When you live by yourself, you end up doing goofy stuff that you wouldn’t normally do with other people in the house. A couple of weeks ago, Bobby at Dynamic Discs sent me a Westside Discs Swan 1 Reborn to review. I set it on my dining room table and every time I walked past it I yelled, “Stop looking at me Swan!!!”. Yeah, I’m a big dork.
If you don’t get the reference, you need to stop reading this blog and go watch Billy Madison. Laugh a lot. Maybe even watch it twice before you resume reading this blog. As and aside, I’m here to tell you that neither shampoo nor conditioner is better. I’m bald, both of them are kind of useless to me.
When I got tired of telling the Swan to stop looking at me (OK, I never actually got tired of this), I decided I should probably take it out and give it a good testing. After all, this is the Swan “reborn”. The reissuing of the mythical Swan 1. Swan 1’s were selling on FaceBook for a good amount of money before this disc came out. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about.
I need to start by saying that of all the slots in my bag, putter is the one I’m happiest with. I carry several Latitude 64 Pures. I got two aces last year (one a tournament ace for $112) with Pures. I’m not looking for a new putter. The Swan had it’s work cut out if it was going to impress me.
I went out to my local 9 hole pitch and putt practice course. I only took the swan. I played 36 holes. I went back and did that again the next day. That gave me a really good feel for what the Swan 1 Reborn was all about.
The first and most obvious observation is that it is under stable. Right out of the box, no beating in needed. I currently carry a beat in zero hard Pure that’s pretty easy to turn over. The Swan flew almost exactly the same as the beat Pure, but the Swan was brand new.
I think everyone needs to carry an under stable putter. They’re great for longer putts. They’re great for tailwind putts. They’re great for upshots that need to go dead straight and not fade. They’re great for longer upshots or drives that need to turn over and glide right (RHBH). They can be a very useful disc in a lot of circumstances.
The problem this gave me when playing my one disc rounds, though, was that I just couldn’t throw the Swan more than about 50%-60% power without it flipping over and having it go someplace I didn’t want it to. If you carry a Swan, you’ll have to carry other putters too. It just can’t be your full time driving or approach putter.
That said, if you need a putter to hyzer flip into a big glidey turn over shot, the Swan 1 Reborn rocks. If I ever lost my perfectly beat in Pure, I could sub in the Swan and not skip a beat.
With the Swan, I was also leaving my upshots and my longer putts to the right. I’m used to putters that have some fade at the end. My brain just automatically throws them to the right a little to allow for the fade. The Swan goes straight on these shots. There’s really no fade to speak of.
Once I got used to that, it was actually pretty cool. 60 foot putts could be thrown directly at the basket. Those longer putts just seemed to float right at the chains and always end up exactly where I aimed them. Tight tunnels that needed a finesse approach with no fade were no problem. Just an easy toss with a touch of hyzer and the Swan would sit up flat and head straight down the tunnel. It’s a very point and shoot disc.
The warning I would give you is the same one I would give about any under stable disc. There’s a lot more possibility of error than there is with something more stable. The Swan is absolutely unforgiving of mistakes.
If you turn it over too much, it isn’t coming back (at which point you scream, “Where are you going, Swan!?!?!”). If it catches even the slightest headwind, it’s going right (RHBH). If you roll your wrist at all on approaches or drives, it’s not going to end up where you hoped it would.
These are not reasons to avoid an under stable putter. They are just part of the deal. Same as any other “flippy” disc. You have to have good form to throw them. In fact, I would say that discs like this are ideal in helping to teach you correct form. It’s very fun to watch them thrown well.
In the end, I can think of quite a few people who might enjoy the Swan 1 Reborn. Here’s a short list. Are you on it?
- You want to carry just one putter for both short and long putts.
- You lost your favorite beat in putter and don’t have the time or patience to beat a new one in.
- You don’t have a beat in putter.
- You want to learn how to throw hyzer flips and controlled turnover shots. (This would be the perfect disc to teach you this skill)
- You want to be able to scream a Billy Madison quote at your disc whenever you pull it out.
- You play tight, wooded courses and need a finesse disc for shorter approaces.
- Your current putter is leaving you short or short and left (RHBH) more than you’d like.
- You are a pitch/loft putter.
- You play on courses with some shorter anhyzer lines.
- You play on a lot of wooded courses.
I never threw the original Swan so I can’t give a comparison. Then again, if you were a fan of the original, you probably already have one of these reissues anyway.
As usual, I’ll be giving away my review copy of the disc later this week over on the FaceBook page. Keep an eye out there for the announcement if you want a chance to win one! Until then, I’ll just leave it here on my desk and continue to yell at it. Stop looking at me Swan!!!!
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