If golfers had the option to use a putter which left putts 21% closer to the hole, no matter they strike it on the face, I can imagine the majority of them would bite your hand off.
Well, that's what Odyssey are promising in their latest Ai-One Putter range, which are the first putters to include AI technology for an all-new face design.
Who Is It Aimed At?
With five different models in the range (and more coming next year), from classic Anser-style blades to large, high-MOI mallets, there should be a putter in there for everyone.
If you like getting into the tech behind your golf clubs and want to feel like you're getting all the help you can get when it comes to making more putts, these could be the ones for you. They're designed to help golfers (including even the best players in the world) who may be less consistent with their putter strikes, whilst the Ai Window (we'll get to that shortly) is perfect for golfers who want to make a statement with their equipment.
There are two new putter ranges from Odyssey in 2024 - the standard Ai-One and the ultra-premium Ai-One Milled, which features a milled body and insert.
The main story behind the new Ai-One range is the use of Callaway's Ai technology to produce an all-new face insert, which is designed to improve your consistency.
This Ai-One insert is designed with new aluminium contours on the back of the insert which are said to help promote consistent ball speeds across the face. This combines with a grooved White Hot urethane layer which is moulded into the aluminium to give golfers that iconic White Hot feel.
On the back of the putter head is a Panlite window, which allows Odyssey to show off the main feature of these new putters - the unique design of the back of the insert.
Odyssey have included the multi-material version of their Stroke Lab shaft in their putters for a number of years now, but for this latest range they have switched back to a much more traditional steel offering.
The new SL 90 shaft is a lightweight shaft with 20-30 grams of counterbalance weight in the butt end, depending on the grip being used.
The putters feature a new navy blue PVD finish for a unique, premium look, and there are interchangeable front weights (from 5g to 20g) which allow you to dial in the head weight to your own preference.
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Odyssey Ai-One #1 Putter Review
Odyssey are putting a big emphasis on this new putter range and they've clearly pulled out all of the stops - the overall quality of these putters from the headcover right down to the new Ai Window is fantastic.
I currently use an Odyssey putter which is a #1 shape so I'm really used to looking at this profile down by the ball and I'm a big fan of the slightly more rounded edges, which seem to frame the ball up nicely for me.
It remains to be seen how durable the blue finish will be over time, but as soon as I got it in my hands I was really impressed with how premium it looked and felt. The navy blue colourway of these putters continues on the same theme as the Paradym range and I think it looks great.
The Ai Window is essentially a bit of a gimmick rather than any real technology but it's a nice touch to be able to see exactly how your putter face is put together under the hood, and adds a little more credibility to the claims being made.
The Ai-One putters feature an updated Stroke Lab design and a new grip, which is slightly oversized although nothing too outlandish, and so should be popular with most golfers.
The weight of the grip and Stroke Lab shaft is matched up with the weight so bear that in mind if you buy this putter and then think about changing grips.
The new Ai insert provides a firmer feel than with the Ai-One Milled range but I actually preferred it to the White Hot, as I found it was not as loud or as 'poppy' off the face.
Odyssey have experimented quite a lot over the last decade or so with putter inserts, and while the White Hot is clearly extremely popular, it feels like they have always wanted to have some kind of groove pattern across the face.
Faces with milling or grooves are pretty common among most other putter brands too, and in some ways this insert actually reminded me a little of TaylorMade's PureRoll, although it was a slightly firmer, 'clickier' feel.
When I first started to hit a few putts with this putter I was immediately impressed with the roll that the new insert was producing. Considering I was testing on wet, wintery greens the ball seemed to hug the ground and roll end over end really nicely.
To test the new claims around consistency across the face, I actually practiced hitting some putts from the toe and heel and I was really impressed with how the ball seemed to travel pretty much the same distance every time.
I definitely didn't see the drop-offs in distance that I was expecting, especially considering that this was with a blade-style putter which aren't really focused on forgiveness.
There are perimeter weights on the sole of this head which are there to add a little more stability, and the putter did feel pretty stable whilst I was putting. My natural tendency is to strike my putts slightly from the toe but I didn't feel much twisting from the head which was reassuring.
Odyssey Ai-One #1 Putter Verdict
Odyssey have brought out so many putter ranges over the last decade or so that it is actually hard to keep up, but I do have to applaud them for managing to come up with a new story and a new idea around technology which is both interesting and innovative.
The Flash Face and Jailbreak technologies in Callaway metals has clearly been a success in recent years, and so using AI for the Odyssey putters does make sense. For some people, having so much technology packed into a putter head might be a bit much but I imagine that others will love it, and I was impressed during my testing.
I did find that my front-to-back dispersion was more consistent with these putters even when striking the ball from different parts of the face, and for many golfers this could be a big plus. Taking those pesky 3-putts out of play can make a big difference to your score.
This new technology has combined with a really smart new look, and I can see the navy blue finish and the excellent new headcover being really popular, whilst the Ai Window is a cool talking point too.
The Ai-One Milled range may get more use on the Tour (although Jon Rahm is using an Ai-One Rossie) and it is definitely more eye-catching, but the putters are a whopping £160 more and I'm not sure they're worth the extra cash.
Would I Use It?
At the moment I prefer the feel of the insert in my trusty Odyssey Metal-X putter, although the consistency in distance across the face has me tempted. Watch this space...
Odyssey Ai-One #1 Putter Pros & Cons
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