Innovative 2012 Odyssey Metal-X Putters Review: You Might Want to Try One of them

Some new kids have just moved onto the block: Odyssey Metal-X putters are a brand new putter line for 2012. And even though they’re new, these putters have already been capturing awards, with Metal-X blade and mallet versions each taking a Gold Medal on Golf Digest’s all-important “Hot List.”

Although Golf Digest evaluated more than 90 different putters, Odyssey Metal-X putters were singled out as the best in the “Performance” categories for blades and mallets, respectively. Between them, mallet and blade Odyssey Metal-X putters led the pack in an amazing four putting categories. In addition to winning their Performance category, Metal-X mallet putters were tops in the field in two other mallet putter categories – putter “Look/Sound/Feel” and player “Demand.”

Mallet-type Odyssey Metal-X putters were awarded the maximum 5-star rating in all 4 measured characteristics, and they received the top overall score of all the putters being evaluated on the Hot List. Three different mallet head shapes are being offered, including a 2-Ball, Dart and “7,” and the available shaft lengths include conventional, belly-length and long. Five different blade-style heads are also options when you want an Odyssey Metal-X putter (Odyssey includes the “Rossie” Metal-X putter head in the blade category, although I’d call it a semi-mallet). In addition to winning their Performance category, Metal-X blade putters received a coveted 5-star rating from Golf Digest in the Look/Sound/Feel category for blade putters.

I’ve always thought Odyssey Golf produces some of the world’s premier putters within their price range. When I put that together with Golf Digest’s awards and favorable comments, I decided I wanted to find out more about these putters.

As of the date I’m writing this, the putters are not yet available for sale. However, I discovered that the most noteworthy aspect of these putters (to me, anyway) is their innovative metal face insert. Odyssey Golf has been using urethane face inserts in its putters for a number of years now, and metal-faced putters represent a definite break from this tradition. It’s a significant development because some golfers (especially low-handicap players) just do not care for anything other than a metal face on their putter. Some don’t like the sound a urethane insert produces, while others don’t like the soft feel. So, for these golfers, Odyssey Metal-X putters are a welcome sight indeed.

But, although the face definitely uses metal, Odyssey’s Metal-X putters don’t have a milled stainless steel face like the metal-faced putters made by other golf equipment companies. Instead, it’s actually better described as a multi-material face insert. Both types of the putters – the mallets as well as the blades – feature a “dual-layered” dimpled aluminum/urethane face insert. Aluminum is used as the surface layer of the insert (the urethane layer is beneath), and it’s the portion that actually comes into contact with the ball. The result is the type of crisp feedback you would expect from a metal-faced putter, coupled with the soft feel of a urethane insert.

You might be wondering about the purpose of the oval-shaped dimples on the aluminum surface of the face insert. Well, Odyssey says the dimple pattern on the insert’s aluminum “striking layer” interacts with the ball’s dimples on impact, increasing friction between the putter face and the ball and imparting the proper forward motion on the ball. The net effect is, according to Odyssey, enhanced control and a much more consistent roll.

Early testers of Odyssey Metal-X putters report that the ball pops off the club with a smooth roll that’s different than that produced by other putters. They also report great feel and feedback on impact, and just about uniformly proclaim that the putters offer superb balance. Because of the face insert’s aluminum “striking layer,” the feel is a bit “sharper” than that delivered by Odyssey’s all-urethane inserts. Some golfers will appreciate their crisp feel, while others might want something that seems a little softer.

There’s one more thing about Odyssey Metal-X putters that’s worth mentioning: their looks. The beautiful “Midnight Black” finish on these putters is like the icing on the cake. I love the stealthy look the black gives the putter heads, and it helps cut down on glare from the sun. Tour professionals recommended the black finish, and Odyssey listened.

The Bottom Line: I haven’t been able to get my hands on one of the Odyssey Metal-X putters as yet, but they certainly look like winners. On display at January 2012’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, they’re scheduled to go on sale April 13, 2012. Golf Digest reports that the launch price will be $150 for a blade Metal-X putter and $180 for a mallet version. Despite their innovative face insert, those prices are well within the normal price range for Odyssey putters.

From Odyssey Metal-X putters to other Odyssey putters.

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