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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter

Forum Member Review - Odyssey Stroke Lab Putters  

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  1. 1. Are you a believer in Stroke Lab tech?



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Follow our four  testers of the Odyssey Stroke Lab  as they bring you all the details of the hottest putter technology out there right now.  Will it perform for them, how does it help their putting?   They will leave no stone un-turned or ball un-hit in the effort to bring you a in depth and fully unbiased review of the putter. 

They will start with their Stage Ones which give you a good look at the putter, and tell you about their games.   While they are putting the Stroke-lab in play over the next month to six weeks, they will update this thread with their thoughts and be available to answer any questions the community may have.  So fire away with anything you want to know about these innovative putters. 

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Our Four Testers:

@MaxEntropy                                  Stage 1        Stage 2        

@Berg Ryman                                   Stage 1       Stage 2

@juspoole                                         Stage 1       Stage 2

@Apolloshowl                                   stage 1        Stage 2

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Stage Two – Odyssey Stroke Lab Marxman, by MaxEntropy

Intro

This has been a strange season for me. I can be a streaky putter, but this season started so well and stayed that way for quite a while. Normally my streakiness is round-to-round or week-to-week, or even hole-to-hole, so I was really hoping my performance early in the year was my new normal. Even though I have cooled off some, I feel like I am still putting pretty well, being more than 0.1 strokes per hole less than my 2-year average (which amounts to around 2 strokes over an 18 hole round). I attribute much of the improvement to regularly doing the yardstick drill during our brutally long winter, shortening my putter, and putting the SuperStroke grip on it. There is also the effect of what happens before the putter comes out of the bag. My chipping has also been better, leading to shorter first putts. According to The Grint, my unofficial handicap has gone from a 17.8 at the end of last year to a 15.3 currently. In the past couple months, I have also been hitting my irons pretty well. As a higher handicapper, that normally means longer first putts that I don't really expect to make. I actually feel pretty good about my game, with the exception of driver. If I can ever figure out that dumb thing consistently, I feel like getting close to, or maybe even into, single digits is no longer a pipe dream. But what does that have to do with the Odyssey Stroke Lab Marxman? Not much, other than to indicate the current state of my game.

We have now had the Stroke Lab putters in our possession for about two months. In that time, I have spent quite a bit of time on the practice green, trying to get enough data to see if the putters would differentiate themselves from a variety of distances, slopes, and breaks. I have also played about 126 holes with the Stroke Lab and accumulated data with my ShotScope to compare to the on-course performance of my Ping (I have 99 holes worth of data on it). I had stated my plan was to mostly use data from the practice green, which I have a fair amount of, but I was not aware of how easy ShotScope makes it to compare results where it counts the most – on the course. So, let’s get on with the ratings….

Looks (10 out of 10 points)

Beautiful! I really like the looks of the Stroke Lab line with the combination of satin metal and black. With the Marxman, in particular, I find the shape to be very pleasing to my eye. The transition from the graphite to steel in the shaft is also unique and attractive. As I mentioned in Stage 1, I am attracted to more odd-shaped putters. Although not totally outlandish, the Marxman has what I consider some understated oddness about it. I love the looks. In terms of the alignment aids, I think the thick, single line works very well for me – I never have doubts about where I am aiming, although if you have kept up on this thread so far, there have been times starting the ball on line has been a struggle. One interesting thing I noticed about the alignment line, when I have sunglasses on (polarized) the line really pops, almost like a reflective stripe on a safety vest. I don’t find it at all bothersome, just reporting the observation. I rarely putt with my sunglasses on anyway, because I feel like I lose some perception of breaks with them on. In general, I have always felt that Odyssey build quality and appearance are very good.

Sound & Feel (9 out of 10 points)

I struggle to describe the sound of putters striking a ball, but I can say that the sound of the Stroke Lab is more muted and softer sounding than my Ping, which has a more metallic sound, especially on center strikes. In terms of feel, the Stroke Lab feels very similar to the Ping – it seems similarly weighted, and the balance point is fairly close. If pressed on the issue, I would say the Stroke Lab feels a little more satisfying to hit, especially when contact is made where it is supposed to be. Off-center strikes don’t feel bad, but I can feel the difference, even though the sound seems the same to me. In general, I would say the sound a putter makes and its feel rarely affects me ability to focus on the task at hand – by the time these things register in my brain, the ball is already gone. The lone point deduction is simply a result of the positive feedback I get from my Ping – it sounds different when struck off center and is easier for me to pick up than the slight feel difference.

Basic Characteristics (15 out of 20 points)

From the videos in Stage 1, you can see the Stroke Lab gets the ball rolling quite a bit faster than my Ping. I would contend this is the White Hot Microhinge face in action. The Stroke Lab shaft is designed to allow for the redistribution of weight to assist in making the stroke more repeatable. I would suggest the primary aspect of putting where this would manifest itself is distance control (i.e. proximity after first putt). I would also argue that, in my case, the face contributes to this, too, as it gets the ball gets rolling so much sooner. I suspect the only way for me to really separate the effects of the face from the shaft would be to test a Marxman with a conventional shaft. Regardless of my ability to separate the two effects, I believe both are legitimate and will help with the physical aspect of putting.

On the practice green, my procedure was to hit ten warm-up putts with one of the putters, then measure out and mark starting points with tees. When switching putters, I would start over with another 10 warm-up putts on a different hole to make sure I was comfortable with the change. All the data presented below were measured over 5 afternoons using the same 5 golf balls - Titleist NXT Tour S. I wanted to get a lot of strokes with each to try to determine whether there was any statistically significant difference. Below are some comments about each distance and summary charts with the data.

5 Foot Putts: At this distance, I marked the green with tees at four locations corresponding to 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Based on the hole I was using on the practice green, I set up these putts so that 6 and 12 were nearly straight, but slightly up or down hill, making 3 and 9 slight left-to-right or right-to-left breaking putts. I hit 25 putts from each spot around the clock and there was virtually no difference in make percentage – 92% for the Ping, 91% for the Stroke Lab. I don’t put a lot of weight on the proximity after misses at this range as I believe it was a short enough putt that I was essentially trying to jam the ball in the hole. The chart below summarizes the proximity after the first putt as a function of the length of the first putt. The error bars in the chart below are so large simply because the number of missed putts was so small (8 and 9).

10 Foot Putts: At 10 feet, I placed tees on all four sides again with another 25 putts from each location. At this distance, the Ping was the clear winner at a 52% make rate (compared to 39% for the Stroke Lab) with the proximity of missed putts being virtually indistinguishable. If you have kept up on this thread, you know I went through a period where I was struggling to start the ball on line with the Marxman. I have no idea what was going on, but we had some good discussions with @golfertrb about it and he makes some pretty compelling cases that there might be some slight alignment issues due to this putter being ever so slightly upright and the mental aspect of changing putters (see pages 5-7 of this thread).

20 Foot Putts: At 20 feet, due to space restrictions at the practice green and some pretty severe slopes with many of the holes, I limited this distance to uphill with around 3 – 4 inches of break depending on the speed. I three-putted a total of three times from this distance (2 with the Ping, 1 with the Stroke Lab). Since the first putt was uphill, I left myself some pretty dicey downhill second putts when I hit the ball too far past the hole. The make percentages with each putter were very similar with difference in average proximity of missed putts statistically insignificant.

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Note that the error bars at all three distances are smaller for the Stroke Lab (the error bars are a measure of dispersion, if you like). I would contend this is an indication of a more consistent roll being put on the ball, so the grouping is much tighter.

Below is a chart summarizing the make percentages as a function of distance for both putters over all the putts on the practice green. The only real difference is in the range where we have expectations to make a fair number of putts.

MakePercentage.png.16d487fc004ca42b4b727e15e67c6c86.png

On-Course Performance (20 out of 30 points)

In this area, I was so happy to have a ShotScope as it made data collection and comparison much easier than it would have otherwise been. In all the charts below, the black dots are data for the Ping and the yellow-filled dots are the Stroke Lab. So let’s get right into the data. 

First, the Make Percentage as a function of Starting Distance (length of first putt).

402248541_MakePercent072419.png.d70a5c1f3f35e578a87b41ea3eca9af6.png

The two main take-aways, in my opinion, are: 1) I am more automatic with the Stroke Lab when I am within 6 feet (by almost 5%); and 2) between 6-24 feet, the Ping is much better in terms of make percentage. I saw similar data on the practice green from 10 feet, so it is a real difference. I was somewhat surprised at the short putts, but this may partially be a result of the fact that some of the short misses with the Stroke Lab bordered on tragically bad when I was struggling to start the ball on line. 

Now if we look at the proximity after the first putt…

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Here there are no tremendous differences until we get to the range that I consider obvious lag putt range – greater than 30 feet. At that distance, I am leaving myself an average of 4.8 foot second putt with my Ping and 2.0 feet with the Stroke Lab. To me, this is a pretty astounding difference: a nearly stress-free tap-in versus what might be a pretty dicey 5-ish footer. Which would you prefer?

To me, all this is great information that was used to make my final decision, but there are other metrics that I consider important too: Average putts per hole and 3-putt rate.  In Stage 1 I mentioned that my goal each season is to be below 2 putts per hole and have ended the last two years at 1.9. With the changes I made to my Ping over the off-season (shortened shaft and added SuperStroke grip), my putts per hole with the Ping is currently at 1.66 and with the Stroke Lab it’s 1.76. Both are an improvement over typical for me. I was also on a pretty ridiculous hot streak at the start of the season. As the season has worn on, my putting has stabilized and returned to closer to normal for me. I played the Ping in our league a couple weeks ago and performance (1.78 putts per hole) was right in line with how things have been with the Stroke Lab. 

In terms of 3-putts, I hate 3-putts. I assume you all do, too, but they happen. Below are the ShotScope summaries for each putter (Ping on top).

 PingSummary.png.8b5a5bc6c676f3d6993830e0e98b23eb.png

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Looking at the holes per 3-putt, on average I play over 8 more holes without a 3-putt with the Stroke Lab. I am very pleased with this result because, I really, REALLY hate 3-putting.

During this testing, I have also made a concerted effort to use the Stroke Lab in situations I normally would not try to putt, like putting through more than a couple feet of fringe or even from the fairway. The results were generally positive, so I intend to start using the putter more in those situations. In the past, due to issues with distance control I honestly felt more comfortable with a pitch-and-run than trying to guess the speed through fairway/fringe.

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

About the only aspect of the Stroke Lab I can fit into this category is the head cover. The Ping has a Velcro closure, with which I have no real issue, whereas the Odyssey headcover is magnetic. The unanticipated benefit of this is when I’m riding, I can stick the headcover to the frame of the cart canopy rather than trying to dig it out of the basket after every hole, or worry about it sliding off the cart unnoticed. I somehow doubt this was a consideration when designing the headcover, but I like it.

Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points)

I have gone around and around in my head about whether the Stroke Lab Marxman will be my full-time gamer. In general, I really like the looks and feel of the putter and cannot argue with the performance in the short range and long range. The intermediate, scoring range is a bit more difficult to assess. We expect to make a fair amount of putts in this range, especially in the 10-15 foot range, in my mind. I suspect, with time, some subtle (or not so subtle) adjustments may make the Marxman just as good, if not better, in this range. In many of the misses I have had from this range, I feel like I was starting the ball on my intended line but was reading too much break, making it a “me” issue instead of a putter issue.

One of the main questions associated with our reviews is always “Does this product help you play your best?” Right now, it does not, but I don’t feel like it is as clear-cut as the data might suggest. Below is a summary of all the results in one table:

 FinalCategories.png.903fc880cf470c23890cee423497d6ea.png 

The Ping wins the category which more closely relates to scoring (putts per hole), but the Odyssey takes 3 of the remaining 4 categories and I believe provide an indicator of the potential of this putter.

With all that said, the Stroke Lab Marxman will be in my bag from now on, knowing I have a perfectly acceptable backup waiting for me at home should the need arise.

I would say that if you are a golfer that struggles with distance control, you should absolutely consider a Stroke Lab putter for your next purchase. The combination of the face technology and the Stroke Lab shaft allowed me to have better distance control and better three-putt avoidance. While the Ping was better in the intermediate length putts, I would argue that much of that performance had to do with my early season hot streak I was having when the greens were slower and I could pretty much hammer the ball straight at the hole, taking much of the break out of the putt.

During my fitting, the fitter noticed I was using too much right hand in the stroke and asked if I had ever tried the claw grip. I told him I had but felt like distance control was worse. He suggested I at least practice with it to get the feeling of less right hand involved in the stroke. I did not want to try to incorporate a grip change into this testing so once I had all my data, I tried the claw in league this week (although I stuck with a traditional grip for long putts). Moving forward, I will continue with this approach as it worked out pretty well. I made a couple putts in the range I have been missing too often.

Conclusion

This was a much closer test than I thought it would be. I expected the Stroke Lab to be a run-away winner with all the technology that has been designed into it. During the testing, the Stroke Lab proved to have much better dispersion, especially from lag-putt range and was quite a bit better in make percentage with the short-range putts. As stated above, I believe the improved dispersion is a direct result of the tech being put into these putters – both the shaft and the face. Having come from a putter with a softer insert face, there did not seem to be much issue adjusting to the distance/speed. Even though the specs on the putters are very close, it seems having the Stroke Lab 1 degree upright compared to the Ping is taking longer to get used to than I thought it would. I went through a phase in the middle of testing where I had no confidence in the intermediate range. Is this a result of the difference in specs? Maybe, but I just could not get comfortable over the ball. All-in-all, I am fairly happy with the performance of the Odyssey, so it will continue to have a place in my bag.

In my mind, better proximity after the first putt and 3-putt avoidance are what one would expect from a putter given the claimed purpose of the Stroke Lab shaft. In that regard, I believe this is real technology that can help eliminate some of the physical problems associated with putting. Now, I invite Callaway to invent some technology to overcome my mental issues involved in putting. 😉

FInally, I wanted to thank MyGolfSpy and Callaway for this opportunity. it is always an honor to put in the work for these and I had a blast doing it!

Final Score: (79 out of 100)

 

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KXiaVGVl.jpg

Stage Two – Odyssey Stroke Lab One

Intro

Six 18 hole rounds, two 9 hole excursions, and a couple of warm summer months of frustrating, typical golf have led me back to you. If you’ve been keeping track of this thread you know I haven’t had the best of golf this year as I’ve gotten acclimated to the new wand in my bag. However, the time has come to give the people what they wanted, a full throated review of this putter, warts and all.

Again, a thanks to MGS and Callaway for the opportunity and a big shout out to my girlfriend for her help in photography and editing these photos. Obviously she can only do so much to make this ugly mug look good but she’s been awesome throughout the process.

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She makes me give a big silly smile

Looks (9 out of 10 points)

So, let’s get the big positives out of the way first with the looks. The putter is stunning and looks a premium offering. The two tone brushed chrome to black frames the ball very well and the white line for alignment really pops to my eye. The people who I put it in their hands really enjoyed the way it felt simple to line up, whether they were coming from mallets or blades.

I know you’re wondering, “then why not 10 points Berg, surely this is you hating!” Perhaps it is, but the fact that the insert doesn’t stretch across the face is what docks it the point. I know this is a choice by Odyssey because they’ve had inserts stretch across the full face of a blade putter in the past and from a line-up perspective I understand it, match the white with the ball to center the stroke. However, when almost every other putter in the line has the full insert, it annoys me visually that I don’t get that full relief and advantage. Hence, a nine… out of ten.

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Letting that pretty toe turn over

Sound & Feel (7 out of 10 points)

Ok, I think the Stroke Lab hype is mostly real. I’ll get into it a bit in the next section but having the multi-material shaft is something that I think puts a good balance of feeling into the hands of the everyday golfer. Perhaps for me personally it is a bit head light in weighting, but it’s not all that noticeable. Again, when given to playing partners or people who wanted to try they remarked at how it just ‘felt good’ in their hands

But now we have to talk a little bit about the insert from a pure feel and sound perspective. As I said earlier in the thread this isn’t my favorite Odyssey insert by any measure. It almost feels dead at points with nothing coming off the face. I suspect this also has to do with ball choice as well since I currently use a softer ball (stop your yelling, change is coming next season when I run out). Weirdly enough, I felt the most life out of the insert when playing my 2019 Hard Rock Challenge round.

Honestly, most of this score at this point is personal preference and I could be convinced with the right set-up you’d have a better experience with the Stroke Lab insert. For me though, not a huge fan.

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Giving the camera lady a golf ball nutmeg

Basic Characteristics (15 out of 20 points)

Alright, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the review. The Stroke Lab shaft is a real advantage to this putter. Now, like all things, it might not be all things to all people. Admittedly, what Odyssey have done here is created a type of counterbalancing without having to go heavier on the head and grip ends of the club for the modern golfer. So, I should preface this by saying if you’ve tried counterbalance before and felt it too heavy or have always thought about counterbalancing but wanted something more manageable in length, Stroke Lab is up your alley. If you hate counterbalancing, maybe not your cup of tea.

The advantage with the shaft I think is in the sub five feet and outside twenty-five foot range. The club just stays on the path you put it on and with those distances where you feel it’s a must make or get close to tap in range Stroke Lab does the job incredibly.

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From Close

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And Far

However, the insert again. Look, Odyssey says this is the white-hot microhinge insert. See, when I hear microhinge I think back to the O-Works line and the little hinges they put into the face backed by a polymer to get the ball rolling. I had my girlfriend take a close up angled shot of the face to show you what it looks like.

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Groovy

So, those hinges are in the insert, but it’s much more of a groove insert than a hinge insert. The groove is substantial and gets the ball rolling decently but being completely honest, I don’t think this insert rolls better than any recent Odyssey insert. I think earlier in the thread @bens197 and I were discussing the possibility to changing out the insert through a custom shop and I know others in Stage two’s have mentioned the Toulon line with Stroke Lab, perhaps those are the answers for the questions we all have, but I think Odyssey should go back to the drawing board with the next Stroke Lab insert

On-Course Performance (15 out of 30 points)

Let’s go back to what I said in Stage One:

“So, how will I be looking for the review of this putter? Well, let’s start with the obvious, it’s gotta get the ball in and near the hole. I don’t have those fancy stat tracking things like others and honestly most of my time is going to be more on course testing than practice putting. Well, I’ll be tracking total putts per round, of which I already have two under my belt and also tracking 3 putts as well.

In 6 rounds of golf with the Stroke Lab over 18 holes it has hit the sub thirty putt mark once, a 29 putt round which was the first round I played with it. Obviously, if you’ve been following the thread you know about the nightmare 39 putt round with 4 three putts I had near the start of the season. The other four round have averaged 32.33 (31, 32, 33, 33) with a couple more three putts lobbed in. The two nine hole rounds were 15 putts on the Hard Rock Challenge Day and 19 on the day I switched midway through the round back to my Pipe.

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Even on a putting green, looking for answers

Flat out, I putted worse when going to the Stroke Lab. It wasn’t on shorties, it wasn’t on long, it was my scoring range of 8-15 feet. There were putts where I didn’t hit the hole from 10 feet. Now, I have two hypothesis for this. First, speed control at this middle range was an issue due to the feeling off the insert. I think that’s a bit of it.

The other part of this, my fitting. I put a lot of my faith into the fitter’s hand in this club selection and I think I shouldn’t have. I’m not going to discount the idea of a fitting for a putter. It’s arguably the most important club in your bag and you should know about it and how it performs for you. But it’s also uniquely a personal choice. Players have putted well with putters that didn’t fit them perfectly because what works in a closed environment may not be what you need under pressure. If I could do this last few months all over again, I would have stuck by my guns and picked up the R-Ball or the Tuttle.

 

Miscellaneous (6 out of 10 points)

The grip and headcover are pretty standard and look alright. They feel premium and going for a magnetic closure is pretty nice from Odyssey.

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Getting a grip... get it?!?!?

But now it’s time for another gripe and this is purely on the business model. Look at the bottom of that putter.

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Those weights there, they aren’t fixed. If I’m paying $250 for your putter, the weight kit should come with it, especially if this is being offered as a near premium offering with the $250 price tag. Do not charge me 1/5 of the cost of the club for me to fine tune if I wish. It’s nickel and diming in the worst way and chaps my large behind something fierce.

Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 20 points)

So for the TL:DR crowd, the Stroke Lab One will not be in my bag going forward. I will be looking for it to find a lovely new home somewhere upstate where it can bring joy to someone different than I. I’m a one putter man and don’t even want to be tempted into a switch. The reasons about kinda spell it out in more detail, but I just never got along with the switch from Mallet to Blade and the insert wasn’t doing it for me.

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If you come at the Pipe, you best not miss

Conclusion

Look, you’re going to see a very low score at the bottom of this post and read through all my griping and think, “what an ungrateful jerk, trashing a product a company didn’t have to give me.” And that’s a valid and emotional response. However, I want to use this space to say that I really do believe in the tech that is the Stroke Lab shaft. I think Callaway and Odyssey have hit on something that’s going to make counterbalancing more appealing to the masses and lead a lot of golfers to find a real good stroke an improve their putting. But, as with all things, sometimes you nail a big part of the equation on the first attempt but need work to get everything up to snuff.

I think the Stroke Lab shaft is here to stay in Odyssey’s line-up. I think you’re going to potentially see other companies try to get into this space, maybe through partnerships with other shaft companies, maybe through outright buying up Stability. But the insert on this putter is so meh that it just can’t make up for the good of the Stroke Lab shaft.

Thirdly, I think this review and last few months also gave me a lot more questions about fittings for clubs. I think it’s very important to get a fitter who understands your game, who’s willing to take into consideration your thoughts and feelings on the subjective (looks, feels, etc) and marry that properly with the qualitative numbers and figures that a fitting can bury you in. It’s easy to fall in love on the launch monitor or SAM Lab, it’s harder to make that love last on the course.

Lastly, again a huge Thank You from MGS and Callaway for the selection. I hope you all got something out of this. Much like Mr. Adams, Everything  I do, I Do It... For You.

Final Score: (59 out of 100)

 

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Posted (edited)

Stage TwoStroke Lab Putter by Juspoole

 As I moved past the initial impressions, my number one hope was that this putter will provide the confidence on the greens that I’ve lacked most of my golf life.  As I’ve taken a deeper dive into my putting game from this experience, I’ve learned that my lack of confidence has more to do with my own mental projections and less about my stroke.  SAM putt data proved that I have a reliable stroke that is consistent and I was playing a putter that was fairly well suited for my game.  I put this mantra in my mind before I ever start that I’m not a very strong putter and that is the area that I will run my score up or rather I will not be able to make enough putts to run my score down.

We’ve had the putters now for two months and in that time, I have come to understand my putting game so much more.  I was only able to play 3 full 18 rounds and a couple 9 holes rounds, but hit the practice green about 10 times in that span as well.  I feel like I know the ends and outs of this putter now.

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Early green sessions were great - something I hope to continue after this test when I am able. 

Looks (7 out of 10 points)

  • General Shape (1.5 out of 2.5)

The shape is somewhat traditional, but my current Scotty has more of a boxy look to the lines while the Odyssey is certainly sleeker.  Overall goal is the same for both putters – ie anser style, but they get there in different ways.  Prefer the more classic looking putters to this, but still nice.

  • Graphics (1.5 out of 2.5)

Mostly traditional with a pop of yellow.  It is certainly a nice premium looking putter.  The stroke lab shaft does not interrupt your view in any way even though it is two toned with black and stainless steel.

  • How is the appearance compared to other clubs in the same category? (1.5 out of 2.5)

Similar but more rounded lines compared to many others.  The traditional blade style has a place in just about every putter manufacturers line up.  Its all about the subtleties that change appearance and performance.  I prefer a classic steel putter with simple lines.

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  • Other unique details (i.e. alignment aids, coloring, blur, etc.) (2.5 out of 2.5)

The alignment on the One is fantastic due to the two tone black back with a white sight line and the stainless steel top line of the putter.  It creates a wonderful contrast that is very simple for me to line up.

 

Sound & Feel (5 out of 10 points)

 

Describe how the putter sounds and feels (sorry to use video again, but provides best example of sound)

Does it sound: loud, quiet, harsh, or smooth?

·         Provides a soft thud when you hit the stroke. 

Does it feel soft, crisp, dull, clunky?

·         I’ve mentioned this before but this is just too soft for my liking.  Even with 2 months of nonstop practice, I never could get the feel of it down.  I would say it’s even dull to some extent.

Does it feel consistent across the face, or are mis-hits noticeably pronounced?

·         I think face tech does a fair job of giving consistent distance across the face.  I wouldn’t say it excels like the evnroll when I’ve tried that, but it’s in line with most things out there.

Compare to your best/worst feel and sound experiences?

·         My worst experience is the loud ting you get from some putters – just cheapens the experience if that makes sense – almost like an aluminum bat.  This just has a simple thud/click to it that is fairly satisfying, but you don’t have much feel to go along with it.

Do these subjective characteristics impact your mental game?

·         It has absolutely impacted my overall feeling.  When 15ft used to be automatic for speed, I find that I have to overthink speed when I’m much closer than my current gamer.  Normally I’m set on speed until I get 30 feet or more, I may start to really question it.

 

Basic Characteristics (13 out of 20 points)

Accuracy - Can you repeatedly putt over the same spot or through a gate? (2 out of 4)

·         I’m not sure the weight of the club/shaft combo ever gelled with my stroke.  Possible that over more time I could get used to this putter even more and this could improve, but I continually noticed that I pushed more putts from my intended line than I did with my current putter.

Distance Control - Is it easy to gauge distance? (2 out of 4)

·         I gave 2 out of 4 due to the control I was able to garner on lag putting.  As I‘ve mentioned throughout my review, but scoring zone (6ft – 20ft) was a complete guess for some reason.

Stability of Stroke - Does it stay on path during the stroke? (4 out of 4)

·         Overall good – I thought this putter was much lighter than my current gamer, but over time found that not to be the case.  The shaft does take some getting used to, but once I did my stroke felt solid. This would be the best thing in my opinion of this putter.

Forgiveness - Compare impacts on all 6 segments of the head (2 out of 4)

·         If one can get a better feel for the insert than I did, you do notice that the off center strikes still roll relatively on target and needed distance.  The performance doesn’t blow you out of the water like an evnroll would, but it’s decent.

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Playability - Green vs Fringe vs Rough vs Slopes of all angles (3 out of 4)

·         I thought this was fairly good for the putter especially out of the fringe.  It may have been the micro hinges getting the ball rolling, but I did notice the ball rolling quickly and not hopping out of some odd places where I might normally see a bit more bobbling of the ball.

 

On-Course Performance (22 out of 30 points)

When the best score comes from the looks department, there is going to be an issue.  Certainly looks play a part in confidence, but the on course performance did not measure up for me.  I will say that I believe the stroke lab Shaft has some merit, but head combination really put this one of the running for me after some early success.  

The fact is, through most of my golf this summer, this putter was a detriment and not something that helped me improve my scores.  When I went back to my gamer, I started to have more confidence and made some lengthy putts and had several others with good chances to go in.

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Average Putting Stats

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I chose to add the average 9 hole putts and break those down since I was unable to play as many 18 hole rounds as I hoped.  Oddly enough when the greens were rolling slower, I could lag putt better with the Odyssey, but as time went on, my gamer blew it away.  As you can see I average nearly a stroke better per 9 holes, which translates to close to 2 for a full round of golf.  I, like most others, do not want to leave 2 strokes on the table.  Even though I am not tracking many long putts close to the hole, I tend to get the first putt in the 3 foot circle you always hear about, so that's the main thing that tied into my 3 putt avoidance.  I tend to get overly aggressive with my gamer on long putts, when I should think more about speed.

STROKE LAB Strokes Gained

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SCOTTY CAMERON STROKES GAINED

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This is the results I would often see on the course.  Unable to really gauge my mid range distance in the scoring zone. Most of the time I would come up short.

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Final Performance Comments:

How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of Callaway/Odyssey? 

It really hasn’t changed it for me.  I always thought of them having decent products, but they never rose to the top for me when I’ve had them.  I had the FT-5 driver and it was adequate.  I tried the Apex forged pro irons, but they were average and liked nd easier to repeat.  That’s huge when you know you are going to make a good stroke that gets the ball on the intended line.  All you have to do as you step over the putt after your read is to simply judge the pace properly.

Miscellaneous (8 out of 10 points)

Packaging was nice and the club came well secured and to my spec that I ordered.  Not much wow factor as it’s a down played style and subdued graphics, but a nice package overall for a putter.  The headcover is very nice and has a premium feel and look to it.  It doesn’t seem to crease as easily as covers I’ve had in the past either.

 

Play it or Trade it? (12 out of 20 points)

This one just missed the mark for me.  My current putter just performs better for me.  Maybe if I played lightning fast greens all the time, the softer face would be beneficial, but the lack of feel would likely still be too much to overcome.  Score here is fairly low because my putting was worse with this putter.  In the early part of this testing, I thought the performance of the lag putting would be a huge component here and could tip the scales in favor of the Odyssey.  However, I’ve began better putting practice with the additional time and have found a couple putting thoughts that have come to assist with my gamer exponentially.  Only when I’m not 100% focused do I hit a bad lag putt at this point. 

 

Conclusion

I didn’t expect the face to matter as much as it did.  I thought I’d grow more accustomed to it, but it never gave me the confidence I was looking for.  I think others that are coming from a more similar face tech will get used to this faster and really notice a difference over time with the stroke lab.  I didn’t immediately find the shaft to feel much different, but over time you start to notice the nuances and how your putting stroke feels a little more solid with the stroke lab shaft.

Thank you again to MGS for this opportunity.  I hope that my test and review has proved to be helpful for anyone considering this putter.  I came in hoping this would really give me some improvement with my putting, but what I learned is that with a few adjustments, I had a great putter already, just needed a bit of a different mental approach. I look forward to reading the other testers thoughts as they went through the process as well and give more feedback/reviews on my own of products for the MGS community.


Final Score: (67 out of 100 points)

Edited by juspoole
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Stage Two - Odyssey Stroke Lab 7 Putter – Official MGS Forum Review by Jamie Danbrook

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As far as reviews go I have to admit that a putter is a pretty tough one to go through. It is very subjective and without there being a ton of data points we rely a lot of initial feedback and thoughts as well as feelings to determine how good a putter is. In stage 2 I will dive deeper into many of those thoughts and feelings and hopefully give some clarification on if this is a must buy or not.

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I spent a lot of time practicing on various greens as well as in the basement and managed to get over 10 rounds of play in with the Stroke Lab. I did drills, some of which are posted on YouTube as well as tried to compare to my current putter for looks/feel/performance and just overall impressions. 

Looks (9 out of 10 points) 

I have to admit I love the shape and the look of the seven series, although a little smaller then the Tyne and more compact it has a stellar look to it which is very inviting and easy to line up. The different colours and variety of lines give it a very sharp and smart look. I personally could not be more impressed with how this putter looks overall. However its pretty darn difficult to give anything a 10. The head itself as stated is pretty darn beautiful, but then we get to the shaft and grip.

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The grip is probably the ugliest part about the putter and its still not bad at all. The shaft is stellar and has that sleek modern look to it which most all of us seem to gravitate towards. It’s also new and refreshing to see something that is not just simple and silver.

Overall the whole club has great shelf appeal and game appeal. It stands out and not in a bad way where it is brash or garish, but modern and sleek. Having loved the seven or fanged style of club for some time this may be the one of the prettiest and most well done in a long time. Nothing too crazy, but has everything you need and could want in term of alignment and simplicity for a modern mallet style. The shapes and lines are proper and how I feel they should be, much like the Tyne and no like the TM Ardmore where it is swoopy and looks a bit goofy.

 

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It is also a nice update on the previous seven series. 

 

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The Stroke Lab seven has a great balance and earns top marks in the looks category. 

Sound & Feel Head (1/5) Feel of Shaft (5/5)

I have a feeling this will be a common theme among testers, but the sound and feel was where I struggled with the most. The sound of the putter is very muted with the insert and makes very little sound. That being said there is a firmer or harder sound out of the toe and the heel that is very distinguishable from the center of the face. Comparing this to my Tyne was and is night and day and definitely takes an adjustment. They are very different ends of the spectrum which make it slightly more difficult to adapt to. 

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In terms of feel it was again muted and I could not help but feel as though it was borderline too soft and almost as if there was a delay with it coming off the face. This could also be the insert doing the little pick up and roll of the ball and getting it started. I can’t say this is a bad thing either, just different and not something I was use to feeling. I did however find it more difficult on quicker greens to find the feel for it all. Slower greens were amazing though especially when wanting to hit it firm and harder the feel and repetitive stroke was very easy to find. 

Stroke Lab Shaft Feel. I need to separate this, because it is a huge part. The feel of the shaft is stellar and by far the smoothest and easiest putter to swing in your hands. The stroke lab wants to putt itself and having a little extra weight in the hands gives a good sense of control, however even with a slightly heavier head there is a bit of sway. Getting to the point where you simply let the putter do the work rather then guiding it along gives a sensational feel throughout the stroke. The stroke lab shaft is here to stay and will definitely be seeing more companies invest in this area as it hits every point possible on feel. 

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All in all this putter was on the fence of being too soft for my taste and I did enjoy the smoother softer sound at impact. It didn’t feel crisp or clunky, but smooth and responsive, just in a different manner that was difficult to adapt to. My first putt on course with it was a 30+ foot putt on a slow green that I hammered home and was sold. As testing went on it was very up and down and had my fair share of struggles and a lot I felt was due to the sound and feel of it being so far removed from what I was use to which had a fairly bit impact on my mental side where my confidence wasn’t as high. For this I give it a 6, however with more time, rounds and practice it could grow and become higher. I’m not giving up on it yet!


Basic Characteristics (16 out of 20 points)

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Because we had such a poor spring with lots of rain I didn’t get as many rounds in right away as I would have preferred, however that meant that I had lots of time to practice in the basement and at a local range which has a decent area. This gave me a good initial feel for the putter and as well as see how it different from a variety of other putters I have. The stability of the stroke as most could imagine was great and although a bit of wavering I could chaulk that up to me trying to do more of the work rather then letting the putter flow through. In practice it was spot on and through drills as well as comparisons it started to win me over. From a accuracy and distance control perspective it also seemingly did very well in practice. Downstairs basement practice it didn’t miss often and when it/I did I could putt it on me rather then the putter itself. 

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Distance control outside of 15 feet seemed really good for me as well, I was able to lag puts nice and close and didn’t often many 3 putts. Of course there were the odd one here and there. Inside 15 I did struggle a bit, again going back to the feel off the face I didn’t always get that same pop I was looking for and it was always end up being close ish but I left far too many short of the hole and would often blow one by when trying to ramp of the pace. 

Forgiveness on this putter is stellar, through and through in all segments it is still responsive and gives you a accurate pace for the stroke you put on it. This may be the most forgiving putter I’ve ever used and with that it was very versatile. I quite often use a putter out of rougher conditions and on the fringe and really enjoyed it. Was able to snuggle up many off green putts in a large part again to being able to put a firm stroke on the putt itself which definitely was a go to when I progressed into rounds.


On-Course Performance (20 out of 30 points)

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Thankfully as the weather bettered I was able to get a variety of rounds in at many courses. I was able to make lots of birdies along the way and during the 4 Club Challenge something clicked and I had putts that were starting to burn edges and drop a lot more frequently. Yes it was a little late in the testing phase for this, but much better timing for the challenge as well. This Challenge also made me use the putter a little more often and still with a great degree of success because I was able avoid 3 putts and just play well. 

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I did have a lot of struggles during some rounds and did find myself getting a bit frustrated, but I have found new life with this putter and think it will do me very well going forward. I have yet to go back and play a round with the Tyne because I really want to give this a good run. I dont think it is fair for me to judge it entirely on the last couple months and with it being so new and having all this tech it will take time to get fully adjusted and accustomed to. I believe i wrote this earlier, but I have to compare the stroke lab to a hybrid. In the back of our mind most all of us know that hybrids are more forgiving and an incredible tool in our bag, but alas there are those of us who are struck on long irons forgiveness/ease of use be damned (my being one of them) so we stick to our guns and play the long irons because its a tough adjustment moving to that new style of club. I liken this a lot to the stroke lab putters, they are a improvement on the older design no question and they do provide some benefits that outside of the numbers can be felt and can be seen on the course. 

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However when we are so use to the standard steel shaft, heavy head weighting it’s very hard to adapt. I only had 3 rounds under 30 putts with the stroke lab and truthfully missed a lot of very makeable putts which could have lead to much better scores. That being said I did make some great putts along the way as well and could argue that it helped some of those bad putts look a lot better then they were actually hit. However I have yet to really dial it in and get that great success out of the stroke lab. I’m close no question about that, but it is still a ways away and I will keep at it until I figure the thing out!

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

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The little things with Odyssey and the Stroke Lab putter are truly awesome. Speed of delivery was spot on and we got the products in short order as well as all the little things such as the note Callaway gives you with the package and the head cover is all class. Within that I got a lot of comments on how good the putter looks and had great feedback when I put it in the hands of friends, family and playing partners. It has a lot going for it and a lot of shelf appeal. Their website is simple and easy to go through to see all the options available and with so many heads it could be a daunting task, however its a very well done custom order section that is simple to use and easy to navigate. Really can’t think of anything negative to say in this regard. Well done and simply a very well thought out product top to bottom. 

Play it or Trade it? (12 out of 20 points)

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I want to preface this by saying this could and will in all likelihood change over the coming months and season. I will continue to use the stroke lab putter and don’t have any big tournaments to play this season so it will stay in the bag without having to worry about being swapped out due to the fact that I do want to give this a proper run. Following the season I will truly reevaluate how it has performed and determine whether it will replace the Tyne. A big part of me wants to find a way to put the stroke lab shaft on the Tyne... but that is a story for another day. If I had to pick one putter to use for the next few seasons right now I dont think it would be the stroke lab. I would likely go back to the Tyne and be quite happy with the decision, but I could very well evolve my game and stroke into using the stroke lab for a long time as well. It just isn’t something I would be comfortable fully committing to at this time. WIth so many head shapes, neck options and so many more custom offerings within the Stroke Lab family there is no question that there is a putter to fit any and all golfers out there. For me the biggest thing that is holding it back is the soft insert. I could likely get use to it more as well, it’s simply taking more time (Maybe the Toulon series would be better?) I do believe in the tech and that is why I am giving it the benefit of staying for the season. 

Conclusion

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Well to wrap this all up. I have enjoyed the time with the Stroke Lab and think there is definitely something there. To separate it out, the shaft and feel of the putter are incredible. Smooth with a ease in the stroke that is unlike any putter I’ve used. Looks are spot on as well, however I don’t love the insert and haven’t quite had the success I kind of figured would come with all the new tech. However it earns the opportunity to stay around at the very least to the end of the season to get fully adjusted to. This is a big leap I believe in putting technology and is around to stay, however the adjustment time may take longer for some then others. With so many head shapes, necks, styles, grips and everything else there is definitely one to fit your game and I would encourage any and all to go out there and give this a try. 

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Finally thank you to MGS and Odyssey this has been a lot of fun and I look forward to updated everyone along the way because the review doesn’t stop with Stage 2 and as long as its in the bag I will share my thoughts and feelings!

Final Score: 73/100

 

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Excited to be bringing you all some good info and a in-depth review of the stroke lab putter. Just finished one round at Northumberland Links in Pugwash Nova Scotia home to some amazing greens and have a round tomorrow morning at fox Harb'r. Add that in with some practice this evening and lots to dive into. Stage one will be up either Sunday evening however more likely Monday. 

We also already have one awesome stage one up to read! Stay tuned for me to come and please don't hesitate to jump in and ask us if there is anything specific you want to see or hear our opinion on!

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17 minutes ago, sirchunksalot said:

Great stage 1@MaxEntropy the slow motion videos you did were great! You can definitely see that the ball starts rolling earlier with the Odyssey. What camera are you using? Keep up the good work!

Sent from my SM-G955U using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

Thanks! It's my cell phone - Galaxy S9+

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One test I would be curious to see for this review, would be the gateway drill.  If you put a tee on the toe and heel of the putter, does the Odyssey putter make it through cleaner and more often than your current gamers?  Basically, is it giving you a more consistent stroke at impact to hit the center of the face?

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Tough to sleep with this view so here is my Stage one posted a bit earlier then expected!

https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/31988-2019-official-forum-member-review-odyssey-stroke-lab-putter/?do=findComment&comment=546074

Hope you all enjoy! Have my 3rd round with this putter coming up in 4 hours .... so far been great experience. As well first on course putt with it was drained from 30 foot. I wish I had a video, because it was quite comical. 

@goaliewales14 at some point sooner rather then later I’ll set that drill up along with the camera and get a video to see the difference between to two or three putters!

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With two more stage ones to come what putters do you think they were fit into? There are a ton of options to fit all strokes and what suits the eye. What do you think you would be fit into?75479323-522D-4246-B801-D562F9D61FBF.jpeg.fad05311c6f2017323961f77a7fa9b91.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Apolloshowl said:

What do you think you would be fit into?

I'd go with the V-Line double bend.  It's almost exactly like my Ping Oslo.

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Definitely interested in this test having bagged a Stroke Lab for 2 months!

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