Aiming at the hole and setting up correctly ultimately leads to more holed putts. PGA Tour star Danny Lee would agree.
His sponsors Odyssey say that if he holed just one more putt a week, he’d have earned an extra $500,000! To address the issue, and help you set up and align correctly more often, Odyssey designed the new Red Ball putter, with a unique aid that works like a spirit level. We asked four TG readers to put them to the test.
Q: What were your first impressions?
JW: I’ve used similar sized mallets over the years, but the Red Ball immediately inspired confidence. The dark and light colour scheme really stands out, too.
RM: I really liked the feel and balance, even though the head’s bigger than I usually use. I thought the feel was very much like my White Hot putter.
PG: The head size and shape are excellent. It’s a really nice looking putter, and I was intrigued by the concept.
JN: I currently use a Scotty Cameron blade so it took a while to adapt, but I‘ve used an Odyssey 2Ball before and this felt very similar for weight and feedback.
Q: The Red Ball and scope are specifically designed to improve set up and alignment, did it work?
JW: Initially I was concerned I’d spend more time lining up the Red Ball in the scope than actually reading putts. However, very quickly the consistency of strike on my putts got better, and my posture and ball positioning improved. I felt like my eye alignment effectively became dialled in.
RM: The first couple of times out I found the Red Ball distracting, as I was spending too long lining it up inside the scope. Over time, though, this improved. Now I don’t notice any difference in how long I’m taking to align putts.
PG: It’s such a simple idea and for me instantly gives confidence. The Red Ball is not distracting or off-putting.
JN: The Red Ball is small enough to not stand out and big enough to align within the scope. I love getting the Red Ball centred and the confidence it brings, particularly on clutch putts. I didn’t even think I had an issue with setting up, but with practice I reckon it will help me improve further.
The product: Odyssey Red Ball Putters £169
Q: Did you have any niggles? How about the high contrast Versa colouring and standard grip size?
JW: I tend to use a claw grip, so an oversized Superstroke grip as standard would have been the icing on the cake. The white guides worked well for me, giving a sense of framing the ball, and making aligning the blade squarely at a target really straightforward.
RM: The head is a big bigger than I’m used to, and to be honest I like simpler lines than those that the Red Ball offers. The grip improved my touch so much I’ll be getting my regular putter regripped, with a similar model.
PG: I don’t see any drawbacks. I like the grip, the roll and feel and the alignment colours work well for me.
JN: I would have preferred it to have a slightly bigger grip, but that is just because that’s what I’m used to. Personally, I think the white middle to the putter is an improvement over Odyssey’s 2Ball.
Q: The Red Ball is priced at £169. Do you think that is good value and would you recommend other golfers try it?
JW: It’s decent value for money, especially when a lot of top putters come in at considerably more than £200 nowadays. At the moment I’m loving my own Odyssey OWorks red putter, so I intend to use the Red Ball more as a training aid than my go-to putter.
RM: For a player of my standard I’d usually expect to spend about £100 on a new putter, but that’s only because my approach play is weaker than my putting. The Red Ball is staying in the bag for sure. I would recommend it to any golfers, not just those who struggle with setting up or alignment.
PG: There’s no doubt that £169 is a very fair price. I’d usually expect to pay between £175 and £225 for a new putter. It’s staying in my bag and I’ve already been recommending it to others at the club.
JN: The Red Ball definitely represents good overall value for money and I’ll be using mine for sure. I’d happily recommend other golfers have a look at it, too.