putter likewise had good results.

Veteran players should check out the #2 Putter and those who like Bucket Covers might be pleasantly surprised by the Birdie.

A final note: the buzz on Discraft’s Buzz Z Elite mid-range is all good. It doesn’t like sidearming, but it’s a beauty of a flat flyer with an extremely straight pattern that goes slightly overstable at the very, very end. Effortless is the best way of describing it. One round earned it a permanent spot in my arsenal. Plus, if you like sidearming your drives, my favorite was the Discraft XL in the X and Z plastic, until I tried the XS Elite X. The X plastic is much kinder than the Z model when you make mistakes. Consider this the Big Bertha of sidearm driving discs with no sacrifice to distance.

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