This past weekend marked the official start of the 2014 Trilogy Challenge. In its inaugural year, this new disc golf event put on by Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64 and Westside discs takes the model made popular by Discraft’s Ace Race, Vibram’s Birdie Bash, and Legacy’s Ace Run, and takes it one level further. For $30 players received three new discs: the Dynamic Discs Thief (fairway driver), Latitude 64 Claymore (midrange), and Westside Discs Shield (putter). Along with the new plastic, players walked away with a mini, lanyard, koozie, scorecard, pencil and bag tag. While the discs will be in full production later this year, the Trilogy Challenge is the first chance to get your hands on these discs.
We ran a Trilogy Challenge in Normal, Illinois this weekend and it was a lot of fun for everyone involved and a great success. Once we ironed out details with the local parks and recreation department, getting everything organized with Dynamic Discs was very easy. After filling out a simple form, our event was listed in their calendar of events and we were ready to go.
Soon after we were signed up, we started promoting our event on local message boards, at the courses, social media groups, and word of mouth. Dynamic Discs sent tournament directors an email and asked for all players pack orders to be in 10 days before the event to ensure the discs would arrive on time. We set our registration deadline to help ensure we would have enough players packs on hand in time and kept on with the promoting the event. You have to remember though that we don’t live in a perfect world when everyone will register by the deadline. We had the majority of folks register with about 2-3 days before our deadline. Thankfully, we built in an extra couple of days for late registration and we were able to fit quite a few more people in.
A few days after we placed our initial order for players packs, we had more interest of people who just found out about the event. We already included a handful of extra players packs for moments like this, we felt like we needed more. After a quick email to Clay at Dynamic Discs, he sent over an invoice for the extra packs and we were ready to go. Throughout this entire time Clay and the entire Dynamic Discs team were great in making sure we had everything we needed.
It is understandable to be cautious about the number of extra players packs, but remember some people might want to buy extras. We had two people at our local Trilogy Challenge ask to buy an extra players pack (or two). At the end of the day, we only had four left and as I write this, those have all been accounted for by people who weren’t able to make the trip.
It was exciting the number of disc golfers who traveled nearly 90 minutes to attend the event. We had a number of locals participate, but people came from across the state to be a part of this event. We were able to meet some of the names we have seen on the Trilogy Facebook group and finally put a face to the names we see in forums all the time.
I chose not to play in our event to help ensure things ran smoothly and everyone who signed up had a good time. Midway through the round I caught up with one of the groups as they were finishing up a hole and asked what they thought of the discs. While it was a pretty windy day at the course, everyone seemed as if they were having a good time. One golfer walked up and said, “I love these discs. If I were to play with just three discs for one round, these would be them.”
After all the scores were turned in, it turns out the golfer who we just quoted, Johnathan Harris, was the one who walked away with the victory and the winners prize package.
If you’re looking into running a Trilogy Challenge, there is still time to register an event. It can be a great fundraiser for a local club and is a great way to get new people involved with disc golf. You have the freedom to determine the exact format and how things are ran. We had a CTP throw off at the end of the round and gave away a pair of discs to two winners, for example. We’ve also seen accounts of even bigger prize packages made for winners and added prizes for second and third place. We believe that after all the reports come in from around the world, the event should grow even larger next year.
Dynamic Discs Thief Review
The fairway driver that is included in the 2014 Trilogy Challenge is the Dynamic Discs Thief. The Thief is slightly slower than the Dynamic Discs Escape and is slightly more understable. As with all of the Trilogy Challenge discs for this year, the Thief is a great beginner friendly fairway driver.
In the PDGA approval for the Thief, Dynamic Discs says everyone should find something to like about the Thief:
The Thief is a versatile fairway driver that will benefit players of all skill levels. With the stable flight path and glide, the Thief will be a fairway workhorse for every bag. For slower arms, the Thief will be an overstable complement to the Witness. For big arms, the Thief will be a straight flyer with slight hyzer release.
The rim of the Thief is very comfortable and the shape of the disc itself provides a very controllable grip. On all of our throws we always felt like we could use a power grip and get it down the fairway. One thing to remember is that the Thief is more of a finesse driver than a power driver. It is tempting to want to reach back and let a drive fly down the fairway with all of your power. Because the Thief has a little bit of turn, you want to make sure you’re releasing it at the right angle.
If thrown flat, you’ll see the Thief kick into a little turn and begin a slightly understable flight pattern. On a wide open fairway, the Thief will really shine. Lay it down the middle of the fairway and the turn will start to take it to the right before finishing back toward the center. If you drop the wing down a little bit and release it with some hyzer you’ll see it flip up all the time and ride a very straight line. Power throwers will certainly see more turn, but for those with slower arm speed will still be able to see a very straight flight from the Thief.
The Thief has a decent amount of glide which helps it carry down the fairway. The glide was really needed to help the Thief carry out the full flight pattern. The Thief’s fade isn’t that strong and it needs the added time in the air to really break out of the fade and finish to the left.
Our Trilogy Challenge was on a relatively windy day and quite honestly, the Thief isn’t the best disc in the wind, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good disc though. When faced with a tailwind or a moderate crosswind, the Thief flew on quite a straight line and did so on a very consistent basis.
We were also able to throw the Thief in calmer conditions and did see a very predictable straight flight that includes a little turn each and every time. It isn’t a wind fighter, but it isn’t intended to be. Don’t underestimate the value of a neutral fairway driver like this. The amount of control you can get while you reach distances just beyond what you can hit with a midrange can be very useful.
Overall, we’d give the Dynamic Discs Thief flight ratings of 8, 5, -1.25, 2. It’s a nice combination of speed and glide that forms a very solid fairway driver. It isn’t as fast as the Escape, but it doesn’t need to be. Disc golfers with even a moderate arm speed will be able to get a little turn out of it while stronger arms can almost use it as a turnover disc. Regardless of your arm strength, expect a moderate fade at the end of the flight.
Latitude 64 Claymore Review
The midrange disc selected by Latitude 64 for the 2014 Trilogy Challenge is the Latitude 64 Claymore. Throughout the afternoon at the Trilogy Challenge when we’d ask participants what they thought of the discs, the amount of praise about the Claymore was certainly the loudest. There was love for the Claymore virtually across the board.
When approved by the PDGA, Latitude 64 nearly foreshadows the love for this disc:
The Claymore disc will hit the ground running when it is released as the midrange for this year’s Trilogy Challenge. It has a small dome and comfortable grip combined with a neutral flight that will suit most players. Compared to existing Latitude molds it will be slightly more overstable than the very popular Fuse.
When you look at the midrange line up for Latitude 64, we believe the Claymore falls right in between the Core and Fuse. The Claymore actually has a similar feeling to the Fuse, but isn’t identical.
Everyone was commenting about how straight they could throw the Claymore and how controllable it was. When we finally got a chance to test it, we couldn’t agree more. The Claymore has just enough turn and just enough fade to produce a very straight flight. With a slightly blunt nose and slightly domed top the Claymore will easily fit into any sized hands. The fan grip we were using felt very natural.
With our first throws the straight flight was very apparent. We initially wanted to see how much power the Claymore could handle and we were a little surprised. It certainly isn’t the most stable midrange, but it can hold up to a little more power than we expected. The Fuse on the other hand is a little more of a finesse midrange and doesn’t like a lot of power behind it. If we gave it a little hyzer the Claymore would flip up, possibly turn a touch, and then settle in to a very soft fade. Off the tee, the Claymore showed a very tight s-curve that will give you a very straight flight.
We then turned to approach shots and found even more versatility in the Claymore. On a few shots we needed to use a slight hyzer shot and when thrown with the proper angle and when we took a little power off of it the Claymore would easily hold that slight sweeping shot. If we wanted to go right at it, the Claymore could easily hit that straight line you were wanting.
Because it is very neutral, it is very easy to throw on a controllable turn over shot. It will hold the initial line in which you released it on and then finish on that line. The fade isn’t strong enough to break out of the turn, but it will finish flat.
Overall, we’d rate the Latitude 64 Claymore at 4, 4, -1.5, 1. The Claymore’s combination of speed, glide, turn, and fade produces a very straight disc that nearly every experience level would love. In comparison the Fuse has a little more glide and the Core has a little more speed. For those who are wondering how it stacks up against the Dynamic Discs Truth, the Claymore will be a touch slower with more turn and less fade.
Westside Discs Shield Review
The putter for the 2014 Trilogy Challenge comes from Westside Discs. The Westside Shield is moderately deep, beadless, and very stable yet flies on a very straight line.
The Shield is initially released in Westside’s BT Medium plastic. It has some give to it, but is still firm around the edge. While we say that it beadless, that is true, but it almost feels as if there is a bead there. With how the edge is formed, it almost creates a microbead, but it all blends together.
When inside the circle, the Shield is deeper than the Dynamic Discs Warden and does have a similar feel to the Judge in terms of depth. While the Judge has a very round nose, the Shield is blunter on the rim. The depth is something that some might not like, but at our Trilogy Challenge we heard one positive comment for every negative one. Like with any putter, it is all up to personal preference.
For us, the Shield was a great driving putter. It was a disc we could really power into and trust it would fly on a straight line. At high speeds the Shield was very stable. The Shield will hold the line you release it on and will carry down the fairway as intended. Don’t expect any turn with the Shield. Even when thrown into a headwind the Shield flew very stable.
What makes the Shield unique is how it powers down. It doesn’t have a lot of glide and doesn’t have a lot of fade. It will technically finish to the left of the line it started on, but not my much. It is virtually a point and shoot putter, but don’t expect great distance with it. The lack of glide helps with control, but does take away in the distance department. If you keep the Shield on a low line, you better hope you gave it some power because it won’t hang up there long. On bigger hyzer shots, it liked the added height, but didn’t carry much further.
When compared to the Westside Swan, the Shield is much more stable. It slots in nicely between the Dynamic Discs Judge and Warden. While the Warden flies with a touch more turn and has a similar flight, the Shield will do it with less turn and less fade.
Overall, we’d rate the Westside Shield at 2, 2, 0, 0.5. There isn’t a lot of speed or glide to mention, but it is quite stable at high speeds. It will resist a turn no matter how hard you throw it. Even with how stable it is, it ends with a very small amount of fade. As the speed decreases, the Shield will drop out of the air and settle down to finish a very straight flight.
In the end, the 2014 Trilogy Challenge was a great success for us locally. All three discs were getting nice reviews from participants with the Latitude 64 Claymore getting the most praise. The one thing that was said in terms of feedback was having the driver or midrange be a little more stable. They would have liked to have something they could flick and these three discs might not be the ticket.
This was just the first weekend of Trilogy Challenges around the world and there is still time to register for one. Visit TrilogyChallenge.com for complete details.
We’re already looking forward to next year!