Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dynamic Discs Only Bag

For the limited number of discs they have, and the sheer quality of the available discs, I'd say that Dynamic Discs has the highest quality discs. The Nice thing about throwing a DD only bag is that I got to take every mold they currently manufacture with me. In fact, I had to throw a few extra discs in my Fossa Disc Golf Backpack just to take up some of the space so that my discs would stand up vertical.

Nearly every disc in the Dynamic line is quality, and something I'd consider using. The Justice, is my personal favorite disc, and one that cannot currently be replaced by anything made by any other brand.

The only shortcoming that the limited Dynamic line has for me is an understable midrange, but that will likely be alleviated this week with the release of the Evidence in the Trilogy Challenge. If I had waited one more week, my Dynamic bag would have been almost perfect. The reality is though that I rarely use understable mids, and the Lucid Truth worked adequately enough for my needs.

Initially I struggled putting with the Judge. It's a little more shallow than the Money putter I'm used too, and I couldn't get it right. Once I switched the the beadless soft Warden, my putting was acceptable. Even with the higher than normal amount of missed putts, my average DD only rounds at the Fairgrounds crushed my average rounds with every other brand. I averaged a 56.8 with Dynamic, which even bested my Discraft results.

Besides the awesomeness of the Justice, one of the main reasons I scored best with DD is the Witness. This understable driver worked flawlessly for me as I drove on hole #1 at the fairgrounds. It turned sufficiently for me, but always came back nicely making the mando while giving me excellent distance to set up my second shot.  I birdied hole 1 four of my 5 rounds thanks to this great driver.

Another disc that soon became my favorite is the Breakout. This is a light weight "understable easy to use" disc that does an amazing job holding any line. The light weight straight flying abilities of this disc gave me easy distance and excellent control. I think I threw the Beakout better than I do other discs because I was able to focus on smooth control rather than power. This disc flys effortlessly. Because I liked the Breakout so much, I rarely even pulled out the Thief, which is another disc I actually like.

The Truth is a super solid midrange I found myself reaching for on all my mid distance drives, and for most of my midrange backhand throws. The Suspect is a disc I carry in my normal bag anyways, and is ideal for straighter forehand approach shots, and short backhand drives that need to finish left. The Trespass wasn't quite as consistent as I would have liked, but I was able to get some bombing distance out of forehand drives with it. I found myself flicking the Trespass in many instances where I would normally throw backhand because I was able to get better distance out of the Trespass.

For backhand distance, both the Renegade and Freedom excel for me. At speed 11 and slightly understable, the Renegade is one that I definitely feel comfortable throwing. Even as a speed 14 the Freedom is understable enough for slower arm speed like mine.

The only other area where I felt want of another brand was with forehand throws. The Felon is an adequate flat top overstable driver, but I just found it a little bit harder to control than my MVP resister and Discraft Flick. If I had to use only the Felon, I could survive, but there are other drivers I would prefer.

I rarely ever pulled the Enforcer, Verdict, or Fugitive out of my bag. The Enforcer is plenty beefy, but is too domey for my likes as a forehand driver. This is a disc that I'd probably only use in monster headwinds, but the rounds I played were always moderately calm wind conditions.  With the Justice, there really just isn't much reason to throw the Verdict. It is another disc that would likely come in very handy on very windy days.

If I had to throw only Dynamic Discs, I would be very content with my disc golf lot.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Westside Only Bag

Westside is the first Trilogy Only Bag I have selected to throw only one brand of. With the recent addition of the Bard, Westside now has almost everything I need to feel confident with on every throw. The one lacking piece, that has had a very adverse impact on my average scores, is the lack of a very overstable flat top fairway driver for control flick shots that need to finish right.

The Stag is supposed to be overstable, but that disc is really domey and not nearly as overstable as the flight characteristics indicate. This thing turns on me all the time, even occasionally on backhand throws. The Giant and World are overstable, but they also are too domey and a little bit too fast for the consistency I have at the technical Providence course.

What I Like Best About Westside Discs

Westside discs are among my favorite. The Trilogy plastics are outstanding, and who doesn't like a disc with some story artwork on it? Even though discs of another brand might perform just as well, I prefer Westside because I like the fact that they have artwork on the premium plastics.

Favorite Westside Discs

My favorite Westside discs are the King, Hatchet, and Shield. The King is about perfect for big distance for me. While this disc is really fast, the Rim isn't so huge that I can't wrap my fingers around it. This is a great backhand bomber for me. The Hatchet is an awesome driver if you are looking for an easy 300 feet. This is a great turning driver that glides well and goes the distance with moderate controlled throws. The Shield is just a solid putter. It's tall and bulky, and the medium blend is about right for me. Because a lot of my drives aren't as on point as I would like, I've had to make some big putts with the shield to pull out a respectable score.

I also find that I use the Tursas a lot for my low power understable needs, and I think I would really like the Harp if it was in a stiffer plastic. The Harp I have is in soft plastic, and while I like the fact that the soft reduces skip, it sticks to my hand a little bit to often for me to throw this disc consistently.  The World is another disc that I like most of the time. For an overstable driver, this disc has much glide as anything. I use the World for my distance drives, and as long as I don't turn it over, it usually works as good as anything. The domeyness of the World just makes this disc a little bit to fickle for me and gets turned over, or released too easily in my efforts to try and keep it flat.

Westside Discs That Get Forgotten

While Westside has a pretty versatile line, there are a few discs that just get forgotten for me. If I'm going for big D backhand, I reach for the King. Forehand, the World. If I'm looking for control drives, I reach for the Stag if I want Stable and Hatchet if I want something a little bit understable. For even more understable, I would throw the Underworld, that is until I lost it. But then the Seer is almost an identical disc, so if I want something that will be really understable, I'll use the Tursas.

The Boatman, Sword and the Northman have been used very little for me. In fact, I couldn't even tell you how they fly differently from each other. The Sorcerer is kind of like a slightly more overstable King, and I would probably use it for headwind throws, but it has never really been windy during my Westside rounds. The only time I ever pull out either of the Swans is if I have a short anhyzer shot, which they do do a pretty good job of staying straight and holding an anhyzer line.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Throwing Only Innova Discs

Now Innova is the leading disc golf manufacturer, by a long shot. They have far more disc models and plastic types than any other disc golf brand. You'd think I'd be able to find at least one Innova disc that fits the job for me, and this is mostly true. The tricky thing is that because they have so many discs, it's hard to narrow down the best, and figure out which ones are right.

During my first few Innova only rounds I chose the Max, and the TeeRex as my overstable forehand driver. The Star Max I chose was a little domeyer than I like for my flick shots, but the TeeRex felt good. Unfortunately for my scores and round frustrations, the TeeRex just didn't work for me. I consistently turned the TeeRex over. This disc wasn't nearly as overstable as I needed. The Max also didn't do it for my forehand shots. I found that a new Star Destroyer was more overstable and worked better for my flicks than did the TeeRex.

After about three Innova rounds I pulled out a max weight Glow Champion Firebird. This disc finally provided the stability I need for consistent forehand throws. Originally, I didn't choose the Firebird because a Champion Firebird was one of my original discs when I first started playing three years ago. The original Firebird I had was quite domey, and not very stable. The flatter glow firebird I am now throwing is far more stable.

The other issue I had with finding an Innova disc I like is with the putters. From past experience, I know I don't like the shape of the classic Aviar, and the way it feels in my hand for my putting motion, and Innova has so many "Aviar" discs, I didn't know which ones to try. For my first couple rounds I chose the JK Aviar-X, I like the plastic and feel of this Aviar, but it wasn't quite as deep as I like in a putter. Then I grabbed the R-Pro pig, a much bulkier putter, but this one is a little bit too bulky for what I like.

I also grabbed the Nova for approach shots, which I absolutely love, awesome disc for fan grip style approaches, and found myself actually putting with this disc as well. I like the nice stiff feel of the Nova.

Now that winter has come and gone, Innova has released a new disc, the Whale which finally fits the putter feel I like. This putter gives me the confidence I need to make all of my short putts, and is the right depth and stability for what I am used to. The XT plastic is just awesome. Grippy enough, but not too sticky, and unlike base line plastic, it actually is pretty tough and will last for years.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Discraft Only Bag

Discraft is the first disc brand I've thrown where I can confidently say that I'm not really missing anything when my disc choices are limited to only Discraft. Part of it has to do to the fact that several of my normal go to discs, like the Flick, Buzzz, are already part of my normal mixed bag. The Buzzz is just a great midrange, and the super flat top of the Flick makes it my favorite disc for forehand shots.

Discraft is one of the original two "big" disc manufacturers. They have multiple discs of just about every variety and stability in a plethora of plastic options. I'm able to more consistently get a bit more distance with some non Discraft discs, but when it comes to doing a more than adequate job for every shot I've needed on my two test courses, Discraft has filled that need, and my average scores prove it. Thus far, my best average scores on both courses are obtained when throwing only Discraft. 

Because Discraft has so many discs to choose from, and there are only so many slots in my bag, I selected the following discs for my bag:

Distance Drivers:
Z Flick - Big forehand drives that need to finish fading right.
ESP Crank - Long Distance Drives that need to stay stable and fade to the finish at the end of the flight.
X Wildcat - Max Distance shots where I want a little high speed turn action to kick in. 
Z Surge SS - Pretty much the same as the Wildcat. I'm not sure which of the two I liked better.
ESP Avenger SS -  Understable Driver

Control Drivers:
ESP Predator - Shots that needed to hook hard.
Titanium Mantis - Controlled drives with consistent fading finish.
ESP XL - Straight Drives with a little turn.
X Xpress - Understable Driver

Z Buzzz OS: Forehand Approach Shots
Z Buzzz: Workhorse Mid
ESP Meteor: Straight midrange shots.

Soft Challenger: Putting Putter
Ringer & Zone: Overstable Drives. Not sure which of the two I liked better.
Pro D Banger GT: Approach shots of all varieties. Short Drives.
I also carried a Focus and Magent in my bag, but didn't like these putters nearly as much as I liked the Challenger. 

Not only did throwing only Discraft satisfy my adequate disc needs, but by testing the Discraft only bag, I also discovered a new "must have" disc -- The Banger GT.

I'd originally tried this putter with the unique groove on the top a few years back, but I only ever really used it as a putting putter. When it comes to approach shots and really short drives, I absolutely love the Banger. The thumb groove allows me to get more spin, and have more control when I hold the disc with my fan grip. After my test rounds, I had to use the Banger in my recent tournament. 

Around here locally, Discraft gets a lot of bad rap. There are a lot of disc golfers who feel it is inferior plastic and refuse to throw it. The reality is that most of their discs are at least as good as any other discs out there, and the best thing is that they are actually a little less expensive than most of the other popular brands.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Prodigy Only Bag

When I first started throwing Prodigy Only, I thought I figured out why Will Shusterick's PDGA rating had dropped in the last year. For me anyways, there are a lot of missing holes in the Prodigy Lineup for what I like, and am used to.

Nevertheless, my average disc golf scores throwing Prodigy Only, were even better than my MVP only, which is even better than my Mixed bag score at the technical Providence Course.

I'm not going to say that the reason my scores are better is because Prodigy Discs are better, really I think It's because I've just been playing more solidly lately, especially my Putt Game -- which might actually say something about the quality of the Prodigy Putters.

My Prodigy Bag included nearly all of the Prodigy discs with the exception of the D1 and the D4 (which are actually the two originally released Prodigy Drivers, ironic I guess.) Nearly all the discs I have are in 400S plastic with the exception being the X1 (750) the PA-3 (350G)  M5 (300S) the D3 (350RX).

What I like about Prodigy

The number one thing I like about Prodigy is the plastic blends. I think the 400 Serious plastic is great for drivers and midrange discs. It's durable, but grippy enough for a nice release. The 750G plastic feels like a premium blend ought to. It has a few minor scratches and has withstood a beating, but still continues to fly straight.

Where Prodigy Leaves Me Wanting

Most of the drivers I typically throw are in the speed 8-11 range. Prodigy currently has Fairway Drivers that all have a speed of roughly 7, and Distance Drivers with a speed of 13. While I do like the Prodigy fairway drivers, the Distance Drivers are just too much for me. In the 400S plastic, even the D5 is too overstable for me. It rarely turns at all with my backhand throws. Knowing that, I grabbed myself a light weight 148g 350RX D3, which to my surprise is actually a little too understable. Part of it is the weight, but I'm thinking that the RX plastic is substantially more understable. The driver this fast that is this understable for me is the Vibram Lace.

Favorite Prodigy Discs

My two favorite prodigy discs are the F7 and the M4. The F7 is a slightly understable straight flying fairway driver that glides really well. This disc just feels good to me and flys well. The M4 is an awesome midrange that I've liked since the first round I threw it. I'd say it's a little less stable than the Buzzz, but still plenty stable enough. I also like the M1 and M2 (can't really tell much difference between the two) these are great power driving midranges when you don't want your mid to turn over. I also found myself using the X1 for most of my forehand throws. I may have used the D1 a bit more if I had it. The D2, worked well for my distance throws, until I lost it in a tree.

The Vibram Only Disc Golf Bag

It took me some time to get use to throwing Vibram golf discs. There are some that I really like, where I think the rubber makes the discs better, but some of their discs I would consider below average.

My Vibram disc golf bag includes all the Vibram discs currently on the market, (minus the OLace I lost at the Providence course) two Laces that fly quite differently and three Summits that all have different stabilities.

There are three different blends of X-Link plastic, soft, medium, and hard. My Vibram bag consists almost primarily just of medium. My Ascent fairway driver is the only firm in the lot, and I don't throw any of the soft stuff, which is REALLY soft. In general, I like grippy plastic for backhand drives, and smooth plastic forehand throws. For midrange shots I like a smoother plastic to minimize grip lock, and I've already been using Vibram for my approach discs. Vibram doesn't really have a "smooth" plastic, so that leaves me somewhat lacking.

Distance Drivers 

When it comes to Distance drivers, Vibram really excels.

Lace - The Lace bombs, and I can get as much distance out of this disc as any other golf disc on the market. I have two Laces a max weight 174g that is pretty overstable for me, and a 164g which is slightly understable but overall very straight. It's the 164g Lace that I throw when I'm looking for BIG distance. For as fast and glidey as the Lace is, it is a really straight flying driver.

UnLace - The unLace is one of the most fun discs to throw out there. It's amazing how far this disc will fly with very little power. I love using this disc for 'gentle throws' that where I still want some distance without fading left at the end of the flight. When I throw the unLace hard, it turns over so hard it's unreal. I can release this disc on a hyzer and it still flips over and turns right. For me this is a utility disc, but I highly recommend the unLace for newer players looking for easy distance.

Solace - My biggest problem with Vibram has been that the x-Link compound is too grippy for me to get clean forehand releases with. Even though my medium Solace is very grippy, this disc is Overstable enough that even when I hold on too long and release at an anhyzer angle, it comes back. One interesting thing about the Solace is that it doesn't skip nearly as much as other discs. I'd prefer my Flicks, or an MVP Motion over the Solace, but this disc is adequate for me for my sidearm throws. I think I'd like it even more in X-Link Firm Plastic.

OLace - The OLace never found much use for me, and it got lost anyways. It's a little too overstable for me to throw backhand, but not stable enough to flick -- that's how I lost it, turned over and didn't come back. My heavier Lace and OLace fly very similarily anyways, so I'm not really missing this one after losing it in the woods.

Fairway Drivers 

The Vibram fairway drivers are adequate, but by throwing only Vibram, I do miss having an understable fairway driver. Perhaps a lighter weight beat in Trak would fit that spot, but that's not something I have.

Trak- Ever since I got a Trak in my first Birdie Bash, I've always liked this fairway driver. It's just a good workhourse driver for mostly straight, slightly left hooking shots around 300 feet.

Ascent - My Ascent is in X-Link Firm and it works well enough for my shorter forehand shots when I release it on a hyzer angle. However, this disc isn't quite as overstable as I would like.

Midrange Discs

My biggest complaints with throwing Vibram only, is with the Midrange discs. The Ibex works alright with stable midrange shots, but I don't love the feel or flight. I wish that the Obex were a little more overstable, and really don't like the feel of that disc. I do miss my Buzzz and Suspect when I'm throwing Vibram mids. With the domeyness of the Vibram mids, I'm not comfortable flicking them.

Putt and Approach Discs

I really like the Vibram Putt and Approach discs, especially as approach discs (I do use them in my regular bag). In my normal bag I have both a Ridge and a Summit, but since I've been using Vibram only, I think I like the VP better than the Ridge. For long approach shots and putts, I like to release on an anhyzer angle. The VP is stable enough that it will come back at the end of the flight.

For actual putting, I think the Sole has a great feel and flight. It's firm enough for me, but soft enough that it releases nicely and does a good job sticking to the chains.

While my average disc golf scores are a little higher with Vibram, with just a few additions and some more practice, I'm pretty sure I could score just as well by throwing only Vibram.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Disc Golf With an Only MVP Bag

My first brand selected for my brand exclusive bag test was MVP. I have always liked MVP since I first tried the Anode and Axis several years ago, but have only "bagged" the new Inspire Distance driver.  Now that they have the full spectrum of available disc types, I was excited to try "MVP" only.

My MVP bag includes all the MVP discs currently on the market with the exception of the Volt and the Switch.

For the most part, my MVP only experiment has gone very successfully, and I absolutely could survive a disc golf tournament with nothing but MVP. If results from recorded rounds are an indication of good discs, then MVP is already a winner.

At the two courses where I'm testing, my Average MVP score is better than my average mixed bag. While a lot of this might just be do to the fact that I've been playing better golf in the last week, there really might be something to the consistency of the discs made by MVP.

What I Like Best about MVP Discs
The thing I like most about MVP golf discs is that they all have flat tops and are excellent for flicking. My forehand has been substantially more consistent since switching to MVP. The neutron plastic drivers all have consistent flat tops, and not so much grip that they slip out of my hand.

The Motion is perfect for those dog leg right shots. The Tesla is superb for long forehand bombs, and I really like the Resistor too for dog leg right drives that aren't quite as long. The Tensor is also a great disc for forehand approach shots.

Up until now, I thought that the Discraft Flick was the only disc consistent enough for me to like as my "in the bag" flick shot. I have my super old, super beat in Flick for the long drives, and my newer Flick for the strategic fades. The Motion and Tesla work as suitable replacements, right out of the box. This is great news for me, especially if I ever lose my "understable" Flick.

Where MVP Only Leaves Me Wanting
There are a couple of areas where I am left wanting by throwing only MVP. First, I don't like either the Anode or Ion as a driving putter. The rims are too deep on these discs as a driving putter for me and I have problems releasing them on time. Now, if I considered Axiom Discs as part of my MVP bag, then I think this gap would be filled as I am a big fan of the Envy as a driving putter. While I like the Anode most of the time for my approach shots, I do miss my grippy Vibram putters at times. Proton Soft is somewhat soft and grippy, but it doesn't give me that feel I get with my fan grip anhzyer approach shots with my Vibram Summit. Also, for putting purposes, the hard MVP rim really doesn't seem to grip chains quite as well as softer putters.

The other area I struggle with is that none of the discs are, at least in the weights I have and right out of the box are "understable enough." When I'm looking for a right turning drive, I can't get with MVP right now what I get out of my Latitude 64 River and my Discraft Avenger SS. Perhaps as these discs beat in a little more, that problem will be solved. It might also help if I had the Switch to throw as it's supposed to be the most understable of the MVP fairway drivers.

While I love the Inertia for backhand drives, occasionally it slips out of my hand a little to early. I typically like grippier drivers for backhand throws. It's the middle of summer, and really hot right now, but the lack of grip provided by MVP might really have some adverse consequences for cold wet winter play.

MVP Discs I Could Live With Out
During my test rounds, I found all sorts of shots where I wanted to use the different MVP discs. The only disc I found to be pretty worthless is the Vector. For the overstable midrange spot, I just like the Tensor better, and so rarely pulled out the Vector.