When we spotted Odyssey’s Red and Black O-Works prototype putters at the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational, we assumed TaylorMade’s Tour Spider Red and Black putters had at least a shred of influence on Odyssey’s new putters. Of course, the Spider has become one of the most popular putters on Tour given the success of Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson with the putters.
So ahead of the official launch of Odyssey’s new O-Works putters, we spoke to Sean Toulon, Senior VP of Callaway and the General Manager of Odyssey, who didn’t shy away from the influence TaylorMade had on the decision to make its new putters red and black.
“TaylorMade has had a great success and they have a great product with [the TaylorMade Spider Red and Black Putters],” Toulon said. “Don’t think for a second Tour players aren’t just golfers like the rest of us… they’re influenced by what other golfers do. The red thing looks pretty cool. We thought we could do a different type of red: a different shade. We tried [the red] with the 2-Ball and the #7, and they looked awesome.”
As golfers and equipment enthusiasts ourselves, we certainly understand. See a playing partner hole a bunch of putts with a putter, it’s only natural to want to try that putter. Toulon admits, however, that there’s no hard evidence that a red or black putter will perform better on the greens. “It just looks cool,” Toulon said.
Toulon said the technology in the new putters does offer improved performance, however. He was speaking specifically about Odyssey’s Tour-proven Microhinge inserts, which reduces skidding better than Odyssey’s other putter inserts by “hinging” at impact to create top spin. Acoustically, the insert also create a better sound, Toulon said, especially in mallet putter heads. Instead of a muted sound that provides little acoustic feedback, the insert produces a slightly higher-pitched sound in mallet putters that golfers tend to prefer.
You’ll notice that most of the putters available in this release (listed below) are mallets. Toulon believes that the trend of golfers moving toward mallets putters and away from blade-style models will continue, both with weekend warriors and PGA Tour players. When Jordan Spieth experimented with a mallet putter earlier this year, nine of the top-10 ranked golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings were using a mallet-styled putter. He attributed this trend to golfers ever-increasing use of data-capturing technology, especially on the greens.
- O-Works Black options: #2W, #3T, #1, 330M, #2M CS, #7S
- O-Works Red options: 2-Ball, #7, #7S
Odyssey’s Red and Black O-Works will be available August 4. They will sell for $199 with a stock Winn grip, $219 with a SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0 grip.
Justin Thomas WITB 2021 (October)
- Justin Thomas what’s in the bag accurate as of the CJ Cup.
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (9 degrees, B1 SureFit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue 85 TX
5-wood: Titleist 915 Fd (18 degrees @18.75)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4), Titleist 621.JT (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5 Tour Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
What Adam Scott said about his new 681.AS irons
- Editor’s note: We originally filed this piece for the Equipment Report on PGATOUR.com.
Adam Scott has used the same irons — Titleist Forged 680 — for the better part of 10 years.
“When you’re old and stubborn, you like what you like,” the 41-year-old told PGATOUR.COM.
Indeed, as he has transitioned into Titleist’s latest woods and wedges, the 14-time PGA TOUR winner has remained steadfast in playing his 2003 680 irons with KBS Tour 130 X shafts.
It was interesting, then, to see Scott with a different — but very similar — set of irons in the bag ahead of THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.
At a glance, the visually stunning irons look identically shaped to the 680s we’re used to seeing in Scott’s bag — similar large muscle pad on the rear of the club, similar hosel transition, similar generous amount of offset, similar topline. However, the irons looked substantially less worn and were stamped with 681.AS on the hosel.
What’s going on here?
Titleist declined to comment, but PGATOUR.COM caught up with Scott, who shared some details. As it turns out the new irons are the same…sort of.
Before digging into the 681.AS, we asked Scott why he doesn’t simply continue playing 680 irons, and when a set wears out, replace them with another. The answer, he said, was simple. Titleist “just ran out of original sets,” which the company stopped producing in 2005.
What to do? Scour eBay and used club stores? Frequent garage sales?
Scott indicated Titleist engineers took a different tack: They made CAD (computer-aided design) copies of his beloved 680s and CNC-machined what he called, “basically the same clubs.”
“Thanks to technology,” he said, “they’re as exact a replica as you can get, but with the way they’ve been made, I could argue it’s a more solid head with a more solid strike.
“I’ve been stuck on the 680s for a long time now,” he added. “…We’ve tried some stuff here and there. We tried bending the 620 MBs earlier this year, which I actually used at the Masters. I’ve been looking for 12 months for that new fresh set with good feel in the hands and good vibes, and we just couldn’t get there, so they took this project on.”
He continued: “It’s very nice for me that Titleist was able to do that. I know what I know. I’ve played it so long, I’m at a point where I think it’s detrimental to go searching and trying to change. I know how I play, and I know what I need to play well.”
Update: Titleist offered this statement, “This week at the PGA TOUR’s CJ CUP, Titleist Brand Ambassadors Justin Thomas and Adam Scott are each putting new sets of prototype Titleist muscle back irons in play. Feedback from the best players in the world is a cornerstone of the Titleist R&D process, and these prototype irons (621.JT and 681.AS) have been developed in collaboration with each player to better understand some key design variables such as shaping, sole design and CG placement – that ultimately may find their way into future Titleist iron development. We look forward to sharing additional updates on these prototypes as we gain feedback and learn more from each player’s experience.”
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/15/21): Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
From the seller (@Hunter01): “Rare Tour Issue Odyssey Stroke Lab mini putter. From the tour van with tour crimp on hosel. 35” long with grip options available. This putter never came to retail but we’re made available to the tour in limited quantities. 329 firm.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini
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