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Golf ball chemistry fuels new Odyssey putter insert

January 26, 2016

We’ve been talking about covers and layers in golf balls for decades, but that same concept is a crucial part in developing a key component in the implements used to hit those golf balls. The putter insert, just like the modern golf ball, is a chemistry project, and the designers at Odyssey Golf turned directly to their partners on the ball-making side of Callaway Golf to help them develop the company’s latest line of insert putters.

The insert that defines the feel of the company’s new White Hot RX putters got its start with the chemists behind Callaway’s golf balls. The design features three elements: a soft base layer, a firm cover layer and a series of oval patterns in the face to create friction. The combination of different firmnesses had two main jobs: soft feel and better roll, says Austie Rollinson, Odyssey’s chief designer.

“The way we approached this one was let’s not start with the White Hot insert we’d done before,” he said. “Let’s just wipe the slate clean. Let’s go back to the chemistry of these materials and try to figure out a new chemistry and a new construction in making this insert achieve the White Hot feel and resiliency but get a better roll.”

Rollinson said the team considered 17 materials in developing the new insert. The final result was an insert with an inner layer that he called “softest core material we’ve ever done on a putter insert.” The outer layer, which features the friction elements, is designed with a firmness that measures harder than a golf ball cover “so you could get that good locking friction to dig into the cover of the ball” to improve initial roll.


There are seven models in the new White Hot RX line, including traditional favorites like #1, #7, Rossie and 2-Ball, as well as a new V-Line Fang version (above) that combines the extended arms of the #7 with the V-Line silhouette. The White Hot RX models will sell at retail starting Feb. 26 ($160 with the standard grip; $180 with a Superstroke grip).