Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey Putter Review

50 Words or Less

The Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey putter is a massive neo-mallet with huge forgiveness.  Slightly firmer insert.  Only one toe hang option.

Introduction

From the PGA Tour to the local munis, more and more golfers are accepting the help of massive mallet putters.  Odyssey has delivered a new offering in that category with their aggressively named Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey.  Can this flat stick help you find more birdies?  I tested it to find out.

Looks

I’ll start by stating the obvious: there’s nothing traditional about the Odyssey Bird of Prey putter.  From the size to the shape, this is as modern as modern gets.  My favorite part of the design is the pair of thin bars on the heel and toe that connect the face to the rear elements.  It looks as if the putter might shrink or expand like a Transformer.

Odyssey refers to the alignment aid on the Bird of Prey as “Hi-Def Aligmment.”  To the best of my knowledge, this just refers to the stark contrast of the thick white line against the black body.  While it’s simple, the line did absorb my focus and take my eyes off the unusual putter shape.

Sound & Feel

Odyssey has named the insert on the Bird of Prey the Microhinge Star and claims that it has a slightly firmer feel than the original White Hot Microhinge.  I felt that immediately.  Impact with a premium ball feels very soft without being mushy.

Comparing the Bird of Prey to its Stroke Lab brother, the Ten, I found that the audio feedback was more noticeable.  The firmer Microhinge Star insert does provide a more pronounced impact sound than previous White Hot inserts without losing that classic White Hot character.

Performance

My notes about the Bird of Prey include the phrase “Mega Forgiveness” which is as good a description of this putter as I can come up with.  The combination of multi-material design and huge footprint give the Bird of Prey a super high MOI.  That means that putts can be hit all over the face and still get to the cup.  I made a laughable amount of putts off the heel and toe with the Bird of Prey.

One mark against the Bird of Prey is the lack of neck options.  Odyssey has been among the leaders in giving golfers more toe hang options in mallets, but that does not extend to this putter at the moment.  For now, you can only get the Bird of Prey in a face-balanced configuration.

Finally, there’s the Stroke Lab shaft.  By utilizing a combination of steel and graphite, it weighs just 75 grams, which is 40 grams less than your typical steel shaft.  Odyssey put that weight back in the head (10 grams) and the grip (30 grams).  This includes the use of a 40 gram counter weight in the grip.  I’ve used a number of Stroke Lab and counter balanced putters, and I tend to enjoy the feeling of having more weight in my hands.  If you struggle with distance control, Stroke Lab is definitely worth checking out.

Conclusion

The Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey putter has a lot to offer golfers, whether they’re new to mallets or longtime users.  The Stroke Lab shaft re-balances the putter which many golfers may find beneficial for distance control and tempo.  Additionally, the massive head is a distinct advantage for golfers who struggle to consistently strike their putts pure.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

One Comment

  1. I went from a Scotty Cameron Newport to a Odyssey face balanced mallet many years ago. The grip is also counter balanced. The putter has served my style of putting very well (straight back and straight thru).
    I still have that putter in the bag! I look forward to adding a stroke lab shaft.
    If you have a slight arch in your stroke, you might want to consider a toe weighted putter.

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