You definitely play a driver with a graphite shaft, and there's a good chance you’ve seen or use graphite shafts in irons, too. But your putter? That shaft’s probably never been graphite, and it’s certainly never been the standard offering in a major putter company’s line before—until now. Odyssey's newest putter technology, Stroke Lab, features a graphite shaft that is steel near the head. The purpose is to redistribute the weight in a way that improves your stroke, says the team at Odyssey. This approach is different from the prevailing popular trend in putters over the past few seasons, that puts the majority of the putter weight into the head.
In studies that Odyssey did, they found that lack of success on the greens was often due to inconsistent strokes. "The consistency of putting strokes needs to be addressed. We think and have found that maybe it's in the way we've been building putters," says Sean Toulon, GM of Odyssey.
"The head has become so heavy and controlling, its usurped the golfer's ability to control the stroke" Toulon continues. "That's where most of this inconsistency can be traced back towards."
The graphite/steel combo shaft is 40 grams lighter than Odyssey's standard.The result is a shaft that is stiffer than standard, and has a lower torque. Less torque means you're more likely to return a square face to the ball. The saved weight has been redistributed to the head (10 grams) and the end of the grip. The weights in the sole and grip can be changed.
There are six mallet and four blade options in the Stroke Lab line, costing $250 retail. They'll be available for purchase February 8th. Each putter has Odyssey's White Hot microhinge inserts. The inserts have small steel 'microhinges' set in a soft elastomer. The hinges flex slightly at impact to promote topspin, and the elastomer provides soft feel.
Odyssey Toulon Design Putters
In this year's Toulon putters, the Deep Diamond Milling extends across the entire face, instead of just being concentrated in the center. This helps the putter become more forgiving. Each Toulon putter is available in Stroke Lab, or a standard steel shaft. The new Toulon putters will be available March 1st, for $450 at retail.
Odyssey EXO Putters
The milled aluminum 'exo-cage', which is lightweight, is surrounded by 17-4 stainless steel, which is much heavier. So, the aluminum brings down the overall weight of the putter, and moves weight to the perimeter. This raises the MOI, which means the putter is more stable on off-center hits. More stable means those mis-hits roll out closer to the same distance as center hits.
EXO putters have Odyssey's White Hot insert, which now include microhinge technology to promote forward roll. Like the Toulon putters, all EXO putters are available in Stroke Lab shafts. There are two different mallets in the line, toe hang options and face balanced options. Toe hang means the face can rotate more during the stroke, while face balanced putters rotate less to work better with more of a pendulum putting stroke.
The new EXO putters will be available on March 29th, for $350. Three new head shapes will be featured.