In this corner, out of Wixom, MI and presented by Discraft, we have the Challenger! Hide the chains and cover the basket, this putter is popular with the pros and boasts several World Championships.
“The Challenger™ is an amazing overstable putter, and very popular with advanced players. It can get around trouble for those long hyzer putts and is overstable enough to take a good amount of snap on approaches.”
Available plastics: Pro D, Jawbreaker, ESP FLX, Z FLX
Flight Rating: 2 speed, 3 glide, 0 turn, 2 fade (estimated)
With a slightly deeper rim and a clean nose, the Challenger feels solid in my hand. Those with smaller hands may not feel comfortable right away.
By the Numbers
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Personally, I feel like the Challenger is best used for spin putts and shorter approach shots. Up around the basket, a spin putt with this putter is consistent and easy to understand. I am able to find a good rhythm and send putts into the chains from 20-25′ fairly well. A more seasoned spin putter would really like the overstability of the Challenger as it tends to mitigate wind and helps eliminate an entire set of missed putts (to the right for a right hander). Missed putts with the Challenger will likely be left of the basket.
This is a low glide putter and as a result missed putts don’t fly away very far. If you have a lot of power in your spin putt, you’ll really enjoy the Challenger for this reason. Longer putts from 50′ or so will still drop and settle near the basket.
On the flip side, the Challenger isn’t a great option for push putting. For that I prefer a slightly more shallow rim, a little more glide, and a little less overstable (yes, I just described a Roach). That said, if you’re looking for a putter that gives a natural hyzer line, the Challenger will do well for you.
The Challenger reminds me a lot of the Gateway Wizard or the McPro Aviar. All of these discs perform very well off the tee and for longer approaches. The Challenger is a little slimmer than the Wizard which may be a bonus for some players, especially when throwing a touch shot. At full power, the putter doesn’t turn too hard to the right before gliding forward and finishing softly to the left. Softer throws obviously exhibit less turn and more fade, but that fade is consistent and easy to manage. Forehand shots with the Challenger will hold a nice line for a while too.
On an anhyzer line the Challenger flexes back into a nice straight line allowing for some longer than expected throws. You won’t get the same distance out of this as the Wizard but you’ll find a little more consistency overall so the choice really depends on your play style.
If you primarily push putt, you probably should opt for the Roach but if you’re looking for a new putter for spin putting you should try the Challenger in Jawbreaker.
You have your choice of several great plastics and depending on your desired usage you may want to carry a few Challengers. After the break-in period, the Jawbreaker plastic is nicer than Pro D for putting in my opinion and I really like the ESP FLX for throwing as an approach disc.