Favorite putter

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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:24 am

JR wrote: Living by the sea creates winds and because Finland is cold and wet for 2/3 of the year i've gravitated toward tackier plastics too but is still have some slick discs in the bag. At least in the summer. Beeswax adds grip in the winter. What was the name of the tacky stuff you use?


Pow'r Tac. This product is readily available in my area in sporting goods stores in the baseball section (commonly used for bats as it is a synthetic pine tar-like substance). This gooey stuff gets sprayed directly on a disc and starts out so darn sticky I barely touch the edge of it. After a few days it hardens enough to be optimal and only gives a slight amount of grip but that slight amount is vastly useful. Too much grip is just as bad as too little.

To answer the inevitable question posed every time I mention this, yes it is PDGA legal. Many years ago I submitted a request for a ruling specific to this product ( Pow'r Tac) and the general concept (grip enhancers) to the PDGA Rules Committee, detailing how it is used. It was approved and I have used it since at hundreds of sanctioned events including at numerous World Championships as well as advocated it to many others, including the readers today.

As with any new product or technique it takes practice and experience to get used to. In nice weather it is unnecessary (which is why I only spray one spot one the underside of a disc about the size of a half dollar, to leave the option of using it or not). In bitter, bitter cold weather it loses its tackiness, which is why I heat up my discs before rounds and I am trying to figure out ways of warming up discs during rounds. Yes, snow sticks to warm discs and is a pain to keep cleaning off but as forehand dominant players know, without a decent grip the game is problematic.

In cold rain the stuff gives little aid as well. I predict some day manufacturers will solve the grip problem through better plastics and grip enhancers built into the molds and this product and others will no longer be needed.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby JR » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:44 pm

I've sometimes told people that you got something specific written into the rules and said but beeswax is ecological :-) So why should it be a problem even using it in competition. To return to the topic at hand i used Spikes (Latitude ones) for a few years just because they maintain height well without a huge power input during putting and they have built in rough spots on top for better grip. I've heard some say they produce a slicker grip. I can't feel and see how other than they are working for the competition :-)
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby cubeofsoup » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:34 am

Mark,

What specific 3 Magnets do you carry in your bag?

I was playing with a local pro this weekend, Bobby Jones, he was using a Soft Magnet for putting and a Z Magnet off the tee for some crazy flex shots. Interesting stuff. I currently putt with plain old Pro-D Magnets but have found them too stiff and slick in less than 45°F weather. To address the grip concern I plan on grabbing a Soft Magnet for cold weather duties.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:57 pm

cubeofsoup wrote:Mark,

What specific 3 Magnets do you carry in your bag?

I was playing with a local pro this weekend, Bobby Jones, he was using a Soft Magnet for putting and a Z Magnet off the tee for some crazy flex shots. Interesting stuff. I currently putt with plain old Pro-D Magnets but have found them too stiff and slick in less than 45°F weather. To address the grip concern I plan on grabbing a Soft Magnet for cold weather duties.


I am very picky about discs, no doubt primarily because I can be :D. I have thrown Magnets for almost all of my career and since being sponsored have made it a point to inspect every run coming out. My preferences have gradually evolved to a medium stiffness and a slightly concave flight plate. Of course Discraft doesn't make anything called medium. They make Hard Magnets and Soft Magnets. But with enough patience and diligent searching I have come across relatively soft versions of Hard Magnets and relatively hard versions of Soft Magnets. These, properly grip stamped, are what I use. For those unfamiliar, a grip stamp is a hotstamp, purposely burned in deeply enough and placed precisely where my fingers rest on both the top and bottom of the disc. This custom hotstamping is labor intensive and requires a lot of skill to do right. So thank you very much Discraft.

I putt with a Hard Magnet and upshoot with Soft Magnets. I carry one beat up and one fresh Magnet for upshots. For short upshots (inside 100') I mostly use Rattlers.

I started carrying a soft Magnet for catch purposes. They are much easier on the hands when you catch them, especially in the cold and wind. Eventually I fell in love with them. The same thing happened with Rattlers. I played catch with them for years before I used them in rounds.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby iacas » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:59 am

Mark Ellis wrote:These, properly grip stamped, are what I use. For those unfamiliar, a grip stamp is a hotstamp, purposely burned in deeply enough and placed precisely where my fingers rest on both the top and bottom of the disc. This custom hotstamping is labor intensive and requires a lot of skill to do right.

Not to drift OT, but I'm surprised that's legal. What's to stop a disc maker from manufacturing a disc with a fingerprint stamp where you place your fingers, getting approval, and then hot stamping dents and depressions into the disc later on? Perhaps this is simply an example of the PDGA rules not being quite as old or far along as they perhaps will be some day. I realize the stamping is done at the factory but it's not the same disc that was submitted for approval and edges a bit closer to the "post-production modification" with a "detectable thickness" than I'd be comfortable using.

To the topic at hand, my favorite putter is a Wizard. I'm experimenting with different firmnesses (and have some erasers and chalkies coming) but like them all at this point. Some are overweight and thus marked as "not for play" but they're fine in the basement. I don't see myself using the RFFs or the SSSS as I don't really care for the floppy putters, but you never know.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:41 am

iacas wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:These, properly grip stamped, are what I use. For those unfamiliar, a grip stamp is a hotstamp, purposely burned in deeply enough and placed precisely where my fingers rest on both the top and bottom of the disc. This custom hotstamping is labor intensive and requires a lot of skill to do right.

Not to drift OT, but I'm surprised that's legal. What's to stop a disc maker from manufacturing a disc with a fingerprint stamp where you place your fingers, getting approval, and then hot stamping dents and depressions into the disc later on? Perhaps this is simply an example of the PDGA rules not being quite as old or far along as they perhaps will be some day. I realize the stamping is done at the factory but it's not the same disc that was submitted for approval and edges a bit closer to the "post-production modification" with a "detectable thickness" than I'd be comfortable using.

To the topic at hand, my favorite putter is a Wizard. I'm experimenting with different firmnesses (and have some erasers and chalkies coming) but like them all at this point. Some are overweight and thus marked as "not for play" but they're fine in the basement. I don't see myself using the RFFs or the SSSS as I don't really care for the floppy putters, but you never know.


There are no PDGA rules on hotstamping, so long as it is done by a manufacturer. Nor should their be. If anything should be illegal it is plastic which is so slippery it poses a safety danger to players, spectators and other park users who might be hit by an errant throw.

Safety is the primary reason why stick um, in its various forms, is legal. You do not consider only best case scenarios when planning safety rules. Grip is important to safety. How many players use towels, dirt, Birdie Bags, moisture and many other methods to try to get a good grip?

There already exist discs with thumb depressions (originally called the MOJO then changed to the JUJU and perhaps others). There are already discs with ridges on the flight plate for better grip (Banger GTs and Rhynos). One of the European companies (Latitude 64 ?) makes a putter with finger pads. Several Discraft models have raised letters inside the rim and Predators have a crisscross traction pad. All of these innovations recognize the value of good grip.

In baseball, foreign substances are banned. Pitchers do not want a pitch to fly straight and true. Pitchers want a pitch which dips and turns and wobbles, making it harder to hit. Pitchers without movement on their fastballs are delivering up easy homers to opposing batters. But in disc golf we want our discs to fly true. Good grip doesn't make our discs fly erratically and unpredictably, it helps us hit fairways. Good grip allows better control.

None of us would ever choose SHOES with terrible grip. Imagine playing on roller skates on icy tee pads and think how safe that would be.

Many years ago I was playing in a Amateur World Championships. A guy from Ohio arrived to compete only to find his work buddies had played a prank on him. They had sprayed all his discs with WD-40. And we think candy plastic is slippery!
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby iacas » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:24 am

Mark Ellis wrote:There are no PDGA rules on hotstamping, so long as it is done by a manufacturer. Nor should their be.

There are if the stamping is done such that the flight characteristics of the disc are altered or the minimums and maximums produce a disc that doesn't meet the requirements.

Mark Ellis wrote:Grip is important to safety. How many players use towels, dirt, Birdie Bags, moisture and many other methods to try to get a good grip?

Straw man. You can't put a hole in your disc for "safety" concerns, and there's a limit to how much you can hot stamp before a disc becomes out of spec or illegal.

Mark Ellis wrote:There already exist discs with thumb depressions (originally called the MOJO then changed to the JUJU and perhaps others). There are already discs with ridges on the flight plate for better grip (Banger GTs and Rhynos). One of the European companies (Latitude 64 ?) makes a putter with finger pads.

All of those discs are approved in that "configuration." Hot stamp them too much and they may not meet specs and/or their flying characteristics may change.

I can't apply vaseline to the face of my driver or widen the grooves on my pitching wedge. I can't take a hot-faced 3W and bend it down to 13° because then different rules apply regarding how springy the face can be.

And I doubt very much that the little bit of extra hot stamping you're doing is enough to make a disc illegal, but it could be, and it points out both a loophole in the rules and how very little money there is in disc golf. I suspect, as disc golf grows, the loopholes like this will close and more rigorous testing will be put in place.

Perhaps a moderator can move these three posts to another thread.

------

I just bought five Wizards last night. Four are stamped SSSSS (five) and are black with a copper stamp, one's an SS chalky black with gold hologram 2011 am worlds stamp. I'm looking forward to checking them out.
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Favorite putter

Postby south.texas.dead.i » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:48 am

iacas wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:There are no PDGA rules on hotstamping, so long as it is done by a manufacturer. Nor should their be.

There are if the stamping is done such that the flight characteristics of the disc are altered or the minimums and maximums produce a disc that doesn't meet the requirements.

Mark Ellis wrote:Grip is important to safety. How many players use towels, dirt, Birdie Bags, moisture and many other methods to try to get a good grip?

Straw man. You can't put a hole in your disc for "safety" concerns, and there's a limit to how much you can hot stamp before a disc becomes out of spec or illegal.

Mark Ellis wrote:
I can't apply vaseline to the face of my driver


Does Vaseline on a driver disc help it?
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby PMantle » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:12 am

That's for real golf. Lowers the spin of the ball coming off the face which can increase distance if spin is an issue for that golfer.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby iacas » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:50 am

PMantle wrote:That's for real golf. Lowers the spin of the ball coming off the face which can increase distance if spin is an issue for that golfer.

Yeah... lower spin also reduces curve (in most cases a guy's slice).
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby JR » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:25 am

Were the discs damaged by the oil? The prankster were obviously executed for their crimes but i hope there is a free pass for that for any offended disc golfers administering the judgment saving the state the money :-)
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:09 am

iacas wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:There are no PDGA rules on hotstamping, so long as it is done by a manufacturer. Nor should their be.

There are if the stamping is done such that the flight characteristics of the disc are altered or the minimums and maximums produce a disc that doesn't meet the requirements.

Mark Ellis wrote:Grip is important to safety. How many players use towels, dirt, Birdie Bags, moisture and many other methods to try to get a good grip?

Straw man. You can't put a hole in your disc for "safety" concerns, and there's a limit to how much you can hot stamp before a disc becomes out of spec or illegal.

Mark Ellis wrote:There already exist discs with thumb depressions (originally called the MOJO then changed to the JUJU and perhaps others). There are already discs with ridges on the flight plate for better grip (Banger GTs and Rhynos). One of the European companies (Latitude 64 ?) makes a putter with finger pads.

All of those discs are approved in that "configuration." Hot stamp them too much and they may not meet specs and/or their flying characteristics may change.

I can't apply vaseline to the face of my driver or widen the grooves on my pitching wedge. I can't take a hot-faced 3W and bend it down to 13° because then different rules apply regarding how springy the face can be.

And I doubt very much that the little bit of extra hot stamping you're doing is enough to make a disc illegal, but it could be, and it points out both a loophole in the rules and how very little money there is in disc golf. I suspect, as disc golf grows, the loopholes like this will close and more rigorous testing will be put in place.


When Discraft first allowed me to make a batch of custom gripstamps, the PDGA contacted both me and Discraft to investigate their legality. We submitted samples and addressed the applicable rules. This was years ago so I do not recall if the PDGA overtly approved the concept or merely closed their investigation. Either way, the discs were not banned nor were new rules passed to restrict hotstamping.

PDGA rules are often criticized for being incomplete and not fully addressing issues. Our aged grandfather (Ball Golf) has VOLUMES of rules and hordes of officials to enforce them. Our rules fit in a small pamphlet we can easily carry with us and we are mostly self-officiated. Our rules try (and usually succeed) in being simple and clear. They don't cover every conceivable situation but create principles which can be fairly applied when odd occurrences pop up. We could "lawyer up" our rules if we choose. How many things in life improve with more lawyers involved?

I served as the PDGA Competition Director and sat on the Rules Committee for 7 years but I was elected the PDGA Board after only playing the game for a year or so. So I came to the Board knowing little of the history of the game and having little personal experience as well. As Competition Director I was theoretically responsible for the fairness of tournament play. Having heard of different methods of modifying discs and being concerned about it, I sought out information from many old pros on what kinds of techniques were used then personally tried them all. Damn, I ruined a lot of discs. I carved and boiled and microwaved and warped and baked and frying panned and sliced and repaired and treated with chemicals in every way I was told of. What did I find out? All these methods can make a disc more under or overstable but otherwise doesn't change the flight characteristics in any useful way.

PDGA Technical Standard testing is purposely low tech, easy and inexpensive. Ball Golf scoffs at this. Fine, let it scoff. My driver costs under $20.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby victorb » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:22 am

south.texas.dead.i wrote:I have a birdie and hate it! Can't seem to throw it right for anything lol has anyone ever used MVP putters? I really like the way they look.


I'm a big advocate of base plastic putters. People rave over the MVP stuff but I don't buy it at all. I personally love the small beaded challenger, and carry D plastic for putting and soft X for off the tee (and super cold winter rounds)

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the following: Challenger, Magnet, Aviar PnA, KC Pro Aviar, Wizard, Warlock, Voodoo, Magic, P2 Psycho, Mercy, Pure, Clutch, or Clozer. So many recommendations because putter preference is a lot about personal feel with it in your hand. These are typically regarded as the best putters that are readily available in base plastics.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:27 am

edit fail
Last edited by Mark Ellis on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite putter

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:34 am

iacas wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:There already exist discs with thumb depressions (originally called the MOJO then changed to the JUJU and perhaps others). There are already discs with ridges on the flight plate for better grip (Banger GTs and Rhynos). One of the European companies (Latitude 64 ?) makes a putter with finger pads.

All of those discs are approved in that "configuration." Hot stamp them too much and they may not meet specs and/or their flying characteristics may change.


You might have the concept somewhat off. Discs, per se, are not approved. Molds are approved. So any disc made from an approved mold is also approved. As we all know, change the plastic and you change the disc. But unless the disc is given a different name (for marketing purposes) future runs of discs, even in vastly different plastics, are still approved if they come from an approved mold.

Obviously an individual disc may not meet Specs (too heavy or too stiff for example) and if challenged may be banned by an official at a tournament.

As far as hotstamping goes it does not change the weight, stiffness or rim configuration of a disc. The danger of doing a poor job with a grip stamp is that the disc can become warped or the flight plate could be burned through. Neither of these mistakes gives any advantage in terms of flight characteristics and just means the poor disc is doomed to the regrind box.
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