Disc Review: The Ion

After a year or more of switching from one to another, I've finally found my go to putter…the Ion! Manufactured by MVP Disc Sports, LLC in Michigan, this unique disc is where it’s at. Even though the Ion is my go to putter, I do keep two others in my bag. I tend to prefer to use my XD for drives and longer tosses from the fairway, while I use my JuJu for high arching shots that need to bend around tree limbs and sit soft. The Ion is primarily used for putts that I’m looking to drain as the high arching floaters from the JuJu are rarely high percentage shots. I’m just trying to give myself a chance, all the while having the disc sit soft enough where I’m going to make the come backer. As great as the XD and JuJu are, when I’m trying to bang one in the back of the chains…out comes the Ion.

The Ion is a straight flying putter with a lot of glide. The over-molded, soft edge is great for the chains to receive the disc, while providing unbelievable comfort in the hands of players of all levels. The main difference between this disc and common disc golf discs is the different materials it is comprised of. MVP Disc Sports, LLC has named this GYRO Technology. It is a dual-polymer concept where the flight plate core is constructed of a lighter plastic than the darker, heavier material that comprises the over-mold edge. Th
e juxtaposition between the materials allows for a “stabilized disc flight that keeps it spinning later in flight to produce straighter, longer and more accurate results,” according to the manufacturer’s website.

There are multiple selections in firmness of these discs, but the heavier plastic material on the over-mold edge remains the same super soft, grippy egde that is optimal for grabbing the chains, minimizing kick outs. I see this point, but I also tend to use my Ion through twigs and underbrush like I do my significantly heavier Wolf. It has a great glide to it, but I feel the Ion penetrates through the trees like a mid range. Most putters get kicked directly down by twigs, but my Ion just keeps on trucking so I can confidently use it to get back into position or stroke a birdie.

I would suggest this disc to any fellow disc golfer that is looking for a new putter. Maybe it’s not for you, but what’s the harm in trying? The feel of the disc really works for me. I wouldn’t suggest using the disc off the tee or for longer shots, as I don’t have as much confidence in it as my XD, but when I get up to the basket, the Ion ups my confidence ten fold. The over-mold edge helps the disc “melt” into the chains like the JuJu, but the stability of the disc is so much better. The Ion comes in several colors and is one of the only disc golf discs that are distributed as blanks. The price tag on a new Ion is right around $14.00 and is worth a shot for any disc golfer looking for a new weapon close to the basket.

Source of Images: MVP Disc Sports, LLC website (www.mvpdiscsports.com)

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Gateway Warlock Review

The Warlock is yet another high-quality putter from Gateway, who seem to pump out P&A molds like nobody else on the market.  The Warlock is essentially a Wizard (my personal favorite) without the bead on the rim.  Since the bead is what gives the Wizard it's stability, the Warlock is much less stable.  The Warlock makes a great ultra-straight putter or short-distance turnover driver.

I recommend that Warlock to beginning players because it will give a perfectly straight line right out of the box.  Overall, this is a high-quality putter for anyone who needs to add a straight flying putt and approach to their bag.   It is available in the standard plastics that Gateway offers,  but I prefer the super soft mold...not too soft, not too hard!

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Innova Dart Review

Perhaps the most innovative characteristic of the Innova Dart is that it is available in bendable and grippy R-Pro plastic.  If you've never held a disc in this material you owe it to yourself to pick one up.  Try to imagine an eraser with a smooth texture...that's kind of what it's like.  The Innova Dart putt and approach golf disc is also available in DX and Star plastics.

Enough about the plastic...let's get to the disc. The Innova Dart is a putter that is designed for long "get-em" shots around 300' or less. When dealing with the Dart, it's probably better to think mid-range than putter.  In fact, you can probably throw the dart just about as long as any of your mid-range discs.  My favorite part about throwing this disc is that it really resists turning over - something other approach discs generally fail at.  As a result, the dart makes an ideal driving putter for holes less than 300ft.

The Dart won't replace your Aviar for every-day putts, but it will hold a spot in your bag for those in-between shots.  The Innova Dart is a specialty disc, but a great one at that. It glides like a dream and holds a line better than most approach discs.

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Gateway Magic Review

Description - Easy to control putter, ideal for beginners

Pros - Super straight right out of the box

Cons - Holds ANY line, not stable at all

Compares to - Polecat w/  little more speed

For a disc golf beginner there is nothing more important than accuracy, especially when it comes to putters.  Gateway Disc Golf has long been known for their expertise when it comes to putting. The Wizard is  favorite among many pros for its dependability and versatility. Often overlooked is the

Magic, a less stable putter from Gateway.

The Magic's "Magic" lies in its ability to hold any line. It's outer edge is a little more blunt than a Wizard, resulting in a more straight flight path.  In fact, the Magic has been compared to a well-worn Wizard...which is a very good thing in my book.

While the Gateway Magic Putter will indeed hold a straight line it is not particularly good in the wind or for longer approach shots. Unfortunately, the Magic's ability to hold a line makes it vulnerable when conditions are not ideal.  As a result the Magic tends to be less popular among seasoned players than Aviars or Wizards.  While the Magic will not replace my go-to putters, it is a really nice choice for beginners or those with trouble putting consistently with more stable discs.

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Gateway Wizard Putter Review

I first tried out the Gateway Wizard at my local course. We have a local vendor who sets up his portable shop, complete with thousands of discs and even a couple of targets.  I picked up this unfamiliar putter with a strange heat stamp and I was instantly hooked. It felt great in my hand and flew very straight from the first toss. But what was this mystery disc?

Eventually I discovered that it was the Gateway Wizard (and I bought one within minutes).  This disc has become an increasingly popular putter in my bag for a number of reasons. For one, it feels great. It has a rounded outside with a ridge to place my pointer finger. When the Wizard was designed by the folks at Gateway, feel and comfort were definitely kept in mind. Think of it like an Innova Aviar with a rounded bottom.

Secondly, and probably the most important factor of any disc, is the flight pattern.  The Wizard flies predictably with just a bit of low speed fade. It is great in the wind, uphill, or downhill. I also like this disc for approaches inside 100'. The Wizard is truly one of the best kept secrets in disc golf...although many long-time players have been raving about this disc for years now.

My only concern with this disc is the consistency of the plastic. The Wizard is available in regular, soft, and even super soft. However, individual discs can be very inconsistent in softness...I have even held some "soft" Wizards that feel softer than their "super soft" counterparts.  If you buy your discs in person make sure you compare them to insure that you enjoy the feel.

Despite some interesting inconsistencies in plastic the Gateway Wizard is an awesome putter. Familiar with Innova and Discraft? Try giving this Gateway disc a toss.

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Discraft Rattler Review – An Old School Putter

If you get the opportunity to pick up a Discraft Rattler Putt and Approach Disc you will quickly realize it is unlike any other golf disc in your bag because it actually feels like an old-fashioned "Frisbee". Its deep groove and thin outer edge will bring back memories of throwing discs at the beach or playing ultimate. Make no mistake though...this disc is designed for long approach putts.

The Discraft Rattler Putter is specifically designed to fly straight and quickly fall to the ground after it hits the peak of its flight. How could this be useful? Well...imagine you are about 100ft away from the basket. Sure...you could throw your mid range (like a Buzz or Meteor) and hope you don't overthrow. You could also throw the same mid range disc at 50% power. However, we all know decreased throwing power can cause your disc to hyzer or anhyzer prematurely.  The Discraft Rattler is designed for long putts such as these. Ideally, the Rattler is supposed to arrive near the basket then drop within feet of the chains.  Where some putters with more glide may overshoot the basket, the Rattler will provide you with an easy 2-putt (assuming you do not make the long putt).

I used my Rattler at the Rockburn Disc Golf Course in Howard County, MD a few days ago.  It flew just as advertised. The disc reminded me of a hovercraft as it floated towards the basket.  The flight was extremely slow, but also very true.  It took some getting used to, but eventually I became very comfortable throwing the Rattler both inside and outside the putting circle. Seeing this disc's unusual flight characteristics might just be worth the price of admission (about $8 MSRP).

Overall, will this disc replace your current favorite putter? Probably not. Could it be a great situational putter? Absolutely. I will definitely find a use for this disc in my bag,  especially on longer putts where overshooting is not an option (around water hazards, dense forest). I recommend that you pick one up and try it out (especially at its inexpensive price tag)...you just might find the Discraft Rattler a useful addition to your bag too.

The Good:

  • Very straight flight path
  • Predicable on long putts
  • Will not overshoot your target

The Not So Good:

  • Can not be given a hyzer or anhyzer easily