Reptilian Disc Golf has released two putters so far in a brand new plastic. The Serpent is a straight putter that just might slither into a bag near you.
“The Serpent is RDG’s second mold! These Serpents are molded in our most popular plastic! The Serpent features the RDG top paired with a beadless bottom to produce a much straighter, more beginner friendly PnA mold.”
“Fossil plastic is one of our signature proprietary blends. Developed for the golfer that prefers a stiffer putter, Fossil plastic is built to wear in evenly and predictably. Golfers who prefer to carry multiples of a single mold will find that the Fossil plastic will season up for a perfect cycle. Fossil is only available in bright white & always molds up flat, firm and perfectly grippy. We developed this blend with classic pro feeling plastics in mind. The RDG brain trust is confident in saying that we have nailed our desired feel. Grab your favorite mold in Fossil plastic today!”
Available plastics: Fossil
Flight Rating: 3 speed, 3 glide, -.5 turn, 1 fade
Aside from the wonderful artwork, there’s an obvious track on the top of the disc but it isn’t positioned for a golfer’s thumb. I’m guessing this is for flight characteristics only. With a rounded blunt nose and no bead, the mold feels very nice in my hand. The fossil plastic is really firm but holds a very nice grip.
By the Numbers
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Important observation: This is the first putter I remember seeing with the same turn and fade numbers as the Dynamic Discs Judge.
I started my testing inside the circle, where the Serpent did not disappoint. In fact, I made my first several 20 footers. This probably has a lot to do with the turn and fade similarities to the Judge, which I have used as my main putter for quite some time. I would consider this a point-and-shoot putter out to the edge of the circle. At this point the most notable characteristic stands out – lack of glide.
My biggest concern tossing a long putt with the judge is the possible missed putts that tend to glide a bit too far. Reptilian Disc Golf’s Serpent has given me a great chance to compare two similar putters with different glide ratings. First realization: I can’t putt the Serpent as far as the Judge. The single characteristic that concerns me with the Judge is also enables me to putt from further distances. Second realization: a putter with less glide is more forgiving. Missed putts with the Serpent sat down near the basket every time.
Even with the super firm Fossil plastic, I haven’t had a problem with missed putts rolling away. On some particularly cold days, I saw an increased percentage of chain outs, but so did my playing partners who were using some very soft plastic. The Fossil plastic also helps with a consistent release as the disc has more grip than a normal hard plastic putter.
Putting on windy days took several attempts to understand how the flight plate groove interacts with the breeze. I have some more testing to do, but it seems that the track makes the putter a little release angle sensitive in the wind. Directly into a headwind with perfect release, the Serpent will perform very well. Launch it a little nose down however and it seems to drop a little sooner than expected.
At lower power, the Serpent flies very straight before dropping to the earth. I agree with the flight numbers other than the glide, which I feel is rather low as noted previously. Give it a little more gas and the disc will start to turn over. Same thing goes with a flick – keep the power level low and you’ll be treated to a straight flight.
Overall I think this disc likes the straight line the best. Too much anhyzer and you’ll drive it into the ground. Too much power with a hyzer and you’ll watch it flip up to flat. With some extra field work, I think this can be a rather consistent understable upshot disc.
Driving the Serpent requires some finesse, just like most understable putters. The rim seems just a little deeper than the Judge, but not as deep as something like the Discmania P2. That said, I did not have trouble releasing the disc at all.
The Serpent is a fantastic point-and-shoot putter inside the circle that also excels for as an approach disc. This disc reminds me of a straighter Westside Discs Shield or a Dynamic Discs Judge with reduced glide. I wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner or anyone not willing to put some time into learning the intricate aspects of wind putting. I, for one, have replaced my long-term favorite putter with the Serpent for the winter season. Time will tell if the change stays when the weather turns.