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Callaway redesigns Odyssey R-Ball Prototype using GE’s additive manufacturing



Callaway has announced the company has signed a consultancy agreement with GE Additive’s AddWorks team, with the aim of improving its equipment through the potential of additive manufacturing. According to GE Additive’s website, additive manufacturing is a process that creates a physical object from digital design, enabling the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems.

What does this mean for Callaway’s equipment?

The opening project from the agreement is a redesigned Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head. Callaway originally developed the Odyssey R-Ball Prototype as a tour preferred model in Japan, which consisted of removing the front ball from the original 2-ball design. Callaway, through additive manufacturing, has optimized the acoustics of the putter while retaining the preferred shape and performance.


Brad Rice, director – R&D, Advanced Engineering at Callaway, speaking about the process, stressed that the use of additive manufacturing is the future to the production of equipment in the game of golf, stating

“Additive manufacturing is a new tool; which is quickly going beyond the aspirational phase, and into the functionalization phase of the technology. Callaway needs to learn how to use this tool well because it is inevitable that 3D-Printing of production parts is going to happen – it is the production method of the future.”

So just how has Callaway and GE Additive collaborated to create the ideal acoustics on the Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head? Well, the answer is by adding geometry that made it difficult for conventional casting methods, which you can get a feel for in this short video.

For the Odyssey Prototype putter to retain its optimal design and shape while altering the acoustic signature of the putter head, Callaway and GE Additive’s AddWorks’ design and engineering teams implemented additive manufacturing through the following process:

  •  AddWorks provided guidance to Callaway, based on decades of additive design background spanning several industries.
  •  The team refined existing designs to the build direction to ensure all features were self-supported or easily supported during the build. The AddWorks team designed supports for thermal stresses and overhang constraints.
  •  Topology optimization was used in conjunction with acoustical mapping to create the optimal design.

According to GE Additive AddWorks general manager, Chris Schuppe, additive manufacturing is a method which we are going to be hearing of a lot down the line, and he is expecting this to be the first of many collaborations with Callaway

“We’re taking away many new learnings from our first project together, especially around aesthetics. We have also used additive technology to create an acoustic map, which is certainly a first for us. We’re looking forward to driving more successful projects with Callaway, as they continue their additive journey.”

What the future holds for Callaway’s products through the use of additive manufacturing remains to be seen. However, the company’s bold stance on the potential of the process enhancing their equipment could be telling.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag



  1. aga

    Nov 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one of those tour tested R-Ball prototype putters… and price is no deterrent !!!!

  2. Tom

    Nov 17, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Equipment manufacturers have run out of new product ideas….now just blowing smoke and mirrors…..sellers be sellin!

    • gunmetal

      Dec 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm


      Callaway is King of this. Boeing, Lamborghini, now GE. They partner with companies that can add credibility to their marketing story.

  3. engineer bob

    Nov 17, 2018 at 1:05 am

    GE will attempt to “engineer out” the unnecessary material and make it ring like a bell… how low can you go using high tech capability?!! Pa thetic US technology usage.

    • Engineer Swede

      Nov 20, 2018 at 8:35 am

      EBM or Electronic Beam Manufacturing is for the most part a bought up technology from a Swedish company called Arcam, that is now a part of GE. It’s actually fun to see 3D-printing technologies getting a wider audience. Rapid prototyping might soon become rapid(and local) production! Now wouldn’t that be a thing Bob? Where all you’re golfclubs is not produced in Taiwan but in the neighbouring town? Supporting local business and less shipping?

  4. JP

    Nov 16, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Has anyone ever complained about the sound the putter makes? If the sound sucks, the design probably sucks. Start over.

    • ogo

      Nov 17, 2018 at 1:07 am

      Geerhead duffers want a good sounding putter because that’s all they look forward to… a ding sound…!

  5. Tiger Noods

    Nov 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    So, the short story is they couldn’t figure out how to do this in-house, called a contractor, and they’re spinning it as competence.

    Nice story, bros.

    Maybe they will start making clubs that don’t have high failure rates. That’d be nice.

    • Jamie

      Nov 16, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      That’s called patent infringement, libtard. You don’t just get to take another’s ideas and processes and make them your own.

      • Libtard

        Nov 18, 2018 at 3:44 am

        First, Libtard? Grow up.

        Second, patent infringement? I’m guessing that your use of “libtard” probably precludes a college degree, so maybe, just maybe, leave the litigation to those qualified.

        Third, you clearly weren’t replying to the above, so I suggest you brush up on your interwebbing, Señor AOL…

        Finally, I don’t get the American fascination with insults and someone’s political views. I thought America was “land of the free” and such… you really are an intolerant bunch.

  6. Hogenben

    Nov 16, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    All they are doing is working on acoustics…..just bs marketing hype.

  7. bj

    Nov 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Callaway AND many other manufacturers of ALL kinds of products should have ALREADY been using 3D printing!!! The EXTREME amount of savings in designing ANY proto type is and the ability refine their products is very flexible AND inexpensive!!
    Its about time, they are FAR behind in using this tech that is HAS BEEN WELL PROVEN!!

    • ac

      Nov 16, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      whats the deal with the random all caps? is it code? AND ALL ALREADY EXTREME ANY AND FAR HAS BEEN WELL PROVEN..guess not.

  8. DB

    Nov 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Cool story. I do think additive, 3-D, multi-material, etc. will be the future for some golf clubs. Article would have been better if Callaway had released some pictures of the final product or some information about how they can actually apply this to a product.

  9. Jamie

    Nov 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    GE will be bankrupt in a few weeks. Callaway would be smart to buy this unit now.

    • Benny

      Nov 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      I certainly hope not. Would love to put a wager on this. Now is a great time to buy!

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In-hand photos of prototype Ping “Blueprint” irons



Our Johnny Wunder paid a visit to Ping HQ in Phoenix, and in addition to getting to step inside to company’s legendary gold putter vault, The Gear Dive host got an exclusive in-hand look at Ping’s new prototype Blueprint irons.

While we can’t provide any additional details at present, we do have these photos of a 6-iron for your viewing pleasure.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in the forums. 

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Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500



You have a golf trip planned in two weeks. One day after work, you head to your car to hit the range and get some grinding in for the trip. As you walk to your car you notice your car has been broken into and your clubs are gone. Not good. You need new clubs for the trip but aren’t in a position to shell out the $2,000-$3,000 for a brand new set. What are your options? I recommend hitting the used market.

Every year, thousands of used golf clubs go on the market. Some of the clubs had a rough life and some have barely been hit. As an exercise to see what you can get for your dollar, I browsed one of the web’s largest used golf equipment sites ( with a budget of $500 for a full set of clubs in my specs. What I found was really interesting.

Rules: 14 clubs for under $500 shipped. As close to my specs as possible.


Since I play a low loft driver with a low launch, low spin shaft, I knew I was in for a challenge with finding a driver. Once I took a minute to search, I found this beauty of a driver. I remember hitting the Ping G10 back in the day, and it was one of the most forgiving drivers at the time. Plus, it was very close to my specs at standard length, 7.5 degrees, and a mid-launch Grafalloy shaft.


While searching for a 3-wood, I had two things in mind, I needed a X-stiff shaft, and I needed it to be heavy. After about five minutes, I found this great Titleist 913 with a heavier X-stiff shaft. Normally I play a 13-degree 3-wood, and this 3-wood would allow me to loft it down to get the desired flight. Really a solid deal for $50.


In an ideal world, I’d be hitting a 2-iron or a driving iron here. The problem is that driving irons can sell for $100-plus fairly easily, so that was out of budget. After searching, I found a nice 17-degree hybrid from Ping with an X-stiff shaft. The shaft is a little lighter than I would like, but it is not a bad pick up for 80 bucks.


I knew I would want to spend the majority of my money on some solid irons. After searching, with the parameters being a 3-PW set with X100 shafts, I found this great Titleist combo set. I current play a MB/CB combo from another company, so this set fits well with what I am looking for if I was to replace my current set. All of this for $200.


Wedge shopping was hard because I needed a lob wedge with good grooves and a gap wedge that wasn’t trash. I got really lucky with the Ping lob wedge. It is in very good condition which is really what matters for the grooves since I will be using it greenside. Since it is blue dot, I can get it sent to ping to be adjusted for my specs. For the gap wedge, I picked up a heavily used 52-degree. Ideally, I would have more money for a slightly better grooved GW.


Can’t go wrong with a White Hot in my preferred length. Not much more to say.



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Forum Thread of the Day: “Is it easier to hit players irons?”



Today’s Forum Thread of the Day was created by lazyjc4, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what they feel are some of the easiest to hit players irons on the market. Our members have mentioned a multitude of players irons, with plenty of detailed reasoning behind their choices.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • thewral: “New Level 902. Single piece forging, feel great, smallish head, low offset, distance lofts.”
  • naj959: “I went through a couple of sets of irons this year which included 765s, flyz+, and finally settled on the…..Bridgestone J15 DPF. There are some great reviews of these irons. The 765s are forgiving, but the j15s are even more so. They have a very thin top line, are workable, and are lonnnng.”
  • Casper_golf: “Take a good look at the Wilson V6, or if you are looking for something older, guys really like the V4’s that can be found as a steal.  Way underrated irons. Soft feel forgiving and long for the weaker lofts they have. No offset.”
  • Sonja Henie: “Very interested in the comment about the 745s being similar to the 545s in forgiveness.  I’ve been very tempted by the 565s but might do better with the 765s.”

Entire Thread: “Easier to hit players irons?”

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19th Hole