Last month, I tested the latest “magic wands” from my favourite putter company, Odyssey. In the bag for my testing pleasure were the newly-released Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Ten and Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey.
As I’ve said before, I’m quite smitten with Odyssey gear (my trusty O-Works Red two-ball putter has pride of place in my bag). So I’m always excited to check out their latest models.
The first thing I noticed with these new models was the multi-material shaft, which features graphite three-quarters of the way down. According to Odyssey, the shaft is 40 grams lighter than previous shafts, allowing their engineers to redistribute the saved weight to other areas for better performance. With the Stroke Lab Black, the engineers have added 10g to the head via two sole weights, and 30g to the grip-end. This redistribution of weight creates a “counter-balancing” effect, and makes these putters feel extremely stable, translating to a more consistent stroke (and, in my case, fewer putts during the rounds!).
Both new models also feature a multi-material head construction—designed to increase MOI and improve stability and forgiveness—as well as a new Microhinge Star Insert, which creates a firmer feel and noticeably “brighter” sound at impact (not to mention the incredible roll characteristics that Odyssey introduced with the original White Hot microhinge technology). The feel at impact was satisfying and firm, with a pleasing “click”.
Throughout my multiple rounds on the course (as well as significant testing on my putting green at home), I began to fall in love with these putters, as the balance and weighting made them truly feel like an extension of my upper body. Distance control and accuracy became easier to dial-in, thanks to the amazing balance and feel of both putters, while the “hi-def alignment” also makes aiming and set-up significantly easier, which helped take my mind off the mechanics of putting, and allowed me to make a clean, solid stroke. And when it comes to picking one over the other, well, I honestly couldn’t. Apart from the head shape (the Bird of Prey has a slightly wider head), there was very little to separate the two. So it just comes down to which one suits the eye better.
In a word, these putters are both phenomenal. If you are in the market for a new putter, I strongly recommend you give them a test.