A few weeks back, we brought you the First Look at the new Odyssey White Hot RX putters. Today, we are going to go deeper into the line, exploring the White Hot RX insert a bit more and determining which of the seven models might fit your putting stroke.
I’ll also tell you a bit more about my experiences gaming the White Hot RX since we last chatted. That’s a bunch to cover so let’s get to it.
But first, let’s have the Callaway/Odyssey guys recap the key points of the WHRX line:
New White Hot RX Insert
Cool points about the insert from the above video, in case you didn’t watch it:
- Callaway ball team helped the putter team come up with different materials to try.
- The WHRX insert is a new material for this putter: injection molded elastomer, not urethane.
- The main goal was to keep the White Hot feel, while improving roll.
The WHRX insert is a hybrid of the classic White Hot polymer insert and the Metal X insert’s geometry, with the face of the latter traditionally being metal. With the WHRX insert, Odyssey was able to drop the metal of the Metal X by adding a finishing coating of abrasive
paint clear coat to the face of the insert. This abrasive clear coat compensates for the roll lost from the removal of the Metal X’s metal edge.
In the comments below the previous WHRX article, OZ, one of our readers, asked, “How long will the clearcoat last on the clubface?”
All I can say is that in the weeks that I have rolled these, I have not noticed any wear or paint loss on the insert. Maybe that’s because I spread impact all over the face, but it’s probably more likely due to the resiliency of the coating.
With the WHRX line, Odyssey continues to offer SuperStroke 3.0 gripped versions of the various models. The grips are colored and branded to match the WHRX scheme, and the upgrade price is very reasonable at $20.
While we are on the subject of grips, did you know that the Odyssey online store gives you a ton of grip options and other customization options as well? Follow this link to the WHRX V-Line Fang page. If you work through the options on the left, you can customize the length, lie, the wraps, the grip (including Lamkin and Iomic options), and even add a black shaft for $30.
I’d like to see that V-Line Fang all murdered out. Matte black on the head and shaft would look amazing.
Odyssey’s eyeFIT Fitting System
One of the things that I was very happy to see integrated with the White Hot RX line was a connection to Odyssey’s eyeFit fitting system. It has been a few years since Odyssey unveiled this eye position based fitting system and the accompanying fitting mirror. You can read my whole take on the eyeFIT system HERE, but I’ll just quote myself to let you know what I think about it.
Find where your eyes rest at address, and identify the putters that are in your wheelhouse. Is it a complete fitting? No, but it is something that you can do in a shop when no one is there to help you find the right putter.
Find Your White Hot RX
So let’t take a look at the White Hot RX line and see if we can’t point you in the right direction for a potential gamer. We will go with the usual toe hang fit since I can’t see your eye position at address. Just know that each of the White Hot RX models has its eyeFit code on the sole should you find a mirror in your local shop.
Click on the individual tabs below to learn more about each of the new Odyssey Mallets.
Tour tested and mother approved, the Odyssey #7 is an anchor of any Odyssey line-up. This version is a little lighter, 345g, and a little more compact than what you may have rolled under the Works moniker. It still has MOI for days and should be a big seller for the mallet crowd. V-Line Fang will give it a run, but I predict this one will be the best seller in the mallet category.
Someday I’d like to learn about the thought process that goes into top line alignment on the No. 7. What goes into the decision to put dots or a line up there? Do dots and lines prove more accurate then naked? Why not two lines that match the lines on the fangs, thus creating continuous alignment lines. Like I said, I want to know!
My first Odyssey putter was a Rossie II. Man did I think that I had moved to the big leagues with that one. I wasn’t even playing real golf at that point but I could tell that the Stronomic insert felt a whole lot better than the cast face of the Tru-Form putter I was playing before.
That’s right, I just dropped a Stronomic on you. How you going to deal with that?
Perhaps you are a mallet player who is not impressed with the larger footprints of the three other mallets. So be it. By elimination the Rossie is the putter for you (maybe). It’s definitely more compact than the others, with enough alignment lines to choke a moose!
Did I mention that I want to know the thinking behind these lines? Why not a clean top and a single cavity line? Why not dots instead of lines? Is a naked mallet too fringe to even contemplate? How would you line the head?
While the 2-Ball is more iconic than the #7, I don’t think that it has the same broad appeal. I bet that your experience with the 2-Ball alignment scheme is similar to my own. It is either the greatest scheme ever, or you can’t hit the house with it. Personally, I go through phases where the 2-Ball and myself are on the same page, and then other times, we are not even in the same book.
Regardless, this version gets us back to more classic 2-Ball construction when compared to the 2-Ball Fang versions from 2015. If you are a 2-Ball guy, (or gal since there is a woman’s version too), I’d say to give this one a look. The alignment is classic 2-Ball, and you may be drawn to the soft feel and roll of the insert.
The V-Line Fang is my favorite of the mallets. I’ve probably rolled more balls with this one than the others combined. I love the way that it sets up to the ball, and the Fang geometry really fights off any random twisting that I try to subconsciously add during my stroke.
I mentioned above that I wanted to see this in matte black. That putter actually exists, almost.
For those of you who like this shape, and have a little money to spend, there is a Japanese-market version of the V-Line Fang thats milled and has a sweet black finish. Granted it will not have the new WHRX insert and it will set you back about 3x the price. Labworx may be getting this one at some point.
Click on the individual tabs below to learn more about each of the new Odyssey blades.
The blades are not as flashy as the mallets, but for those who roll this way that’s usually a good thing. There are still some design tweaks to be found with the Number 1.
The alignment line is on the top edge, rather than the more traditional cavity. For some this will be annoying, but for others, having the line actually meet up with the ball will prove the recipe for accuracy awesomeness.
The Number 2 is a sneaky little putter. First, it is the only putter in the line-up with enough toe hang to put it in the moderate category. Ballpark, it hangs at about 4:30-5:00. It’s going to fit the strong arc player and the slight-arc one as well.
The sight line is in the cavity, and the top line is clean, so the alignment scheme should mesh with most players’ expectations.
The curiosity for me comes with the head weight. The No. 2 weighs 350g. That’s 5g heavier than the No. 1 and even 5g more than the No. 7. That last stat wrecks my brain a bit. How can a blade weigh more than a mallet in the same line? Based upon my opinion only, this one feels properly weighted, with the No. 7 feeling a bit light. The Versa No. 7 was lighter at 343g, but didn’t feel light to me. Now can that be possible?
The Phil Putter
I know, it’s not “The Phil Putter”. It’s the Number 9, and those prone to arguing will probably want to tell me that the design predates Phil by quite a bit, likely originating in the workshop of TP Mills or some other putter pioneer. I’m with ya, no convincing needed.
However, I’d also argue that my fellow ASU alumni (Fork ’em Phil!), is really the one responsible for putting this putter in front of the golfing public, and into the bags of a whole lot of golfers. He doesn’t even game this one much any more, going instead with the more impossible PT82 style, but I’ll always think of the No. 9 as Phil’s putter.
Explaining the play of the No. 9 to you is a bit like talking about rolling the 2-Ball. It’s been an Odyssey staple for a while, and most of you have probably rolled one. Lots of hot, swinging toe action with this one.
Of all of the putter alignment schemes featuring some kind of T, this one has always seemed to work the best for my eye. Perhaps it’s just a bit more subtle. The T is there to help though, turning into an “M” if you include the edges of the bumpers when you aim.
Play Impressions Revisited
So I’ve had a few more weeks, and rounds, to accumulate data about how the White Hot RX line performs on the course. Overall, I’m still pretty impressed with what Odyssey has done this cycle, but there are a few play observations worth noting before I send you off to the shop for one.
It’s pretty subjective stuff, and your opinions may vary, but here is what I found.
Let’s just say that the finish radiates in full sun. If the sun is overhead, this finish sparkles more than an adolescently dreamy vampire. I mentioned above that I’d love to see a matte black version of the V-Line Fang, and I really would primarily because of the finish brilliance. It’s not as bright as say high polished stainless would be, but it’s in the conversation.
Most of the time, I was actually fine with the finish, meaning that I didn’t notice it when addressing the ball. Back in overcast January and February, the finish was one of the components leading myself, and others, to make the requisite “good looking putter” comments.
However, when the days turned sunny, my thought at address was more about how shiny the putter was rather than on the putt I was trying to make. This didn’t exactly help me focus on the task at hand.
Maybe it was just distracting because I was used to putting with the overcast version. My guess is that over the rounds, the brightness of the finish will prove less distracting as I get used to it, providing the sun in not directly overhead.
Feel is always subjective, but more than one person who rolled the various models when I had them out to play commented about the head feeling light. This comment is not that surprising as many of these heads, mallets included, come in at 345 grams. The 2-Ball is the heaviest of the lot at a whopping 355g. These weights seem a little light compared to the norms of today, but not by much. The “feels light” comment was a bit unexpected.
One other feel/performance comment that came up a few times was a disconnect between impact and distance. All were impressed at how the WHRX insert rolled the ball, but some were surprised at the distance traveled relative to the perceived strike.
More than one person said something along the lines of “I can’t believe that got to the hole.” They felt like they didn’t hit it hard enough, and it got there.
To me, having a miss-hit get to the hole sounds great, but there needs to be a connection between feedback at impact and putt distance for one to really dial in a putter. Practice with a given model should help this issue, I believe. Enough of the guys mentioned it to me so I thought that I needed to share it with you too.
Remember, this is a new insert material, and as such, it should likely feel different than those that came before it. When I compare the WHRX No. 7 to my Versa No. 7 with the White Hot Pro insert I can tell the difference. Different is not bad though, just different, likely requiring some adjustment.
I will say that the WHRX No. 7 definitely rolls the ball more stoutly than the Versa. That assessment is data free conjecture, but that’s how it feels to me.
Your RX for Better Putting
Don’t let my notes about the finish and the insert lead you to the conclusion that I’m not behind this new Odyssey line. I actually like it quite a bit. The finish may have a touch too much sparkle for my tastes, and the new insert material will require some additional practice time to calibrate, but neither one of those things should cause you to overlook this release. The White Hot RX will be in the rotation this season…
If you are a mallet player, there are five to choose from. OK so maybe that’s four and a half mallets. Blade users only get two for now, but Odyssey is known to add new models to existing lines, like they just did with the Works line (the new Works Versa Sabertooth is pretty sweet). Maybe we will see a Number 6 or No. 1 Wide in the next cycle.
They should be in your local shop as you read this. Check them out and let me know what you think.