When it comes to premium putters, the Toulon line heads up Odyssey's offering and the inspiration comes from Sean Toulon, who began his career creating golf clubs for TaylorMade before founding Toulon Design and working his way up to the position of General Manager of Odyssey Golf.
The idea of Toulon putters are that they use the finest, premium materials and technologies and are recognisable thanks to their sole plate and milled, hatched face design.
Last year, my colleague George tested the Atlanta mid-mallet and really enjoyed the soft feel along with Stroke Lab weighting.
This time around, it's the turn of the Seattle model which was added as part of the updated Toulon collection for 2020.
What's It All About?
Odyssey says that the Toulon Seattle Putter is a toe-hang mallet putter with a crank neck which is shaped like a larger version of the Portland, or similar to the Atlanta model reviewed by George barring the fact that a large portion of the back of the head is cut out.
The putter features Toulon's Deep Diamond Mill cross-hatch grooves on the face, in place of a typical insert, which channel vibration in order to control the sound and feel. The small groove within each diamond pattern is designed to improve the quality of the roll to give you more consistent pace on the greens.
The Seattle comes in the same Charcoal Smoke finish as last year's collection and features Odyssey's innovative Stroke Lab shaft. This is a multi-material design which saves 40 grams of weight, which is then redistributed to both the head and grip end of the putter.
This is said to rebalance the putter to improve both the tempo and consistency of the stroke and has been popular for both professionals and amateurs alike since its inception.
Each Toulon putter comes with a 20 gram weight, with 7 and 40 gram options available for those golfers who want to customise head weight and create a lighter and heavier head feel.
I took the Toulon Seattle Putter down to Bramall Park Golf Course to put it to the test on their excellent greens, getting some first impressions on the putting green before heading out for 18 holes of golf to see how my stroke and the performance stood up under pressure,
Odyssey Toulon Seattle Putter Review
There's no denying that Toulon putters look fantastic, and the Seattle is no different. It has a simplistic style but still contains little touches and attention to detail which make it look and feel premium straight away, from the name imprinted down the neck to the classy sole plate and good quality headcover.
I think it's fair to say that, if you are to buy a putter like this, you're not just doing it for the performance. Some of it is because it's nice to have something a little bit luxurious which will grab the attention of your playing partners.
Are they going to make a huge difference in performance compared to Odyssey's already-excellent range of putters? Probably not, but that's not really the point. It's the same reason you pay a little extra for the 'sport' edition of a car because it has a higher top speed, despite the fact that you're never really going to use that because you abide by the same speed limits as everyone else.
The new Charcoal Smoke finish is an improvement upon the Chrome that Toulon putters used a few years ago, because it gives it a quieter and more refined appearance which I think does more to justify the price tag.
Down by the ball, the Seattle is a medium-sized mallet which seems slightly thinner than the Atlanta, particularly on the top line, but the key thing that draws your eye is the notch cut out of the back cavity.
This will push the CG to both the heel and the toe of the putter and a little further forward too, which should give you a little more stability across the face. It's a pretty bold look but I actually liked it, and it does a good job of framing the ball up in that middle section of the putter.
I would never use a putter that didn't have some form of alignment on the top line as I think it's a really easy way to line the ball up, so I was pleased to see that the Seattle gives you a really clear white line to use for alignment.
As a blade user I was also a little fearful that this putter would look huge down by the ball but the blade length actually wasn't too long which helps to reduce the overall size. It's also a good little trick to help focus your mind on hitting the centre of the putter face too, which is never a bad thing!
Of course, you can't talk about the feel of this putter without addressing the Stroke Lab shaft and grip. We have covered this technology before on Golfalot reviews, and we are big fans of the way that the multi-material grip balances out the weight across the putter to promote a more consistent stroke and tempo. This is no different in the Seattle.
The fact that the putter head feels lighter than in a traditional putter does take a little bit of getting used to, and if you're a real 'feel' putter then you might not enjoy this fact because you might find it a little harder to manipulate the face, but for many golfers it will quieten down the stroke and help with a more relaxed stroke on the way back and through the ball.
The cross-hatch grooves produce a fantastic soft feel off the face with a classy, muted click sound when you strike your putt which fits in well with the overall premium feel. The weighting of the shaft means that it is nice to still have that little bit of feedback from the face to know where you're striking your putts and Toulon has done this without it getting too noisy or firm.
In an ideal world I'd probably have the grip a little thinner although I recognise that this is probably all a part of the calculations being made for the Stroke Lab weighting, whilst I'm sure plenty of golfers prefer the slightly thicker size and this is often popular with mallet putters of this size.
Out on the course, the Seattle is easy to align and the mallet head certainly does help with forgiveness on the long-range putts thanks to the high-MOI provided by the bigger shape. If you do tend to mis-strike putts then a model like this could really help avoid three-putts as it should improve your distance control.
One slight issue that I did find was when hitting very long putts, for example right across a long green, the Stroke Lab weighting meant that it was a little harder to get the pace right because it almost seemed as though the head wasn't heavy enough and so you do have to give it a bit of a thump.
I was impressed with the Seattle on the shorter putts thanks to the easy alignment, and the shape and grip also did help to promote a neutral stroke so as long as you're reading the putts right, you should be ok from close range.
The balanced weight also felt like it helped to quieten down my stroke, which is particularly nice from close range where you don't want to be worrying about what your putter face is doing on the back or through the stroke.
I also found that I enjoyed a good, smooth roll on the greens which I think can be attributed in part to the fact that more of the weight is centred towards the front of the putter head.
Like it would in an iron or a driver, this will help decrease launch and so the ball should stay down on the putting surface more easily, helping to avoid those bumps and bobbles you might get.
Odyssey Toulon Seattle Putter Verdict
If you're interested in a Toulon putter because you're thinking that spending a little extra money may result in losing strokes, then you may be disappointed. The Seattle retails at £429 which is close to double the price of lots of Odyssey's other putter models, and in terms of performance you won't see much difference.
However you shouldn't be buying a Toulon putter because you're expecting it to perform much better than an Odyssey putter - you're buying it because you want the gravitas of a premium putter and the high-quality materials and finish that this comes with.
This is not to say that the Toulon Seattle is not a great putter, because I think it is. They look great, feel fantastic, and there is plenty of technology in there to help you to gain a little more consistency on the greens.
If you can afford it, then why not?
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Odyssey Toulon Atlanta Putter Review
TaylorMade Spider FCG Putter Review