Last week, Odyssey and Toulon Design released an epic number of putters. By my count, once you factored in all of the head, color, and neck options, it was thirty-seven putters. Maybe my math's not perfect, but even plus or minus a putter, the release by all industry standards was massive. With that extensive release, Odyssey is truly ready to dominate the floor space in your local shop in 2018.
And they are not done rolling out putters just yet.
That’s right, today I am here to tell you about even more Odyssey putters that will be coming soon to a putter corral near you. Odyssey is bumping up their mallet count even higher, once again even giving consumers two neck options. The EXO story is a whole lot more than Odyssey just pushing the putter number up above forty, it's about Odyssey pushing the boundaries of how they make putters.
One of the putters that Odyssey unveiled last week was the designed without restraints EXO 2-Ball. The EXO 2-Ball was the product of the Odyssey power-trio of Williams, Rollinson, and Toulon ignoring all typical design restraints (like material costs and milling time) in an attempt to produce the most spectacular 2-Ball to date. I'd say that they did a pretty darn good job. That 2-Ball is a rose gold tour de force.
This new Odyssey EXO line takes a bit of a different path. Sure, it shares a name, and its multi-material construction nature with the EXO 2-Ball, but the new EXO putters are not intended to be showpieces. True, they are nice to look at, but these putters are meant to be played.
MOI is a big deal in putters these days. By increasing the Moment of Inertia, designers can increase the stability of a putter during the putting stroke. The conventional wisdom is that the more stable putter; the more accurate putter. If not more accurate, then at least the putting should be more consistent.
The EXO line features three mallet models, the Rossie, the Indianapolis, and the iconic #7, all of which feature MOI values higher than their previous incarnations. Focusing on the #7, with the EXO design, Odyssey was able to boost MOI by 50%. That’s a big number, considering that the head shape of the #7 already promotes MOI.
So how was this possible?
With the EXO line, Odyssey has constructed putters that feature a lighter weight center portion made from aluminum, with the outer part of the putter being made from heavier steel. Physics says, if you move the mass from the middle to the edges, you increase MOI, thus improving rotational stability. Mixing the two types of metals in the head allowed Odyssey to reposition the weight. Additionally, the EXO putters feature shallower centers of gravity than non-EXO models, which should add to their forgiveness.
More stable and more forgiving, what more could you want in a putter? What about a modernized White Hot insert?
White Hot Microhinge Insert
Odyssey is unique in the putter industry in that some of its greatest competitors are its own putters. This becomes especially true when you venture into the hallowed grounds of the White Hot insert. Golfers love the long ball, and the White Hot insert. I’m not making this up. If you look back at the comments section from last week’s Odyssey article, you’ll see some “where’s my center-shafted putter” comments, and at least one comment about wanting the White Hot insert instead of the O-Works microhinge insert. But what if you could have both?
The mad scientists at Odyssey have developed the new White Hot Microhinge insert with the intent of combining the roll-promoting microhinge technology of the O-Works insert with the sound and feel of the much revered, White Hot insert. Contrary to what the cynic might think, this involved more than just painting the existing insert white.
First, to replicate the feel of the original White Hot insert, the polymer recipe was tweaked to increase the firmness. However, this firmer final blend of elastomer produced different roll characteristics when coupled to the standard microhinge face, necessitating a change in the associated steel face of the insert as well.
You’ll notice that the hinges in the White Hot Microhinge insert are also larger than the original O-Works microhinge. They are about triple the original size actually. This size change not only affected the roll but also changed the impact sound. More metal delivered more sound at impact. As I said, getting all of these variables right took lots of tweaking.
But when all things were said and done, Odyssey had developed an insert with the sound and feel profile of the beloved White Hot insert, and the roll enhancing microhinge technology.
Yes, the insert is also white, and for some, this is also a huge deal as they like to see the white face at address. We all have our putting comfort foods.
I can’t wait to hear what White Hot loyalists think of the White Hot Microhinge insert. The Odyssey design guys really put a bunch of time and thought into this insert. Perhaps it’ll be the new classic insert that others in the future will try to replicate.
EXO Gonna Give It To Ya
With the three EXO heads, the Odyssey in 2018 putter count jumps from thirty-seven to forty putters. Forty putters from one company is unprecedented and is also not the final number of putters. The final model count will actually be forty-three as all three of the EXO models are also available in slant neck configurations.
As I mentioned last week, Odyssey is all in on the mallets this year, especially those that will feel comfortable for traditionally blade putter playing golfers. Based solely upon my Dave-servations during my Carlsbad visit, I’m not going to disagree. I found the slant neck mallets, especially the Indianapolis, all kinds of fun to roll. It will not shock me if slant mallets blow up in 2018.
Once again, the Odyssey designers demonstrate confidence in their designs by gaming what they make. I watched Austie Rollinson drop yards of putts with his EXO #7. Odyssey is really excited about the EXO line, and they expect you will like them as well. Curious, as always, to hear what you think about these, especially after you are able to roll them.