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A beaded disc golf putter has a small circular ridge around the disc’s edge. This rim is molded in and serves a purpose for some players and in some situations, but there are beadless putter options, as well.
In this article, we’ll explore the performance differences between beaded and beadless putters to help you decide if adding these discs might help improve your game.
There are several popular and newer beadless putters on the market now, so we’ll also highlight three that consistently earn high praise from disc golf players.
Performance differences between beaded and beadless putters
Beaded and beadless putters may not look very different, but they do perform differently.
It is important to note, especially for new disc golfers, that the presence or lack of a bead alone isn’t the only thing that affects a disc’s flight.
The plastic type used is just as important and, for some shots, maybe even more so.
The plastic blend used for a putter decides how stable, over-stable, or under stable it is – and these descriptions can really come into play when you’re dealing with winds, litter and other objects on the course grounds, and tree-filled courses that require greater control and precision.
The first thing disc golfers often notice about beadless putters is their flight path. Beadless putters tend to fly noticeably straighter than their beaded counterparts.
In terms of release, the smoother edge on these discs also makes a noticeable difference.
A beadless putter allows you a different kind of grip than you’ll find with a beaded putter, and many players notice they get better snap.
Most beadless putters are classified as understandable – and those that aren’t classified this way are usually less stable than beaded putters. This can make a beadless putter much easier to over power, resulting in a turn.
Also, less stability means they can also be less helpful on higher wind days, too.
When to use a beadless putter
Knowing when to use a beaded putter will make you much more successful with this putting disc, especially considering the specific strengths of a beadless putter.
If you’re in the tee box, it’s a good idea to reach for a beadless putter. They tend to perform better for putter drives right off the tee box.
When you’re looking at a low ceiling shot, a beadless putter is often the way to go. The smooth bottom on this putter can help disc golfers get more slide out of their throw.
When the ground isn’t clear you will also want to consider a beadless putter.
The rim on a beaded putter means they are much more likely to get snagged or caught up on whatever litter, leaves, or tree debris might be on the course.
Something to keep in mind about beadless putter
Across the board, most disc golfers will tell you that beadless putters don’t grab onto the chains as well as beaded putters.
This statement isn’t true of all beadless putters, though, and you don’t have to give up the feel and smooth release of a beadless putter just to land your disk in the basket.
For getting your disk in the basket, there are beadless options that perform well when it comes to grabbing onto the chains.
Softer plastic blends tend to be better for sticking to the chains.
The Warden, by Dynamic Discs, is a beadless option that often receives high praise for grip in this critical situation.
Best Beadless Putter
Dynamic Discs Classic Warden Disc Golf Putter | 170g Plus | Throwing Frisbee Golf Putter | Smooth Release and Neutral Flight | Straight Flying Disc Golf Putter | Stamp Color Will Vary
The Classic Warden by Dynamic Discs is a beadless putter engineered for an extremely smooth release and neutral flight.
Its feel in and out of your hands is great, with the beadless design creating a smoother
release. The Warden is the beadless alternative to the brand’s popular Judge beaded putter, but it offers players a little more glide than the Judge and works well if your shots seem to fall just short of your mark.
The classic plastic blend of this construction is a balance of tackiness for grip and firmness, perfect for players who prefer a stiffer disc.
Dynamic Discs rates this putter for a speed of 2, glide of 4, turn of 0, and a fade rating of 05.
The high degree of glide in the Warden’s design means it will stay in the air longer. Its flight pattern is a little on the slower side, but its flight path remains neutral and accurate.
This feature is especially important for players needing a tool to quickly lower high scores on challenging courses. It feels and flies very similar to a traditional frisbee, making it a great option for players just getting into disc golf.
The Warden is a solid option if you’re putting, but it also promises a clean approach to the basket with a neutral flight pattern that is dead straight to the chains.
This is a great go-to putter for putts both inside and outside of the circle, and its high degree of predictability in flight make the Warden a competitive option for any shots you’re taking off the tee.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for your game.
- Feels more like a traditional frisbee and works well for beginners
- More glide than the Judge for covering a little more distance
- Flies straight and offers excellent control
This putter isn’t your best bet in windy conditions or headwinds because the Warden does have a tendency to turn over in these conditions.
Gateway Warlock Disc Golf Putter Approach Disc – 3 Pack
Gateway’s Warlock is a beadless putter and approach disc offering fans of the popular Wizard a beadless option.
The beadless design does change the performance though – it flies straight and stable, right out of the box than the Wizard.
And compared to the Wizard, the Warlock has a later low-speed fade when it is thrown hard.
The overall design is more pointed than the Wizard, with a lot of similarities to the newer Roach by Discraft.
It is available in a wide variety of different Gateway plastic blends:Evolution, Soft, Super Soft, and Super Stupif Soft.
The Warlock is rated 3 for speed, 5 for glide, -1 for turn, and 2 for fade. If you opt for one of the firmer putter plastic blends, the turn number will need to be adjusted down.
The Soft blend, for example, is not really soft and will turn more like a 1-rated disc.
The Warlock excels at specific shots. This is the best choice for putting anywhere near the basket because of its point and shoot design and hard fade.
In flight, it will hold a high glide line but the flight pattern tends to drop sharply at the end – which is actually a helpful safety feature for some players.
It is really strong on short to medium drives as well as accuracy approaches. Long hyzers, spike hyzers – the Warlock works well for a wide variety of shots.
The Warlock is a great choice on windy days because of its higher speeds.
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- Point and shoot accuracy for putts near the basket
- Pointed nose and beadless rim result in a consistent and very smooth release
- High speed makes this a great choice on windy days
The Warlock will hold its flight pattern, so you’ll want to throw higher or drop your release angle if you find your anhyzers gliding out too far and forcing you into longer putts back to the basket.
Discraft Limited Edition Paul McBeth Signature Jawbreaker Luna Putter Golf Disc [Colors May Vary]
Discraft’s Limited Edition Paul McBeth Signature Jawbreaker Luna putter was co-design with pro Paul McBeth from start to finish.
Players may notice new flight numbers, but the disc mold hasn’t changed on the Luna – the numbers have been updated to provide a more accurate picture of the Luna’s true flight so players can select this putter and throw with confidence even when in challenging spots.
The Luna is rated a 3 for speed, a 3 for glide, 0 for turn, 3 for fade, and 1 for stability.
The Luna’s construction takes the jawbreaker plastic and upgrades it with rubber, combining the two with a melding and firming process that produces great feel.
The Jawbreaker was a fan favorite of players who like a stiff putter, but the Luna’s new Big Z plastic blend composition benefits from the durability and added tackiness of rubber, improving grip.
If you play on heavily wooded or open-style courses, the Luna is a great putter to have in your bag.
It is a neutral flying putter engineered for greater control. This control means you can leverage any angle and any putting style will benefit from this design.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc could work for you.
- Enhances popular Jawbreaker blend with rubber for better durability and grip
- Allows you to focus on angles because it is engineered to cover distances
- Engineered for enhanced control
Some players report that the Luna’s fade rating overestimates how overstable this disc is but the design overall still allows you to put a good amount of power into your throw without worry of turning the disc over.
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