With the 2017 O-Works range of putters Odyssey brought Microhinge faces to the market for the first time. Whilst this was one of their most technically advanced faces, it still has some way to go in popularity to catch up with the White Hot insert.
So what did Callaway decide to do? Of course they combined the two in the EXO range of putters that feature three high MOI mallet shapes.
The new face is not surprisingly called the White Hot Microhinge insert and the aim is to give more sound feedback than the original Microhinge insert by using a slightly firmer version of the White Hot material behind the larger hinges.
In general, the less points of contact with the ball then the softer a putter feels because the sound is dampened down more. The White Hot part of the insert adds points of contact and as a result the EXO putters do sound a little louder and higher pitched than a standard Microhinge, which probably sounds 'softer' by comparison.
Callaway stats show that the new insert does not impart quite as much top spin at impact as the original Microhinge, but both deliver twice as much as the original White Hot insert. The White Hot version certainly seemed more solid than the original Microhinge, which seems to have a little more spring in the face by comparison.
The other main feature of the EXO models is that they are designed to be high MOI putters. This increases the stability by around 20% on the standard versions of these heads and that maintains ball speed better to help you hole more putts.
The EXO design achieves this because the dark parts of the perimeter of the head are made of heavier 17-4 stainless steel, whilst the red centre sections are made of aluminium which is about a third of the weight.
This means that the MOI of the putter can be increased without making the heads larger so Odyssey can get the benefits of greater stability in the normal size of some of their most popular head shapes.
For your hands there is a choice of EXO branded SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 or a Winn Tour pistol grip across the three models to suit your style.
In addition there is also a choice of hosels, so you can opt for a full shaft offset for a face balanced putter, or a 3/4 shaft offset for a toe hang of 24° or 28° depending on the model.
Odyssey EXO Indianapolis Putter Review
The EXO Indianapolis is the most visually striking of the three models and is a shape that first appeared in the Odyssey Toulon Design range as a high MOI model, so no surprise to see it in the EXO range.
The lighter grey front section is where the stainless steel is and the visual contrast with the black section behind almost gives it the look of a blade putter if you focus on this only.
However behind it is the black composite crown over the red aluminium section and the long white sight line that I found easy to line up.
I quite like this shape, although the balance of it means that it wants to naturally fall open at address, so you need to ensure that your hands are in the right position at address to keep it square.
Unlike the other EXO models, it does not feel like there is as much weight at the rear of the head, so for me the Indianapolis felt the lightest to use even though the head weighs the same 360g as the other two models.
Odyssey EXO Rossie Putter Review
The Rossie is one of the classic Odyssey shapes and in the EXO range it has a striking look with the red aluminium section centred to provide a great alignment tool.
The Rossie is quite a compact mallet, which is what attracted so many great players to it in the early days of Odyssey and the Skim Milling process that Callaway has used on the edges of the head really stands out on this model.
For me it was the Goldilocks model of the three, being in the middle for size, weight and probably looks, so if you want to be conservative then this is the one to go for.
Odyssey EXO Seven Putter Review
After the Anser and the 2-Ball then the #7 is one of the most iconic shapes in putters these days and the EXO version has all the Seven virtues spelt out.
If you are familiar with the #7 range, then the EXO Seven is the same size as the larger tank version of the head and this fits in perfectly with the forgiveness story as the MOI is 50% higher than the standard #7 model.
The two prongs on either side are made of steel and keep the weight to the edges whilst the red aluminium centre section does the alignment job.
The head does want to sit back on its tail so again you will need to ensure your hands dictate the head position at address and not the other way around.
The prongs also have the added benefit of being able to pick up the ball from the green very easily if you get a lot of concessions - or tap-ins you can't be bothered with!
I tried this in both types of hosel and it will come down to personal preference on stroke type and looks as the shorter 3/4 offset with the 24° toe hang does give a different look and feel.
The Seven is the only model available in right and left hand options and if you had to pick one model for this then the Seven is it, because not only does it sit and look the best, but it also felt the most stable and solid and, all things being equal, this would be my pick of the Odyssey Exo putter range.
A lot of the brands are trying to create super-premium putter models, sometimes just through nice finishes. The EXO range is pretty pricey generally and nearly twice the price of a standard Microhinge putter. However in this case the classic shapes of the Seven and Rossie combined with the new face technology, high MOI design, striking looks and high quality finish justifies this and if they help you hole more putts then they will be worth every penny.