Disc Golf Information: Putter Flexibility
Here at Gateway we manufacture and market a wide range of flexibilities and surface grips for our putt and approach discs, the Wizard, Warlock, Voodoo and Magic. Our manufacturing techniques have come from over 10 years of extensive research and development and allows us to produce the best polymer blends for golf discs in the industry. We hope we have created something special that meets your needs as an individual customer.
If you are very particular or looking for something specific, the best-case scenario is to get in front of a large selection of our discs and test flex around on them a bit to find the perfect fit. Everyone seems to like something different, which is why we make so many different types of putters. If Gateway putters are not available in your area, please ask your local dealer to contact us (or contact us directly) and we will try and get their location set up.
It is important to note that the marketing of our putter plastic variations is not just based on flexibility, but also on surface complexion and surface hardness. Even though we only state four discrete flexibilities in our marketing materials – SSS (Super Stupid Soft), SS (Super Soft), Soft, and Medium – we actually produce runs that have a range of up to ten different flexibilities!
Here’s a rundown on the differences in putter flexibilities, on a scale of 1 to 10: A 1 is the softest surface and floppiest we make (think SSS), though realistically most SSS we make we shoot for are 2. A Super Soft is a 4, a Soft is a 7, and a Medium is a 9. Mediums won’t flex much unless you really apply pressure – 50% of the Mediums are probably closer to a 10, designed for players that just like firm discs.
There are many runs that fall in between these target numbers, like 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8. Again, our marketing of Super Stupid Soft, Super Soft, Soft and Medium is not only flexibility, but surface complexion.
There are formulas that we use when we’re shooting for a certain flexibility and know that within in each class there is at least one polymer that is proprietary to that particular class. A Medium has a percentage of a talc-filled polypropylene (PP), a soft has a percentage of a regular PP, the Super Soft has no PP and a Super Stupid Soft has no PP and a soft rubber thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) less than 70 A-Shore. What does “70 A-Shore” mean, you ask?
All recipes for production runs have two materials in common, a 90 A-Shore TPV that is compounded with a mineral “concentrate” that makes the discs heavy and a non mineral filled 80 A-Shore TPV that weighs .93 that is the base. The concentrate weighs over 2.0 density, and the target for a 175 g putter would only be 1.4 density. PP weighs .90 and the talc-filled PP weighs 1.7. The method of mixing each batch to get the right flex and weight is a very challenging task – a combination of math, science and art – and will often produce runs of discs in between the 2, 4, 7, and 9 flexibility scale targets.
The one great thing about dry-blending our batches (as opposed to having a master batch produced for us for each flex) is the fact that a dry-blended batch allows the softest of the materials to migrate to the surface of the part. In all four flexibilities, the softest material will migrate to the surface making for soft, tacky, grippy discs even if they are not very flexible. The Super Stupid Soft has no PP added and a rubber that is less than 70 A-Shore, making it not only softer on its surface, but more flexible as well.