Odyssey Ai-One Cruiser putters: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Odyssey Ai-One Cruiser putter lineup extends the idea of stability beyond the head to the entire club including shaft and grip. Available in overlength 38-inch models, a 42-inch armlock style and a 48-inch “broomstick” version, these designs feature heavier heads and shafts along with longer grips all designed to stabilize the stroke.
PRICE: $350. 38-inch models: Double Wide (crank hosel), #7 (double bend), Jailbird (double bend). 42-inch armlock: #7 (double bend). 48-inch broomstick: #7 (center-shafted). At retail March 15.
3 COOL THINGS
1. Stable pressure. With putter design, we often talk a lot about stability, but almost always that’s a reference to the head’s moment of inertia, or basically how little the head might twist or recoil on an off-center hit. But there’s another kind of stability in putter design that’s reemerging and it has to do with the overall stability of the system. While it grew out of the long putters and anchored putting strokes, what it has become is a renewed interest in overlength designs with heavier heads and shafts and longer grips. That combination yields an increase in a putter’s overall mass to create more stability in the stroke.
That’s where the latest Odyssey Ai-One Cruiser line steps in, looking to take advantage of the increased success of non-traditional length and weight putters on tour. We saw that most recently with the victory by Wyndham Clark at the AT&T National Pro Am, and conveniently as it turns out Clark was using a version of Odyssey’s new line, the already familiar striped Jailbird model.
In addition to the open deep mallet Jailbird, the Ai-One Cruiser lineup of heavier putters with 38-inch shafts includes the Double Wide blade and the iconic #7 paralell pronged mallet. The lineup also offers putters in a 42-inch length in the #7 and a broomstick length of 48 inches, also in the #7. The heavier shafts are new versions of Odyssey’s Stroke Lab, the SL 140 (140 grams) on the 38- and 42-inch models, and the SL 200 (200 grams) on the 48-inch broomstick model. That’s about 45 and 105 grams heavier than the standard Odyssey SL 90 putter shaft, making them less susceptible to moving off the ideal path due to slight hand movements.
All the models also include sole weights that can be customized to suit a player’s specs, a crucial element average golfers need to pay attention to with their fitters, as we’ve discussed here.
2. Face Time. While the stability aspect may have positive effects on the consistency of your stroke, it doesn’t guarantee center contact every time. That’s why the Ai-One Cruiser lineup will include the foundational technology of the original Ai-One putters introduced last fall, a face insert designed through artificial intelligence.
The insert, which is fronted by the familiar White Hot urethane elastomer material for feel, is created from an aluminum piece with an assymmetrical variable thickness design aimed at optimizing face deflection across an array of impacts so that center hits and off-center hits roll out similarly.
3. Three distinct fixes. With five different models, these putters look to cater to three different kinds of putting strokes, all displaying the heavier, over-length philosophy. The 38-inch models feature a 17-inch grip. Generally, players are advised to take their usual putting grip while choking down. That leaves several inches of the grip extending beyond the hands, which produces a counterbalanced effect to further stabilize the stroke.
On the 42-inch model, it features a special armlock style grip with a flat side that is designed to be braced against the inside of left forearm. The goal is to produce a stroke that almost exclusively relies on the rocking of the shoulders.
Finally on the 48-inch model, there’s a split grip. That method, essentially the long putter style employed by players like Adam Scott and Bernhard Langer, uses the placement of the hands on the split grip to take individual hand activity even further out of the stroke.