Nearly a decade ago, the Odyssey Versa made its way onto the golf scene and what at first glance seemed like “just a black and white putter” was something far more compelling.
From 2013 Launch:
“The Versa line of putters offers Odyssey’s latest breakthrough innovation, Visionary High Contrast Alignment. The black and white contrast accentuates the face angle at address, through the stroke, and at impact, improving concentration and allowing you to align your putter more accurately to the target.”
Being out on TOUR as much as I am, I have learned that ALIGNMENT is the #1 fundamental that is checked, calibrated, and emphasized amongst the best players in the world. Like the full swing, controlling the face governs not only the quality of the strike but, more importantly, the START line. Most putters use a sightline (parallel to the foot line) to aim, but as you will see in the video with Joe and Eric, that practice isn’t as optimal as it could be. At least for me it’s not.
A DIFFERENT TAKE ON ALIGNMENT
As I mentioned before, alignment has a heavy hand in the pursuit of great putting. If you take our staff, for example, Rahm, Xander, and Burns all focus heavily on where the face is aimed, and when things go wrong, it’s right back to that fundamental to start building in new patterns. Why? Because if the face is open or closed at address, it doesn’t matter how good the stroke is; the ball will not start on-line UNLESS an adjustment is made mid-stroke to compensate. VERY hard to play good golf when you are relying on course correction in the middle of a stroke.
In 2013 we launched Versa at the Sony Open and had three in play, four weeks later at Pebble, we had 15 in play…that’s significant growth on the hardest Tour in the world to get new product in play.
Versa was different and what made it different made it great. Nothing was easier to consistently align and what was “slightly misaligned,” appeared massively misaligned and players noticed it immediately.
-Johnny Thompson Callaway Tour Performance Rep (current) and Odyssey Rep 2013
VERSA allows players to see the direction of the face and adjust to ensure that their feet are lined up correctly and that the FACE is square to the target line. With just the traditional line in place, the only information we typically gather is where THAT line is pointed. In addition, that line visually can get lost in the visuals of the putter as we have no contrast to reference it off of.
THE NEW 2023 ODYSSEY VERSA
No need to reinvent the wheel on this one, same core technology with some modern day touches.
In addition to some new shapes, VERSA now has weight ports on the bottom of the putter to stabilize the strike and push the CG forward to add efficiency to launch conditions. As with any signature Odyssey, they all come with the iconic WHITE HOT insert.
The newest generation of our proven multi-material Stroke Lab shaft features even better performance. By shortening the steel section, we reduced the weight by
seven grams from the previous generation. We also made it stiffer and more stable for even more consistency in your stroke and performance.
My Take: In any launch there is typically loads of new tech to discuss, in this case its simple and if you re-read Johnny Thompson’s quote above, he hits the NAIL ON THE HEAD. Versa will make it abuduntly clear if the face of your putter is square to the target. When you see players on TOUR changing into new putters at the pace they did in 2013, you can’t deny that the idea and performance are unmatched. Not to dissimilar from what we are seeing with Paradym these days.
I put the Versa 7 DBL in the bag about a month and half ago and my quality of miss is substantially better and from 5-10 feet I’m seeing a TON more putts go in. Quality of miss (like with long clubs) is what this game is all about, I always hated having a two way miss with the putter and it wasn’t until I got my hands on VERSA that it became a one way miss (huge for me) AND I’m getting the ball started on line almost every time.