Do you miss… or rattle the chains?

How many putters did you try before you found “the one?”

Being a successful putter is like being in a successful relationship. Both require dedication, commitment, and sacrifice. It isn’t always easy, but in the end, if you are willing to work hard enough, the rewards are worth the struggle.

But finding that special putter that you want to settle down and spend the rest of your disc golf life with can be quite the journey.

When I first started playing, I picked up an Innova DX Aviar, and we got along OK, but I just wasn’t that into it. That spark just wasn’t there, and we parted ways.

Shortly thereafter, I found a Discraft Magnet, and I was in love. The way it felt in my hand, how it hit the chains so gently. We just connected. I thought it was the one.

After a couple of months, though, something went wrong. I don’t know if it was me, or the putter, but we just weren’t clicking anymore. I was missing five-foot putts, and it was a strain on our relationship.

Plus, my eye started to wander. I saw a sexy MVP Ion in a shop, and I took it for a spin. The look, the feel … this baby was hot. I left my Magnet, and was swept off my feet by the Ion.

That Ion, though, was a reckless putter. One second it would find the chains from 30-feet out, the next it was running away down the hill. It was so gorgeous, though, that I let it get away with these games. Discs can do that to a man. It was playing with my heart, and I was playing with fire. It was a rush that I couldn’t let go of.

Finally, though, the Ion made the decision for me. It ran away one too many times, and it was gone for good.

I didn’t take our breakup well.

I’m not proud of what I did, but I went on a bit of a putter binge after that. I had a fling with a Gateway Voodoo and hooked up with its cousin, the Wizard. My dad even tried setting me up with a Vibram VP — you know, something a little more stable — but it was a little too stiff for my liking. I even crawled back to the Magnet, begging for a second chance, but it wouldn’t take me back.

I was distraught.

My confidence was shot, and I was wandering aimlessly, just looking for a putter who could be the rock I needed.

That’s when I met my match, the Westside Swan 2.

The slight bevel of the edge and the tacky grip were everything I ever wanted in a putter, but never realized until I threw it. Easy anhyzers, soft upshots, putts inside the circle — this putter completed me, er, my game.

I can now say that we have been happily committed for several months, and my eye no longer wanders.

This all got me to thinking: How many putters do most players try before settling down with “the one?” Or are you still searching for your soul mate, that special disc you can share the chains with and wake up in the morning happy to take out to the course?

Let us know in the comments below. Have you had your heart broken as many times as I have?

Steve Hill covers all angles of the game for Rattling Chains, even if he can’t hit those angles himself. Contact him at steve [at] rattlingchains.com and follow him on Twitter @OneMileMore.

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  • Jeremy says:

    Well I started with a DX Aviar like a lot of us, and it wasn’t bad at all. Then I bought an MVP Ion when they came out and liked it a little better, but then i went to a Soft Focus that had been getting no love in my bag. I love it. I’ve been hitting putts I could never imagine hitting with the other two. I think I’m gonna pick up an extra one and take one of my Aviars out for good.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:53 am
  • Ryan Clements says:

    I went through a Polecat, challenger, and dart before I landed on the Ion. I love my Ion but I’ve been have problems with chaining out on the homemade baskets at my local course. So I just ordered a couple of SSSS wizards. Hoping this will solve my 15ft and in putting issues.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:54 am
    • Kurt DeMarra says:

      I picked up a few of the SSSS and SSSSS Wizards a few weeks ago. They aren’t as flexible as I thought. Dave just did a run of RF Wizards, which are more flexible. He explained to me that Soft does not equal flexible. I guess a handful of people weren’t happy with their SSSS plastic as far as flexibility goes, so he did a run he calls RF. He send me a pair of these RF Wizards, and I LOVE the way they feel. They are really rubbery with a great flexible feel. I highly recommend you check them out. If you can’t find them online, just email Dave at Gateway directly, his email should be on the site. He’s a really nice dude, and wants to make sure people are happy with their products.
      Kurt DeMarra recently posted..Website UpdatesMy Profile

      April 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm
      • daniel braught says:

        Are the RF’s like the old $$$ gateway money putters? I’m looking for those?

        May 5, 2012 at 10:09 am
  • Kurt DeMarra says:

    I’ve switched up putters a few times since I started playing in 2006. My first putter was a DX Rhino. At the time I had no idea what disc ratings were, and just went by the fun pictures on the discs. My second putter was a JK Avair-X. I saw one of these at a local shop and immediately fell in love with the more flexible feeling plastic. I used the JK for a long time. After playing for a year or so I decided to start playing in my local clubs league nights. The director of the club sold discs before all the events, so I was able to check out a lot of different brands and plastic types before buying. Once disc that a lot of the local players were using for putting was the Wizard. There was a lot of hype around this putter, so I figured I would give it a try and picked up a Soft Wizard. At this point I had no idea that Gateway made even softer putters like the SS or SSS. I loved the way the mold of the Wizard felt, but it just wasn’t as flexible as my JK Avair. A friend of mine showed me his SSS Wizard, and I was in love. I quickly went online to find myself some SSS Wizards. While searching the web I read that Gateway had just come out with a new line of Organic plastic that had a different feel that their regular S-Line plastic, It sounded like I would really like the feel or this OG plastic. I found a site that was selling SSS Organic Wizards, and ordered myself a pair. Upon receiving the OGs in the mail, I was blown away. They felt perfect. I’ve been putting with Wizards almost exclusively ever since. I did give the Vibram Ridge a chance, which I really liked the feel and flight of, but they just didn’t have enough glide. I also carry a Soft Elite X Challenger in my bag, but it’s only used for upshots. The Wizard is a huge staple in my bag, and I would be very sad to loose them.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm
  • Luke says:

    Started with a DX Aviar, went on to a DX Sonic, tried a Classic Roc, Pro Rhyno, KC Pro Aviar, and finally settled on the SS Wizard. The Aviars and Rhyno are still in the bag for approach shots though.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm
  • captain anhyzer says:

    Started with an XD
    Used an Omega SS for a year or so in the mid 90′s then back to the XD.
    An SSS wizard from the 2008 Ice Bowl was money til I lost it in 2010 and JDB turned me on to the JK Aviar-X

    April 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm
  • Thomas Branham says:

    DX Aviar (like everyone else), Soft Magnet, my daughters’ Wedge, frustration lead me to my FLX Buzzz, back to the Magnet, the Discraft Ace Race Zeppelin, now on a SSS Wizard. BUT I have to admit my eye wonders (a lot) and I am itching to try something new.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm
  • Mason says:

    I started with an Innova XD Putter, started out great like most ended up hating it. Tried a supersoft wizard, JuJu, and a Vibram VP, before purchasing a DX Aviar which ended up being my favorite of them all. Love the way it feels, I am sure in time i will find a new putter, but for the the aviar is all i need

    April 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm
  • Andy Portwood says:

    When I started out years ago I putted with a DX Aviar (seems like the staple here) then moved on to a 155g Tank. I did ok with that until I had to pay my sacrifice to the Disc Golf Gods and it was taken to the great basket in the sky. I then got a champion Aviar and had terrible luck with it. After an extended hiatus from the game I came back and kinda went on a spree of “flings” that went like this: Banger GT, X-link Sole, X-link firm Summit, back to the tank, and even the desperation trial of the 10 meter Brick (you should try this one just to see how off the flight charts are). Finally, on a whim I picked up a KC Pro Aviar and was immediately smitten! It could have been that I had just bought a Skill Shot the week before so I was able the practice more but it has proved consistent in all conditions with superior grip. I have since purchased a SS Voodoo but primarily use it for upshots and tight anny-putts. Though I have found -MY- putter I still admit to have a wandering eye. I blame it all on my disc addiction…

    April 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm
  • Art Fager says:

    Again DX Aviar, I liked it a lot but the daughter started playing and it ran off with her bag. So I tried a DX wedge for a bit still wasn’t it. Now tossing a SS Wizard liked it so much I have triplets all same color all same weight. Got 2 with me at all times and switch all 3 around regularly just so I don’t show favorites!

    April 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  • Ben says:

    I started with a 150 gram dx aviar that came in a starter kit that I played with for years. I then moved to a Star Aviar last summer that I loved for about 7 months, and recently I got a soft and medium MVP anode. So far I’m preferring the soft.

    April 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm
  • Dan says:

    The Westside Swan is unbeatable. I drive, throw up shots, and putt from the circle with mine.

    April 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm
  • Corey Peschke says:

    all of them … and still looking

    April 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm
  • Kevin Morriw says:

    I started out in ’86 with the classic flat top ROC. Since then I have tried just about everything. Magnets, 86 Softie, Rhynos, Ions, Dart & many more. But I have always come back to and am currently using my Classic Flat Top ROC.
    Kevin Morriw recently posted..Deal of the Day…My Profile

    April 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm
  • Dustin says:

    The first putter I owned was a soft magnet and I’ve never had any reason to look elsewhere.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm
  • John says:

    I’ve been using an old Magnet for long putts and a Challenger for inside the circle. I’ve used a Soft Banger and a Soft Focus in the past. I was thinking about just sticking with the Challenger, but then Legacy came out with the Clutch and now I’m interested in trying that out. I can’t wait to find “the one.”
    John recently posted..Asking the Pros: Do you remember reaching 400′?My Profile

    May 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm
  • Ven says:

    I started with an Ultimate Disc for a few weeks then played in the 2009 Ace Race and loved the Focus. Even the name helps me focus. I bought 5 more of them at the Ace Race from people that didn’t like them. I got a Sparkle Pro Reef by DGA, a fund raiser disc. Soon after that I got a Soft Wizard by Gateway. All of those discs are just about the same profile. And work fine for me.
    I still wanted to find a disc I could float down like a nice Freestyle set up throw. So I got a Discraft Rattler, it is almost the same as a standard Frisbee. This worked good for me for awhile, until it broke: The Pro-D plastic and the severe 90 degree angle of the lip just doesn’t hold up. If Discraft made it in a different plastic I’d definitely try that.
    So back to the Focus, and other similar discs. I used the Zeppelin from Ace Race 2011 for awhile, too.
    Then I got a Beaver by Discdevil. Truly awesome it is soft, grippy, and extremely flexible. It can bend like a taco. For now, I’m totally satisfied with the Beaver. I can float it better than any other disc.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    • Ven says:

      The Beaver is made by Daredevil Discs.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm
  • Cole says:

    I started with the Magnet for about a year, moved to the Avair for about a year, then the Ion for about 6 months, then to the Voodoo for about 1.5 year. I am still rocking the voodoo, but I do also carry a zone as the voodoos are super horrible for anything outside of 15 with some wind.

    May 4, 2012 at 7:41 am
  • Jeremy says:

    I started with a DX Aviar, and when I only carry one putter, I carry a Champion Aviar that fits nicely in my NutSac disc bag. However, when I play tournaments, I carry a larger bag, so I carry more than one putter.

    I have an Omega Super Soft putter that I like because it never runs away when I miss a putt, and I have a Champion Rhino that I like because it has a smaller rim than most putters, making it easy to wrap my fingers around it for long approaches and sidearm throws. I sometimes carry a DX Birdie because I’ve found no other putter that I can turbo-putt as well. The Birdie is the most turbo-friendly putter I’ve found so far.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm
  • Charles says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone, I always like to read what others like.

    I am not married yet. I am committed to the Soft Challenger, which I really like, but it needs to do more for me before I am ready to tie the knot. Maybe it is me, maybe my lack of a full commitments is keeping the disc from really putting out for me ?

    May 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  • Tom Gill says:

    “It’s we that must bend, not the spoon…” (from “The Matrix”). Started with a Classic Roc (because I was a 1-disc player), then XD (still love it for certain 50-60′ “putts”), Lightning’s #2 Putter (deep dish!) was my first long-term putting disc but too ready to ride the wind, so it got challenged by an Omega Super Soft with it’s grippy good feel. Practicing with a bunch of different putters to “find” one in my own stash, I realized how each needed a nuanced delivery to help them realize their potential (the “Matrix” reference) and I actually enjoyed the minor mental adjustments for each toss–it kept me focused. Almost complacent to throw “whatever” and then I saw the cool rubber Vibram Ridge. I liked the fit, feel and stiffness. It entered the rotation and seemed rather predictable, I noticed and could attribute the missed “gimmees” to my own failings… Instead of just falling in love, I made the DECISION to love (works for relationships too!), and worked with it’s flight characteristics to develop a delivery system (grip, stance, tilt, spin, etc.) that improved the results. Top has sagged a bit and that only seemed to make it behave even better. The occasional “you’ve got to be kidding me!” missed shorties remind me to take nothing for granted (another life lesson) and I vow to be more present in the next putting moment.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:45 am
  • Matthew Fox says:

    my first putter was a dx rhino, that was before i new what different types of plastic were, and i loved it for about two or three months then i just couldn’t hit a putt to save my life with it. so then i switched to a p1 maniac for about a month but i haven’t hit a putt outside 15 feet with it so out of despiration i started putting with my titanium buzzz and i love my buzzz… just not for putts. so i’m still looking for a good putter, right now i’m thinking about a swan 2 or a prodiscus jokeri. so i was just wondering if anyone has advise.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm
  • Bryan says:

    I’m going through in now. I’ve been playing for 6 months and feel like I’ll never find true love. I started with a DX Aviar a friend gave me but never liked it. Then I got an x’d out Dart that I putted with for a few weeks before finding out it was actually a Leopard. Then I got a real R-pro dart and used that for a good while.
    Then I found Gateway. Got a Voodoo first and loved the feeling, then I got a SSS Magic and was in love. I still love that disc except I became a pitch putter and needed something much firmer. (That magic is still my money disc outside 30 feet or so) I went through a SS Eraser Magic, a firm Warlock, a g9i Wizard and a firm Magic. Right now I go back and forth between the Magic and the Wizard. Wizard drops better but is heavier and Magic has that extra glide that I love on longish putts but hate on short stuff as I’ll hit the top of the basket.
    I’m thinking of trying a S Wizard, a firm Pure and a firm Ridge. Hope I find that special disk soon.
    Bryan recently posted..Second SightMy Profile

    March 1, 2013 at 10:11 am
  • J. Winegar says:

    I first started out with a disc craft Magnet and it was awesome for learning to putt. But after a couple of years I started getting involved in different disc golf events and started seeing what every one else putts with. I’ve seen a lot of different putters out there. I think it really depends on what fits you and your liking! I moved out on the magnet even tho i still tend to use the magnet at home with the portable basket. I’ve turned my eyes to the Omega Supersoft! I really like how its grippe and when the Omega ss hits the chains it sticks. Love that. I’ve got to liking them so much i’ve now got 4 different runs of the omega supersofts. One of them is the new Big Bead Omega and it is overstable and one of the things that i love about the disc is i can launch it <300Ft. I also have a Pig and a Rhino that stays in my bag for understable shots.

    December 24, 2013 at 12:12 am
  • Corey B says:

    I started with a classic aviar. then tried a focus, but wasn’t diggin’ it. then last year i bought Disc Mania Liberty basket along with a few wizards, pures, voodoo, and mvp anode.. my plan was to put all the different putters the same amount of time and track which one i made more puts with, which would earn the spot in my bag. The Lattitude 64 Pure ended up winning the battle and had been in the bag until this year. after a while, like many of us, my eyes started wandering and I recently picked up 2 KC pro Aviars, and 2 Pro D Challengers. they are very similar putters, and I really could go either way, but the Challengers are winning me over due to these reasons: the plastic(not to soft, not too hard… just right) the shape.. fits perfect in the hand, and i love the subtle concave top(similar to wizards)which fits my thumb perfect.

    after my search I realized that these are the most important parts of choosing the putter that’s right for you, because anyone could learn any putter out there, and adjust their technique accordingly.

    1. Feel in your hand… you know when it just feel right!

    2. Bead or no Bead…. beaded putters tend to get more love!

    3. plastic… the grip and soft/firm ratio. firmer are more consistent in flight,but softer tend to stick where they land better.

    4. flight outside the circle… stable/understable

    5. height of the putter… i love the height of challengers and wizards. they are not too shallow, and not too tall(the aviar is just a tad taller than my liking)

    April 26, 2014 at 12:54 am

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