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Words, Event Images Judith Ecochard

Product Images courtesy ODYSSEY GOLF

Golfers from Tour players to weekend hackers (us!) just lost another excuse to lose a ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ bet – with the debut of a new line of WHITE ICE™ putters from the category leader, Odyssey®.

WHAT and WHERE: The presentation demoed the new line of sticks, at the spacious and sunny Celsius Restaurant, overlooking “The Pond” skating rink behind NYC’s landmark public library. We got to tap away on an artificial putting green---that played very fast---our excuse LOL.

WE THINK: A sure to be ‘game changer…that emerged after years of R&D by Odyssey and brand owner, Callaway Golf. We really liked how comfortable the club felt in our hands…and detected more in control in our pendulum type swing--- because the weight is clearly more evenly distributed that our own putter (an older Odyssey BTW).

And the ‘rhythm’ of it all, resulted in easy tempo movements.

AND: Embarrassed too, because our swing (very consistent- but with an open face we never detected prior)--- was measured and analyzed every which way we could never think of---- by high techy swing analysis gadgets--- courtesy of Science and Motion Sports.

Paul English, a congenial, patient, and smart Sr. Director, Golf Balls and Putters (dare we ask his handicap) …gave us a mini tutorial on the White Ice line of putters---with a side-by-side comparison with the “number one player”--- and soon to be phased out XG line.

WHY: “Putting is all about feel,” English said “…and what you see and hear.”

With recent changes made by golf’s ruling bodies pertaining to grooves in irons and wedges, resulting in softer, multi-layered golf balls

….the older insert of the XG models dampen the sound of these now, in vogue, softer golf balls. And the feel is too mush (our word) because the metal insert itself is softer--- for those “old school,” firmer golf balls.

The new Odyssey WHITE ICE offerings endured rigorous testing for sound amplification, duration and pitch “…because milliseconds in sound- go a long way.” Frankly, we expected no less an odyssey in a matter of speaking…from concept to finished product from the likes of Odyssey and Callaway Golf.

SO: Based on Tour feedback, these new White Ice putters (starting at $129--up to $179 for more progressive shapes like the popular 2-Ball: ETA -- February 2010)…have a darker nickel finish--- (less reflection), have “head weight optimization for ideal balance,” and feature an inner core (multi-layer insert) that is 19% firmer and 92% stiffer than previous models--- for more consistent distance control.

AND: More spin…more enhanced sound…more responsiveness in “feel”…” and “Advanced Roll Technology that provides a low deep center of gravity for optimized roll.”

ADDED PLUS: A variable weight adjuster, from 350-370 grams comes with the White Ice mallet that’s great for those pendulum swing putters (versus those with a more gaited swing). Other companies usually charge added $s for this.
FYI: Idiot proof ---to change the weight.

There’s also new, sexy (we think) top of the line putters---the Black Series Tour Designs ($269) with a special finish, and a heavier tungsten insert that imparts a lower, more back and deeper center of gravity. Available in several key models (#2, #4, #6 and #9 pictured above)---We expect every Master of the Universe we worked with on Wall Street--- will deem this the perfect Valentine’s Day gift---that they will have to get on their own.

PLUS: The Black Series Tour Designs have “…a better topspin and better roll,” according to English. We tried a #9 (a 33”---also comes 34” and 35” length too)---- and found it to have the perfect soft touch cause the putters are milled from 1025 carbon steel. And naturally, these putters sport the ne plus ultra in response and precise roll via Odyssey's Advanced Roll Technology.

BOTTOM LINE: How to choose a putter? “It really is a feel thing.”
And with the softer golf balls, an upgrade to a new putter is a given for the serious player and 'lucky to get in a few rounds a year' types.

The White Ice series of putters are on the buy side---they deliver that added touch. And we love the M.O. “FEEL THE ICE IN YOUR VEINS.” So vampire hip.

FYI: The other Odyssey® putters like the “Sabretooth” claw shape ones that we have never seen on the golf course --- we were told Rocco Mediate used this in his US Open runner-up finish--- have their purpose too. One can pick up the ball with it...and it’s designed for “twisters” …or those too jacked up on caffeine IMHO.

INFO: including store locater:

BONUS: The amazing (REALISTIC) putting green by Tour Links...a nine years young Floridian company with a revolutionary patented system of interlocking panels ---that can have a putting green setup wherever...
We were thinking our dining room- as we can't remember the last time we used the space meaningfully.