REVIEW: Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Ten putter
Equipment

REVIEW: Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Ten putter



Odyssey has released three new putters already this golf season (including the Bird of Prey and the Triple Track), and if seeing is believing, you’d best believe the engineers in Carlsbad think we’re all blind.

With wider alignment aids on the putter head, you won’t need a caddie to get you properly aimed towards the hole. Maybe that’s why the Stroke Lab Black Ten is already the No. 1 Odyssey putter model on the PGA Tour, and why Phil Mickelson is still “hitting bombs.” Okay, maybe that’s not the reason behind his bombs, but he does love his SLBT putter.

Evaluation

NEW FEATURES: Innovation by redistribution. While the total weight of the putter is essentially unchanged, the Stroke Lab shaft is 40 grams lighter, with 10 of those grams redistributed to the head as two sole weights, the grip lightened by 10 grams, and a 40-gram weight was added to the end.

DEFINING FEATURES: “Super high MOI construction” means the club has a strong resistance to twisting, amplifying the moment of inertia at impact. In other words, this would help everyone putt straighter. And the Stroke Lab weight distribution means Odyssey engineers continue to shift where they think the weight should be when you putt, theoretically improving your “feel.” You’ll notice a difference because these putters are nowhere near the same they were even a couple years ago. Will you like that difference? I don’t know. But I like it.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: Multi-material shaft. Multi-material head. A new Microhinge Star insert giving well-struck balls a pleasant sound and smooth roll. Oh, and that airstrip alignment line…it feels like having a (legal) yardstick set up behind your ball. Those are all construction strengths according to Tour Players who have to putt everything out. But if you just scrape five-footers on a regular basis, you might not need all that technological assistance.

COMPARABILITY: Aesthetically, the SLBT was modeled after Odyssey’s popular #7 and Indianapolis models. I personally compare this putter more to Taylormade’s original Spider putter (one of 27 putters I have in my basement). Truth be told, the weight distribution of this one feels improved compared to that model, and I love the feel of ideal contact with this club.

COST AND VALUE: Retailing at $300, your first determination has to be what kind of putter you like to look down at. If the shape, thick alignment line and slightly offset head suit your eye, then yes—assuming your goal is to become a better putter—this is a high-quality ball-rolling tool that would add value to your game.

Odyssey claims it is the “#1 Putter in Golf” and the “#1 Putter on Every Tour.” That should impress golf professionals and single-digit handicappers. But what should it mean for the rest of us? Let’s just say I can tell instantly whether I hit or mishit the sweet spot, and it sure feels like the sweet spot on this putter is pretty big.

Comparing this club to my first Odyssey putter (from 12 years ago), they’re truly incomparable, with this one outperforming that one in every single facet of performance. Does that mean it’s the right putter for you? Not necessarily. But it means I’ve never had a putter this nice to play with, and I’ve had an awful lot of putters.

Eric Hart was provided equipment for review by the manufacturer.

About the author

Eric N. Hart

Eric N. Hart

Eric Hart (aka MobileGolfer) is an award-winning travel and leisure writer for Golf News Net and the owner of Stays + Plays Travel Agency in the Midwest. Eric has stayed at 250-plus resorts and hotels around the world and played 500-plus golf courses. He has worked with 16 tourism agencies and written more than 1,100 articles for 14 regional, national and international golf, family and travel publications since he began in 2007. With a passion for promoting both golf and family travel, Eric routinely hits the road with his son and/or the full family (wife and four kids).

Reach Eric by email at info[at]staysandplays.com

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