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  1. Dave's Putter Profile: Odyssey's EXO Indianapolis S New Gamer Alert! That's right, today's featured putter, the Odyssey EXO Indianapolis Sis the new gamer. Dave switched his gamer? That never happens. How does something as common as rainbows with colors warrant an “Alert”? While I am in fact gaming the EXO Indianapolis S, the “Alert” in that title was not referencing me, but rather Odyssey head design honcho Luke Williams. He has switched to the Indy S. It wasn't too long ago when Luke, Hashtag Chad, others, and myself were all founding members of Team Red Marxman S. it was a big red Marxman love fest. (You can find out more about the O-Works Red Marxman S HERE.) Anyway, as I was chatting with Luke about the upcoming EXO line release, he dropped the bomb that he had switched to the EXO Indianapolis S. And just like that, the Marxman was relegated to the garage, and my excitement to roll the new incarnation of the Indy went pedal to the metal. Luke has access to lots of putters, and he can even make custom ones should he choose, and this putter replaced his gamer. I'd say that warrants a closer look. EXO Line Features Review It was back in January when I was able to share with you the details about the new Odyssey EXO line. You can check out that whole blog article HERE. For those of you who choose not to click the information-refreshing link above, I'll give you the quick version. The new EXO line features three (six) models, a new insert, and multi-material construction that allowed Odyssey to push the MOI numbers beyond normal values. To quote myself: With the EXO line, Odyssey has constructed putters that feature a lighter weight center portion made from aluminum, with the outer part of the putter being made from heavier steel. Physics says, if you move the mass from the middle to the edges, you increase MOI, thus improving rotational stability. Mixing the two types of metals in the head allowed Odyssey to reposition the weight. Additionally, the EXO putters feature shallower centers of gravity than non-EXO models, which should add to their forgiveness. Damn, That Hinge is White Hot The White Hot Microhinge insert is new to the EXO line, and it is much more than an O-Works insert painted white. Without getting too far into the insert rabbit hole again, and because you have all read the First Look article (right?), let's just say that it took some tweaking to get the sound and feel just right. And what “just right” really means is that the insert feels and sounds like the revered White Hot insert, while providing the improved roll of the microhinge technology. When all things were said and done, Odyssey had developed an insert with the sound and feel profile of the beloved White Hot insert, and the roll enhancing microhinge technology. Now that I've had some rounds with the insert, and with the O-Works microhinge insert, I can definitely attest to their differences. Though both provide solid rolls, sound and feel are not the same. I find the White Hot microhinge to feel and sound much softer. It's so soft that I am sometimes surprised that the ball rolls all the way to the hole. Perhaps the feel issue is just an issue of familiarity. During their heyday, I did not extensively game a White Hot putter, preferring milled metal faces. I'd love one of you with more White Hot mileage to chime in on the feel comparison. It does feel softer, yet roll more proficiently when I compare it to my beloved White Ice Sabertooth, but that insert was not quite a White Hot. The EXO vs. Toulon Indianapolis The EXO Indianapolis is the second incarnation of the Indianapolis, with the first one coming under Odyssey's Toulon Design brand. I spent a good deal of time with the Toulon Indianapolis about this time last year (article HERE). Naturally, one will want to compare the two models, and he or she will quickly find that they are actually quite different. Construction One of the things that you can see right away when you compare the two models is that the materials have changed. Both are multi-material designs, but the EXO Indianapolis doesn't feature some of the fancier, and more expensive materials, like carbon fiber and tungsten. While I was initially a bit disappointed that the carbon fiber was gone, I actually think that I prefer the simpler look at address without it. I also think that not including these materials in the EXO version allowed this Indy to hit the $299 price point as opposed to the $399 price for the Toulon version. You can also see some design differences when you closely compare the two models. Take a look at these side shots. The Toulon Indianapolis is mostly hollow, while the EXO version has some structural pillars at its core. If memory serves me, these elements in the EXO Indy were included in the design to control sound and feel at impact. Regardless, it's little design tweaks like this that let consumers know that this is not just a cheaper version of the Toulon model. The Odyssey crew put some thought, and innovation into the EXO Indy. Looks I sort of mentioned this above, but I think that the new looks are a huge improvement at address. I just couldn't get comfortable with the half black and half (really) shiny silver looks of the Toulon Indianapolis. As good as it felt, it was demoted from the bag to the garage. The all-dark EXO looks great to my eye. You get the big sight line, and that's about it at address. I prefer this simple look to that of the Toulon Indy, and even to the O-Works Red Marxman S that I was gaming. It just simplifies aiming for me, and as I have mentioned in the past, I putt better with more squared putters. Slant Neck Option Odyssey is all in on offering slant neck variants of their mallets this year. All of the O-Works mallets can be had with a slant neck, and the same is true for the EXO putters. The Indianapolis, Seven, and Rossie all come in slant or traditional necks models. But why does this matter? Perhaps you happened upon the Most Wanted Monday video below about putter fitting. Adding the slant neck changes the playability of the putter, making a more traditionally straight-back-straight through mallet play more like an arcing blade. The significance of this is twofold. First, it allows slight-arc blade players to try out higher MOI mallets. Adding a slant neck makes the mallet feel more blade-like as it arcs through the stroke. Otherwise you'll be fighting the straight mallet with your arcing stroke. The second thing that builds from that idea, and also from the data in the video, is that not very many players actually have straight strokes. Some will argue that nobody has a straight back and straight through stroke. This means that nearly everyone playing a mallet is playing a putter that doesn't fit his or her stroke. The sad irony for many is that they pick up a mallet in the shop thinking that it is an easier to use putter, and then the resulting mismatch with their stroke costs them putts on the course. PING has addressed this idea for a few years with their different shaft options for their mallets, and now Odyssey has done the same with the S neck. Now you can choose a mallet that actually matches your stroke, and shouldmake putting easier. We still have to roll the putts correctly, of course. Gaming the Indy So like Luke, I am indeed gaming the Indy as well these days. I've mentioned some of the “Whys” already, but really the bag-ability of the EXO Indianapolis Scomes down to a couple of things. First of all, I really feel like I can aim this putter. Obviously, putts hit the hole more often when you can actually aim them at the target. While the Marxman S was quite easy to aim from distance, I struggled in close. Something about the head was distracting, and caused me to lose confidence. Nothing like preferring the 15' putt to the 5' putt. I believe that it's the square shape of the Indianapolis that better suits my eye, and meshes better with my aiming perceptions. Going the Distance The other thing that earns the Indy a bag spot is its distance control. My miss is traditionally short, but the bent-strong loft and the White Hot microhinge insert seem to be doing their distance-controlling job. Though the insert seems a bit soft, it does a great job of getting the ball to the hole. What I mean is that the swing that I take to get a ball a certain distance, gets the ball that distance, even if the feedback makes me think that it was too soft to get there. I am thinking that I will either get used to the soft feel, or this could end up being a to-the-bench issue for the Indianapolis. My feel-to-roll disconnect a bit disconcerting, but if the ball is getting there, I'm cool with the discord. It would be worse if I felt like I hit it well and it ended ten feet short or long. As of now though, it looks like the EXO Indianapolis S will be one of the putters that I'll be taking to Bandon Dunes in a few weeks. Yes, one of the putters. One has to have options for the Punchbowl after all. You can find out more about the Indianapolis, and the rest of the EXO line at the Odyssey site HERE.
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