Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Best Disc Golf Brand

What is the best disc golf brand?

That question is very subjective, and there are a lot of ways you can look at what makes each individual brand good.

The Infinite Discs blog put out a survey that asked different questions like, what brand is the leader in disc golf today, what brand has the best reputation, and what brand is the most innovative. Depending on the questions that were asked, the results varied.

Most Anticipated New Disc Releases
Innova clearly is the leader in disc golf, but looking forward people are more excited about new discs that will be coming out from Latitude 64 and MVP.

For the recreational disc golfer, a good brand is going to make discs that will perform well and help the disc golfer get the best throws and the best score. This is where the disc golf test lab will be measuring results this summer. I'm going to clean out my diverse bag, and place only discs from the same brand in it. Once I have enough scores recorded from my regular courses I'll clean my bag out again with a new brand.

Stay tuned for updates on my experiences throwing only specific brands at a time.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Three New Drivers Great for Beginners

It's kind of funny, nearly all of the newly released golf discs this year are similar. Moderate speed understable drivers targeted at the beginner disc golfer.

I had the opportunity yesterday to test out three of these new disc: the Legacy Mongoose, the Westside Hatchet, and the Dynamic Discs Witness.

All three of them had similar flight paths, and were all pretty awesome. It's really pretty rare that we see a bad golf disc these days, and there are getting to be so many similar flying discs from the many different manufacturers that it's really all about your preference of brand, plastic blend, and disc look.

Of the three new discs, the Hatchet was the least understable. When I threw that one with about 70% power it didn't turn at all but held its line nicely with a nice end of flight fade. When I threw it with a full power run up it had a nice big glidey turn followed by a come back end of flight fade. I was able to get the Hatchet out past 350 feet, which is a very good drive for me. This distance was further to the right than what I was actually aiming, but it really wasn't that far off.

Both the Mongoose and the Witness are nice and understable, but not so flippy that they crashed into the ground without getting any distance. I was able to get good distance out of these discs as well, and exceeded 330 feet with both of them. A few of my throws during my round with the Witness flipped up and held their Anhyzer line without really coming back at all. I didn't have any Mongoose throws that didn't come back with low speed fade at least a little bit.

All in all, these discs are all great for newer disc golfers. Their flight ratings are right on and they fly similarly to the Innova Sidewinder or Roadrunner.

If you're looking for a cool looking new driver that gets easy distance, you may as well try out the new Witness, Hatchet, or Mongoose. Just figure out the stamp you like best, and you'll have a winner.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding The Best Driver for Beginners

I'm not exactly a disc golf beginner any more. And, while I can recommend discs that seem like they should work well for beginners, there really might be something better.

We put it to the test by giving a beginner more than 50 different discs to throw, to determine which ones he could consistently throw farthest with a backhand drive.

While the standard Innova beginner set includes the understable Innova Leopard (which is a good beginner disc). Adam was able to throw the lower speed distance drivers (8-10) farther. Ultra high speed drivers, even the very understable ones, did not perform well. In terms of pure distance, fairway drivers in general didn't get nearly as much distance as did the moderate distance drivers.

With hundreds of throws included from the top 13 discs, Adam's average throwing distance was 195 feet with a median of 187. His max distance of 270 feet was achieved with both the Innova Sidewinder and Valkyrie. For the test we threw out any throws that were completely shanked.  Here are the results.

After several qualifying rounds, the top five drivers for beginners were:
 Interestingly enough, these diss are all manufactured by Innova (Innova manufacturers Millennium discs too). The top NON Innova discs were the:

Now not everybody is going to throw like Adam does, and the weight of a disc can make a big difference in how far it will travel for a beginner, but it's a pretty safe bet that most beginners will see improved distance with the drivers that performed best four our beginner.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Straightest Flying Midrange

Our current project here at the disc golf test lab is to find the straightest flying midrange disc. We're looking for the best discs for tunnel shots.

Currently we are testing understable mid-range discs by all the manufacturers that make understable mids. I'm thinking that an understable mid will perform best in our tests as they are the least likely to have significant end of flight fade. We will also test out discs from the many stable mids manufactured.

From our first few rounds of testing, the Innova Wolf has performed very well for me, despite the fact that I have already given this disc a very poor review.

This picture shows the tunnel shot we're using for our tests.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finding the Most Durable Disc Plastic

There are substantial differences between the different plastic grades used for golf disc manufacturing.

But how do these plastics really compare between the different brands? Is Discraft Pro-D better than Innova DX? What about Latitude 64 Opto versus Innova Champion or Discraft Z?

To answer this question we've started a series of tests aimed at finding the most durable plastic. We have test discs consisting of nearly every plastic type and are throwing all the discs an equal amount.

We have both mid range discs and fairway drivers set aside for this experiment. After approximately 50 throws on rocky/wooded terrain, there are a few plastics that have stuck out as inferior thus far. Prodiscus Basic and Latitude 64 Zero Line are clearly not very durable. These plastics are soft and grippy, but if you're looking for a disc that is going to hold its flight path over time, these are not the plastics to choose.

It will take a lot more time to weed out the most durable discs, but after the first 50 throws, it clearly looks like Vibram Rubber holds its form best. The Obex we are testing has almost no noticeable dings or nicks. Stay tuned for more results testing disc durability.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Testing out the new Latitude 64 Fury

I was privileged to get a new Latitude 64 Fury to test out, even though the release date of this new driver isn't until April 25th.

What is known about this disc is that the plastic is awesome. My pink Fury is in the ultra durable opto-line plastic. It's already hit a plethora of trees but has now apparent signs of damage.

The unfortunate thing is that when I took it to test out, it was quite windy. It's really hard to determine a discs flight patterns, and tendencies, when you're not certain what was caused by the wind, and the flight tendencies actually are.

What I do know so far is that I had some pretty nice throws with the Fury. This disc is said to be more understable than the Saint, but my right out of the box Opto-Line version, seemed very Saint like. While the description on the Latitude 64 Saint says, "Overstable Control Driver," I never really found this disc to be overstable. The saint does indeed have a degree of end of flight fade, but it stays straight and glides for so long it's not "overstable."

The Fury is supposed to have a higher degree of high speed turn, and less fade. So far this is a great, slightly understable driver with excellent glide.

This is another great disc by Latitude 64, but I'm really not seeing how it offers anything new.

I'll take the Fury out for an actual disc golf round in about an hour, and hopefully will have more details  on what this disc can do.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finding the Most Durable Plastic

There are lots of different disc golf manufacturers, and each of them have several different plastic blends. The question is, what is the most durable plastic on the market?

Well. We are performing some tests to find out and rate the durability of each plastic type.

In our test stock we have 25 new golf discs from all the major disc manufactures. Now several plastics used by different brands are exactly the same. Innova champion discs manufactures discs made by Discmania and Millennium. Star plastic, S-Line, and Sirius plastic are virtually the same.

Across the world, Latitude 64 manufactures discs for Westside and Dynamic Discs. Gold line, Tournament and Fuzion plastic are the same. Needless to say, we are only testing these plastic types once.

This test will take some tome and a lot of throws to come up with conclusive results. After one day, I can say that's Prodiscus Basic plastic is not very durable. Stay tuned for more results.