Pros: Available in four different models — #1 Wide, #7, 330M and V-Line — and two different lengths (35 and 38 inches). Each Tank Cruiser putter comes with a weight kit that offers three different head weights and counterbalance weights. Stock 15-inch SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 grip is a nice touch.
Cons: $249 is pricey for an insert putter, but there’s value in the stock SuperStroke grip that houses an adjustable counterbalance system and the putter’s slick weight kit.
Bottom Line: Odyssey recognized that there was a gap between the company’s conventional putters and its counterbalanced Tank models. Tank Cruiser putters sit nicely in between, offering several different models and a well-thought-out, nicely packaged adjustable weight system.
Odyssey Principal Designer Austie Rollinson told me in last 2012 that the ban of anchored-putting styles by golf’s ruling bodies would fuel putter innovation. My guess is that the Tank Cruiser was exactly what he had in mind.
Like previous Odyssey models, the Tank Cruiser putters ($249) have two adjustable weight ports and three sets of putter head weights that weigh 10 grams, 15 grams and 20 grams. They allow the putter head to be made as light as 365 grams or as heavy as 385 grams in 10-gram increments.
What’s new, however, is that the putters also have a screw-in weight system in the butt end of their grips. Those removable weights, which weigh 0, 15 and 30 grams, allow golfers to change the overall feel of the putter.
Adding the heavier weights to the handle of the grip will move the putter’s balance point closer to a golfer’s hands, while using the lighter weights will move the balance point closer to the putter head. Golfers looking to smooth out their stroke often add more weight to the handle of their putters, while those more reliant on feel or like to feel a more active release during the stroke usually add more weight to their putter heads.
Counterbalanced putters like the Tank Cruiser are nothing new to golf, as many serious players have tinkered with different head weights and “back weighting,” the process of adding weight to the handle of the putter, for decades. But Odyssey is the first major putter manufacturer to simplify this process with adjustable weight ports in both the head and handle of a putter, saving tinkerers time and money.
The Tank Cruiser putters are available in four different styles — the #1 Wide and 330M have a bit of toe hang, while the #7 and V-Line are face-balanced — and each is available in lengths of 35 or 38 inches. Odyssey advises golfers who are interested in a counterbalanced putter to try the 38-inch model if they use a putter that is 35 inches or longer, or to try the 35-inch model if they use a putter that is 34 inches or shorter.
The Tank Cruiser putters come stock with a 15-inch SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 grip that weighs about 70 grams without weights. It’s extra length allows golfers to choke down on the longer-than-standard putters as Odyssey advises without the worry of running out of grip. And since the grips are non-tapered, golfers will have the same feel at the top of the grip as they do at the bottom.
As a former long putter user, I was devastated when the USGA announced that starting in 2016, I wouldn’t be able to anchor my 50-inch broomstick to my sternum in the USGA qualifiers I like to play. So like most golfers who were reliant on anchored putters, I started experimenting. I tried arm lock/Kuchar putters, big grips and several different putting styles before I realized that I could survive without my anchor. But surviving on the greens and thriving on them are two different things.
The takeaway from my tinkering was that I needed a counterbalanced putter with special weighting to help me putt my best. One of my favorite options was Odyssey’s Tank putter, but it felt clunky to me and I was moving away from face-balanced models. If only the Tank Cruiser putters were available then, I wouldn’t have spent so much time and money adjusting my gamers with shaft extensions, grips and lead tape.
Adjusting a Tank Cruiser putter allows a golfer to play Goldilocks. For me, putting the heaviest weights (20 grams) in the putter head made it feel too heavy. The 5-gram weights, on the other hand, made it feel to light. The 15-gram weights got me closer, but it still wasn’t “just right.” I’ve spent the last month experimenting with the 0-, 15- and 30-gram counterweights in the grips of the #1 Wide and 330M putters I was sent for review, and have finally settled on the 15-gram weight in the #1 wide. That gives me a more traditional look and the counterbalanced feel that I’ve come to enjoy, especially on the short putts that I tend to miss to the right of the hole.
What I was after, and what most golfers will be looking for, is the feeling of an effortless release of the putter at impact. In theory, the extra weight in the handle should slow down that portion of the putter during the stroke and allow golfers to more easily square up the toe with the heel at impact, but that won’t be true for all golfers. Some players, like me, will like the overall heavier feeling, which can add stability to a golfer’s stroke. Some golfers won’t know why they like it… they just will. And that’s great, too.
Each Odyssey Tank Cruiser comes with three sets of adjustable putter head weights (5, 10 and 20 grams) and three different counterbalance weights (0, 15 and 50 grams), as well as a special wrench to make the adjustments.
So how do you know if a counterbalanced putter is for you? Making changes to the putter’s adjustable weight system creates noticeable differences in feel, but if you’re strongly opposed to the way the putter feels in its stock configuration (two 15-gram weights in the head and a 15-gram weight in the handle), it’s probably not right for you. And if you do like the stock setup, you should still experiment with the different weights. You’ll know when you get it right, even if it takes you some time like it did for me.
Looks and Feel
The Tank Cruisers have Odyssey’s Black Matte finish, which gives the putters a classic, no-glare look and offers a nice contrast with white alignment aids on each putter. I found the finish to be fairly durable, although the finish on the sole will show some wear as soon as you take it to the course.
Odyssey also took care to offer several different alignment aids in the line. The #1 Wide has a single alignment aid that is located in the flange of the putter, while the 330M has two lines on the flange that frame the ball nicely at address. The #7 has a sightline on the putter’s top line, as well as two longer lines that reinforce a golfer’s alignment on the fins of the putter. The V-Line has the most aggressive alignment aid with three long sightlines on its flange.
Each of the putters has Odyssey’s re-formulated White Hot insert, which feels extremely soft and is Odyssey’s most popular insert on the professional tours.
If you’re struggling with your putting, there’s no reason not to try a counterbalanced putter. They’re great for golfers looking to get a jump on switching from their anchored putters, and while they’re not for everyone, they can be a nice change of pace for golfers who want to feel something a little different.