Nothing brings about a heated discussion in the world of golf today quite like the long putter debate. Although the long putter made its debut on the PGA Tour way back in 1980; the controversy really did not heat up until the last few years when the belly putter started becoming more prevalent, and started winning big golf tournaments. I, myself, have been using a belly putter for two years now. Because of this I was the lucky enough to be chosen to try out the Metal X #7 Belly Putter by Odyssey. Lets see how it went.
Odyssey continues to be an innovator in the golf world. The company was acquired by Callaway Golf back in 1997, and since then has released several successful putter lines including the White Hot line in 2000. By 2003 they had an astounding 50% of the putter market fueled by the now famous two-ball putter. They haven’t stopped there and have continued to be a force in the putter world even when their parent company began having financial problems. The reason…they make good putters.
Technology and Design
The Metal-X #7 Belly Putter is a modified mallet design with weighted alignment “wings” and a double-bend shaft with full-shaft offset. Odyssey boasts that its new metal X line of putters are a perfect blend of friction and feel.
What sets the Metal X line apart from the rest is the insert. The Metal X insert is said to provide the crisp feedback of a 6061 aluminum striking layer combined with a urethane backer for improved feel. The striking layer’s unique oval depression face pattern is said to maximize a mechanical lock to the ball to increase friction and impart proper launch of the golf ball. In layman’s terms, the ball is supposed to skid less for more controlled and consistent roll.
The rest of the putter head is painted midnight black. The high tech painting process produces a durable, glare reduction finish. Odyssey claims the finish for the Metal X line of putters was based on feedback gathered from Tour players.
For this review I received a 43-inch Metal-X #7 Belly Putter. The first thing I noticed was if I ever needed to defend my life on the golf course I would be choosing this putter to do so. The alignment wings on the back make the putter look almost like some kind of medieval weapon. The alignment wings stick out the back of the club in an attempt to lengthen the alignment lines on the putter head. Longer lines make it easier to get the putter square to the target. While traditionalists probably won’t be lining up to turn in their Wilson 8802’s for this putter, its certainly not so strange looking to put off too many modern duffers, especially if it helps them sink more putts.
As stated above the club head is painted entirely black except for three white alignment lines. The face insert is a silver color that looks nice next to the all the black. The sole of the putter carries the Odyssey brand and model name in red and white lettering. Overall the look of the putter is very pleasing. The black paint reduces glare completely and the white alignment aids make it very easy to get the putter square to target.
The most important aspect for me when I choose a putter is how well it sets up, and most importantly if it sets up square naturally without me having to make adjustments. The #7 does just that. The way the putter sets up really gives the player a great deal of confidence.
I decided to take the #7 to the practice green to get a feel for it before I took it on the golf course. From close range it was money. The way it sets up coupled with the nice alignment aids made it very easy to get the ball on line and I stroked putt after putt into the back of the cup from 8 feet and in. At one point I even made twelve putts in a row from 8-10 feet.
At that point I moved farther from the hole and stroked some putts looking at distance control. It is here where I had some difficulty. The #7 is heavier than my current putter and I had a difficult time getting any distance control what so ever. To me it felt like the ball came off the face hotter than my own putter. Though this was an issue, I would imagine that with enough practice with this putter I would be able to dial it in.
The face insert on the Metal X makes a nice muted sound whether putts are struck on the sweet spot or not. Additionally, off center hits are forgiven very nicely with little effect on distance and direction.
The grip that comes with the Metal X is a 21-inch Winn pistol. The grip is one piece but the the length of a 2-piece grip, which is nice because it allows for a large area to place your hands. Like most Winn grips it is made of polymer and provides a nice soft, tacky feel.
Specs and Extras
The Metal X #7 comes in 18 different lengths from 37.5 to 47 inches long. As mentioned above the standard grip is a 21-inch Winn, although the #7 can be ordered with a couple different grips and with differing layers of tape underneath.
The headcover that comes with the Metal X works well protecting the club head, is easy to get on and off and stays on nicely during a round of golf.
The MSRP of the Metal X Belly is $189 but it can be found for less if you shop around.
After having some time to practice with the Metal X, I can say I was able to dial in the distance control better than I could initially, but never got to the point where I was as comfortable with it as I am with my gamer. Maybe it’s the weight of the putter, but it just seemed to me like the ball really jumped off the face on long putts
Putting that aside, I have no problem recommending this putter to any of my golf buddies. Especially since many of them have tried it out and really liked it. Now I can just hope I am able to use it for awhile without the USGA or R&A raining on my parade.