On this very day, Odyssey will be announcing and releasing their Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Toe Up Big Seven putter.

Yes, you read that right. I’m going to give you the scoop on this new putter today and it should also be in your golf shop today as well. Let’s hear it for instant gratification!

For any other putter release, the fact that you can buy one on the same day that it is announced would be the big deal. But there is something even bigger going on with the Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Toe Up Big Seven.

Sing it with me!

Rock your body
Rock your body right
Backstryke’s Back, Alright!

Oh, my God, it’s back again.

After a nearly 10-year hiatus, Odyssey has brought back the Backstryke hosel. This time around, Team Toulon and company have paired the party-in-the-rear hosel with their beloved Number Seven, one of the most popular models from the Stroke Lab Black putter line.

Hefnering, the pairing of the old with the new, is a common practice in the putter industry. Surprisingly, putter makers who labor to produce neo-classic putter designs face significant challenges. Don’t innovate enough and you’ll be accused of copying. If you push the boundary too far though, the golfing public will reject the design because it lacks familiarity.

How does the Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Toe Up Big Seven straddle the future-past continuum? Did they bring the flavor? I’ve got more questions that I’ll answer now.

Is it original? (Yeah)

To answer this question, I spent days (minutes) scouring the Internet for putters with similar hosel designs, especially curious to see if there is a version that predates the 2011 Backstryke release. Outside of the abominations that are the Orlimar Hindsight and Inertia Transfer putters, I actually struggled to find other putters with their shafts stuck in their rear ends. I feel like they must be out there, as nothing is ever new with putters. Which ones did I miss? Feel free to chime in with those that you know in the comments below.

Let’s return to the name for a bit. Now I’ll forgive you if your attention wanders while reading the name of this putter. It is an eight-word name. To make things quicker, I should probably come up with a nickname for it like the Odyssey Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla putter. Shorter names like the Stroke Lab Black Antidisestablishmentarianism were probably already trademarked. Abbreviating the name doesn’t help either as OSLBTUBSP sure doesn’t roll off the tongue like NKOTB.


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Toe Up’s Back, Too

Moving past that distracting nomenclature tangent, did you catch the Toe Up part of the name? Do you remember the Odyssey Toe Up putters? Circa 2016, Odyssey stunned the PGA Show crowd with a surprise launch of their Toe Up line. Maybe stunned is a bit exaggerated but it was a pretty big deal at the time that Odyssey had kept a release secret all the way until the show. That just doesn’t happen these days. The Toe Up’s surprise release really maxed out the hype meter.

The Toe Up putters, and this new putter with the too-long-to-type name, are designed so that the toe of the putter points up, not just balancing on your finger but at address and also during your stroke. This design reduces twisting during the stroke. What does that do for you? This guy had a solid explanation back in 2016.

The theory of the Stroke Balanced technology is that because these putters don’t gate open and closed during the swing, they should be easier to return square to the ball – ultimately enabling you to roll the ball more consistently, and potentially straighter.

-Dave Wolfe, MyGolfSpy Putter Guy

Dude nailed it! Basically, you are looking at a torque-balanced putter that should not twist as much as a traditional putter during the stroke. And, yes, other companies like Edel and PING offer putters of similar design or at least similar intention.

Is it the only one? (Yeah)

The Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Toe Up Big Seven putter (I’m just cutting and pasting the name now) is the only Stroke Lab Black putter that currently features this Backstryke hosel. Perhaps if it catches on, then we will see some additional models. My favorite was the Backstryke D.A.R.T., though I never learned what D.A.R.T. actually stood for. Maybe it was Dat’s Awesome Right There. Regardless, since the original Backstryke line featured four models, we could see some of those models get the Stroke Lab Black modernization treatment.

Now before you correct me and say there were five original Backstryke models, my counting is in fact correct. Some do speak of a fifth model, though. These heathens suggest Odyssey also perverted the best Odyssey mallet ever, the Sabertooth, into a Backstryke configuration. Obviously, that did not happen as the Sabertooth is canon in the putter world and such an abomination in design would not be tolerated!

Is it sexual? (Um…)

I love putters but am thinking that loving a putter is likely socially unacceptable. Let’s just move to the next question.

Is it everything you need?

For a one putter, existing-line extension, there is quite a bit to digest with the Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Toe Up Big Seven putter. Remember, in addition to the Backstryke and Toe Up elements, this putter also features the Stroke Lab shaft and Microhinge Star insert. That’s a ton of tech for $199.

As I mentioned, these should be in your shop today for demo. I’m curious to hear about your experiences with this putter. I know that for some of you, this will be your first time Backstryking. Be prepared for some initial address oddness. That will quickly pass after a few rolls of the rock. OG Backstrykers need to chime in, too, knowing that you are likely ecstatic that you can now have a brand-new Backstryke putter. You rock your body now. We know that the putter drought for the Backstryker has lasted longer than any center-shafter or lefty lover has had to endure. Sing it loud, Backstryke’s back, alright!

For more information, visit OdysseyGolf.com.