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Poulter chooses Odyssey White Damascus putter for The Open

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Last week, Ian Poulter took to twitter to ask for help choosing a new putter for The Open Championship. (Click here to read our full story).

As expected, putter makers jumped on the opportunity to get their putters in the hands of the European Ryder Cup star, sending retail store-sized shipments to Poulter’s IJP offices.

Eight days after Poulter’s proclamation (10:08 p.m. local time at Muirfield), he was true to his word and confirmed on Twitter that he would switch to a new putter.

Poulter’s new putter is the same brand as his old putter, an Odyssey White Hot XG #7, but it’s a new model from the company.

The putter’s official name is “Odyssey White Damascus iX #1,” and while it has yet to be announced in the United States, but it has been publicized in Japan, where it is expected to be released in September.

Click here to see photos of the rest of the clubs in Poulter’s bag.

 

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Odyssey’s Damascus insert on a White Damascus #9 iX9 HT putter.

According to a Callaway representative, the putter has an insert made of Damascus Steel, which is known for its almost mythical strength and has been used to make samurai swords for hundreds of years. The Damascus insert has Odyssey’s Metal X face pattern chemically milled into it, and another insert made of soft urethane insert behind it.

The back flanges of the Anser-style putter are made of tungsten, which Odyssey says moves the CG low and deep in increase the putters moment of inertia (MOI).

So what did Poulter do with the rest of the putters he was sent? According to his Twitter account, his staff will be in touch with putter makers and ship the putters back to them.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Blaise

    Jul 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    “high end” putters sell better in japan.. well that’s because the product is made for $50 in China an then sold for $540 in japan. so if that is how this club manufacturer is run it is a perfect example of why our economy is where it is today. you take these billion dollar corporations to China, take away the jobs from us, so no one has the money to buy these “high end” putters that realistically should sell for $150-$200.

  2. J

    Jul 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Odyssey…

    If its available there…it should be here. Plain and simple.

    Shouldn’t have to pay duties to get a product from an American company.

    Boooo…

  3. Josh

    Jul 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Wow… according to some of you, I hope Poulter never tries to take the INSERT out and use it as a dagger or fashion it into a cannon. I certainly hope that he considered that much more than he did how the ball might actually feel to him coming off the face of the club.

  4. BallzDeep

    Jul 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

    You guys are absurd. People all over the world drool over golf clubs made with BeCu, Terillium(sp?), urethane, aluminum, speed slots, circle T stamps, buzzing bee’s, white paint, etc. You wouldn’t do that on a cannon either. The fact that they have a tour player with 1.5 million Twitter followers who had an open tryout for the putter he chose for his most important tournament of the year probably means they’re going to sell.
    I also think this is a way cooler way to intro a putter to the world than quite possibly the douchiest video of all time.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jPxtHqj5hY
    I’m not a Scotty hater at all, but this video makes me laugh so hard at the other tools in the room that buy into his magic.

  5. golfa8

    Jul 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

    He should have tried the “Tank”. It fits his Ryder Cup profile.

  6. Blanco

    Jul 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Perfect putter for Poulter. Shiny ancient steel with cloak and dagger graphics– will go well with gold pants and a leather cape.

    • Ah thnxBlancO

      Jul 18, 2013 at 3:55 am

      Thanks Blanco for making my night. Poulter, couldn’t you have just walked out onto the practice green and found one? Drama dawgs and Englishmen

  7. Hamkenstein

    Jul 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I think it’s the decorative part that’s important here. That’s why the money is spent on bespoke/ custom finish putters. Not to much worry about a putter blowing apart.

  8. MarkInChiTown

    Jul 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Sorry to burst your balloon Odyssey, but Damascus Steel has for hundreds of years been known as very cheap and very unreliable steel. Its poor quality made it affordable, but very dangerous to use. Cannons made from
    Damascus Steel were known to blow apart! You won’t be selling any of these in Europe, or the far east. I’m surprised you have no metallurgists on your staff. They could have saved you from making fools of yourselves…

    • BIG

      Jul 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      That’s what I’m saying. Lots of better steels out there.

  9. Drew

    Jul 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Hey Odyssey brand team…You talk about this steel being used to make samurai swords and then you go and put an English excalibur sword on the sole?

    • Odyssey_PM

      Jul 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      A couple points of clarity since there seems to be some confusion here:
      – We never said this wasn’t being released in the United States. Stay tuned. Why Japan first? There is a much larger high end market for putters there. We have roughly 50% market share there and sell $500+ putters in droves. Retailers in the U.S. will not stock them because US consumers won’t spend that much except in limited numbers.
      – Damascus has been used by expert metallurgists for thousands of years in daggers, swords and all sorts of other executions. Samurais were not the only ones that used this type of metal.
      – Things are changing…the fact that we even allow tour players in the U.S. or Europe to use a putter that we’d sell predominantly in Japan is a big change. We saw a guy shoot 59 on the Web.com with one this past week and we another player choose one here.

      Seriously…stay tuned. We might surprise you with how we operate now. To pass on us because of actions in Callaway or Odyssey’s past is big mistake. All we can do it is prove it to you.

      • BIG

        Jul 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        I work for a knife company and I can tell you there are a lot of better steels than Damascus. Damascus, while quite a bit more expensive, is more decorative than anything.

      • Matt

        Jul 18, 2013 at 12:16 am

        Yeah America’s economy has been sucking for the last five years and I’m sure that’s put a hurting on the high end putter market. Can’t say I blame you guys for taking new products to the Japanese market first. Hey but for the record I love my new low end white hot pro #9.

    • Tony Lynam

      Jul 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      And to add, Damascus refers to the legendary sword makers in the middle east (whose stamp looks like a Star of David). We have those stamps on our Marine NCO and Officer swords (the Mamaluke).

      • Matt

        Oct 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        +1 to Tony. Know this is an old article, but author needs to get this kind of thing right. Damascus steel is 100% a medieval steel from the middle east, hence the name… Damascus is the capital of Syria… Damascus steel was NOT used to make samurai swords. Tamahagane or other specialized steels were used in Japan.

        Also, BIG, while you may have worked for a knife company, they probably did not use true Damascus steel. Modern Damascus is generally made simply by folding the metal during the forging process so a “water” pattern forms. Also see “Wootz steel” and “Crucible steel” for other similar metals found in different areas of the world. The forging process of ancient Damascus has been lost to time, though certain metallurgists have set out to try and recreate the composition. It is NOT a brittle metal, but in fact was known for being extremely strong while having great flex to it. There were actually carbon nanotubes present in the original composition, well before nanotechnology was in place.

        Basically, everyone above Tony is COMPLETELY WRONG in what they are stating…

        Nice try haters, but you are simply misinformed.

        -Matt

  10. Displayname

    Jul 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

    That insert/face combo looks AWESOME! Could finally be a replacement for my old White Steel insert. Bring it to the US and bring back the SRT 2 ball and I’m sold!

  11. Ben Hudson

    Jul 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Viral marketing – 1
    the rest of us – 0

  12. shanked

    Jul 17, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I understand that Japan has a large market, but seriously?!? We get stuck with Versa while they get these? I’d game that any day of the week. Maybe I need to tweet out that I’m looking for a new flat stick…

    • gunmetal

      Jul 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      You can game this when it gets released to Japan. It will cost you $549 but that’s what they pay for it in Japan.

  13. NB

    Jul 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Pretty cool putter picked by poulter, he should ebay the other ones he didnt select and donate it to charity though. Then he could choose new clubs constantly and make lots of donations.

  14. J

    Jul 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Sick!

    It’s still frustrating that an American Company release product in Japan WAY before if ever at all in the United States.

    Pretty serious turn-off when it comes to buying Callaway.

    • Blaise

      Jul 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      agreed. maybe that’s why i dumped my odyssey for the american made bettinardi

    • john

      Jul 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      the market for golf clubs in japan is so much larger that it would be silly not to release things there first…they sell to a year round market of a much greater percentage of golfers/population, they can sell it for more AND they get to see what sells and what doesn’t over there before bringing it here. on a side note, most of the stuff is made in asia so its already over there anyway…its been happening for years and EVERY company does it…callaway, taylormade, and even TITLEIST…you can find all the stuff online if you’re willing to pay

      • optumus

        Jul 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

        actually, scotty putters are milled in socal, not china

        • AndyJ

          Jul 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

          Actually Scotty’s putters are made in Mexico

      • J

        Jul 17, 2013 at 12:14 am

        At least release it here.

      • Philip Nielsen

        Jul 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

        Good point, I think people on here forget that these club manufacturers are companies lol.

      • Philip Nielsen

        Jul 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

        Good point, I think people on here forget that these club manufacturers are companies seeking profit lol.

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pga tour

K.J. Choi WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/18/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6x

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix MFS M5 60X

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

5 Wood: Ping G400 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Atlus Tour H8

Irons: Ping G400 (4-PW)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120X

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50-12SS, 54-12SS, 58-10)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma G Wolverine T
Grip: Ping Pistol

Putter: Ping PLF ZB3
Grip: Super Stroke KJ

Putter: Ping Sigma Vault Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Choi testing a number of clubs at the Valero Texas Open. We will update this post when we have his 14-club setup confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Choi’s clubs. 

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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