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In this article, we’re talking about putters! There are a lot of misconceptions that putters are the easiest discs to choose because they’re typically the easiest to throw.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are tons of different ways to strategize the putter you choose for a variety of situations.
Since most putters tend to be stable or overstable, we’re focusing on how to find the best understable putters for disc golf and when to use them.
Types of putters for disc golf
In disc golf there are three different general kinds of putters: driving putters, approach putters, and putting putters.
These aren’t official terms established by the Professional Disc Golf Association, but have become common verbiage among disc golf players to describe different types of plays.
What makes each of these putters one or another is how they perform. Driving putters are not strictly putting discs; rather, they are discs that can perform well when thrown moderate to short distances with power.
These discs are often a cross between a mid-range and a putting disc, and therefore offer a lot of versatility.
They are discs that not only advance you closer to your target, but can even land your disc into the basket.
These discs usually perform best when thrown at distances under 300 feet.
Approach putters are used when you have a distance somewhere around 75 to 100 feet to the basket. They can be used for either approach shots or putting shots, depending on the situation you’re in.
Putting putters, as you may have guessed, are good for distances under 75 feet. These are not meant to go high and far distances, but are meant to go short distances with accuracy and precision.
These discs are meant to be that straight-shooter right into the basket. While requiring a lot of good technique, they do not require big-arm power.
Overstable vs. Understable putters: Which is best?
Most disc golf players will tell you that the stability of a putter doesn’t matter as much as the weight of the putter.
Usually, players are putting with putters in the 170 weight range category. This is because heavier discs are easier to control for more accuracy, and accuracy is everything when it comes to putting.
Heavier putters provide more consistent releases and throws than lighter-weight putters.
That being said, understable putters prove useful for a ton of situations which we outline below:
When to use an understable putter?
There are several times when using an understable putter is your best option:
- Tunnel shots. Tunnel shots require a lot of control and accuracy in order to keep your disc from getting lost in either water or the woods. Mid-range discs and putters are best for these situations because they are slower-speed discs and offer more control and accuracy to the thrower.
- Hyzer flips. Several players find that using understable putters for a hyzer flip works well. A hyzer flip shot, while similar to an S shot, flies a more straight path instead of swerving back and forth. In order to throw this type of shot, you throw an understable disc fast on a hyzer release. This type of shot can help maximize distance in order to advance you closer to your basket, and works best with either driving putters or approach putters.
- Weaving around obstacles. Throwing an understable putter on an anhyzer can help you weave around obstacles so that you can maintain a low score while still advancing either close to or into the basket.
- Tailwinds. Disc golf players always have to be mindful of the wind, since wind conditions affect how your discs fly. This is one of the reasons why so many players have to have such a variety of discs since the wind is so unpredictable! There are three types of wind which every disc golf player should be familiar with: headwinds, tailwinds, and crosswinds. Headwinds are when the wind is blowing against you from the front. These winds make your disc more understable than if you were throwing it in the presence of no wind. Understable discs should be avoided in the presence of headwinds. Crosswinds are winds that blow from either right to left or left to right. Any type of disc can be utilized in the presence of a crosswind, but if the wind is blowing right to left you’ll want to use an understable or stable disc. Tailwinds are where your understable disc really shines. Tailwinds are winds that blow against you from behind. These winds make your disc perform more overstable than it would in the presence of no wind. Understable discs are best for tailwinds because their understability helps counteract the overstabilizing effects of a tailwind.
Best understable putter for disc golf: Options and categories
There are a number of understable putter options that may work well for your needs, depending on the situation in which you may be using the disc. We highlight a few options by category below.
Driving Putter – Innova Disc Golf Star Line Wedge Golf Disc
The Innova Wedge is a cross between a putting disc in a mid-range disc, which means that it’s a great choice for an understable driving putter.
This disc’s flight ratings are: Speed 3.5, Glide 3, Turn -3, and Fade 1. Its rim width is 1.0 centimeters, and it is available in either Star plastic or DX plastic.
The Innova Wedge is versatile and appropriate for any skill level. It can act as a mid-range roller disc or as a driving putter.
Innova describes its Star plastic as, “Our Star line is created with a special blend of grippy, resilient polymers.
Star plastic offers the same outstanding durability of our regular Champion plastic, plus improved grip like our Pro plastic.
Star discs have the same flight characteristics as Champion discs, but are slightly less firm.
High performance, longevity, and superior grip make Innova Star line discs a great choice for your game. Many Star line discs are available for custom hot stamping.
We recommend purchasing this putter in the Star plastic, and here’s why. The DX plastic is more cheaply made than the Star plastic, which means its flight ratings will change quickly with wear and tear. The Star plastic offers more durability and quality than the DX.
The only reason you might want to consider the DX plastic over the Star is if you’re wanting a really flippy and understable driving putter, since the Star plastic can make the Wedge perform slightly more overstable than it would in the DX model.
Additionally, while the DX line offers more weight range than the Star line, this doesn’t matter when it comes to putters. Heavier weight ranges are always recommended when it comes to putt discs.
This disc, in the Star plastic, is available in the following weight ranges: 165 to 169 grams, 170 to 172 grams, and 173 to 175 grams.
Our recommendation is the final category: 173 to 175 grams.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for you.
Approach Putter – Prodigy Disc 750 Series PA4 Putter Golf Disc
This disc’s ratings are: Speed 3, Glide 3, Turn -1, Fade 1. This disc can be used by both beginners or advanced players alike.
Beginners will be able to achieve a straight flight path, while more advanced players will be able to achieve a nice glide with a subtle finish.
This disc can be purchased in the 170 to 174 gram weight range.
The Prodigy PA-4 disc can be used as either a driving or approach putter. At distances inside 150 feet, the Prodigy PA-4 proves to be consistent and accurate on up shots.
When thrown with hard power, this disc will be able to turn over with a long glide at the beginning and a gentle fade at the end.
It can hold either a hyzer or anhyzer line, depending on how you throw it.
We selected the 750 series plastic because the 750 series is one of Prodigy’s most durable plastics. Prodigy describes their 750 series as, “750 Plastic is similar in grip and texture to our 400 series but with a firmer feel. This high-tech blend of premium resins will provide outstanding performance and predictability. This plastic is extremely durable.”
This plastic is not only durable, but it has a comfortable, gummy grip which will allow for better control over the disc.
We recommend this disc in the 170 to 174 gram weight range because at that weight it will be heavy enough for prime accuracy.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for your needs.
Putting Putter – Dynamic Discs Prime Burst Deputy Putter Golf Disc
This disc’s ratings are: Speed 3, Glide 4, Turn -1.5, Fade 0. Like the Prodigy PA-4 Putter, this disc can be used by any skill level.
This disc is a straight-shooter. It is only ever-so-slightly understable, but mostly stable.
You can trust that, as long as you throw this disc with some level of technique and skill, it’ll hit the basket! It’s a really easy disc to throw and a great putting putter for all skill levels.
Dynamic Discs says of their Prime plastic line, “Prime will have an incredible feel and excellent grip even when the weather will compromise your hold on your favorite disc.”
We recommend purchasing this disc in the 173 to 176 gram weight range, because again, that heavy weight will offer more control and accuracy than a lighter weight disc.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc might work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com