EquipmentMarch 22, 2016

Odyssey's Toe Up putters aim to improve your stroke

Weight shifted toward face for less torque, more control
toe-up-9.jpg

Is there a new putter technology trend out there? For years, putters have been designed with perimeter weighting and face technologies to make the ball roll better, even on a mis-hit. But the idea of making your stroke better even before the club gets to impact might produce even more meaningful change.

We’ve seen this idea with counterbalanced putters in helping calm slightly yippy strokes, and now there are a handful of putters on the market designed to make the head easier to control, including The Brick, the now famous Edel Golf model being used by Bryson DeChambeau.

The latest is from industry leader Odyssey, what it’s calling Toe Up putters. The name is based on how these models orient themselves “toe up” when balanced on the shaft vs. the “toe down” or “face-balanced” orientations found on most putters.

Chief designer Austie Rollinson explains: “The whole idea is in the smaller blade style putter to reduce the torque that you’re feeling in the hands.

“That torque may change your grip pressure and change how you rotate it back and forth, and it may cause inconsistencies in your stroke. Trying to eliminate that torque will help you be more consistent. If it starts square, it will be easier to delivering that face back to square.”

Think of it this way. Most putters today have centers of gravity (CG) that are pushed back from the face through perimeter weighting or higher moment-of-inertia designs. The downside can mean that the center of gravity is behind the hands during the stroke leading to an innate tendency to resist rotating the face open and closed. In Odyssey’s Toe Up putters much of the weight of the head is hogged out of the sole, concentrating the mass toward the front of the clubhead. In addition, the shaft had to be adjusted slightly, as well, said Rollinson. It’s an idea Odyssey first demonstrated in its Backstryke putters back in 2010.

“What we had to do with this one is redesign the hosel so that the shaft axis is in line with the center of gravity of the putter,” he said. “That reduces the amount of torque you feel in the hands where a CG that’s offset from the shaft will cause the face to turn open.”

Keeping the CG toward the face is another reason the Toe Up putters don’t feature the trademark Odyssey insert, which is lighter than the surrounding steel. Instead, the milled face features a pattern of tiny ovals that have been chemically etched, much like what was seen on the Metal-X Milled putters. This pattern creates friction with the ball at impact for more consistent roll.

The Toe Up putters also feature the SuperStroke Flatso 1.0 grip as standard, including a weight port in the grip. Additional weights can be purchased separately.

The Toe Up putters are offered in a No. 1 and No. 9 style. They will be in stores April 15 ($200).