Are Odyssey’s Stroke Lab Shafts Changing the Game?
In 2019, Odyssey rolled out a new wave of technology, the Stroke Lab putter shaft. Billed as a potential game-changer at the time, there was plenty of buzz surrounding the multi-material golf shaft. As with any new technology, Stroke Lab brought with it promises of improvement. In putting, consistency is the name of the game. To that end, Odyssey says Stroke Lab putters shafts can improve consistency across several facets of putting, including backswing length, face angle, tempo, and velocity.
Of course, Odyssey wasn’t the only one modernizing the putter shaft, and it certainly wasn’t the only one promising better putting. For example, BGT offers multi-material models, and LA Golf Shafts offers a composite golf shaft. The same is true for Mitsubishi and Fujikura.
As a maker of the putter and the shaft, Odyssey has a leg up on its competitors and certainly accounts for the majority of multi-material putter shafts in the bags of average golfers. In that respect, it’s fair to call Odyssey the leader in the clubhouse, but it’s fair to ask if Stroke Lab putter shafts really produce better results.
We decided to take a look.
A Blast from the Past with a Twist
In 2021, Odyssey released a new lineup featuring the classic White Hot insert and an updated version of the Stroke Lab shaft. Notable in the updated Stroke Lab shaft is a shorter and stepless steel section. The change resulted in a 7-gram reduction in weight. Odyssey says the small tweaks further improve tempo, swing arc, and face impact consistency.
Most Wanted Putter Testing
In this year’s Most Wanted Mallet Test, there were five Odyssey putters utilizing Stroke Lab Putter shafts:
- Odyssey 2-Ball Ten S
- Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball
- Odyssey White Hot OG #7 Stroke Lab
- Odyssey White Hot OG 2-Ball Stroke Lab
- Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab
Three putters featured traditional steel shafts:
During Most Wanted Testing, we gathered performance data for each putter. Here are our findings.
Strokes Gained Results – Mallet Putters
Under our strokes gained methodology, the mallets showed the least performance separation. That said, Stroke Lab shafted putters still hold the edge.
- Odyssey Stroke Lab Putters – 0.096
- Odyssey steel-shafted Putters – 0.078
With a Strokes Gained differential of 0.019, the gap between Stroke Lab and non-Stroke Lab mallet putters is narrow.
Notable is that the conventional steel-shafted putters performed slightly better at 10 feet.
Strokes Gained Results – Blade Putters
Within the blade grouping, the Strokes Gained differential is more significant.
- Stroke Lab Putters – 0.255
- Non Stroke Lab Putters – 0.049
The blade Stroke Lab putters bested the steel shafted putters by 0.206 Strokes Gained. That’s a much larger difference than we saw in mallet testing.
Once again, the steel shafted putters outperformed the Stroke Lab putters at 10-feet.
Strokes Gained Results – Overall
Under our Strokes Gained methodologies, the Odyssey Putters featuring Stroke Lab Putter shafts outperformed the Odyssey Putters without Stroke Lab Putter shafts. Here are the Strokes Gained Averages for the two groups:
- Stroke Lab Putters – 0.128
- Non Stroke Lab Putters – 0.068
The Strokes Gained differential is 0.060 in favor of the Stroke Lab Putters.
Key Findings – Odyssey Stroke Lab Putters vs. Odyssey Steel Shafted Putters
1. Effectiveness at 5 Feet
From 5 feet, our data suggests that Stroke Lab Putter shafts provide a performance benefit. With mallets, testers completed the putter test with 195 putts on average with the Odyssey Stroke Lab Putters. With Odyssey steel-shafted models, the average was 199.
For the blade group, the performance gap was wider. With Stroke Lab Putters our golfers completed the putting test with 197 putts on average. With the steel shafted models, the test pool averaged an additional 13 putts, completing the test in 210 putts. This is a considerable differential from 5 feet.
Whether it is four, seven, or thirteen putts, the data suggests there is an increase in effectiveness from 5 feet with a Stroke Lab Putter.
2. Consistency at 10 Feet
Across the board, both the Stroke Lab and steel-shafted Odyssey putters were strong performers at 10 feet. However, from 10 feet, the steel shafted putters bettered the Stroke Lab models by two putts in both the mallet and blade groups.
The slight advantage for the steel shaft at 10′ is certainly a curiosity.
3. Most Wanted Winners Excel at 20 Feet
The biggest insight for Stroke Lab vs. steel-shafted putters is the performance from both the Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball and the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab. From 20 feet, the Odyssey Stroke Lab putters dominated the field.
- Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball Mallet – 278 Total Putts
- Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab Blade – 271 Total Putts
Would you consider a switch if you could potentially make 4-7.5% more putts from 20 feet?
Again, Are Stroke Lab Putter Shafts Changing the Game?
Putting is a game within the game of golf. After all, up to 30 to 40 percent of a golfer’s score is accumulated on the green. Throughout this year’s Most Wanted testing, our golfers saw better results at 5′ and 20′ when using putters with Stroke Lab shafts. While steel shafts performed slightly better at 10′, overall, Stroke Lab putters required fewer putts to finish the test and posted higher strokes gained values.
If you struggle with your putting, particularly at longer distances, our data suggests you might benefit from a putter with a Stroke Lab shaft.