EquipmentJanuary 7, 2015

Odyssey face insert mixes old feel, new roll

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The company announced its Odyssey Works Versa line today, and while there is a decidedly new look to the family and a few dramatic new shapes, what's most compelling is the face insert. To be certain, it's a complicated bit of engineering and manufacturing, and Odyssey's chief designer Austie Rollinson will happily walk you through chapter and verse on how these putters change paradigms in putter launch angles, roll consistency and moment of inertia values, but he knows that's really not the game with the flatstick.

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The message is clear. Feel is Job 1 in the new Odyssey Works Versa line ($180-$220, 11 head styles including Tank models). The goal was to marry the preferred feel of the familiar White Hot insert with the roll technology of the milled ovals seen in the Metal-X Milled putters. Getting there was an advanced course in manufacturing.

The new multi-material insert, called Fusion RX, features a mesh thin sheet of stainless steel over the White Hot insert. Just .406 millimeters thick, or about half the thickness of a credit card, the steel sheet is perforated with the ovals in an effort to produce the roll benefits of the Metal-X pattern. "That creates the friction but you can still feel the White Hot insert underneath," Rollinson says. He says the insert maintains the feel of the White Hot, but changes the launch conditions like Metal-X Milled. The original White Hot would launch at less than 1 degree, while the new Fusion RX insert's increased friction yields a launch condition between 1 and 2 degrees for better initial roll and less skid at the start.

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— The legendary 2-Ball mallet takes on a new look aimed at dramatically boosting off-center hit performance. The 2-Ball Fang mixes some of the attributes of the popular No. 7 shape in a larger-footprint design that incorporates the two golf-ball sized alignment circles. The multimaterial design utilizes lightweight ABS on top that's 75 grams lighter than the original 2-Ball's top. That yields a center of gravity that's 20 percent lower, which like drivers will help putts launch a little higher with a little less spin for more consistent roll. Extra weight in the perimeter shifts nearly a quarter of the head's total weight to the rear. That, combined with the slightly heavier standard head weight of 360 grams, yields a moment of inertia (resistance to twisting on off-center strikes) that's 42 percent higher than the original 2-Ball.

— The Versa alignment pattern has shifted in tone from black and white to a brushed silver and charcoal striped design.

— There will be an updated version of the V-Line model that features a T-shaped Versa alignment feature where the the T is dark and the rest of the putter head is the lighter brushed silver color.

— There also will be a 41-inch Arm Lock model in the 1W blade shape.

The entire line is available for pre-order today and is scheduled to be in stores by Jan. 30.

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