The release of the O-Works putters last year by Oddysey Golf introduced amateur golfers to an entirely new way of promoting forward roll on a putter. The hype fell directly into the Microhinge insert, leaving some golfers shocked at their ability to get the ball end over end quickly and efficiently. It comes with little surprise that the lineup has expanded to various shapes, and for this particular review, THP got to take a closer look at the 2-Ball Fang.
In hand, the mind wanders around decades of technology forming into this mallet design. First, the very well-known and popular 2-Ball alignment, a technology that has been aiding golfers with their setup for nearly two decades. Add in the ability to separate weight from the central location and move it to the perimeter with the Fang design in order to improve the MOI, and finally the Microhinge insert that even on the surface looks intriguing. This culminates with a much improved red finish, inspired by the feedback of the touring professionals on Callaway’s staff. In short, execution is fantastic, leaving optimism for the line before a putt is even rolled.
Starting on the features of the 2-Ball Fang, it makes sense to discuss the 2-Ball and Fang combination first, staples of the Odyssey lineup. What always seemed to fall short for the 2-Ball is the lack of width and perimeter weighting, eliminating some of that ease at setup and neutrality from twisting on contact with the ball during the stroke. Where that may have been lacking in the past, it is now resolved brilliantly with the Fangs, which send a fair amount of the weight away from the central element of the head. Not only does this help with the idea around a mallet putter, but it also sits very easily behind the ball at address, neutralizing most if not all of the potential face twisting that could occur. In short, they took a great idea of 2-Ball and introduced a secondary head component that not only helps to set up to the ball, but also improves on the perimeter weighting to support the stroke.
To the red finish, it is by far one of the best finishes that Odyssey has offered in the last couple of years (at least that is the opinion of this reviewer and those who had a chance to take a look during the review period). The matte red finish has a deep and sharp profile to it that looks very clean. The darker red combined with the matte profile gives it a very professional finish, one that would probably appeal to a larger audience than some of the other visuals we have seen recently. If anything, the finish gives the 2-Ball Fang a profile that exceeds the $199.99 price tag.
Finally, the Microhinge insert. For those who are not familiar, over one hundred and fifty metal ‘hinges’ (or upside down hooks) cover the face of the putter, combined with their ‘thermoplastic elastomer feel layer’ to promote a combination of feel quality and forward roll. This is a pretty substantial departure from some of the softer white inserts of Odyssey past, but adversely, a great reproduction of the Metal-X integration with a new age take on elastomer. It becomes a great medium.
But does it work? Dependent of fitting, testing showed that golfers could gain a very proactive forward roll if the shape and neck suit the golfer. So much so, that testing on course introduced a honeymoon phase like no other to one golfer, leaving him baffled and ready to commit to the 2-Ball Fang long term despite being pretty obviously biased to other putters. This included long stretches of holes with only one putt needed to hole the ball, and looks of bewilderment throughout. The proof, quite clearly, was in the pudding.
Speaking specifically to sound, the Microhinge insert and mallet profile really dial back the audible feedback into a more muted presentation. It is a big step away from a shallow milled stainless or carbon finish profile, but not so much of a departure from a deeper milled putter or softer insert profile. It is rather subdued, but at the same time it did not take long to get comfortable with the sound.
The final component of the 2-Ball Fang O-Works putter to be discussed in this review is the head weight and overall distance control that comes alongside it. At 360 grams, the sizeable head really promotes a smooth stroke, aiding the golfer with control and eliminating some of the errors that come with overly aggressive putting strokes. Combining that with the softer insert, and the takeaway from a number of golfers experiencing the Microhinge for the first time was that it rolled the ball slightly shorter than their expectations. This was easily remedied the longer they use the putter, but it did leave a bit to be pondered as to whether the combination of weight and insert promote a slightly less lively experience off the face. On the other hand, the overall weight profile and smooth stroke produce very repeatable strokes in close, potentially reducing errors that could drive the ball offline.
Producing some incredible early season scores, and getting impressive feedback from customer reviews on the product website, it comes at little surprise that the 2-Ball Fang O-Works putter from Odyssey Golf exceeded expectations during the review process. Combining storied alignment technologies with new age forward roll promoting technology create the potential for great success in the hands of golfers who fit the shape. At www.OdysseyGolf.com, golfers can search for the shape and style (red or black) that best suits their game, and take the Microhinge O-Works experience on course for themselves. Looking to pick this one up at a discount? On the right hand side of this page, there is a Budget Golf coupon and you can grab 15% off right now on this putter here.