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

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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 gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

16 Comments

16 Comments

  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

      Yep.

      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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Equipment

WRX Spotted: A pair of custom putters

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This week’s Zurich Classic is all about pairs — that goes for the two-man teams competing for the winner’s check(s), and in the case of notable putters we spotted, a pair of new one-off customs in bags this week: Abraham Ancer’s personal Bettinardi and Danny Lee’s new Scotty Cameron Super Rat.

Let’s start with the Danny Lee’s because there is a LOT going on with that club including first and foremost – it’s one nasty wand:

  • Super Rat head shape with a single sight line
  • The milled (actual) loft appears to be pretty standard for Cameron Putters
  • The hosel has been bent to accommodate Danny’s “armlock” style. This keeps the loft of the head where it should be while forward pressing. This kind of adjustment would need to be made to any standard putter if you were to try the armlock, or else you would deliver negative loft at impact
  • The shaft is LA Golf Shaft OZIK TP — a shaft designed to remove undesirable vibration through the shaft, while also reducing putter head oscillation at impact. Not a surprise considering the number of multi material/graphite putter shafts that are available right now to help improve consistency.
  • Last but not least a SuperStroke Flatso grip installed with the flat part of the grip aligned parallel to the putter face! This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this, and it makes sense – Utilizing the orientation of the grip to create greater awareness of the face angle can help players of all skill levels create more consistent results, even tour pros.

Danny has had an interesting golf bag to follow this season with a number of changes coming almost weekly from irons to putters. Maybe this change could help turn his putting around (currently ranked 116th in strokes gained: putting), all while still being inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup.

Now to Abraham Ancer’s new Custom DASS BBZero Tour Dept. Putter.

  • This putter is based off of the BBZerostyle head with rounded bumpers and a plumbers neck
  • Compared to the BBZero though, the heel is thicker and it could have a slightly shorter blade length (TBD)
  • It has a recessed sight line on the top that runs perpendicular to the sight line in the flange to form a “T.” This is interesting for a couple of reasons including that it looks to be the width of a golf ball, which could help Abraham find the center better. Also as a right-handed golfer, this type of alignment is an indication that he is most likely right-eye dominant and uses the face of the putter to align to the target as much if not more than the flange line.
  • Just like Danny’s above, this putter is also shafted with the LA Golf Shaft OZIK TP — there must be something about that that has more players testing it out.
  • And finally, the grip is the SuperStroke Claw. Judging by the cleanliness of both these grips these are both new to the players and testing will prove what ends up come tournament time.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Iron type for controlling shots into the wind?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from eckmanjp who is on the hunt for irons to help with controlling shots played into the wind. Our members give their opinions on what are the best options for eckmanjp, with plenty of different clubs and shafts recommended.

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.

  • driveandputtmachine: “Into the wind, spin is NOT your friend. No matter how low launching it will balloon. I was an extremely high spin player, in my search for something lower spinning my three best were…. TM P 790, Cobra Forged TEC, and Ping i500.The final piece is a shaft that spins high enough to hold greens, but not too high to balloon into the wind.”
  • mogc60: “Sounds like you have good clubs and shaft combo for reducing spin. Shafts do make a difference…but don’t cure the upshoot into the wind. Good advice above about more club and swinging slower…speed equals spin. I find the biggest mistake people make into the wind is playing the ball too far back and hitting down too hard. The key is smooth through impact and finishing low in your follow through…not pounding it down…that creates that upshooting shot that the wind destroys.”
  • dpb5031: “Technique plays the major role here, not equipment. Generally, anywhere from 1 to 3 extra club, grip down on the handle, and use what I call a wide-to-wide swing at 3/4 speed. Think limited arm swing (no longer than left arm parallel with the ground in BS) and then cover the ball, keep body turning through it, and finish wide & low, with handle following your rotating trunk around to the left.”
  • rxk9fan: “I think the head/shaft combo can make a huge difference of course along with how you deliver the clubhead into the ball. Take a look at the Titleist shaft chart and see what they are showing. FWIW though, the OP’s current shaft should not be a high launch/high spin shaft. I found both the 716 AP2 and CB to be tough to control spin with, but as suggested it was 100% my delivery at impact. I found the Srixon Z9xx series to spin less but the best thing I did was get to a quality teacher, and we improved a pretty tiny swing flaw that had a big impact on spin. Good luck. I can say I tried to “new club” my way through the spin problem, but three lessons is what it took to fix it.”

Entire Thread: “Iron type for controlling shots into the wind?”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

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Product: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

Pitch: From Dead Zero: “The new Dead Zero Pro model putting disk offers golfers the ability to accurately determine green slope and a true fall line when practicing their “money” putts thanks to a bubble level embedded into the top of the disk. The bubble level accurately measures up to six-degrees of slope and gives a true reading of the fall line on any area of the putting surface. Like the Original model, the Dead Zero Pro helps all golfers build confidence to make more putts inside eight to ten feet.”

Our take on the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

The Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk Pro improves upon the original design by incorporating player and instructor feedback to include a level in the top of the disk. It’s a wise addition to a device that already offers players aid in an important practice approach: putting to a target smaller than the 4.25-inch cup. (The disk is roughly half the size)

We tried the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the manner creator Eric Schmitt suggests in the video below.

We found it easier to focus on putting to a smaller target when using the device–the fact that the disk looks like a target certainly doesn’t hurt this! It’s also easier to practice breaking putts with the Dead Zero Putting Disk.

The level function helps quickly get an accurate feel for the putt, and you can set the disk down where the hole effectively “is,” from an aiming standpoint, on, say, an eight-footer that breaks six inches right to left.

It’s also a nice tool to have in your bag any time you need a target in practice, really, and are struggling to visualize a line or landing area. For example, when pitching from around the green.

Ultimately, this is a good practice and practice round tool that nicely functions as a smaller-than-a-golf-hole target for putting, a level, and an easy-to-see target.

A final word: There is something to the fact that golfers, particularly those who struggle with their putting, get hung up on aiming at a portion of the hole, “three balls out,” etc. If the cup has started to look more like foe than friend, shaking things up with a device like the Dead Zero Putting disk is recommended.

  • More photos of/discussion about the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the forums. 
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