Worst-Kept Secrets in Disc Golf: The Envy, from MVP/Axiom
The Envy is the single largest selling disc made by MVP. There is nothing super-special about any particular feature of the disc, but rather a combination of standard and innovative features coupled with manufacturing prowess which come together to create an approach disc and driving putter of rare ability.
Axiom’s Envy was PDGA approved in January 2014 and is a great-gliding and stable putter which is rightly famous for its utility from the teepad. The Envy is a small-diameter (211mm), flat-topped, medium-depth, round-edged, over-moulded design with an indeterminate bead. It is mainly available in Proton and Neutron plastics, but sometimes in Electron, Eclipse, Plasma and MVP Cosmic, in legal weights up to 174.3 grams.
The Axiom Envy is the result of two years of experience gained after releasing the Anode, which came in 2012, along with the Volt – which was later re-tooled. Envy has a very stable flight path with a very gentle fade when thrown flat with power.
Over-mould technical prowess
First up, it’s necessary to wax lyrical about MVP’s unparalleled ability to create flawless dual-mould discs, while still selling at the same price as single-mould discs. When we look at the over-moulds produced by Innova (XT Nova and Atlas) we can easily see MVP’s total dominance of the over-mould market.
Latitude 64 also entered the over-mould market some time ago, and they were able to produce high-quality discs but they failed to become popular, and all of their experimental over-mould designs have since gone out of production.
MVP’s parent company had been successful over-moulders for the auto industry, and so they had an inherent advantage over all other new golf disc makers when they started out: They were specialist injection moulders who learned about disc golf rather than the other way around.
This meant MVP’s discs were of the highest possible quality and consistency right from the start: something unheard of from a new disc manufacturer.
Seen below is the most-damaged side of my continuously-used 5+-year-old Proton Envy. It has collided with many solid objects at Jellie Park and all over New Zealand during that time. It still flies exactly the same as a new one – something I test for annually.
The extremely dense TPU (Thermo-Plasticised Urethane) used by MVP/Axiom on the outer rim of their discs is very durable in a collision, but it is prone to being deeply cut if it hits a sharp-edged metal sign.
In my almost six years of promoting the Envy, a great number of them have passed through my hands and I have never seen a single example which isn’t made to a standard many other manufacturers wish they could achieve.
Because I have cut an MVP Ion in half with my band saw, and then tried to remove the outer rim from the inner core using extreme violence, I can inform you they are bonded together completely and are effectively one piece of plastic.
In appearance, the way the over-mould joins the inner core is absolutely consistent on the flight-plate side and perhaps more impressively, on the lower portion of the rim where it meets the core at a more acute angle.
Electron plastic is subject to degradation in the short term
The nature of Electron means the entire disc can buckle when hitting solid objects. This rapidly leads to a deformed flight plate and a leading edge which is no-longer completely circular or flat. Beat-up Electron Envys will fly completely straight, or turn somewhat after only a medium amount of abuse. Very beat-in Electron examples may become extremely understable and reach to the right for their entire flight.
The MVP over-mould "Gyro Effect": BS or not?
A player can only apply a fixed amount of angular momentum to a disc of X diameter. The closer you concentrate the mass towards the outer edge of the disc, the slower the disc will spin, compared to one with more mass towards the center, but it will also remain more stable for a longer period of its flight time.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but MVP’s putters leverage the gyro effect to a greater extent than their very bevel-edged drivers. This is because we want the mass as far from the center as possible, but the triangular leading edge of a high-speed driver is sharp, and the wing is wide, therefore more mass is moved inward than for a round-edged putter of the same diameter.
The other aspect of throwing over-moulded putters is that Figures 5 and 6 show you the effective lever is longer on a putter than a driver, as the distance from the griped inner rim to the opposite edge mass is clearly larger. This means you can potentially throw a putter harder, and spin it more than a driver. It won't fly as far of course, because putters have a much higher drag co-efficient than drivers. However, that extra torque does provide for increased stability and a reduction in the tendency to dive off in the fade.
To bead, or not to bead?
Technically, the Envy has a small bead where the over-mould joins the core, but in practice, it’s not really detectable in the grip – or at least, not in my grip. YMMV, so even if you like a big-beaded throwing putter, you may find the Envy feels acceptable in your hand.
Rounded bottom rim
Envy’s bottom rim is extremely rounded, and very smooth despite the inner core having a very small amount of flashing from the first-mould process which creates it. This allows the Envy to come from your hand with great consistency. It is diametrically opposed to the Latitude 64 Sinus we detailed recently, which can cause wayward releases due to its very sharp bottom edge.
The lovely rounded bottom edge also gives the Envy a great ability to slide when it lands, and for low-ceiling approaches, you may find great utility using this feature.
Handles power with ease
The Envy’s stability means it won’t turn much unless prodigious amounts of power and airspeed are applied to it. 70-metre upshots will see Envy straighten somewhat if a slight hyzer angle is applied before its very gentle fade begins.
Flat power shots may see some slight turn to the right before the fade begins.
Because of the Envy’s superior mass distribution, the gyro effect continues well into its fade, and this prevents the disc diving left, and it lands very flat, enabling it to slide into your target landing area rather than skip away from it.
Envy as a putting putter
Well, the Envy is a putter- and so yes, you can use it as your putting putter if it passes the selection criteria we describe in detail in our article on the subject: How To Choose (and use) a Putting Putter.
The Envy will serve just as well as any other premium plastic putter, and has the advantages of being stable, and also extremely durable.
The shots the Envy excels at
It's not a jack of all trades by any means, but you'll still be reaching for the Envy any time you want a straight shot with some slide to finish, in the 70 to 40-metre range. You probably won't be throwing it with a lot of hyzer, or anhyzer, or with a lot of altitude.
You may employ it for downhill drives, as for most people it will outfly a driver if thrown correctly; down the hill, so the disc does not lose airspeed while in flight.
Your Envy will often be used from the teepad. You'll recognise you can reach the pin with it, and that the straight throw required to reach the basket is within your Envy range. This where Envy excels, as putters are the most accurate disc in your bag, and deviate from their thrown line the least.
The golden rule in disc golf is that we always throw the slowest disc we can reach our landing zone with. That often means a putter, and frequently that means Envy.
How much Envy do you need?
Not that many. My five-year-old example was lost once at an NT event but I recovered it from the dense bush the following day. I keep a single backup just in case, but it's been marinating in that box for a long time now. If you use Envy as your putting putter, you will want five of them; one for your bag and four for your practice basket. Don't get more than four to practice with, as this will have a negative effect on your putting as I explain in my popular article How to Putt more Proficiently by Practicing Properly.
So, what are you waiting for? Click below & get you some Envy today!
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