Rory McIlroy has made more equipment changes than any other top player on the PGA Tour this season, but one club he’s stuck with has been a prototype Odyssey putter. And since the 27-year-old started using the putter early this year, it has has been both literally and figuratively a secret.

3T_Sole

As Odyssey does with several of its prototype models, the sole is engraved with question marks to highlight its prototype nature. And out of respect for McIlroy’s current status as an equipment free agent — the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world says he’s playing without an endorsement deal from any equipment manufacturer — neither Odyssey or its parent company Callaway is commenting on what clubs he’s currently using.

3T_Cavity

That brings us to this week, where we spotted new Odyssey prototype putters on the putting green of the Valero Texas Open, one of which looked almost identical to the prototype putter McIlroy is using. It’s called the 3T, and appears to be a new model in the  O Works line Odyssey unveiled earlier this year. While the putter is black, it seems to have the same shape and size as McIlroy’s prototype, and also uses Odyssey’s new Micro-Hinge insert, which the company says helps putts roll more true.

3T_Address

So is Rory’s Odyssey putter coming to retail? A Callaway representative says that the 3T, as well as the other Odyssey putters we spotted in Texas, are just prototypes for now. If it did, however, it’s safe to say that a lot of golfers would buy one.

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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.

25 COMMENTS

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  1. Things you should use Rory to advertise in golf: Drivers, Fairway Woods, Blade Irons, Tight shirts that make your odd shaped pecs look more defined.

    Things you shouldn’t use Rory to advertise in golf: Putters

    Tried the Micro-hinge at the recent Scottish golf show, didn’t really notice any difference to my old DFX 2 Ball, if I’m honest. Maybe a bit heavier, but I think that’s a general design trend.

    • When it comes to putters, Rory does more damage to who he dumps than who he picks up. What he chooses next may not make him a great putter (and thus is no reason for us to leap to that one yet), but he clearly thinks it is better than the old one (based on a lot of his comparison testing), which is at least somewhat damning.

  2. If the USGA and R&A had any principles to protect the game they would ban the dubious Odyssey Micro-hinge face insert… but we know they are in the pockets of the OEMs to keep the industry scams alive. Golf on it’s last legs.

    • Hey, I’m okay with that. Then, 460cc driver heads, composite shafts, and a re-regulation of multilayer urethane balls.

      But seriously (well, I was being serious above); do you think that the Microhinge is a huge/unfair advantage? If so, why?

  3. Why does the retail model have the black ferrule and Roy’s doesn’t? Is the ferrule even needed never understood why odyssey put’s them on all of these style putter.

  4. I love that there is a small dent on the bottom of the shaft of the darker finish one from bending. Some of my clients cry when they see a small ding from club alterations. I tell them to think of it like a badge of honor – no “standard” for you – type a thing. It’s refreshing to see arguably the best player in our game with imperfections on his clubs!

  5. So I wanted to tell you guys about a silly little anecdotal-and-not-quantitative “study” I did at my local Golf Galaxy the other day.

    First, I grabbed about four or five Pro V1’s on their indoor putting green, which is a carpet and which feels like about 9.5-10.0 Stimpmeter speed.

    Next, I grabbed two new putters, and one used putter. Each was 34.” The first putter was one of the new Microhinge O-works Odysseys, a 1W. (My favorite model.) Next, was my favorite current Scotty Cameron, the Newport M2. Similar head shapes. Third and last was my previous favorite Odyssey, an older model Versa BWB 1W. Again, nearly identical head shape.

    So the experiment was to hit 4-5 putts with each one, just listening to the sound of the ball on the carpet-y putting green surface. There was a scuffing sound as the ball started to roll in the first 2 feet of the putt, before it started its true roll. The sound of the ball skidding along the top of the surface instead of rolling silently.

    The putter that felt the best in my hands, was the Scotty. But it produced the noisiest roll. The putter that produced less noise in the first two feet of roll was the old Versa (which had the softest feel, I must say). The putter that produced NO sound as the ball started to roll was the O-works Microhinge. And it was freaky, what the difference was. There was nothing else like it in the shop. And it seemed as though every O-works Microhinge putter produced the same result. It also seemed like the Microhinge was effectively “faster” too. That is, putts got rolling so fast that it was easy to hit it too far.

    This was a completely subjective, unscientific, unquantifiable test. I’m not trying to kid myself or anybody else. But I worked at it for a while. And what I saw/heard was real.

    • No; it’s not the shape. It’s the face insert. And no; a Scotty Cameron Fastback doesn’t have that insert. Nobody else does.

      Some people might not like the insert; some people might like it. So far, I see Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, about ten LPGA players (using amazingly stock-looking models) all gravitating to the Microhinge.

        • See, you are arguing that the Microhinge is a bad idea. You can make that argument if you want. But no matter what, this O-Works putter is not a Cameron with a different name on it. You just sort of admitted to the point; the Microhinge makes it different. That was my point.

          I don’t know if what you are saying is true, by the way. I didn’t hit any putts that I thought jumped off the face off-line. And I have a hard time imagining lots of Tour-level players using Microhinge technology if it were actually suspect, in getting putts started on-line. Just guessing here, that Phil Mickelson knows more about putting, and has more money riding on his making putts, than I do.

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