50 Words or Less
The Odyssey Stroke Lab putters put the focus on an innovative new shaft. Plenty of head styles and nearly every one is built to fit different types of strokes.
Innovation in putters almost always centers on the head. New putter heads are touted as more forgiving, easier to aim, or able to create a better roll.
With their Stroke Lab putters, Odyssey is putting the focus somewhere new: the shaft. With a mixture of graphite and steel, they’ve moved weight in an effort to improve your tempo on the green.
In each of the ten head shapes, the Odyssey Stroke Lab putters feature a combination of silver, white, and matte black. Most of them, like the Seven shown above, have a silver face and top line with a black flange and white alignment features. To my eye, this makes all the mallets appear much smaller than they are.
Though the Stroke Lab shaft is unusual looking, it doesn’t factor into the appearance at address. The bottom portion of the shaft is steel, and that extends far enough up that you won’t see anything unorthodox when you stand over the ball.
The ten head shapes include Odyssey favorites as well as some new offerings. For the traditionalist, there’s the One (Anser), Three (Anser w/flow neck), Double Wide (wide body Anser), and heel-shafted Nine. Odyssey fans will recognize the Seven (shown here), 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, and V-Line. The newer offerings include the R Ball (a combination of line and a single ball alignment aids) and Tuttle.
Sound & Feel
The White Hot insert used in the Stroke Lab putters is a classic, and for good reason. It marries soft and solid in a way that no other insert can quite copy. Impact sounds very quiet, a dull “thud.” However, the feel in the hands is solid and connected, not mushy or dead like many inserts that aspire to be soft.
In a large mallet like the Seven, there is very little feedback on strike quality. Impact sounds the same across most of the face, and only extreme toe or heel shots create any twisting.
The Stroke Lab shaft uses a combination of graphite and steel to reduce weight. 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.
In essence, the Stroke Lab shaft allows Odyssey to create a counter balanced putter without driving the total weight of the putter sky high. As someone who has been experimenting with putter weighting lately, I was really intrigued by this. I benefit from having more weight in my hands, but I don’t like the putter to weigh a ton.
Though the mallet is a stark departure from my gamer, the Stroke Lab putter felt comfortable in my hands right away. The weight and balance made it feel like a more natural extension of my body. This translated to solid distance control, which is often my biggest challenge on the green.
Odyssey also continues to impress with their focus on fitting. Seven of the ten head styles come with two different neck options. That means that whether your stroke needs a face balanced putter or one with some toe hang, you have a wide variety of options to choose from.
Finally, the Stroke Lab putters come with two stock grip options. The oversized model, seen above, is nearly round and has no taper. Players can also opt for a more traditional pistol-style grip.
If you’re struggling with your putting, the unique weighting and balance of the Odyssey Stroke Lab putters is worth checking out. What’s really impressive to me is that Odyssey is making this innovation available to everyone with a wide array of head shapes and fitting options.