Odyssey golf wants to put a mallet in your bag.
Heel-toe weighted putters (what we refer to as blade putters today) continue to dominate the golf bags of golfers around the world in spite of the available technology. Granted that putter makers are using technology to manufacture the best, most consistent blade putters ever made. Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi and others have elevated the manufacturing process to high art producing some of the most consistent, best-performing blade putters in the history of golf.
But that said, they're still blade putters and as such, are limited by their design, which places feel ahead of forgiveness. That compromises the latter which works against you when you miss the sweet spot.
You might think that any twat that could miss the sweet spot on a stroke as short as a putt has no place in golf, but the truth of the matter is that we all miss more than any of us care to admit no matter how short or simple a stroke in golf might seem. The existence of a malady called 'the yips' is proof positive.
I was a self-confessed blade junkie and continue to foster an appreciation for the finer examples, but my work as a golf journalist and tech head helped me understand that the science was good and that it worked. I needed to switch to a mallet to become a better putter. The question was how to overcome the biases against the sometimes hideous-looking mallets.
Mallets work. The mass in all mallets has been distributed to manage ball performance on off-center hits. The increased moment of inertia (MOI) reduces the twisting that you immediately feel with a blade putter and, therefore, reduce the deflection of the golf ball from the desired line.
Even so, the way that most mallets sit with that double bend shaft intruding in on the sight picture was the obvious turn-off. TaylorMade had it figured out when they brought out the limited-edition versions of their Itsy-Bitsy Spider putter for DJ and JD. The short, slant neck Spiders offered a better view at address and the slight toe-hang (putter face pointing down somewhat when you balance the putter on your finger) seemed to help golfers accustomed to blades migrate to the more forgiving head.
Having a number of mallets in its product line, Odyssey Golf took the idea and ran with it. While TaylorMade chose to keep the short, slant neck mallet for a few, Odyssey is taking it to the masses. In 2018, you'll be able to get any Odyssey mallet with a short, slant neck on it. In color, too; they'll all be available in your choice of red or black. The colors are all the rage on the professional tours of the world.
The effectivity of the short, slant neck boils down to the fact that most golfers don't practice enough to get the most out of their blade putters. Misses on the green bloat your score quickly so when everything is on the line, you want a putter that will help you as much as possible. Mallets offer higher MOI, more intricate alignment schemes and a lower center of gravity-all of which should help make mallets easier with which to putt.
The slight toe-hang the slant neck provides helps blade putters transition their gated strokes to a mallet. It affords them the comfort and familiarity of their blade putters by allowing the clubhead to work to the inside (gate) slightly on the take away. In short, Odyssey is making mallets that feel more comfortable for the blade golfer.
This should be exciting news for all of us. What would you do to shave a stroke of two off your handicap? And you'd get a new golf club in the bargain!
I continue to fight my blade preferences in spite of currently gaming an Odyssey O-Works No. 7. I had to sift through four examples before I found one that sat the way I wanted. After testing a red #7s (with the slant neck hosel), I can say with confidence that this will pay off for Odyssey in spades.
Odyssey's line of mallets provides differing levels of MOI and sight pictures, from the now-traditional look of the ubiquitous two-ball to the super-high MOI models, such as the Marksman and two-ball Fang; whatever your persuasion, that short, slant neck is there for you.
The Marksman is particularly appealing. The look is sleeker in the address position. The alignment aid is intuitive and effective. All these putters are only available with Odyssey's O-Works microhinge insert, where the stainless steel Microhinge plate is co-molded into a Thermoplastic Elastomer Feel Layer. I've been playing one since they came out and am very satisfied.
The 2018 line of putters have just hit the retail shops. Check out the Callaway store at the Podium in the Ortigas Center and the flagship store that will be opening soon at Solaire. You'll be glad you did.