True to form in recent years, Odyssey are taking another trip down memory lane with the re-introduction of Tri-Hot putters. Like the White Hot insert, this range of putters is 20 years old but now, Odyssey are adding some more bells and whistles and bringing it back.
This had me intrigued - I used a Tri-Hot putter in the early 2000’s as an amateur, it was a beauty back then and won me an English Championship. Tri Hot putters were pricey to say the least 20 years ago, I remember receiving my National Lottery Funding and heading straight to the pro shop to buy the most expensive putter I could find. I was into the soft metal combined with the White Hot face. £300 (and odd) later, I had a new favourite wand.
Fast forward 20 years and I had the 2022 Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Putters in my hands. The 5K Tri-Hot are bladed putters with four models to choose from in the range.
I took the #1 and #3 models to Stockport Golf Club with the following statement from Odyssey in mind: "Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K introduces a new blade construction that out performs a mallet."
Stainless Steel Front
A 303 Stainless steel front of the putter has been milled, shaped and CG moved forward. This reduces side spin on off centre strikes.
Tungsten Front Weights
Over 120 grams of Tungsten mass has been placed behind both the toe and heel of the club. The CG is forward to aid roll and lower backspin after impact. The MOI (moment of inertia) is over 5000 IZZ which is massive for a putter and hence why the Tri Hot 2022 is called '5K'.
Variable weights are available in aluminium, steel and tungsten that can customise the head weight. I think this is a great addition as the old Tri-Hots didn’t have these. If you wanted more weight you had to adopt the traditional method of putting lead tape on the putter head as it was so light.
Stroke Lab Shaft
Like all Odyssey putters, Tri-Hot now features Stroke Lab shafts. The latest iteration is said to add even more stability than before as the steel section has been reduced by 7 grams.
Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Putter Review
The Odyssey #1 model is the classic Anser shaped putter. To be honest, I'm not sure how Odyssey have managed to get this putter head shape wrong but in my opinion they have. The colour contrasts when looking at the putter from address make everything look far too busy and even a little cheap to my eye. The grey and black head detailing is there to help alignment which I understand as blades can be harder to line up than mallets, but still it just doesn't sit right with me.
Secondly, the White Hot insert doesn't fill the full face like I am used to, it’s just the size of a small insert in the centre of the face. Looks-wise, this flashed into my eye sight against the black whilst I was making strokes and only really served to put me off.
For me there is just too much contrast going on, here's why: there is the red stroke lab shaft, black grip, black and grey head and the white hot face insert. This is just my taste but there's too much going on for a bladed putter. I want a bladed putter to be simple, like the new Toulon Design putters or the Tri-Hot putters of the past.
The Odyssey #3 model is more like a classic Ping Zing shape famously used by Steve Stricker for many years. It has the same black, grey, white and red colour scheme.
Odyssey were right in their claims about the Tri-Hot 5K putters - there is absolutely less face rotation and it is more stable than the old Tri-Hots. This doesn't mean however that it performs as well or is more forgiving than a mallet putter, that I just don't agree with.
Throughout my testing of the Tri-Hot 5K putters I struggled with pace on the greens and kept hitting my putts too hard and past the hole. I also found that when I didn’t find the middle of the putter face I hit the edge of the insert as it doesn’t stretch along the entire face, which also affected roll and therefore the pace of my putts.
In the feel department, another negative I found was the grip. I found the grip to look shiny, thick and therefore a little cheap feeling, all of which contributed to reduce the feel of the putt in my hands.
For a bladed putter, don’t get me wrong it certainly performs the way that Odyssey claim it will - you can certainly feel the lack of face deflection at impact, but this just wasn't for me. In a bladed putter you need the feel, that's what it's all about.
As I previously mentioned, I struggled with pace on the greens during my testing - I hit everything too hard and couldn't seem to get the grasp of the feel.
I also didn’t hole a single long putt (putts from outside 15 feet) during testing, this is rare as I wouldn't call myself the best putter in the world but usually I roll a few long ones in during a putter test.
In contrast to this, I did feel good from inside 6 feet with both Tri-Hot models. They felt solid when I put them to the test holing out and here I found the busy colour scheme did make it easier to line up the putter face. Still, I couldn't help but think that I didn't have the silky feelings from a blade that I would like when holing out.
Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Putter Verdict
I was excited to try the Tri-Hot 5K putters but unfortunately was left underwhelmed.
They are very forgiving putters for blades but they just weren't more forgiving than a mallet. I think that statement from the manufacturers riled me a little and therefore affected my thoughts on these putters, when in truth for some golfers that can get past the busy looks, they will perform great.
For me putting is about read, start line and pace. I will always say a blade is less forgiving than a mallet as it is a lot harder to start the ball on line with a blade. Fact.
As usual, Odyssey have done their research on this and found 70% of right handers aim right when putting. When I compared the Tri-Hot 5K to the Odyssey 2-Ball it wasn't as easy to line the putter head up and didn't provide the same forgiveness in strike. Yes it was better than a blade but not a mallet. These putters are tested via robots but in a human's hands a mallet is more forgiving.
I just don’t see the place for Tri-Hot 5K now Odyssey have Sean Toulon on board making some of the best putters on the market.. The price of a Tri-Hot 5K is as much as a Toulon but to me looks and performs a lot cheaper.
To conclude, I’d advise you to buy an Odyssey White Hot with a Stroke lab shaft for £239 and save yourself a whopping £130.
Who Are They Aimed At?
I can see golfers who used to own the original Tri Hot putters trying the new models for a hint of nostalgia. Also, if you already have a blade or even an older Odyssey 1, 2, 3 or 4 model and are looking for that bit of extra forgiveness but still want to look down at your old faithful shape, the Tri-Hots are worth a look.
Would I Use It?
Unfortunately not, if I was to use a blade I want it to look like a blade and not be so busy.
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