What you need to know about Odyssey Ai-One putters
What you need to know about Odyssey Ai-One putters

WHAT YOU MUST KNOW: Odyssey uses some of the AI-generated ideas about changeable face thickness that have been used to improve Callaway’s driver designs in recent years to rethink how its putter faces could work. This led to the creation of two new putter lines. One has an aluminum-backed urethane face insert and the other has a milled titanium insert. Each has its own unique and asymmetrical thickness pattern that makes off-center distance control more reliable.

The Ai-One will cost $300 and come in five styles: the #1, Double Wide DB blades, Rossie S, #7S (slant neck), and #7CH (crank hosel). There are eight different types of the Ai-One Milled, which costs $450. The blades come in One T and Two T, and the mallets come in Three T, Six T, Seven T DB (double bend shaft), Seven T CH (crank hosel), Eight T, and Eleven T. All of them will be sold in stores on November 3.

The back of the Ai-One (top) and Ai-One Milled putters have an uneven, and somewhat counter-intuitive, pattern of face thickness that helps keep the ball moving at the same speed when it's hit off-center.
The back of the Ai-One (top) and Ai-One Milled putters have an uneven, and somewhat counter-intuitive, pattern of face thickness that helps keep the ball moving at the same speed when it’s hit off-center.

Read More: The Odyssey Ai-One Rossie S Putter: A Comprehensive Review.

3 INTERESTING THINGS

1. A different kind of theory about intelligent creation. Callaway, the parent company of Odyssey, has used AI and machine learning to help with the design of its woods, making the varying thickness face design much more complicated. The goal was to get better performance all over the face by finding new patterns that were both unique and so illogical that even the smartest engineers who had been trying for decades would not have thought of them.

The unusual and truly crazy-looking topology of these metalwood faces made it possible for the face to deflect when the ball hit it, keeping the ball’s speed constant. But while that seems like a good goal for a driver, Odyssey’s tech team thought it would make even more sense to do the same thing for a putter. After all, that’s where the money is, and putting better means more money. Odyssey’s team said that Jon Rahm’s three-putts cost him about $2.5 million in 2023.

The Odyssey experts used what they learned about how to make driver faces to help the supercomputers and software that were looking into the putter face question. Because of this, it took more than 50,000 designs to get the asymmetrical shape on the back of the faces of its new Ai-One putters. You can see this shape through a clear window on the back or base of these new putters. The face bends in different ways based on where it’s hit, making it easier to change the speed. It’s thicker in the middle and thinner at the heel and toe.

Odyssey’s team thinks that more steady speed makes three-putts less likely. The new Ai-One putters are different from others that try to be consistent by making the center less active. Instead, they try to increase ball speed on misses. The idea for this product has been in the works for four years. Eric Stubben, head of research and development for putters, says it was inspired by the use of AI to create unique driver faces for the Epic Flash line of drivers.

“When I and a few other engineers looked at the driver, we thought, ‘Why can’t we design a putter that way?'”

Read More: “This putter is like cheating,” says Rickie Fowler’s caddie about where golf’s hottest club got its start.

Even though the swing is smaller and there is less force at contact, that face can still bend if we design it right. We can use that and our AI to try to make the faces of our putters better. ‘Let’s reduce the standard deviation of ball speed around the face,'” we said.

After a few weeks, the minds of both humans and machines worked together to make the first prototypes of ideas for a face that would bend differently based on where it hit something.

Odyssey tests show that when you miss a putt from 32 feet with the Ai-One, it ends up 21 percent closer to the hole than with a regular flat-faced putter. It was 7 percent better with the Ai-One Milled. Stubben said that the face does the work.

“It has less face deflection, but other than that, there aren’t many differences between this and a driver,” he said. “We can also go a little deeper when we talk about the structure itself. That’s because going deeper and having more shape does put some stress on the face, but because the impact is a little slower with less force, we were able to pull deeper than the driver faces can do.

2. A real need to show two sides.

The Ai-One and Ai-One Milled have two face options that represent the two most common feel preferences: a metal insert that is firmer and a polymer insert that is softer. But here’s the trick: It’s not stainless steel, which is what most putters are made of. The Ai-One’s face is made of aircraft aluminum, which lets the back of the face be shaped. The front of the face is made of a co-molded version of the same urethane that is used to make the famous White Hot insert, which has been on tour and on the market for 20 years. Stubben said that the multi-material insert has almost the same impact ratio of ball speed to swing speed as the original White Hot insert. This shows that the Ai-One face design isn’t just flattening the middle of the face to make ball speed normal on miss-hits.

Read More: Five of the best golf clubs for people with high handicaps in 2023.

While the Ai-One Milled line has a 6-4 titanium face piece that lets the back of the face be shaped and a more durable front of the face than one made of a more flexible metal like aluminum. Most importantly, titanium was flexible enough to work with the design of the face’s small cracks when it hit something.

3. A version of the Stroke Lab shaft technology that is simpler.

When they came out in 2019, Stroke Lab putter shafts had a unique mix of graphite (most recently red) and steel tip. The whole shaft weighed 75 grams, which is about 40 grams less than a normal steel putter shaft. The goal was to move the balance point of the shaft closer to the hands to improve speed. The stiffer tip section was meant to focus on controlling the head’s rotation without adding extra weight. The Stroke Lab idea has been rethought for the Ai-One line. The steel shaft now weighs 95 grams, and the butt end of the grip adds another 20 grams of weight. The all-steel design and counterbalancing effect are meant to bring back the benefits of the original Stroke Lab idea for pace and stroke control.

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