“To say we’re excited about Stroke Lab would be a major understatement,” says Sean Toulon, who runs Callaway’s Odyssey putter program. “This is a big step forward.”
Toulon is talking about Stroke Lab, a putter Callaway developed by reconsidering many of the notions about designing putters. The basic premise, according to Toulon, is the weighting of putters—the combination of shaft, grip and clubhead–has gotten out of whack and is hurting many golfers. By reconsidering that combination, golfers will see some big improvements.
You’ve already seen Stroke Lab in play—you just didn’t know it. That’s because Phil Mickelson used a prototype version during his match in Las Vegas with Tiger Woods.
Toulon says in recent years, with the proliferation of oversized grips, the weight distribution of many putters has shifted, and the result is many golfers aren’t making solid strokes. With Stroke Lab, Callaway says it has designed a putter that actually helps a golfer’s stroke on the greens, meaning they should make more putts.
“This is the first putter that improves a golfer’s actual putting stroke,” Toulon says. “And that’s interesting because all of the focus in recent years on putter development hasn’t really made golfers better putters. This does.”
Studies have shown the new putter is a bit of cure-all: improving consistency of backswing time, face-angle at impact, ball speed, and ball direction.
The central element to the new putters is weight. By making a massive change in the weight distribution of the club—specifically in the shaft—Callaway says this is a putter that improves your stroke, as opposed to simply putting a band-aid on it. The shaft in Stroke Lab is 40 grams lighter than most putters, made possible through the use of a new multi-material, with most of the weight in the tip. More weight is added to the head—10 grams in two sole weights—while the grip-end of the putter is heavier. The change helps the golfer make a smoother, repeatable stroke.
Sole Weights and Grip Weight
Additional weight in the butt-end of the grip changes the putter’s dynamics and makes for a smoother stroke.
White Hot Microhinge
Callaway is using its latest White Hot Microhinge insert in the Stroke Lab models for smooth roll and great feel. The putters come with a choice of pistol grip or oversize grip.
Who’s it for?
Stroke Lab already has three tour wins with its prototype—Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, and Phil Mickelson—and Toulon is certain it’ll be a hot commodity with the best players in the world. With 10 models in the lineup, there’s a putter for every type of golfer. And given the extensive testing Callaway has undertaken, Toulon is convinced Stroke Lab will benefit every golfer—from the tour pro to the high-handicap player.
“This is going to be massive,” he says.
Odyssey Stroke Labs putters are available now in stores and online.