50 Words or Less
The Odyssey Red Ball putter is built to improve your set up and alignment. Very important that you have the length and lie angle fit to your body and posture. Forgiving head.
Over the years, Odyssey has used a wide array of visual enhancements to promote better aim. From the DART to the more recent Versa color schemes, they aren’t afraid to think outside the box. The Red Ball putter goes a step further, seeking to improve not just aim but also set-up position.
The Odyssey Red Ball putter starts out as a rounded, slightly-triangular, neo-mallet. The middle of the flange has been removed to boost MOI and reduce weight.
Now we move on to the aiming features. There’s a thin, white top line that’s surrounded by an elevated white horseshoe. The rear of the flange has a thick white stripe, completing the black/white/black Versa look.
Finally, we come to the namesake feature, the Red Ball. The Red Ball is on the flange, and there’s a black ring elevated above it, inside the horseshoe. If you put the ring around the ball, the idea is that you will be in a proper address position.
Is any of this remotely traditional looking? Absolutely not. Do the results make it worth breaking with convention? I’ll get to that shortly.
Sound & Feel
The Odyssey Red Ball putter uses the White Hot RX insert – a feel that will be familiar to thousands of golfers. I find the White Hot RX to be surprisingly firm for an insert, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Due to the firm insert and the stable head, there’s very little feedback on strike quality from the Red Ball putter. If you hit the ball all the way on the heel or toe, you’ll feel a little twist, but small mishits are covered up.
When I first heard about the Red Ball putter, my curiosity was piqued. I was eager to get one in hand and see how helpful this new approach was. After having tested it, I am left with as many questions as I had before.
The first thing I explored was how easy it is to get the Red Ball “scoped.” I found that it’s easy to get the ball in the ring, but hard to get it just right. I can easily imagine a golfer getting overly focused on having the Red Ball perfect.
This putter does feel easy to aim with its Versa paint scheme. My concern is that golfers will aim the putter, then fidget with it to get the Red Ball dialed in, potentially wrecking their aim.
My overall feelings on the Red Ball concept are mixed. First, it is critically important that golfers get the right length and lie angle or the Red Ball is going to force them into the wrong position. If it’s well-fit, I think the Red Ball could be a good training tool for consistent positioning. For the golfer that wants to take it to the course, I would stress that they need to have the discipline to focus on the goal – making a putt – and not on the Red Ball.
What’s undeniable is that this is a very forgiving putter. If you hit the ball anywhere near the center of the face, it will get to the hole on a line very close to what you intended.
One final thing to consider is whether this putter will fit your stroke. At the time of this review, the Red Ball is only available in a face-balanced configuration. If you have an arcing stroke, you need to seriously consider whether the alignment help is worth using a putter that may fight your natural tendencies.
Can the Odyssey Red Ball putter help you get more consistent with your set up? I have no doubt that it can. Whether it will ultimately lead to more putts is up for debate. There are some interesting tools here, but the golfer needs to know how to use them.