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2018 OFFICIAL FORUM MEMBER REVIEW: ODYSSEY EXO PUTTERS

Exo Putters  

84 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Model of the EXO Putters would YOU play?

    • Seven
      54
    • Rossie
      15
    • Indianapolis
      15


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Intro

Though I reviewed a set of Wilson irons last year, a bit has changed in my life since then. I picked up golfing about 4 years ago after working at a local country club on the grounds crew here in Fort Wayne, IN. I play any course around me that I get the chance, all public courses, and all are straight with trees surrounding the fairways. I unfortunately have not been able to play nearly as much as I’d like to this past season as I just graduated college and had to study for boards, etc. so most of my playing has been at the tail-end. I’m passionate about golf because it’s a game that’s been around for ages and will be around with me able to play until past retirement hopefully. It’s a mental game, and I love the challenge that comes with it.

 

Currently in my bag, I have a mixed assortment of clubs from Callaway woods, to Titleist 3H, Wilson C300 irons (compliments of Russtopher), SM5 wedges and a Cleveland TFi 2135 Cero putter. I chose my putter after the 2016 (I believe) MGS Most Wanted mallet testing. I went and tested it at my local golf shop and loved it, so I purchased one used online. My handicap was around +18 last year, but this year has been a bit closer to +20 with the lack of consistent playing. I rely on my short game and putting to save pars, so my putting needs to be spot on, but as of recent, I’ve been leaving many of my putts short. I have a pretty rhythmic 1:2 second swing tempo. I’m most confident from 5’ and in, and my lag putting has been very poor. I hope this Odyssey EXO putter is able to help my recent putting woes.

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First Impressions

While this putter is not identical to my current putter in terms of head shape or finish, I like the looks of the putter. The contrast between the black and red is subtle and the sight lines seem very helpful. I had Callaway/Odyssey send my Odyssey EXO Seven S with a Winn midsize pistol grip because it’s similar to my current grip but a little bigger to help take my hands out of my swing a little. These putters have the White Hot Microhinge technology to keep the White Hot feel and roll that everyone knows and loves while also using a multi-material design (steel/aluminum) to help distribute weight toward the perimeter to help increase consistency in ball speed/accuracy. Forgiveness, something that many clubs strive for, but only some achieve effectively.

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Coming from a copper milled face produced by Cleveland to an insert from Odyssey, there’s definitely a MASSIVE difference in feel and production on the green. Putting from 20’, 10’ and 5’ along with lag putting is how I intend to put this putter through the ropes; two putters enter (the bag), only one putter remains after all is said and done… stick around to find out who makes i

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A huge thank you to MGS for trusting me with this review. Let’s dive in…

Odyssey EXO Indianapolis 

Who is chemclub?

  • Started playing golf when I was 10 and played 3-4 times per week in high school.
  • That went down to 3-4 times per year in college, gradschool, starting a job. 
  • I have kids now but still manage to get out once per week.
  • I love the game because I feel like I can always play better than I actually am. We all know the feeling when you strike that shot so pure and the ball hangs in the air forever. Keeps me coming back.
  • Central Iowa punches above its weight in terms of quality golf courses. There is an excellent links course in my area and a host of tough but fantastic courses with elevation changes and forced carries that make things interesting. Weather in the Midwest has been tricky for golf this Fall but I am confident I can get some good work with this putter in!

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What putter is currently in the bag and does it handle?

  • I have been going back and forth between an MLA Xdream and a TR PING ZING. I really love the look of the ZING. The longer blade length of the ZING fits my eye and I feel like I can always set it down square. I am typically attracted to blade putters, but the look of the Indy was so eye catching I just had to try it!
  • I think if I could put the time in I could get to low single digits and maybe even scratch (we all can dream). I can typically shoot around 80. For a once a week player, I think that is all I can expect at the moment. I do lose strokes on putting FOR SURE—lack of quality practice maybe.
  • My putting is just… OK. I can usually get it around the hole, but I’m not draining 5 and 10 footers on the regular. There isn’t a typical miss, but more a collection of just misses.
  • Putting is a mental battle for me. I think I just need to relax and hit the frickin’ ball.

Putter fitting

  • I went through a putter fitting at 2ndSwing a few years back for my current ZING. I ordered the EXO Indy to those specs but have never been fit for fancy counter-weighting and the like.
  • I requested the S-neck design because I tend to have some arc in my stroke (I game the ZING after all) so I generally prefer some toe hang in my putters. I am also opposed to face balanced putters because of, ya know, physics.

 

My Biases

  • I have never gamed or purchased an Odyssey putter and was not ever planning to. I have always admired Indy since the original Toulon release so if it wasn’t for the Indy design I know I would not have signed up. …Something to keep in mind as you read my review.

 

First Impressions

The actual box and packaging are pretty ordinary except for one thing! The big sell of this putter is the micro-hinge tech in the face (as well as the multi-material construction).

Are those micro-hinges simulated in the cardboard packing materials? Am I giving Odyssey too much credit or are they just that clever?

packaging sm.jpg

The first thing that struck me about the Indy was that it was a much smaller head than I was expecting. This might be due to the fact that I have been rolling a ZING which has pretty long blade length. Even still, next to a traditional ANSER head it is still shorter.

If I am going to go for an unconventional head, I was expecting it to be as garish possible, but the Indy looks rather petite down by the ball.

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So let’s come back to that Indy name. For those who don’t know, the Odyssey EXO Indy is a “re-release” of an original Toulon design of the same name (see below).

Toulon-Indianapolis.jpg

Some differences between the Toulon and the Odyssey interpretation

            The face patterns are different. Toulon claims to have gone through a ton of iterations of face patterns before they found the absolute best. Odyssey now has the “whitehot insert meets micro-hinge” face. I’ll reserve judgment on the EXO face until Stage 2 and talk a little more about micro-hinges there.

 

            While there are only subtle differences in the appearance of the black carbon fiber crown of each model (inspired by the Indy race car), the rest of the head construction is kind of all flipped around …

                        Face/front blade part: The Toulon is made of aluminum where Odyssey is steel.  The obvious color change may not be just a marketing ploy. It turns out that some consumers complained that the milled facets on the silver blade of the Toulon caused distracting glare. The black finish of the Odyssey obviously solves that.

                        Sole: The Toulon is made of steel where the Odyssey is made of aluminum

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                        Rear fin weights: Toulon uses tungsten or steel weights and the Odyssey’s are steel only

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All this to say that the Odyssey actually claims to have about a 5% higher MOI than the Toulon. From a purely subjective point of view, I still like the silver finish of the Toulon contrasting with the black crown. However, I didn’t care for the “Toulon design” label on the fin. Glad the Odyssey model kept it all clean on top.

Finally, the head cover. This is by far the biggest, most plush head cover I have ever used. Nice firm magnetic latch. I'm not worried about poor protection. The thing is pretty lux.

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Stay Tuned for Stage 2

 I will include some videos so you can hear the sound and I will show you how some of your most baller putter moves may be rendered ineffective by the Indy design. 

Will the Indy increase or decrease your mojo? Stay tuned to find out.

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Stage Two - Odyssey EXO Indianapolis – Official MGS Forum Review by chemclub

Summary

Overall, I have been very impressed with the performance of the EXO Indy during practice and on the course. A unique and elegant design that provides tons of off-center hit forgiveness. The putt has a muted but solid strike that lives up to the white-hot feel. The jury is still out as to whether the micro-hinges (which are 3x larger than the previous model) really do promote more forward roll. But in my hands, at least, the roll seems true. I wasn't an Odyssey guy at all, but this putter would make me consider them in the future.

 

 

Looks

I think the Indy nails it in terms of looks. The design is definitely different, as most high MOI designs are, but compared with some of the crazier mallet designs on the market, the Indy maintains such a clean and minimal look.

 I think compared with some of the mallet models above, the racecar inspiration for the Indy model really looks much more elegant compared with some of these more gaudy options (IMHO). Also, as I mentioned in Stage 1, I think the Odyssey Indy cleaned up the look even more by removing the graphics on the Toulon Indy model.

 The alignment line really stands out against the black carbon crown but is not distracting. Black and white—pretty classic.

 (10 out of 10 points)

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Sound & Feel

I tried to get a recording of the sound at impact but I have a pretty cheap phone and it was only picking up the high frequencies—gave it a much higher pitched sound than in reality. Hopefully my fellow testers have better luck.

 I would describe the sound and feel at impact as muted and solid. The sound gave me a lot of confidence over the ball. The white-hot insert definitely feels soft but it isn’t like you are hitting a puff ball. The contact still feels solid.

 As for the micro-hinges… Odyssey touts the micro-hinge insert as promoting forward roll. You may note, however, that Odyssey doesn’t provide any data to support this. Below is a slow-mo video of my stroke with the Indy (with microhinge insert) and a flat-faced Anser model. From the video alone, it can be really difficult to see any differences in those rolls. However, I used the horizontal line and some video editing software to actually analyze how many revolutions per frame each putter was creating. I tried a bunch of different strokes (ascending, descending, flat) and from that analysis I calculated that the EXO was creating about 5-15% more roll per frame than the Anser. Note: you have to believe that I am capable of striking the ball with the same force each time. But in all strokes tested, the EXO always had greater roll per frame, so despite the large error in my little experiment, it might still hold true. Would be best to run this test with a mechanical swing arm to see if I am full of it or not.

________________________________________________________

Videos of forward roll and back-hand tap-in (link)

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 On a subjective note, those roll numbers don’t really do it for me. I would want to redo this test with a lot more data points and make sure each putter had the exact same specs. The soft feel of the white-hot insert is definitely a winner for me though. It took a little to get used to but it really does convey great feel with the ball and I expect putts to be rolling smoothly with each stroke.

(10 out of 10 points)

 

 

 

Tour sauce

So I may not play in the big show but I can still have my own little flourish of tour sauciness.

What is tour sauce?

I think for most of us weekend warriors our tour sauce maxes out at what I will call (1) the backhand tap-in and (2) the putter scoop.

 (1) I’m a righty, so I typically carry the putter in my left hand. When I putt it close to the hole on the left and walk up to tap it in, I usually use a one-handed stroke with my left hand and the back of the putter to tap it. I am actually pretty good at it and can drain 2 footers often. It is just so relaxed you don’t have time to tense up over the ball. Well, you can’t do that with the Indy. See the end of my video above for a demonstration. No sauce, it's dry rub.

 (2) Scoopability refers to scooping the ball with the putter so you don’t have to bend down. Maybe you even flick it in the air and catch it, dripping coolness (and tour sauce) all over the green. The Indy won’t let you do that either, at least not so easily.

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But then again, if this putter performs, you will be picking the ball out of hole more instead of tapping in or scooping up that gimme. For now, sorry Indy, my sauce comes first.

 (0 out of 10 points)

 

Basic Characteristics

 By far the most impressive aspect of the Indy is the consistency across the face in terms of keeping the ball online. My testing has made me a believer in the high MOI design behind the Indy.

 The best part about that consistency is that it doesn’t seem to lead to a loss of feel either. You can definitely feel if you have hit off center.

Center hits – Feel solid yet soft. The white-hot insert lives up to its name, but then, shouldn’t all strokes feel good when you hit the center of mass?

Toe hits – This surprised me. You definitely feel the off-center strike, but the stroke still feels really solid with good energy transfer. It gave me a lot of confidence and the distance and speed seemed to hold up well.

 Heel hits – Yikes. No. Like putting with a frying pan. Believe me, you will know a strike towards the heel when you hit one and the feel will not be solid. Surprisingly though, the putt stays on line pretty well!

The results from above are exactly what I would want out of a putter. I can feel the off-center hits but the line stays true. I still did notice a minor drop off in distance, but the high MOI of this putter performs as advertised.

 To show you what I mean, I went to course after one of our recent and unseasonable Fall snows (😡 grrr). Putting in snow is great for a poor man’s shot tracer of each putt, although a dewy green makes for a warmer test!

 online.thumb.jpg.92b029a0065cb3b370b3e0b112eab171.jpg 

I took turns hitting heel and toe putts and a picture of one of those tests is shown above, about 30 feet (used some wacky filters to try to make the shot lines stand out more). The dispersity of balls was fantastic and you can see that the ball stays online really well, aside from one put that I yanked a little bit, but hey! It still turned out pretty fine! I ran this test 4 times and in general the 6 balls were within 2-3 feet of eachother. Impressive distance consistency and on-line performance (also gave me confidence that I was making a repeatable stroke).

Where does that forgiveness come from? I have found the off-center forgiveness of the Indy to be much better than my Anser or Zing model in terms of keeping the ball on-line and maintaining energy transfer to the ball. The high MOI obviously derives from putting the weight back from the club face, because the face of the Indy itself is really just a rectangle of solid steel. There is no deep pocket milled into the back of the head (all Anser-style). The carbon crown and aluminum sole just screw onto the back and the steel weights are then held some 3" back from the face. The design isn't just wacky for the sake of it. There does appear to be measurable performance gains from it.

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 (18 out of 20 points)

 

On-Course Performance

When I first started putting with the Indy I had a lot of difficulty setting it down square. In fact, after my first session with it, I was thinking this putter was not the one for me.

 My first time on the course changed all that. I had always heard that many white-hot fans like the white face because they like seeing it at address. For me, the white-face gave me a nice visual cue when I set it down. I then forward press the putter until the white face disappears and it is a nice pre-shot routine that helps me square the club and feel like I am ready to send the ball on-line.

I will continue to update this thread with my on-course stats and as I continue to get more rounds in with this club. I will just repeat that the ball stays online when struck. Distance control was an issue during the initial break-in period, but I attribute this, in part, to playing a variety of courses with greens in various stages of late-Fall burliness. My experience on the practice green told me I could replicate distances.

While the odd 20 or 30 footer gets away from me, I have tremendous confidence on the 10 footers (left with a tap in or just plain in). I haven’t really seen a difference in my number of three-putts unfortunately. I want to revisit that stat after I have had a little more time with the putter.

My score in this section is based on my confidence that this is a solid club that is very forgiving in terms of putting the ball on-line, even on off-center hits. I think putting is often about having confidence and this club really does give me confidence over the ball.

  (25 out of 30 points)

 

Play it or Trade it?

This putter is not going anywhere. There is a lot to love in this flat stick and it is definitely my gamer for the foreseeable future. Even if the honeymoon period wears off, I don’t think I would ever sell it since the look is so distinct among mallet models.

(20 out of 20 points)

Final Score: (83 out of 100 points)

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Stage One – GregB135 

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Intro – Born and raised in Tampa Florida, I was into just about anything that involved being outside, mostly playing baseball and other sports. Then one summer afternoon as a sophomore in high school, a friend asked me if I wanted to go play golf. He still owes me an apology. I was hooked (mostly sliced really) from the very first round. Now that I’m a 40-something, I’ve had to taper off some of the other competitive activities like softball or volleyball that I used to enjoy. Golf is now a way for me to continue playing a sport I enjoy while channeling that competitive nature I developed over years of playing team sports. I love that it is a sport where you chiefly compete with and challenge yourself.

 I started putting my first set of clubs together buying them one at a time from the bargain rack at the sporting goods store. Eventually I had enough clubs in the bag and enough practice to make the HS golf team. I was only able to play sparingly through college, and didn’t truly start to play seriously until finishing school and entering the Air Force.

 20 years of active duty took me from Mississippi, to Georgia, N. Dakota, Washington state (twice), Florida, South and North Carolina. I also got to play in cool places like Japan, Saudi Arabia, The Azores, Diego Garcia and Alaska. Back home in Florida now I  play courses with mostly Bermuda or hybrid greens that can put a premium on strong putting. You can see some of the more recent venues here:

https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/23440-florida-league-course-reviews/

My handicap has varied along the way (thanks to seasonal play and lots of deployments) with the low index a few years ago around 9 but it has since drifted back up a bit to 14. I manage above average length, but like most middle handicappers, struggle sometimes with consistency. Lately most of my big numbers are caused by too frequent wild misses from the tee and accruing too many penalty strokes. Now retired from the AF, I’ve got a little more time to dedicate to playing and working on my game.

 

This year I did a complete replacement of everything in the bag from D to SW so I am excited to get the opportunity for this putter test to see if that will complete the changeover. Over the years I gamed various different versions of a gooseneck notch-back blade putter (Carbite DC, TM Rossa) and only a couple of years ago switched to the Odyssey 2-Ball Fang mallet that is the current gamer.

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 I’ve never thought of myself as a strong putter. But with some concentrated practice, this past league season I’ve putted very well. My putts/round average right now is about 31 and I’ve worked my 3-putt/round average down to statistically 1. To make it into the bag, the EXO Rossie will need to at least match that performance, and offer some improvement at middle distances.

 First Impressions

Right out of the box the first thought was; ‘Wow, that’s one sexy putter!’  The red and black color scheme is really cool (She Who Must Be Obeyed is a Georgia fan so she approves).

 I liked the feel of the EXO better than my current putter. It has a slightly more compact head, but I can feel its weight a bit better. The grip has a tackier and softer feel to it than the current gamer. Not sure how much of that is due to the ‘newness’ of it. They are both SuperStroke grips and are the same size, I’m just not certain they are the exact same model. I like the total package of the EXO better from the beginning.

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Of course, I had to take it straight out to the course. I didn’t keep stats, or warm up on the practice green, I just went for it to see what I could see.

I hit a few that rolled well past the hole that resulted in a couple of three putts. Feel and sound are both a bit softer than the Fang - turns out I think I prefer that. I also REALLY like the alignment aids along the frame much better than the un-lined 2-Ball set up. The EXO has a slightly reduced s-bend in the neck, I’ll have to see how much that helps or hurts in further testing.

Odyssey has two performance claims for this putter.

1.    The multi-material design increases moment of inertia by expanding perimeter weighting. Translation (for the non-techs like me): mis-hit putts will perform more like putts that hit the sweet spot than with a putter having less MOI.

2.    The micro-hinge insert produces more immediate roll. Translation: A hotter face that will provide increased roll for the same effort and should maintain a truer line.

I think I have some drills I can modify to test those claims. I’ll provide updates as I go along to keep you all in on the process.

Keep in mind, I’ll be testing the putter for how it lives up to those claims and how it performs on the course. Given six weeks of concentrated effort on putting, I fully expect to finish the test with better putting stats regardless of the results. That’s a bonus.

Thanks to the MyGolfSpy team for the opportunity to participate in this test. It’s already been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to seeing the other testers’ results and some great conversations as we go along.

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Stage TwoOdyessey EXO Rossie – Official MGS Forum Review by GregB135

Intro

First of all, thank you again to the team at MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to participate in this test. I had a lot of fun working on it. My focus going in was to human test, rather than robot test, Odyssey’s claims of high MOI forgiveness, and better roll from the MicroHinge insert, and at the same time get enough playing rounds in with the EXO to compare performance to my previous gamer (yep, previous).

I did several rounds of testing on the putting green that are summarized in the thread. After several  rounds of single player and multi-player testing the claims seem to bear out. MOI testing showed center strikes rolled out essentially on line, without a significant distance penalty. The roll-out test had a little more variance, especially in multi-player testing. Tempo differences had a lot to do with that, but again, the EXO for the most part, rolled further than the other putters for strokes of the same length. End of the day(s) the EXO lives up to what Odyssey says it will do performance wise.

Taking it on the course was a very pleasant surprise. My handicap has been as low as 9, but for the last couple of years has been more around 14. I never really considered myself a strong putter, even when dedicated practice time to it. I compared my putting stats on 18 Birdies between my last 10 rounds with my former putter and managed 8 rounds with the EXO. My putts per round average was significantly better with the EXO at 30.5 compared to 32.5. 4 of the 8 rounds were below 30 total putts which for me is a frequently missed goal. Putts/hole average dropped from 2.1 to 1.6, and 3-putts per round form 2.4 to 1. With that kind of improvement on the greens, the EXO is definitely going to stay in the bag

 Looks

This putter looks terrific right out of the box. I don’t really think of myself as a traditionalist or purist when it comes to looks, but I do trend toward plain. I really like the traditional mallet shape of the EXO Rossie. It is modern without looking too extreme.

The red and black color scheme looks really cool just out of the box. What surprised me was how that aggressive look helps create an aggressive mindset when standing over a putt. The alignment aid on the putter head made a big difference for me over the previous gamer (no-line 2-ball). The white lines blend wonderfully with the red and black made it simple to set and keep the putter on the intended line during setup.

 Looks SCORE: 10 out of 10

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 Sound & Feel

I think Chemclub summed this up best with “muted but solid”. Being able to select our grips for testing probably made a difference when it comes to feel. The combination of a thicker, softer grip (Superstroke Mid-Slim 2.0 for me) and high MOI/double insert design meant I really have to miss the center of the face to feel it all the way in my hands. The “muted but solid” sound didn’t bother me, but may be a detractor for those who like the distinct click of the ball on the sweet spot of some other putter designs.

 Sound & Feel Score: 8 out of 10

 Basic Characteristics

I spent a lot of time on the practice green with this putter doing the various tests and practicing. Overall it produced very consistent line and roll. It actually created a challenge in the roll out tests I did because too many balls were rolling into previous putts. Test performance clearly showed it took missing the sweet spot by more than a ball width (that’s a huge miss) to significantly degrade the line and roll of the putts. Distance control was very consistent when using a measured stroke length. It maintains a balanced and solid feel throughout the stroke to it plays well from the fringe as well as when on the green. All in all I couldn’t find anything about the putter that didn’t live up to how Odyssey said it would perform.

 Basic Characteristics Score: 20 out of 20 points)

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 On-Course Performance

If you’ve read this far, my intro included the meat of how the EXO Rossie performed in this category. Once I got familiar with the putter, it was almost a whole different game for me on the greens. My three putts all but disappeared, though I did have a couple that weren’t necessarily starting at 3-putt distance. Had it not been for some truly miserable performances tee to green, and lots of penalties, my scores would have been back in the mid-low 80’s like they were when putting was my weakness. Again, I really like the red/black color scheme. Aside from it just looking cool, it inspired an aggressive, and confident mindset which is crucial for good putting. Between that, and the alignment aids, setting the putter on line was simple and intuitive, and it showed as most of my long putt misses were more speed misses not off-line misses. If I were to change anything, it would be the muted sound. Something a little more distinct that says out loud ‘that was a well struck putt’.

 On-Course Performance Score; 28 out of 30

 Miscellaneous

The EXO Rossie is a great looking and great performing putter. The head cover is fantastic and really stands out when it’s in the bag. The putter got lots of compliments like, ‘ooh, nice’, and ‘sweet’ when my regular playing partners saw it. Then they started calling me bad names when the ball kept going in the hole.

Misc. Score : 10 out of 10

 Play it or Trade it?

I’ll admit, the price tag for the Odyssey EXO line is well above where I have tended to shop for putters, and is right up there with some of the more exclusive brands in the market. Don’t forget though, if you play the game of golf according to plan and par, ½ your total strokes will be with the putter. Of any club in the bag, it is worth the investment to get a proper fit and spend a little more if necessary. That said, if you’ve been looking at putter prices, and the full customs, Camerons and Bettinardis of the world are out of reach, the EXO line is a great performing putter for the money. This one is definitely staying in my bag. 

Score: 20 out of 20

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Conclusion

Odyssey remains one of the mainstays in the putter market. My previous gamer was an Odyssey as well, and after putting the EXO Rossie through its paces, I see why they continue to be a leader in the marketplace and are in the bag of so many professionals. This putter lives up to all the marketing with respect to roll and forgiveness. And it looks fantastic besides. I am definitely recommending the Rossie or any of the other EXO line of putters to anyone who is looking for in-the-bag changes for improving their scores.

Final Score: 96 out of 100 points!!!

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Edited by GregB135
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Hi fellow spies,

First a big thanks goes out to MGS and Odyssey for this exciting opportunity to test out the Odyssey Exo 7S. My name is Chris and my family and I live in Germantown, TN just east of Memphis. Let me start with a little background about myself.

I am a lefty that has played sporadically for the past 32 years starting at age 14 on a high school team on the Oregon Coast. My dad was on the grounds crew and eventually became the Superintendent so I was around the course quite a bit growing up. Once I went to college, I took a break from golf to pursue other things and only occasionally played a round. This really didn’t change much until I moved to Arkansas and worked in turfgrass research. It was a great time being able to work in that capacity and play some golf but I ended up moving back to Oregon to try out working at a course as the assistant Superintendent at a 36 hole public course. Ironically, this is probably the time where I golfed the least given the amount of hours I was working. After trying this for awhile I went to work in an agricultural related field for the federal government, first in the PNW, then Bermuda and now in Tennessee. I really got back into golf in a serious way about four years ago while in Bermuda when I signed up several of my kids for the local junior golf program.

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View of the Atlantic from the Port Royal Driving Range in Bermuda.

I really enjoy seeing my kids learn the game and getting to celebrate their great shots and just try to encourage them to have fun out on the course. I mostly play casual rounds with my 15 year old daughter or play a few holes on the par 3 course with my younger kids.

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I now play/practice about twice a week which was great in Bermuda but pretty brutal this past winter in Tennessee. I joined a country club here which has two courses that play between 6800-7200 from the back tees. I’ve been able to work my HCP down from an 18 at the beginning of this year to a 13.3. I’m still trying to break 80 and get a hole-in-one for the first time.

After not giving much thought to things like what type of ball I’m playing and why, I started reading a little and have changed to a Titleist AVX rather than the ProV1. I really needed less spin off of my driver and the AVX has helped quite a bit with that. I take very few penalty strokes since making the switch and recently fired a 2 over 38 personal best (most of my rounds are just 9 holes). I like the amount of spin the ProV1 has around the green compared to the AVX but the switch was a no-brainer for keeping my drives in play and setting up better approach shots. I would love to get a professional driver fitting with an upgraded shaft that would help me lower my spin numbers on drives but that will have to wait. 

I got my first fitting for all of my clubs, except the driver and putter, about three years ago. I was pretty dead set on getting Vokey wedges but for the rest of the clubs I really just went in to the fitting with the attitude of getting whatever I was fit to regardless of brand. This led to a pretty mixed bag of clubs which you can read about in detail at my WIYB post here: https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/26262-just-another-leftys-bag/

Now for the putters. Here’s a picture showing my progression of putters.

pic 3 putters.jpg

I used an old Acushnet Bulls Eye for 28 years and again, just like with the golf ball, I never really gave it much thought. I went to buy a used Titleist driver from a fellow lefty who was a putter enthusiast looking to also sell off some of his vast putter collection. I ended up buying a Scotty Cameron Select GoLo mid and a SC Select Newport 2. After going back and forth quite a bit I finally settled on the GoLo. I’ve done OK with the GoLo but I’m just not satisfied with my average putts per round so I thought I would give the Tommy Armour Impact #3 a try, again based on the MGS review and the fact that I can't seem to break 30 putts for a round. I use the Game Golf tracker so I’ve been able to track my average which has gone down a bit this year from 34.8/rd for the first half of 2018 down to 33.2 for the last half. I’ve only gotten in 5 rounds with the TA3, but so far I seem to be putting the same with it as with the GoLo, with typical misses long on the low side for putts 15’ and less. Long putt misses are all over the place and very inconsistent. My goal on putts is to die the putt about 18” past the cup but I need a lot of work on that still.

For this review, I chose the Odyssey Exo 7S given that all of my previous putters, with the exception of the TA3, have at least some toe hang rather than being face balanced. I have a slight arc in my putter swing so this seemed like the most logical choice and I could compare it directly with the putter I have the most stats with, the SC GoLo. I went with a black shaft to see if that can help me focus more on the hole and take out glare as a distraction. Lastly, I chose the Odyssey SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0 grip. I’ve been trying to have a light grip on my existing putters but I’ve really been wanting to try an oversized grip to further aid in keeping a light grip. I’ve been putting with my lead hand low for over two years now to also try to produce a more stable stroke.

Callaway is making several claims with the Odyssey Exo 7 putters. The high MOI is supposed to help with distance control with mishits being less affected. The goal here is to have a better chance of rolling the ball the right speed. The white hot microhinge insert is supposed to sound firm, not soft, giving a better feel to the putter and giving more top speed due to the larger micro-hinges on the face. This is being touted as the best feeling insert ever from Callaway.

Here are some pictures of the Odyssey Exo 7S:

pic 4.jpgpic 5.jpgpic 6.jpgpic 7.jpg

pic 8.jpg

pic 9.jpg

I plan to not only use it on the course during play but also compare it directly with my current putters from short, mid and long distances with and without break. Having used it a little already, I can say my first impression is very positive, not only aesthetically but also with a really good feel off of the face.

I really want to get below 30 putts with regularity rather than getting down to 30 or 31 putts infrequently like I do right now. I’m hoping the high MOI technology will help me out with distance control. I leave a few putts short every round that are right on target and with better distance control I can sink a few more of these 7’ to 15’ putts. I’ll also be working a lot on lag putts to eliminate my 3 putts. If I can see a decent reduction in my putting average and see a true reduction in mishits, this putter will be staying in my bag. Come back for Stage 2 results to see how it performed.

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Stage 2 – Odyssey EXO 7S

Intro

Welcome back to the Stage 2 review of the Odyssey EXO 7S. The time has gone way too quick and the weather turned about the same time that I received this putter but I feel good about my testing process and where I’m at. I’ve managed to get in 7 rounds with the putter on both fast (11.5 stimp) and slow (8 stimp) greens. Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post I've tested this putter against two of my other putters from ten different distances (with and without slope) with twenty putts per putter per distance. I’ll get into the results of the 600 putt test below. I've also completed a rough test of MOI similar to another tester, @GregB135, but admittedly not nearly as in-depth. I tried this test from what ended up being 24' to try and see if greater differences would show up for a longer length putt. For the on-course testing I kept track of not only strokes per round but strokes gained using the following link:

https://www.golfrankingstats.com/strokes-gained-calculator/

I also kept track of 3-putts and distance remaining to the hole.

Looks

The Odyssey EXO 7S mallet putter really has a great look. Although I didn’t request a black shaft for looks, it works really nice with this putter. The way it blends into the head and the grip really looks classy and sleek. There are tons of choices for the grip but the Odyssey SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0 grip really compliments the overall look of the putter with the black, white and red color combination.

700370031_Stage2picofputterresized.thumb.jpg.62f595aa6a6c345aa7f29daa6edb6482.jpg

I think the alignment aids on the putter head really pop against the black and red backgrounds. These aids make it a little more certain for me in lining up the putter than what I’ve used in the past. Did I still miss short putts? Sure, but most of that’s on me, usually due to carelessness, rushing, etc. The red half circle behind the putter face made me think of the Odyssey 2-ball putter design so I took a picture with the ball on top of that section to help readers visualize what I was talking about. No surprise here, the long alignment aids are exactly the width of a golf ball.

1885252024_Putterataddress.jpg.79a0da7e9fec4cdd7a1b65ba07f5e1bc.jpg1380099213_Putterwithballonitresized.jpg.8e06e0e847b914f8ee92cbd05e36df84.jpg

I really see a lot to like in the EXO 7S and can’t find a single fault in the looks category so looks get a perfect 10 of 10.

Sound and Feel

@chemclub and I both had the same opinion on the sound and feel: muted and solid. I posted a video on YouTube at this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AK8jSWClIc&feature=youtu.be 

It almost sounds like the beat of a metronome set to a low volume. The sound across the face is pretty much the same but the feel is different. A center strike feels really smooth and almost effortless. The toe and heel strikes don’t have that same smooth feeling. It feels almost like a “thunk” off the toe and heel. It’s not outrageous or anything, this was from trying to discern a difference so it’s really nothing alarming. It makes sense that the toe and heel strikes would feel different. If you look at the picture below you can see that you are missing most of the microhinges on the face if you line up using the outer alignment aids.

378183802_Putterfaceresized.jpg.cf1c97f520dd06d751a0ba7720e1dd17.jpg

The feel of a center strike had a positive impact in just giving me a little more confidence on longer putts.

9 out of 10 for sound and feel

The Basics

As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time on the practice green with this putter comparing it to my most recent purchase, the Tommy Armour Impact #3 and a Scotty Cameron GoLo mid that I have been using for a few years now.

I wanted to set up a test that both the readers and I would feel really good about drawing conclusions from so I went big. I decided to go with 10 different distances (2’, 3’, 4’, 5’, 7’, 10’, 15’, 20’, 30’, 50’) and 20 putts per distance per putter for a total of 600 putts. I randomized the order of putters for each distance to prevent any putter from having an advantage, like always going last. I also used a different hole for each distance and made sure to complete all three putters from the same distance on the same day to keep day-to-day variables out of the equation. I conducted the 600-putt test on practice greens stimping at 11.5 with putts breaking both right to left and left to right as well as uphill and downhill putts. I kept track of how many putts I made out of 20 for each putter from each distance. Since the lag putts were obviously going to have a very low make percentage, I also kept track of the distance in inches remaining for each putt on the 20’, 30’ and 50’ distances (yes I had my daughter helping with a tape measure and yes we got a few strange looks until I explained what we were doing). This seemed liked a good way of predicting the likelihood of 3-putts from a lag putt distance. After all putts were completed, I ranked the putters for each distance as well as ranks for the best putter as measured by lag putting for a total of thirteen categories. I assigned 5 points for 1st place, 3 points for 2nd place, and 1 point for 3rd place. The final results were as follows: 

EXO 7S –        47 points

GoLo mid –     38

TA#3 –            32

This makes it look like the EXO 7S is a clear winner, but the total putts made were not all that different:

EXO 7S –        101 putts made

GoLo mid –     99

TA#3 –            96

 

When you look at just the first half of the test (2’-7’), the TA#3 putter had a nice lead:

TA#3 –            19 points

EXO 7S –        13

GoLo mid –     13

But again the total putts were pretty similar:

TA#3 –            81 putts made

EXO 7S –        79

GoLo mid –     77

 

The EXO 7S started looking better as the distances increased. For the last half of the test (10’-50’) the numbers are as follows:

EXO 7S –        24 putts made

GoLo mid –     20

TA#3 –            15

 

When I measured the average inches remaining from the three longest distances the EXO 7S came out on top every time.

For the 20’ distance the results were as follows:

EXO 7S –        11.45” remaining on average

GoLo mid –     14.5”

TA#3 –            15.15”

 

The 30’ distance results:

 

EXO 7S –        25.75” remaining on average

TA#3 –            28.6”

GoLo mid –     50.85”

 

The 50’ distance results:

 

EXO 7S –        39.25” remaining on average

GoLo mid –     45.1”

TA#3 –            47.15”

 

The overall message I got from this test was that, for me, the EXO 7S was average in performance for non-lag putts. For longer putts, the EXO 7S performed better and should result in fewer 3-putts on the course. A slight decrease in overall putts per round should also occur based on the higher number of long putts made.

 

I also tested this from the fringe and the EXO 7S consistently performed like a champ getting to what I believe was closer to the hole than a chip would have gotten me. The distance off the practice green ranged from just off to 6’.

 

I tried to measure the difference in roll out (forgiveness) from center strikes, toe strikes and heel strikes swinging back from the ball to a tee 5” behind the ball and following through as consistently as I could, which admittedly was probably not very consistent. Here are the results:

2112229085_Putterforgivenesscenterhitsresizedwithcircle.jpg.dcba65d636fbb809f105cc8660b0f6c6.jpg

65108217_Putterforgivenesstoehitsresized.jpg.b9e2b04ca549fe1ae7ec716e7f734604.jpg

99843220_Putterforgivenessheelhitsresizedwithcircle.jpg.7df79483b61f2bf8d3c4aec23e22683a.jpg

 

As expected, the center strikes produced the most consistent results with the exception of one probable mis-hit in direction. Even with the shortcomings of the test in human error (consistent follow throughs), the results show a definite premium on center strikes.

The last test in this section consisted of a simple gate test to measure my accuracy with the EXO 7S. I set the gate 6’ from the hole and putted 6’ beyond that for a 12’ putt. The gate was the width of the putter head which is 4” at its’ widest point. The picture below shows the setup.

1375937537_Puttinggatetestresized.thumb.jpg.7fc24fb168d742b8fc567ed511c9882d.jpg

I was able to putt through the gate 80% of the time (48 out of 60) with the bulk of the misses hitting either tee and stopping or veering away from the gate.

Combining all of this information into a score isn’t easy but I came up with 15 out of 20 with points taken away for my mediocre short putt performance.

On-Course Performance

1523821763_Golfsunsetresized.jpg.c8aae5e00b4dbc6355243ebc63b3fdf2.jpg

In the stage 1 review I stated that “I really want to get below 30 putts with regularity rather than getting down to 30 or 31 putts infrequently like I do right now”. After 7 seven rounds, I am averaging 32.86 putts per round (PPR) with a low of 30. I averaged 33.4 PPR with the TA#3 through 5 rounds. I averaged 34.29 PPR with the GoLo through my most recent 7 rounds with it. The EXO 7S is a slight improvement based on a tiny (7) sample size. I plan to keep getting in more rounds and give an update once I get more rounds in.

Another forum member, @cnosil, requested a strokes gained number vs our current gamers. The best I could come up with is strokes gained vs my current handicap. For 7 rounds my strokes gained came in at exactly 4. Strokes gained for GIR only was also requested and this came in at 3.01. Not exactly dominating the greens but this is mainly due to missing too many putts 8’ and in. I would rather have this problem than having problems with my lag putts. I think I can clean this up and again plan to give an update after I play more rounds.  

Another stated goal from Stage 1 was “I’ll also be working a lot on lag putts to eliminate my 3-putts.” Odyssey states that the high MOI technology in the EXO 7S should help out with distance control and I found this to be true. For the 7 rounds played with the EXO 7S, I averaged 1.43 3-putts per round. With the TA#3, I averaged 2 3-putts per round. I averaged 2.86 3-putts with the GoLo through my most recent 7 rounds with it.

Staying with lag putts for a minute, I had 40 total putts during the 7 rounds that were 20’ or greater with an average of 32.75’ (try not to spit your drink, my approaches and chips need a lot of work). My averaging feet remaining after the first putt came in at 3.8’.

Having never used an Odyssey before, I was really impressed with this putter. I would only make one recommendation which would be adding interchangeable weights. I would have liked being able to make the putter a little heavier to see if that would help on shorter putts without messing up my lag putts.

On-Course Performance score came in at 25 out of 30.

Miscellaneous or the little stuff

The headcover for the EXO 7S is really high quality.

1012509683_Puttercovertopresized.thumb.jpg.b0d0fc2a83a9fbe14f1bde7b92e49611.jpg1114094464_Puttercoverbottomresized.thumb.jpg.175edb571b897a70786729f62055f5c7.jpg

The magnetic clasp is strong and the interior seems very plush. The designers did a great job.

The toe hang (I measured at 27°) seems to be a good fit for my stroke as measured by the iPing app. I tested my putting stroke several times and had an average closing angle of 4.3°.

1976978858_Puttertoehanggroupshotresized.jpg.f5a6c05afe0482ac4346b7bcc0bc86e6.jpg

Another online reviewer measured the toe hang (probably more accurately) at 24° but you get the point, it’s moderate for a slight arc in your putting stroke.

Score for miscellaneous was 10 of 10.

 

Play it or trade it

During the review, I used this putter enough both on-course and head to head with two of my existing putters on the practice green that I can say with certainty, this is now the best putter I have. I won’t say it’s perfect given my problems from short distances but it is a definite step up. I am sure I can improve on those frustrating short misses and the improvement gains I saw on the longer putts more than made up for those agonizing short misses.

For playing it or trading it, I approached this with a question to myself. If I lost this due to fire, theft etc. would I order another one? As of right now, I would have no doubt that I would replace it immediately over any other putter I currently own. The only caveat I would add to this would be that, after watching some of the Evnroll videos, I would want to compare an Evnroll mallet putter to the EXO 7S head to head. They use different technologies in the putter face but they make very similar performance claims.

The EXO 7S gets 18 of 20 and I will continue to play it.

Conclusion

Having never used an Odyssey putter before, I was excited to try out the EXO 7S. The high MOI helping with distance control is something I could really use given how often I 3-putt. I was pretty happy with the reduction in 3-putts that I saw during testing.

The white hot microhinge insert is supposed to give a better feel to the putter and give more top speed due to the larger microhinges on the face. This is the first time I have used a putter with a white hot insert and it really felt great. The roll-out was nice, even when it seemed like I may have hit it too soft which was unexpected. I was pretty skeptical about this part of the marketing going into the review and was pleasantly surprised that I actually noticed a difference versus what I was using previously. This putter is staying in my bag and I will continue keeping stats and give an update as I get more numbers in.

Thanks again to MGS and Odyssey and let me know if you have any questions.

Final Score: (87 out of 100 points)

 

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19 hours ago, chemclub said:

A huge thank you to MGS for trusting me with this review. Let’s dive in…

Odyssey EXO Indianapolis 

Who is chemclub?

  • Started playing golf when I was 10 and played 3-4 times per week in high school.
  • That went down to 3-4 times per year in college, gradschool, starting a job. 
  • I have kids now but still manage to get out once per week.
  • I love the game because I feel like I can always play better than I actually am. We all know the feeling when you strike that shot so pure and the ball hangs in the air forever. Keeps me coming back.
  • Central Iowa punches above its weight in terms of quality golf courses. There is an excellent links course in my area and a host of tough but fantastic courses with elevation changes and forced carries that make things interesting. Weather in the Midwest has been tricky for golf this Fall but I am confident I can get some good work with this putter in!

honey.jpg

What putter is currently in the bag and does it handle?

  • I have been going back and forth between an MLA Xdream and a TR PING ZING. I really love the look of the ZING. The longer blade length of the ZING fits my eye and I feel like I can always set it down square. I am typically attracted to blade putters, but the look of the Indy was so eye catching I just had to try it!
  • I think if I could put the time in I could get to low single digits and maybe even scratch (we all can dream). I can typically shoot around 80. For a once a week player, I think that is all I can expect at the moment. I do lose strokes on putting FOR SURE—lack of quality practice maybe.
  • My putting is just… OK. I can usually get it around the hole, but I’m not draining 5 and 10 footers on the regular. There isn’t a typical miss, but more a collection of just misses.
  • Putting is a mental battle for me. I think I just need to relax and hit the frickin’ ball.

Putter fitting

  • I went through a putter fitting at 2ndSwing a few years back for my current ZING. I ordered the EXO Indy to those specs but have never been fit for fancy counter-weighting and the like.
  • I requested the S-neck design because I tend to have some arc in my stroke (I game the ZING after all) so I generally prefer some toe hang in my putters. I am also opposed to face balanced putters because of, ya know, physics.

 

My Biases

  • I have never gamed or purchased an Odyssey putter and was not ever planning to. I have always admired Indy since the original Toulon release so if it wasn’t for the Indy design I know I would not have signed up. …Something to keep in mind as you read my review.

 

First Impressions

The actual box and packaging are pretty ordinary except for one thing! The big sell of this putter is the micro-hinge tech in the face (as well as the multi-material construction).

Are those micro-hinges simulated in the cardboard packing materials? Am I giving Odyssey too much credit or are they just that clever?

packaging sm.jpg

The first thing that struck me about the Indy was that it was a much smaller head than I was expecting. This might be due to the fact that I have been rolling a ZING which has pretty long blade length. Even still, next to a traditional ANSER head it is still shorter.

If I am going to go for an unconventional head, I was expecting it to be as garish possible, but the Indy looks rather petite down by the ball.

face length sm.jpg

So let’s come back to that Indy name. For those who don’t know, the Odyssey EXO Indy is a “re-release” of an original Toulon design of the same name (see below).

Toulon-Indianapolis.jpg

Some differences between the Toulon and the Odyssey interpretation

            The face patterns are different. Toulon claims to have gone through a ton of iterations of face patterns before they found the absolute best. Odyssey now has the “whitehot insert meets micro-hinge” face. I’ll reserve judgment on the EXO face until Stage 2 and talk a little more about micro-hinges there.

 

            While there are only subtle differences in the appearance of the black carbon fiber crown of each model (inspired by the Indy race car), the rest of the head construction is kind of all flipped around …

                        Face/front blade part: The Toulon is made of aluminum where Odyssey is steel.  The obvious color change may not be just a marketing ploy. It turns out that some consumers complained that the milled facets on the silver blade of the Toulon caused distracting glare. The black finish of the Odyssey obviously solves that.

                        Sole: The Toulon is made of steel where the Odyssey is made of aluminum

IMG_0106.jpg

                        Rear fin weights: Toulon uses tungsten or steel weights and the Odyssey’s are steel only

IMG_0107.jpg

All this to say that the Odyssey actually claims to have about a 5% higher MOI than the Toulon. From a purely subjective point of view, I still like the silver finish of the Toulon contrasting with the black crown. However, I didn’t care for the “Toulon design” label on the fin. Glad the Odyssey model kept it all clean on top.

Finally, the head cover. This is by far the biggest, most plush head cover I have ever used. Nice firm magnetic latch. I'm not worried about poor protection. The thing is pretty lux.

headcover.jpg

Stay Tuned for Stage 2

 I will include some videos so you can hear the sound and I will show you how some of your most baller putter moves may be rendered ineffective by the Indy design. 

Will the Indy increase or decrease your mojo? Stay tuned to find out.

Great write-up Chemclub. Hope the weather holds out so you can give the kind of workout you'd like. Curious as your thoughts on the visual aspects of the EXO. I play a Ping Scottsdale and the Exo would be visually distracting  given its size compared to an Anser. Is that something you got use to quickly? 

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On 11/3/2018 at 7:40 AM, tony@CIC said:

Great write-up Chemclub. Hope the weather holds out so you can give the kind of workout you'd like. Curious as your thoughts on the visual aspects of the EXO. I play a Ping Scottsdale and the Exo would be visually distracting  given its size compared to an Anser. Is that something you got use to quickly? 

Thanks tony@CIC

For the Indianapolis, I don't think there are any distracting elements. Obviously, the shape is a little different, but I feel like we have been through a few iterations of "odd" looking mallet shapes (e.g., TM Spider models, Scotty Futura models, even the Odyssey #7 was probably a bit startling when it first came out).

So in that sense, I don't find the shape of the Indy a distraction. Like I said in my stage 1 above, the Indy actually looks smaller than I was expecting. That might help things a bit.

Finally, I think Odyssey really improved the looks compared with the original Toulon release in terms of distracting elements. The black crown on the Ody is a consistent matte finish aside from some subtle lines on the fins. Overall, it makes for a very clean look at address.

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...And if I could add one more thing. I really like the sleek look of the Indy compared to some of the gaudy Scotty Futura designs. It is a simpler, more elegant shape.

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13 minutes ago, chemclub said:

...And if I could add one more thing. I really like the sleek look of the Indy compared to some of the gaudy Scotty Futura designs. It is a simpler, more elegant shape.

I've always been a fan of odd looking putters. I agree with you - the Indy looks great to my eyes.

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Good start. For those testers looking to get to a specific number of putts per round please consider GIR vs non GIR. I’d really like to see something like a strokes gained number vs your current putter.

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MOI Testing - To test Odyssey's claim of forgiveness from maximum MOI I came up with this test. Rather than use a homemade robot to test center/toe/heel hits I wanted to find a way to human test it (after all, we don't get to use a robot to putt for us on the course. My test station was on the practice green at my home course which was stimping 9 on this trial day. I put 2 tees in the ground as a swing path gate and a third to mark my desired swing length at a purely scientific one grip length. The result was about a 12' total roll off the center. I then puttted 6 balls in turn set up for center hits, then toe hits, then heel hits. I marked the approximate center of each group with a tee before hitting the next. I did make some visual adjustment to account for balls that bumped another already in place.

 IMG_1749.jpgIMG_1750.jpgIMG_1751.jpg

Center Strikes                                                                           Toe Strikes  (Hmmm...)                                                                  Heel Strikes

IMG_1752.jpgIMG_1753.jpgIMG_1754.jpg

There was a slight break on the roll of these putts that is seen in the pattern of the 3 tees in the third photo (the line of the putt was toward the top of the results pics). In general it looks like the line of the putt was not effected as much by off center hits as the roll out. Roll performance off the toe was very close to the center strikes, while heel strikes lost a bit more roll out distance.  This is just the first trial, but it looks like the MOI forgiveness claim is pretty solid. My guess is I would have made about an equal number of the center and toe strike putts, but missed just short on most of the heel strikes.

I'll definitely do more trials of this test and post the results. I am also using the swing length setup to compare roll performance between the EXO and O-Works Fang (gamer), but I want to see if home course has some others I can compare to get a bigger sample size or some options with different or no face inserts.

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

Good start. For those testers looking to get to a specific number of putts per round please consider GIR vs non GIR. I’d really like to see something like a strokes gained number vs your current putter.

Good idea. Looking back at my 18 Birdies (basic) stats, I'm managing a pretty consistent 1.7 - 1.9 putts per hole with total putts over my  last 10 rounds ranging from a low of 29 to a high of 36. I'll have to do some more in-depth number crunching on my own to break down the putts/GIR. 

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