Discraft Challenger Review
The Challenger is one of Discraft's flagship discs. It has been helping professionals and amateurs alike card birdies for over two decades. This deep-dish beaded putter is an excellent option on the green, off the tee, or on the approach. This Discraft Challenger review will break down which Challenger in stock and for sale is right for you.
Discraft Challenger Plastics
Having been in heavy production for 20 years, the Challenger has appeared in pretty much every plastic blend Discraft has ever cooked up. The below options are most common, but it can be found in others if you dig into the secondary market.
- Putter Line: A variant of Discraft's classic baseline plastic, the Putter Line blend comes in Soft and Firm varieties. Most players prefer its tacky and grippy feel on the green. While Putter Line is not very durable, it has the most comfortable hand feel for finesse shots and short putts.
- Jawbreaker: Similar grippy feel as Putter Line, but stiffer and more durable. A good middle ground between soft baseline and slick premium.
- Z Line: Very stiff and durable with an opaque look. Great for workhorse fairways, high-speed drivers, and utility discs, this plastic can take a beating and still maintain original flight numbers. It can be very slick, especially in wet conditions.
- CryZtal: Very similar to Z Line, but with a glassy, nearly see-through look.
- ESP: Solid durability but with a more flexible and softer hand feel. Discs generally fly close to their posted fight numbers in ESP.
- FLX: This gummy and flexible plastic comes in Z, ESP, and Titanium varieties. This the Discraft's attempt to make a grippier premium option.
Discraft Challenger Flight Numbers
- Speed: 2
- Glide: 3
- Turn: 0
- Fade: 2
The Challenger is not an overstable putter, but has enough stability to absorb full-power throws without turning over. It is a stereotypical neutral "point and shoot" option that will hold pretty much any line you can ask for. It can perform gentle hyzers, dead straight laser beams, and drifting anhyzers. Premium plastic Challengers make especially good throwing putters, as they will hold the line out of the hand and finish with a reliable fade.
- Diameter: 21.0cm
- Height: 2.2cm
- Rim Depth: 1.6cm
- Rim Width: 1.1cm
The Challenger is well-known for having a tall profile and a deep rim. There is a small bead along the bottom and a relatively flat top. Reviews note that it has a different hand feel depending on the plastic blend, with baseline plastics (Putter Line, Jawbreaker) being a bit shallower than premium blends (Z Line, ESP).
When 2001 World Champion Cameron Todd signed with Discraft in 2003, part of the deal included a signature disc. Thus the Challenger was born. It is very similar to the Innova "Big Bead" Aviar, which was extremely popular at the time. It has remained in heavy production, with the "SS" (Super Straight) and "OS" (OverStable) variants hitting the market in 2017.
Skill Level Recommendations
- Novice: Excellent beginner disc for throwing and putting. Playing a Challenger-only round at the course is a great exercise for developing players.
- Intermediate/Advanced: An all-around workhorse in the putter slot that has stood the test of time. However, players looking for a low profile or shallow putter feel should look elsewhere.
- Pro: Through the 00's and into the 10's, the Challenger was the most popular putter among Discraft pros. Nate Doss, Paul Ulibarri, and Cameron Todd all bagged it as a primary putter. It is still popular today, but the Luna, Roach, and Fierce have all cut into the Challenger's market share.