How It Was Built: The Secrets of the #7 Shape
Austie Rollinson, Odyssey Golf’s Head of Design, believes good ideas get better when lots of eyes and minds are involved. That often means a long journey from initial thought to finished product. The 2-Ball putter took almost three years and dozens of prototypes before it was deemed ready. But the #7, which Henrik Stenson used to win last year’s Open Championship, moved fast.
Austie made the initial electronic sketch of what became #7 on April 15, 2005. He was intrigued by the idea of two “fangs” projecting from the back of the head to increase MOI. He passed the sketch – Version A – around his team. All agreed he was onto something.
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He created Version B that afternoon, and Version C a few days later. “Neither was quite right, but we were moving in the right direction,” Austie said.
Version D appeared 11 days later. “That was the final shape,” he said. “But the alignment system needed work.” A month later Austie drew up the final, with three aiming lines on the crown and extending down each fang.
Within two weeks after Version D was rendered, the final design was dialed in and a head was milled.
Version D was the final version and became the seventh putter to join the White Hot line, in 2006, hence the name #7. Since then the #7 shape has appeared in numerous Tour-proven Odyssey putter lines including White Hot, Versa, Metal-X, Tank Cruiser, White Hot RX, and O-Works, making it an icon of early 21st century clubs.
Testing proved it met all of Odyssey’s key requirements:
– It set up simply and squarely at address.
– It was extremely easy to aim
– The large, smooth sole glided freely across turf without a hint of catching.
– The head was extremely stable and resistant to twisting on off-center hits.
– The ball quickly assumed a tight, smooth roll straight off the face.
– The sound and feel produced by the combination of large size, unique shape and White Hot insert was fantastic; solid and satisfying without being harsh.
Less than a month later it was green lit for production.
Tour pros known as good putters have steadily gravitated to #7. The player who led the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting in 2009, ‘10 and ‘11 used (and still uses) a No. 7. That same player is currently 4th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting. Last year’s Barbasol Championship winner, another notoriously good putter, had it in the bag, as have dozens of other Tour pros on the world’s five major professional tours.