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!