Odyssey's new Triple Track Putters have brought a training aid idea out onto the golf course. They feature three prominent lines placed on top of the putter head, which can be matched with Callaway's patented line technology on the ERC Soft and Chrome Soft golf balls.
The Triple Track technology is based upon a theory called vernier hyper acuity, which is the same visual technology used to land planes on aircraft carriers. I can't guarantee you'll be able to land a fighter jet, but hopefully you'll land more birdie putts.
What's It All About?
For those of you who use or draw a line on your golf ball, this is taking the alignment method for putting to a whole new level. Three horizontal stripes on the top of the putter head, on a white background, line up with the lines on the golf ball.
Pick a target for your putt, for example the left edge of the cup, and then pick an intermediate target between there and your ball.
Line up the ball to those points, and then once you put the putter head down at address, ensure that those lines match the ball lines and you should be aimed right where you want.
Sounds good, as long as you've read the green right!
There are five different putters in the Triple Track range, all of which use Odyssey's Stroke Lab shaft technology (more on that here) which is a mix of graphite and steel, to provide counterbalance for improved tempo and consistency.
The face has a new Microhinge Star insert which is firmer than previous Odyssey putters, and enhances both sound and feel at impact.
I tested the new Triple Track Ten Putter, which has two weights placed at the back of the head to help increase MOI - a theme which most manufacturers are focusing on with their putters these days.
Odyssey Triple Track Putters Review
As George mentioned when he tested the original Stroke Lab Black Ten Putter, it does look very similar to the TaylorMade Spider range, due to Sean Toulon's move from TaylorMade to Odyssey.
This design in massively popular, and I can really see it becoming one of those iconic shapes like the Fang and Anser putters have in the past.
When I first put this club down and started hitting some putts, I did notice that your eyes seem to be attracted straight towards the Triple Track section.
This can only be a good thing, as it is positioned right in the middle of the head which concentrates the mind on the centre of the face, and I thought that did make it easier to commit to the line of the putt.
Considering the two most important things about putting are the line and the pace, you're effectively half-way there. Good start. Callaway say that the Triple Track technology improves directional aim by 11% and initially I could see why.
The Triple Track Ten is a very sturdy putter, with very little face rotation much like with a heel-toe balanced putter. During my testing on the putting green at Sale Golf Club I missed a few putts to the right to begin with, because I was struggling to release the head through the stroke.
This is not a criticism of the putter, because it proves that the technology is doing its job and proves why I usually steer clear of face-balanced putters.
The head sits beautifully square, and working together with the Chrome Soft X Triple Track it really did get me focusing on aiming. It also makes it incredibly obvious when you've got the face closed or open in comparison to the ball, as the lines will break.
On top of that, not having to use a Sharpie pen, which I always seem to smudge, to try and get the line perfectly straight on my golf ball is a real life-saver!
In terms of feel, I wasn't particularly sure about the new Microhinge Star insert as it was quite a bit firmer than I was used to, and particularly when using a Callaway ball I found that the feel wasn't quite as good as when I switched back to my usual ball. If you like a nice soft feel then this is worth bearing in mind.
On a related note I was also a little disappointed to see that the lines on two of the balls I tested were a little wonky, which slightly defeats the object of the technology. Considering just one degree of misalignment on a short putt can cause you to miss, accuracy really is important.
There were a couple of other negatives that I found during my testing too. Just like all golfers have different swings, we all have different putting strokes too. So if you're somebody who always sets up a little closed to your putts, but then opens the face at impact to hit target, you may struggle with this as lining up straight will cause you to push your putts. If this is something you've been doing for years then it will take an awful lot of practice to rectify.
Another massive flaw that I've found with people using alignment methods like this is slow play. Viktor Hovland received a 'yellow card warning' at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship because he re-marked his ball and adjusted the alignment, which took him over the 55 second allocation.
Lines on golf balls are something that some people already want banned due to how long it takes, so a putter and ball method such as this could potentially cause upset among your playing partners.
It's also worth bearing in mind that these lines will be on the golf ball for every shot you play. This is all well and good on the green and on tee shots, but it can be really annoying in situations when you can't mark your ball.
What if you're just off the green on the fringe, you want to use the putter but the lines are pointing in the wrong direction?
Odyssey Triple Track Putters Verdict
I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the Ten shape, but I appreciate that it is extremely popular and I am probably in the minority here! Besides there are four other head shapes available, so there should be something to suit everyone.
I'm all for this concept being used to aid with alignment, but I just worry whether it is appropriate to transfer this from being a training aid to being used on the course, because of the variables that I highlighted above.
But, if aim and alignment is a problem for you, and you struggle with your putting, then the Triple Track technology can massively help with your accuracy and consistency.
Even if you don't read the putt correctly you should get more confidence that you're going to make a good stroke when the ball and putter are lined up - and confidence in the line of the putt is half of the battle.
At a price of £269 you really need to use a golf ball with the Triple Track as well to make this putter worth the investment. And perhaps Callaway should invest their AI technology in getting the lines perfect on the golf ball...
- Easy to use
- Good for people seeking a firmer feel
- Ideal for those who struggle with putting
- Lots of models in the range
- Need to use both putter and ball for the best results
- Not ideal for people who prefer a soft face