Choosing a Putter
Without question, the putter is the single most important disc you have as a beginner. It’s the easiest disc to throw, it’s the best teacher of good form and of course, you can putt with it. A disc golf putter is a staple not only in the beginner bag, but also in every smart player’s bag, from amateur to professional. Many pro’s even site the putter as one of their favorite discs, i.e. Paul Mcbeth’s Luna, Ricky Wysocki’s Sockibomb Slammer and many others. Below are a few tips to find the best putters for your game.
Putting Putters vs. Throwing Putters
Yes, there’s a difference. In fact this is just the beginning in terms of how nuanced your disc golf bag will get. For now, we’ll try and keep it as simple as possible.
Putting Putters: A disc golf putting putter is a putter you putt with. Say that five times fast. This is a disc golf disc that has a blunt rim and deep feel to it. The plastic is often stiff or tacky, providing the player good grip on the disc over a long period of time in most weather conditions. When choosing this putter you’ll want to find what feels the best to you. That feeling might be the grip in your hand or how the disc feels flying out of your hand.
Throwing Putters: A throwing putter differs from a putting putter usually in the type of plastic used. What do we mean? A throwing putter is usually produced with “premium” plastic, which gives it a higher durability over an extended period of time. In many cases, players will want to preserve the way a disc flys for as long as possible. If a disc is created with stiffer, tackier plastic (like a putting putter) the disc will lose it’s flight characteristics the more it hits trees, roots and rocks. Essentially, it will “beat-in” faster, where a “premium” plastic putter will not.
When we say a disc is stable, we mean a few things. Number one, the more stable a disc, the higher torque resistant it will be. So if you throw your disc hard on a right-handed backhand, the disc won’t die to the right and run to the ground. The higher stability, also means the disc will be resistant to wind, primarily head wind that comes at you. The windier the day, the more stable of a putter you’ll want to throw.
If you’re throwing an understable putter, your disc will likely have the opposite attributes as the stable one discussed above. The disc will want to leak right on your backhand and it will hate wind that’s coming right at you. But that’s not always a bad thing.
What Stability Putters Should I Use?
Like everything in disc golf, it depends. In regards to putting putters, if your putt feels better with a disc that’s stable, go with that. If you like straight or understable putters, throw them. Choosing a putting putter, ultimately comes down to how it feels and flies for you.
In choosing a throwing putter, stability offers many advantages. For shots you need to cut quickly right or left, you’ll most likely choose a stable disc like a Pig or a Slammer. For straight up the gut shots you’ll want a neutral flying disc like the Luna or the Envy. For shots that you want to go straight but need a bit of a push in the opposite direction, understable is the way to go.
How Many Putters Do I Need?
With all that information, you now know how to choose both a putting putter and a throwing putter. You know what stability to choose for the wind and the shot type. Now, you’re thinking that you probably have to go out and buy every disc in every plastic. Not quite, but you do need a handful of putters you feel comfortable throwing around the course.
Our suggestion is to bring two to three putting putters of your liking to warm up. You’ll most likely only use one during the round but it’s always important to warm up before your round. Throwing putters are a bit more complicated but as a beginner, putters should fill your bag more than any other disc. They’re the easiest to throw and offer more benefits than throwing a driver if your technique isn’t the best yet.
Choose three or four good throwing putters, all of which vary in stability. Have a stable putter, a couple of neutral or barely stable putters and then an understable one. As you grow your understanding of your needs, then you can begin to experiment with what plastics you prefer throwing your putters in. Basically, the world is your oyster as far as disc golf putters goes, so go out and buy some and try putting and throwing for yourself!