The new Callaway JAWS wedges promise to give you the ultimate in spin and control in order to get on the green, while the new Odyssey White Ice putters are there to assist in rolling it true to the hole.
Callaway JAWS Wedges
First up are the new Callaway JAWS wedges, designed by Roger Cleveland himself. The JAWS wedges are sure to give you great control when getting up on the green by way of the Mack Daddy grooves. These aggressive grooves give you the opportunity to line up with the pin and fire away, all with the assurance that they will stop the ball on a dime. However, the one design feature you may see as a drawback is those grooves - they do not conform with the Conditions of Competition that take effect this coming January. I for one don't see this as an issue though, as I know I'm not going to be playing tournaments where this is an issue anytime soon. In fact, I'm sure 99% of you are in the same boat.
The JAWS wedges are forged from soft 1020 carbon steel, using Callaway's Triple Net forging process. The result is both great feel and a consistent geometry. The use of the C-Grind sole allows for a variety of different shots to be played with this wedge, The C-Grind refers to the shaped formed by the relieved heel, toe, and trailing edge. Combine this with a tighter heel-toe radius and a proper bounce angle, and the result is a sole which slides freely through the turf and enables the player open the face up and still keep the leading edge down.
Options, Price, and Availability
The JAWS wedge comes in two finishes, Soft Milky Chrome and Dark Vintage. You also have your choice between the True Temper Dynamic Gold wedge shaft or the Callaway X Series JAWS graphite shaft by Fujikura. At this time the lofts available are 52°, 56°, 58° and 60°, while 50°, 54° and 64° models will be available on December 15th. Swing weights vary, as the 52° clocks in at D3, while the others come in at D4. The graphite-shafted models step it down a bit however, as the 52° is D1, while the others are D2. All models share a 64° lie angle though the bounce varies between them all. All models are available in right-handed and left-handed variations.
Odyssey White Ice Putter
Anytime the subject of insert putters comes up, you're bound to hear from two camps. The first group prefers the soft feel and forgiveness that the soft insert produces, while the second group prefers the crisp, solid feel of the steel face of the traditional putter. Odyssey, the king of insert putters, looks to give that second group a better alternative in terms of feel with the introduction of the White Ice putter.
Odyssey focused on all aspects of "feel" with the White Ice. Odyssey's Austie Rollinson says that the overall concept of feel comes not only what the golfer feels in his hands, it also extends to what the golfer sees and what the golfer hears on impact. As such, all three areas were refined for this line of putters.
In terms of the feel in the hands, Odyssey has tried to get a jump on the field by firming up the face insert. The reason for this is the likely use of softer balls, which can help compensate for the loss of spin due to the changes coming in the wedge market. The multi-layer insert is much firmer than the previous White Hot XG line. In fact, the insert is 19% firmer and 92% stiffer. While I can't quite tell you what the difference is between firm and stiff, I can tell you that as a former Odyssey user, this significant increase is more than welcome.
The improved thermoplastic elastomerurethane insert also enhances the sound and responsiveness of the putter. The sound should be closer to that desired "click" that so many players love, thanks to the multilayer insert design. While the outer layer remains the same, the inner materials have undergone a bit of enhancement to achieve the aforementioned firmness. This increase should produce a faster, truer roll than the previous XG series.
As far as exterior aesthetics go, a rich dark nickel finish was chosen after hearing the input from Odyssey tour players. This darker finish will help to prevent any glare, allowing the golfer to give his undivided attention to the putt at hand. The actual head shapes are really more of the same shapes we're familiar with, but with the updated finish and improved face insert.
Other design features include the use of Odyssey's Advanced Roll Technology, which moves the CG low and deep in the head to optimize roll. The head weight was optimized for each length to create the ideal balance, further maximizing feel, control, and accuracy.
Models and Options
All models come in both right-handed and left-handed versions, in lengths of 33", 34", and 35". Common to all models are 3° of loft and a lie angle of 70°.
Sabertooth: Referred to as a radical alignment mallet, this model features weighted "fangs", aiming channels, a double-bend shaft and full shaft offset. The head weight remains the same throughout all lengths for the Sabertooth.
White Ice #1: A rounded heel-toe weighted blade with a plumbers neck hosel and full shaft offset. The head weight of the 33" and 34" models is 355 gram, while the 35" is 15g lighter at 340g.
White Ice #7: A modified mallet with weighted alignment wings, a double-bend shaft and full-shaft offset. The head of the #7 is actually 24% larger than the White Hot XG equivalent. The #7 is a bit heavier than the #1, as the 33" and 34" options are 360 gram and the 35" weighs in at 345 grams.
White Ice #9: A toe-weighted, heel-shafted, flanged blade with a long hosel and half shaft offset. The heads on the 33" and 34" weigh in at 355g, while the head of the 35" is slightly lighter at 340g.
White Ice Rossie: A simple face balanced mallet with a double-bend shaft and a full shaft offset. The Rossie heads come in at 355g for the 33" and 34" variations, and the 35" is 340g.
Though these models are available now for $129 more models will be released in February of 2010 at a slightly higher price of $179. Among the releases coming in February is the popular 2-ball model.
Both the JAWS wedges and the White Ice putters look to be a great option for a lot of players. As I've said before, I'm not a tour player, and have no problems gaming wedges that might not conform to the Conditions of Competition in 2010. That's why I'm glad to see Callaway has continued to make these wedges available.
Though I put my White Hot Rossie down a while back, after the success I had with it, I believe the White Ice models deserve a look. I still continue to prefer the solid feel of my current putter, but I am very interested in seeing (in person) how Odyssey has improved the feel with the White Ice lineup.
If any of you have had a chance to try out either of these, please let us know what you think in the comments below. Have a great Thanksgiving and see you next week!