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FIELDREPORT


Giving it the Works


Odyssey’s current Works putters represent the best of the brand’s technology rolled into one line. With the help of chief putter designer Austie Rollinson, we take a closer look at a range that has even eclipsed the brand’s famous 2-Ball in terms of early sales


believed to be approaching six million. So when Odyssey’s chief putter designer Austie Rollinson tells us 2015’s Works line is outperforming the 2-Ball, we should really take some notice. “The Works line achieved 20% of the putter market share in the


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US in its first two months, and not even the 2-Ball achieved that,” he says. “It’s been a big success for us.” The Works line of putters actually owes its existence to an insert


created by Rollinson. Labelled Fusion RX, it blends the feel properties of the famous White Hot insert, launched as far back as 2000, but reintroduced in 2013 with improved chemistry, with the improved roll of the stainless steel mesh found on the face of the Metal X line. “That mesh is under half a millimetre thick and has oval patterns


which lock against the ball, adding friction and curbing skid,” Rolllinson continues. “It works very well on the Metal X milled line, but those putters give a firmer feel. We felt that if we could take the mesh and ally it with the new White Hot Pro insert, we’d have all that anti-skid performance with the soſter feel White Hot has become known and loved for.” According to Rollinson, that stainless steel mesh is tough enough


By the brand’s own admission, the Works line of putters is something of a ‘greatest hits’ collection


24 SGBGOLF


hile Ping’s Anser is surely the most influential putter of all time, the biggest-selling putter is in fact Odyssey’s White Hot 2-Ball. Launched in 2001, its global sales are


to withstand impact, but also thin enough to flex, affording the impact feel of White Hot and the anti-roll of Metal X. But the brand needed a new line to put the concept into – and this became Works. Feel is of course subjective, but Rollinson reports he has heard


some golfers describe the sound and feel of the Fusion RX insert as soſter than the White Hot, and others as firmer. “My own opinion is that it’s a little firmer,” he adds, “but given the way ball compression is getting soſter – Callaway’s Chrome Soſt and Supersoſt are prime examples – this is no bad thing.” This alliance of two existing Odyssey technologies in the insert


appears to have been an inspiration for the Works range itself. By the brand’s own admission, the Works line of putters is


something of a ‘greatest hits’ collection. “That’s a bit of a diversion for us,” says Rollinson. “Over the years, when we had new technology we developed a new line, like Tank or Backstryke. But the brief for the Works series was to put as much of our industry and tour proven technology into one line. “In keeping with that theme we also decided to release it only in our most popular models – so we have the new Two-ball with Fang, plus numbers 1, 7 and 9, a slimmed-down offering which should also make it more efficient for retailers to sell in and through.” That said, there are still some 21 Works putters available. These include counterbalanced Tank options, an Armlock #1 version and four Big T versions. Launched in June, Big T adds a Versa-style sight line from face to back – a design that confirms that while most golfers have a preference for square or down-the-line alignment aids, they can benefit from both. “I got the idea for Big T while in Japan last year,” Rollinson


continues. “A player was using a White Rise V line putter, a Japanese line with Versa alignment, but he had added a bold centre line back from the leading edge. I had a look at it and immediately felt how easy it was to square. “We had also given Phil Mickelson a new Versa no.9 to try, but he


went back to one of his old ones because it had a white line on it back from the face. So I decided to build a prototype with the Versa line back from the face, as well as across it, in a strong T. It felt so easy to line up. Preferences are fine, but most golfers will find both useful.”


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