odd•ball (ˈɒdˌbɔl)
1. noun, an eccentric or peculiar person or thing.
2. adj. eccentric; atypical

(by Dave Wolfe)  Right off the bat, let’s address the term oddball.  Nowhere in that definition do we see the word “bad” or anything to make one think that being called an oddball has a negative connotation.  The Oddball Putter is one that is atypical.  We are talking about putters that shy away from the norm of form;  8802’s, Ansers, and Rossies need not apply.  These are different.  And yet, the oddball putter unites with their more common putter brothers in one critical area; they are made for putting!

The divergent-thinking geniuses behind these putters have stretched the design boundaries as they seek the ultimate rock rolling machine.  Lets take a look at some of these left-of-center putters that have hit the green in recent years.


1.  Bobby Grace Triumph

Dave’s Take:

Some of you may remember this putter from the contest that Bobby Grace held to name it.  I think that my entry was something super clever like Saturn, or BMR (Big Metal Ring). It’s a solid playing mallet, but my favorite Bobby Grace mallet is still the F-16.

From the Bobby Grace website:

The Triumph model is the most powerful and forgiving mallet putter in the game. Our latest “High M.O.I. Mallet” sets up perfectly square and incorporates a very visible sightline for superior alignment. The body is 100% milled aircraft grade aluminum so the center has very little weight, while the stainless steel ring around the outer portion of the body raises the moment of inertia to an unheard of 8700. This is the highest MOI number we have ever designed in a standard length putter. This mallet swings so stable that it is very difficult to miss a 5 footer. The feel comes from the patented “MRR” (Multi Rebound Radial) insert. This revolutionary insert actually fixes your poorly struck putts. Our technology videos on our website illustrate robotic tests against our competitors. You won’t believe your eyes!


2.  Cameron Kombi Mid

Dave’s Take:

My favorite Scotty Cameron putters are the ones that go outside the norm. These designs are also the ones that he seems to get the most grief for creating. I am a fan of his Futura and I even recently traded someone for a Studio Design #5. The Kombi, and later the Kombi-S were both on my must try lists when they rolled out.

From the Scotty Cameron website:

This hi-performance putter is part technical, three-point-weighted mallet and part free-flowing, melt-into-the-ground putting machine. Smooth curves and sleek styling give the Tour-tested Studio Select Kombi a futuristic feel. Advanced technology and superior craftsmanship give it the performance attributes you expect from a Scotty Cameron putter.

Balancing the aesthetics and weight properties of different metals has been a Scotty hallmark for years. The Studio Select Kombi is no exception. Precision milled 6061 aircraft aluminum gave Scotty the volume and shape qualities he wanted, while the stainless steel sole weights give the putter head the proper weight. These elements work perfectly together creating a mallet of remarkable balance and form.

The Studio Select Kombi incorporates Scottys Studio Select weighting system, which allows the weight of the putter head to be perfectly matched with the player’s preferred shaft length. This is achieved using the factory interchangeable stainless steel sole weights, which can be changed out at the Scotty Cameron Custom Shop.

T-shaped, high contrast red sight lines provide effortless alignment guides, making the Kombi a proven new weapon in your putting arsenal.


3.  Dead Aim Putter

Dave’s Take:

I will not bring up any reference to attaching lasers to sharks, but obviously that’s where my head went first. While there are a few putter lasers out there. the is one is the only one that I am aware of that is built into the putter design.  It stands to reason that if you practice aiming with the laser that improved accuracy should be observed on the course. I’m waiting for the five-megawatt version.

From the Dead Aim Website:

The dead aim putter was inspired by watching Nick Faldo and his caddie, Fannie, practice for hours on the practice green of The Augusta National in 2004. Nick had mirrors on the green and was dropping balls from the bridge of his nose in an effort to hit his ball on the green below. As he was working on getting his eyes over the aimline, Fannie was on her hands and knees retrieving balls for Nick. Nick later began to work on aiming and alignment drills. He had many gadgets and most importantly had Fannie behind his line watching his face angle and aim.

We wondered how we could help any golfer get positioned correctly and with their eyes over the aimline every time. We also wanted to find a way to teach someone to aim correctly and learn how to putt better. If it was important to a 3 time Masters winner, it must be important. It would be nice to have a caddie, professional coaches, and lots of time to hone ones skills like Nick. Out of this desire to help others putt better and practice better came Dead Aim. After over 7 years of research and development, we know we have a putter and putting system that will transform the game of golfers at every skill level.


4.  Mantis Putter

Dave’s Take:

The Mantis is a lean, mean killing machine. OK so maybe it doesn’t kill and is not so lean from the top. It is a fun putter to play though and it definitely garnered a lot of attention throughout the weekend at the Haggin Oaks Golf Expo.  Rumor has it that there may be a new model on the way later this year. I’ll keep you posted.

From the Mantis Golf Website:

We all agree that to make more putts, it’s critical to keep your eye on the ball, yet the elaborate shapes, reflective metal or white finishes of most putters encourage the opposite. Mantis makes the ball the hero -simple as that. The patented design has been proven to show that when putting with the Mantis, your eyes stay on the ball,not the club.


5.  Nike Method Concept

Dave’s Take:

This putter makes my brain hurt a bit. I stand over it and I just can’t get used to its geometry.  I like the feel of the insert, and the putter feels balanced when putting, but the shape is just too much for me.  I do dig this blue version as well as the orange and white one.

From the Nike Golf Website:

With a lightweight aluminum face and a high-mass steel body, the Nike Method Concept C1 (Right-Handed) Golf Putter positions the center of gravity farther back and lower for a faster roll and increased stability.

  • Multi-material design with a lower center of gravity for a faster roll and more precise stroke
  • A streamlined look and increased stability for a high MOI and small footprint
  • Precision insert for better accuracy and more stability


6.  Nike Method Drone

Dave’s Take:

I overlooked this putter when it originally came out. I think it was because I was an insert snob. How could this one with the plastic be as nice feeling as the original Method line. Red was a stop for me then. Stupid play on my part. The Method Core insert is a winner, and the wide footprint of the Drone makes for a twist-free stroke. I need to get my hands on the Drone 2.0 at some point.

From the Nike 2011 Press Release:

The Nike Method Core Drone features the Nike major-winning Polymetal groove technology in a high-Moment of Inertia (MOI) package. With its iconic larger mallet shape and milled face, the Nike Method Core Drone is loaded with geometry. Its extreme mallet design and Opti-mass weighting in the center and wing tips keep the clubhead on its path, preventing twisting and creating a smooth, accurate stroke. The high-MOI putter enables more stability, which provides a better roll and ultimately leads to increased confidence over every putt.

The Nike Method Core Drone also has the distinctive Polymetal Groove Technology that exists in all Nike Method putters, generating a faster forward roll at impact for increased accuracy. The polymer and aluminum grooves lessen impact vibrations and provides pure sound and feel. This helps eliminate backspin, which causes skidding and misdirection. This revolutionary and visibly distinctive red insert decreases backspin, which was expressed by Nike Golf athletes as an important ingredient to their putting accuracy, distance control and ultimate putting success. The less backspin, the more “true” the putt will roll.


7.  Odyssey Backstryke DART

Dave’s Take:

This is actually the putter that the Callaway fitter suggested to me three years ago when I went down to Carlsbad for a fitting. At the time, I was a shallow player, who let appearance override performance. Since then, I have watched more than one guy drop deep putts with the Backstryke DART. I also really came to appreciate the DART alignment system after testing the White Hot Pro DART Mini this year.

From the Odyssey Website:

The Big Idea is Back
Can a putter make for a better stroke? What about one that puts you at ease? Would that putter change things forever? We think so, and we want to introduce you to a better engineered putter. Promote an ascending stroke and impart true forward roll with our Forward Press Stabilization. We also promote a stable, straight line with the lead arm through our unique shaft position. This means you won’t have to worry about your wrists breaking. We made a visual aid to help you sink your putts by adding our Visible Face Alignment, which makes sure you can see if you’re square without the shaft getting in the way. Our White Ice insert makes for better consistency, responsiveness, resiliency and sound. Get a low, deep CG and a true roll with our A.R.T (Advanced Roll Technology) that incorporates multi-material construction. 

  • Visible Face Alignment: Makes it easy to look down to see if you’re square without the shaft getting in your way. The result is an unprecedented way to visually line up putts.
  • Forward Press Stabilization: Promotes an ascending stroke because of a hands forward position, which makes for faster topspin and a true roll. The wrists won’t break down during the stroke thanks to a shaft position that’s optimized for a straight lead arm.
  • Stroke Balance: Produces a stable, fluid stroke by balancing the putter on the axis of the stroke, which means better distance control and accuracy.
  • White Ice Insert: Get better responsiveness, consistency, resiliency and sound through the multi-layer insert. We made the core 19% more firm to optimize the feel, and it’s 92% stiffer for more resiliency and consistent distance control.
  • A.R.T (Advanced Roll Technology): Get a truer roll thanks to the deep, low CG from the multi-material construction.


8.  Odyssey Sabertooth

Dave’s Take:

I can’t explain my excitement when I purchased the Tour Bronze version of the Sabertooth. It looks dangerous, and promotes cat-like roars after making putts. I have also heard that you can actually wear the putter like a mask, but who would do that? These photos are actually of the new heavy version of the Sabertooth. If you liked this putter, but thought it was too light, you are in luck. Find out more about the Sabertooth Heavy HERE

From the Odyssey Golf website:

• High-density Dual Fangs position more weight to the outer-most limits of the putter head for an improved, in-line stroke and putter accuracy.
• Aiming Channels inside the fangs ensure consistent, square alignment at address.
• A multi-layer White Hot XG insert generates softer feel and enhanced responsiveness


9.  PING Wack-E

Dave’s Take:

I love PING, though I can’t really pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the history of the company. It could be because my friend’s G10 irons were state of the art when I started playing golf. I think that it is because PING always rolls out new ideas in their putters. They keep the classics, then go design-sideways.  Some are hits, like the new TR line, and last year’s Nome, but others miss the mark. For me, the iN line was a miss. I did not like the holes in the putters as I found them too distracting. I think that they sort of know that they are out past left field in some of these designs.  Why else would you name them Wack-E or Craz-E?

From the Ping Website:

The iN putters elevated both feel and forgiveness by introducing new perimeter weighting and insert technologies. The nano-nickel insert produced a solid sound and feel. Each model was engineered with center-body cut-outs to expand the perimeter weighting for increased stability.


10.  Ray Cook Chameleon Tunnel Vision

Dave’s Take:

This one jumped out at me last week in the shop. I really like that they have a simple alignment system built into the putter. It reminds me of the red line in the Wilson Staff Vizor mallet. I think that having a consistent alignment tool can only help one to become a more consistent putter.

From the Ray Cook Website

A revolutionary new putter equipped with “Tunnel Vision”, the most advanced alignment system on the market!

How’s it work?

At address, the player looks down at the “tunnel”, a narrow cavity in the club. When the putter has been aligned perfectly, a yellow strip at the top of the tunnel combines with a blue strip at the bottom. When the strips combine the player sees green, and green means GO!

The enlarged style mallet head combined with the optimized design of the tunnel and weighted perimeter bars ensures the best possible moment of inertia, giving the player a greater balance and less chance of twisting during the stroke.

  • Tunnel Vision, a revolutionary new alignment aid for correct setup
  • Mallet style, non-glare nano white painted head finish with accent color
  • Firm, light steel shaft reducing twist on impact
  • Oversize, soft feeling rubber compound grips


11.  STC xForm3

Dave’s Take:

The xForm3 was the second most accurate putter in the “2013 Most Wanted Mallet Test”, finishing just behind Bettinardi’s winning Signature 6. While that is a great accomplishment, the xForm3 really showed me that perception of aesthetics do not influence accuracy. This putter ranked dead last in aesthetic scoring by our testers, but was the second most accurate. Share that with your friend who says he has to like how a putter looks if he is going to make putts.

From the STX Website:

STX Xform Series putters are 100% machined from extremely soft 304 stainless steel. Tour inspired designs combine classic elements with modern style. Their soft satin finish and distinctive milling lines create a glare free, rich appearance.

Xform Putters are equipped with our deep diamond milling that  promotes a quicker forward roll and produces the soft feel desired by the best players in the world.


12.  SuperStroke FATSO

Dave’s Take:

You can read the review to get the whole story on this putter. It’s a shame that these went away before they could get the market share they deserve. Regardless, I can’t wait to see what Bruce Sizemore comes up with next. The orange one is an experimental color they were working on. It’s one of a kind and all mine!

From my review of the SuperStroke Fatso

From my review of the SuperStroke Fatso:

  • Material: 100% Milled proprietary seven series aluminum alloy.
  • Weight: 360g as tested (Belly version is 395g)
  • Loft: 4°
  • LieAngle: 71°
  • ToeHang: Face Balanced
  • LengthTested: 34″
  • Face: DCF Milled Face

Read the Full Review

13.  Tour Edge T-Balance 05

Dave’s Take:

Did you know that Tour Edge, the makers of the “why do I need a driver?” Exotics fairways also makes putters? This T-Balance obviously shares some DNA with Odyssey’s Backstryke. I don’t know which was first, so don’t ask me. I do know that we have one of their milled blades in for the upcoming Most Wanted Blade Putter test, and it’s a beauty.

From the TourEdge Website

The T-Balance features a patented 90° bend shaft that delivers an advanced level of feel never before achieved in any other putter design. The shaft’s arched structure is stronger than a traditional straight putter shaft, thereby minimizing vibration and dramatically improving feel. You’ll feel the effectiveness of the design as the shaft pulls the head through the ball with a pure, effortless stroke.

The lower portion of the “T” – the stability bar – places more weight directly behind the sweet spot to increase the putter’s moment of inertia (ability to resist twisting). The result is increased accuracy on contact, and better-feeling impact on every putt.


There more oddballs out there, many more…

These putters definitely show creativity in design, but my no means is this the exclusive list of oddballs.  You have already come up with one or more putters that could fit nicely on this list.  Tell us about your favorite oddball in the comments section.  Did you only see one, or actually buy one and game it?  How did it go?