Odyssey Versa putters for 2023: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Odyssey Versa putter line, the distinctive black-white-black alignment-focused putters originally introduced a decade ago, gets a revival this year with some of the company’s current technologies. The most notable enhancement to the collection of eight putters is the Stroke Lab shaft with its combination of graphite and steel in the tip section to improve consistency in the stroke and impact location.
PRICE: $260. Eight models (One, Double Wide, Three T, Seven Double Bend, Seven Slant Neck, Twelve Double Bend, Twelve Slant Neck, Twelve Center Shaft)
3 COOL THINGS
1. Better aim. When Odyssey debuted a bevy of black-white-black striped putters under the Versa moniker in 2013, the evidence pointed to how the tiniest mistakes with aim would lead to big misses. Back then it was a one-degree open or closed face at address at impact compared to the proper line would lead to sure miss from as little as 12 feet. Today, the company’s research suggests that one degree misalignment would produce a miss from as little as 10 feet.
The key behind the Versa’s black-white-black lines is to use the contrast to further reinforce whether the putter is both aimed square to the target line and whether the putter remains square to the path the putter takes during the stroke. That precision has real value, said Luke Williams, senior director of product for Odyssey.
“One of the things that we know is that golfers struggle with their alignment, but we know that one of the best ways that we can help players get better more quickly is if they can aim more consistently,” he said. “They're just going to be better putters. They are going to have a better chance of starting the ball on their intended line and assuming they can read their putts, of making more putts.”
Most of the Versa models feature stripes that run parallel to the face angle, perpendicular to the target line. But the line also includes larger, squarish mallet shapes like the Twelve, which use thicker black-white-blace aiming lines that run perpendicular to the face angle. But in all models, there’s also a small center sight line to further pinpoint proper impact, Williams said.
“We know that when we have those sight lines, even just a small indication, players hit the center of the face much more consistently,” he said, noting that it is not uncommon for average golfers to be five to seven degrees open to the target at impact. “We see their hit location gets a lot tighter and they know exactly where to set up to the ball. And when they do that, they deliver it back more consistently.
“They don't really know what they're doing and they don't have a process and they just set up behind the ball and sort of hit and hope. The Versa gives them that consistency.”
2. Better stroke. One of the additions to the Versa line that wasn’t around when it was first introduced 10 years ago is the proven Stroke Lab shaft. This latest version, which debuted two years ago on the White Hot OG line and other putter models, uses a shorter steel section at the tip. That makes for a lighter weight but a stiffer shaft that positions the overall weight of the putter closer to the hands for more consistency in the tempo and delivery of the putter to impact.
3. Better feel. Finally, like in the original, the Versa line uses the familiar White Hot polymer insert. That insert, a two-part urethane mix, has been famous and favored by tour players for two decades for its unique flex modulus properties that provide a combination of soft feel with higher rebound.