Alright guys, today I would like to take a moment and offer a more in-depth review of the latest Prodigy D1 and D4 “First Run” stamp discs.
Earlier in February, fellow Doglegger Jeremiah wrote a review on the Prodigy D1 and D4 “Proto” stamp discs here on the blog. Since, Prodigy has released the “First Runs” about a month ago. So I wanted to elaborate on Jeremiah’s review with a more in-depth look for the newly tweaked “First Runs”. In this review I will cover such characteristics as grip, look and feel, flight patterns and more. I would like to include several vid clips and pics below in the article that we took while testing these two discs out.
Let me preface this by stating that before I write any disc reviews, I will always take the disc out on the course multiple rounds and play several weeks with it first. I also normally test the disc at a few different local courses as well. This helps me get a better understanding of how the disc reacts in different weather conditions as well as terrain—whether it be open fields or tighter, wooded courses. I want my reviews to be fair, honest and from my perspective. Keep in mind this review is solely my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the same opinions of other Dogleggers.
About a month ago, I got a hold of both the new Prodigy D1 and D4 “First Run” discs from InfiniteDiscs.com. I was extremely ecstatic the day both arrived in the mail! I was like a kid in a candy shop. The wait was over. Ever since the D1/D4’s release, I had heard nothing but great things about Prodigy discs. I felt like I just had to have a piece of disc golf history (well I’d like to think anyway). Friends had told me the discs felt like no other plastic out on the market and even adding 20-30 feet to their drives. Seriously? A new brand of disc could do that? I was slightly gullible, so of course I was going to give them a try!
Upon pulling the brand new discs out of the box, I instantly noticed a completely different feel to the plastic. A grippy coating unlike any other I had seen before—which I liked already. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still not falling for any hype until I tested it myself. Let’s do this…[time-lapse]
Over the past four weeks I’ve thrown and tested out both Prodigy D1 and D4’s. I have finally gathered enough observations to give it a fair review. Daylight Savings Time had not yet switched over yet when I received the discs which meant it was dark already after I got off work each day. Ugh I hated it getting dark so early. I remember being antsy that entire week until the weekend rolled around before I could play. Finally, I could actually make it out during daylight hours to test them.
As I mentioned earlier, I was drawn to Prodigy’s grip right away. It has a solid firm feel with a good amount of grip on it. It seems like it would be a slippery disc with its translucent appearance. Innova Pro Katanas have been my go-to driver for the last three years. I love the Katana’s feel and the wider-rimmed edges which fit nicely in my long fingers. I was surprised to find that both of the Prodigy’s have a wide rim as well (According to Infinite Disc’s website, the Prodigy’s rim width is 2.3cm compared to the Katana’s 2.5cm). Could one of the Prodigy’s become my go-to replacement?
Prodigy is calling the grip on these two discs the 400 series. According to Prodigy’s website,
“The 400 series is a premium blend of material that is extremely durable. The unique blend of plastics feels as good as it looks and will be able to be broken in over time. This tour quality plastic gives the thrower better grip even when it is wet.”
A lot of high-speed discs are flatter and have sharper outside edges. Sometimes this sharpness can cut into your tightly curled fingers upon release..which sucks. But neither Prodigy did. Both of the Prodigy discs felt very comfortable with my grip (modified Split Power/Fork grip). The slightly taller height of the disc—compared to the Katana—helped it fit better and tighter in my hand. It also seemed to make it feel less sharp on that outer edge. Both discs are made up of a firm, very durable, high-performance plastic that feels great, but can it fly?
• First course test: Alexander Park DGC, Hole #3 (FYI, all Prodigy discs are stamped just up the road from this course at Disc Stalker.)
• First disc up: Prodigy D1
• Weather conditions: Overcast, mid-30s with 15-20 mph winds
The D1 is Prodigy’s very fast, overstable distance driver recommended for advanced players and power throwers alike. Infinite Discs rates this disc’s flight characteristics as 13|6|0|3.
The D4 is Prodigy’s most understable disc in their line. It is still a high-speed disc and not as understable as one might think. Don’t be fooled by its “understable” label. It is a serious disc that players of all skill level will enjoy. It flies extremely far and has lots of glide. Infinite Discs rates the D4’s flight characteristics as 13|6|-3|2.
OK, so my first throw with the D1 was terrible I will admit. Ha of course I’ll blame it on the wind all day, but it did soar out of my hand and straight into the treeline as a wind pocket lifted it high and right. The D1 is not a beginner-level disc by any means and does require a good bit of arm to get it to plane out like it’s designed too. I didn’t put near enough power into that one, so we’ll try again next hole.
The D4 is a lot more understable and seemed to us much easier to throw at first than the D1 did. Destin had the first throw with the D1 and actually did pretty well with it. You can see him in action on the short clip below on Hole #3 at Alexander Park. Listen to the wind in the clip; it was mid-30s with 15-20 mph winds that day.
It took me a while—even a few weeks later—before I could really get down the release throwing the D1. I kept switching up between the D1 and the D4 for much of the first round trying to figure which disc best suited my throwing style. I agreed with Destin that first round and more so favored the D4. It wasn’t as difficult to throw, but again it could have been a combination of several factors including the huge wind gusts, cold fingers and first time throwing the discs. I wasn’t going to give up on it though, I was going to figure this disc out one way or another.
As the day went on, I found myself leaning more towards the D4 with its subtle S-curve. The D4 felt more comfortable in my hand pressed against my fingers. The D1 seems to have more on an inner bead which had a bit rougher inner lip compared to the D1. That day I just couldn’t throw the D1 hard enough to get it to turn at a high enough rate of speed. It had a tighter fairway shot accompanied with a mean hook at the end which resulted in a big skip gaining me another 20 feet or so. It wasn’t until Hole #11 until I caught my break with the D4 (and longest drive I had all day) on a big shot down to the basket. You can hear the gusty winds in the background.
After a miserably cold and windy round, I still wasn’t completely satisfied that I had given the Prodigy discs a fair chance. I needed more practice, less wind and different playing conditions. Over a few more weekends worth of play, we tested the discs at Sequoyah Park, Oregon Park and Wills Park to help complete our review. The video below was taken on Hole #4 at Wills. Here I’m throwing the Prodigy D1. Now the D1 I had struggled with from the beginning because I couldn’t get enough arm behind my throw. After throwing it numerous times during several rounds, I finally figured out how I could tweak my own throw to compensate for its flight pattern. I loved its S-curve flight and big skip at the end. You can’t tell from the video, but the disc hits on the left side of the fairway and skips huge towards the basket. Not realizing how good of a shot it actually was, I was quite shocked when we approached the basket to find it lying about 10-ft past it on the bank. Yeaaa!
[Continue reading after the jump. You won’t want to miss =)]
My throw lands around 10-ft from the basket on the bank. Overshot it.
Destin teeing off with the D4 on the same hole.
Me with the D1 again (still frame from the video above).
Destin on Hole #6 giving the D4 all he has haha.
D1: This disc is not for beginners nor slow throwers.. It takes a lot of arm to really power this bad boy. Designed for power throwers, it has mad consistency in the wind and stays true to its path. I found that I could keep this disc’s flight a lot more level than the D4’s. Play the hook at the end to your advantage. Place it to where you can gain from the skip at the end. Although not a fav of mine out of the box, it has now become my preferred Prodigy driver. It took weeks of practice, but I have adjusted my grip and throw to compensate for this very fast, strong driver. This disc has replaced a few other long-time drivers in my bag and is battling for top spot against my seasoned Pro Katana.
D4: Don’t be fooled by this disc’s “understable” label. It’s questionable if that at all. This disc is much easier to throw than the D1, but I still would not call this a beginner disc. It, like the D1, is a Speed 13 driver which means it’s very fast and requires an advanced arm to huck it right. It has a beautiful S-curve and I love to watch this thing sail. It has a comfortable grip and releases with ease. I’m a fan of the high-vis yellow color too as it makes this a good disc for late afternoon/sunset play. If I’ve got a little more room to play with on a fairway, I’ll reach for this driver. You’ll find this disc as well in my bag at all times.
Unless you’re a power thrower, I would try the D4 first in a weight that is close to what you normally throw. Both of these discs I have been very pleased with thus far in the month that I’ve had them. Haha now I don’t have big arms by any means, but I do throw hard. If you have the power arm to control these, hands down they’ll add a good bit more distance to your drives. Depending on the hole, I’ve noticed an average of 20-50 ft added onto my drives. Earlier this eve after work at Oregon Park, I threw my first ever 350+ drive with the D1. The glide and s-curve on it was amazing. And too, I’ve hit a few trees with them already and still show no signs of nicks or cuts into the plastic. Solid made. I truly think Prodigy has indeed put out a high quality product that was well worth the wait. No wonder some of disc golf’s top pros have left their previous sponsors to join Team Prodigy. I look forward to their midrange Spring release!
Where to Buy! (promo code):
You can click here to purchase the D1, or click here to purchase the D4. *Right now they’re giving our readers a discount on their orders which include a Prodigy disc – so be sure to use code “DogLegDG” when you checkout!
Thanks for reading and go buy you a Prodigy today!
I’m really excited to share with you all the first of many photo-based course guides I plan on creating. I got the idea to start these when I realized that many members of the Dogleg community would not have the opportunity to practice the courses for Amateur Worlds until they arrived for the competition. Since Columbia (my hometown) is only 3.5 hours away and St. Louis (where I go to school) is only 5 hours away, I figured I was in a great position to help non-Midwestern disc golfers prepare for such a big event.
But, making a trip to Emporia was easier said than done. I sat on the idea for a month or two before Adam and I decided Valentine’s Day weekend would be the best time for us to take a disc golf trip. (Jealous? Refer to my last post: Love Is In The Air.) After a few near-death experiences caused by our failure to realize that some highways outside of Kansas City were icy, we made it safely to my first Emporia course: Jones West.
According to Disc Golf Course Review, Jones West, an 18-hole par-54 course, was established in 1989. The topography has some gentle hills, but is mostly flat. After all, it is Kansas we’re talking about! Trees—ranging from broad and branchy evergreens to skinny deciduous trunks—definitely factor into the strategy on this course, but not to the degree that it creates the feeling of playing in the woods. There are two ponds on the course, which create water hazards on 5 holes. Each hole has two different pin placements, red and blue, for the Mach 3 baskets. (For more info: http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=1403)
As with most other Midwestern courses, the difficulty will vary with different weather and seasonal conditions. Wind wasn’t a huge factor the day we played, but I’ve heard it can be pretty extreme in Emporia (there was a tornado nearby during the weekend of the Glass Blown Open last year). The seasonal changes to the course will be a little more predictable. Just like anywhere else, in spring and summer trees will be thicker and have more leaves; in the fall and winter they’ll thin out and leave more gaps. The size of the ponds will change depending on precipitation in the days and weeks before. This will cause the water hazards to be more or less extreme on some holes. (The water was pretty low when I took these pictures; there was a drought last summer, and the heavy snow didn’t hit until a few weeks later.)
After playing the course, we swung by the Dynamic Discs store and talked with Adam Searle. He said that all of the courses in the area will be getting new tee signs before hosting Am Worlds. (The ones they have at Jones West now are pretty nice, but several have been vandalized. I edited most of the vandalism out in my pictures.) As of my correspondence with Dynamic Discs on Thursday, I learned that Jones West will not be used for the Glass Blown Open this year, but it will be for Am Worlds. They are in the process of finalizing which pin placements will be used for the tournament.
Now that I have all the details out of the way, enjoy the pictures!
Hole #1: We played this hole in the red placement. For those of you who have played at Jones before, you may notice that the giant tree in the middle of the fairway (the one on the tee sign) is no longer there, which makes the hole play out a lot easier. Water shouldn’t affect you on this hole, even though it can be seen on the tee sign. Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3
Hole #2: We played this hole in the red placement. The road on the left is OB. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 2
Hole #3: We played this in the blue placement. Righties, beware of the road that runs down the left of the fairway, it’s OB! Scores: Emily 5, Adam 4
Hole #4: We played this hole in the blue placement. The fairway is gently sloped downhill. When the pin is in the red placement, water may come into play. Scores: Emily 7, Adam 3
Hole #5: We played this in the red placement. Scores: Emily 4, Adam 5
Hole #6: Based on the pictures I took, I can’t remember which placement this hole was in. Tee for this hole is right up next to the edge of the pond, whose width will vary depending on rainfall. I didn’t quite have the distance or confidence to go across, so I played around it. The top center picture shows the view from the pad. The far right picture looks back at the pad from across the pond. The picture across the bottom shows the length of the pond; you can see the tee pad on the left. Scores: Emily 7, Adam 4
Hole #7: We played this in the red placement. I didn’t get any pictures of this one because I ended up in the water (which shouldn’t typically happen for lefties, but I kept griplocking REALLY badly). Water will come into play though for right-handed hyzer shots if they go too long. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3
Hole #8: We played this in the red placement. Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3
Hole #9: We played this in the red placement. The fairway is slightly downhill overall, with a drainage creek running across it. There is a cluster of skinny trees surrounding the tee pad, and a few larger evergreens guarding the basket. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 4
Hole #10: We played this in the blue placement. The big tree on the tee sign that used to be in the fairway is gone. It previously played as a mando, so the shot to the basket is significantly more open than it has been in the past. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3
Hole #11: We played this in the blue placement. The fairway curves to the left for both placements. The green slopes down then back up, creating a bit of a valley. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 5
Hole #12: We played this in the red placement. The right side of the fairway is lined with trees; the left side is relatively open. The basket is within the treeline on the right, and is surrounded by trees on 3 sides. Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3
Hole #13: We played this in the red placement. The road on the right is OB. You can see that it is roped off on the edge of the pictures; the ropes are a few feet from the edge of the road. Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3
Hole #14: We played this in the red placement. The basket is tucked between two evergreen trees, and behind a smaller tree. Scores: Emily 3, Adam 3
Hole #15: We played this in the blue placement. The road on the right of the hole is OB. Past the evergreens on the left is wide open, in the event a shot doesn’t land in the fairway. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3
Hole #16: We played this in the blue placement. I didn’t get any pictures of this hole because, for me, it was long and frustrating, and Adam’s shot didn’t turn over and landed in someone’s yard across the road. Whoops! Scores: Emily 9, Adam 3
Hole #17: We played this in the red placement. There is OB on both sides of the fairway (road on the right, houses on the left). Water comes into play for the blue placement, but not the red. Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3
Hole #18: We played this in a special placement that is usually used for Hole #1; it goes all the way across the pond and rests on the edge instead of being on the left side of it, as is seen in the red and blue placements. You can see the basket from the tee in the top picture, where it is to the right of the brown trees. The water makes this placement especially difficult. We learned from experience that, if faced with a difficult putt, it is vital to throw a shot that will not roll if it hits the ground. I ended up 50+ feet from the basket more than once on a roll. Also, for the blue placement, it may be important to know that the road is OB behind the tree line. Scores: Emily 11, Adam 4
Hey guys and gals!
I apologize for the lack of new posts lately here on the blog. For me personally, my last few months have been crazy busy between work, planning of our wedding and designing all of its printed collateral (Life of an engaged designer :)). Six more months til my wedding! I’m very excited about starting this new chapter in my life!
Early weekend mornings I’m still managing to find some free time to slip in a round of DG around everything else going on. My DG Fix! However, it also comes with less time to keep up my share of the posts lately I do realize. Anyways, enough of me.
A couple of things that I wanted to update you all with on Dogleg:
Enough reading for now, you should be out huckin’ plastic on this beautiful day! Hittin’ mid-70s today here in sunny Georgia! Go throw! Life is good.
Hey guys and gals!
Now that the Memorial has wrapped up I wanted to make sure anybody that hasn’t had a chance to see Paul “McBeast” McBeth’s record breaking final round at Fountain Hills has a chance to see it. This is the best round of disc golf ever played and recorded. Paul shoots an incredible 39 in his final day to make an incredible push to force Will Schusterick into a play off!
Here’s the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-xGFbRdNv0
Go watch history!!! This is truly incredible and he makes it look effortless!
My first run as tournament director is coming up in about a month. If you want to read more about it please check out my last post on Dogleg. I am not collecting a tournament fee so my original plan was to just have players win a beer from other players. Then I got it in my head to see if I could get some prizes donated. This has proven to be a great learning experience and a very successful one too.
For what is basically a free tournament, we are going to have a huge set of prizes. There will be a free key-chain bottle opener (and hopefully a beer koozie) for every player that pre-registers. We have five disc golf bags to give away. We also have 11 discs from seven different manufacturers as prizes. There are also a bunch of great extra prizes including things from local breweries which works great with the single beer fee to play.
When I first decided to try to find sponsors, I looked up every brewery in Michigan and sent them an email or contacted them through their website. The email explained the premise of the tournament and asked for donations to give away as prizes. I was very lucky to have two Michigan breweries agree to donate. Looking back on those emails now, I am surprised that I even got anyone to respond. Thankfully, both breweries have people at the brewery that play disc golf.
After getting brewery stuff, I thought it would be a good idea to contact some disc golf companies. Again, I looked up everyone that I could think of (outside of “the big two”) and sent them an email. I would have continued with these lack luster results if I hadn’t gotten the most helpful response declining to donate. They actually gave me feedback on my donation request and after incorporating what they told me, my responses really started to turn around.
Here is the format that I found has really worked for me:
- Briefly introduce yourself and your tournament. There are hundreds of tournaments out there. Explain what makes yours different from the rest.
- Talk about the company that you are making the request from and how they line up with your tournament. This part is specific to the company that you are working with and it is important that it be personalized. This can’t be a form letter.
- A donation is a business decision. Explain the specific exposure that the company will get with their donation. How many players are expected? What level of players are you expecting? Where and how will the company be promoted by the tournament? Will there be sponsor logos on posters, web sites, t-shirts, etc?
- Try to be specific about what you are asking for as a donation. If you leave it wide open, the company will not have any expectation on the monetary commitment that you are asking for.
The last step that I have to do for collecting prizes is to go around to local businesses to ask for donations. At this point I am a little behind the gun on this one. I feel like I would have been more successful if I had started a couple of weeks ago but I just haven’t had the time. Real life keeps getting in the way. Businesses that I am thinking might be interested are local bars/restaurants, the local movie theater, and maybe the local bowling alley. Hopefully a walk through town shaking hands and talking to people about something that I really enjoy will result in a few more prizes to give away. This is a different approach from sending emails and it is a little intimidating.
Don’t let a lack of responses get you down. There was a stretch where I was really getting down on myself because I was sending out a lot of communications and I wasn’t hearing back. It was like high school all over again. But then, as I continued to work at it, I started getting more and more responses. Some of the older requests started coming in too. There were literally weeks where I was working with four different companies to see how they could work with my tournament.
One thing that I noticed about every single disc golf company that I worked with was that they are a part of the disc golf community. Whether or not a company donated, they all seem to be going out of their way to grow the sport. If you are organizing a disc golf tournament, focus on working with disc golf companies to help the sport together. Don’t burn bridges, and try to build a long lasting relationship with everyone that you deal with. Chances are, you will get the tournament director bug and your first will not be your last.