A putter search can take you down roads that seemed unimaginable when things were clicking — like testing nine different wands. Yes, Wyndham Clark needed a spark in the worst way with a club that completely changed his career last season when he won the Wells Fargo Championship and U.S. Open in the span of 42 days.
Clark was riding high after his triumph at Los Angeles Country Club with a replica of Rickie Fowler’s Odyssey Versa Jailbird. But all good things eventually come to an end. When the putts stopped falling, Clark began the search for something new in the weeks leading up to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
With a new putting coach Mike Kanski in the fold, Clark identified a slight left-aim tendency that led the reigning U.S. Open champion to question if a putter change was necessary.
Once Callaway Tour rep Joe Toulon and Odyssey Tour rep Cody Hale received the green light, they began the process of building several different options for Clark to test, including a few Ai-One Jailbird Cruiser options with no alignment lines. (Odyssey labels the longer length, heavier head and counterbalanced builds as “Cruisers.”)
“[We] talked through some of the issues he was having and what we thought could help from a putter perspective,” Toulon told GOLF.com. “He had a putting lesson on Sunday and started experimenting with left-hand low.”
The grip change required the reps to cut down the putter to 35.75 inches — his previous putter length was 39 inches — to get Clark’s shoulder more level and square at address. The head was also bent 1 degree flat to make the head appear more open/square when he stood over putts.
Odyssey Ai-ONE #7 S Putter
These Odyssey Ai-ONE putters feature our Ai-ONE insert which delivers more consistent ball speeds, even from off-center hits, leaving putts closer to the hole.
Designed using Artificial Intelligence, we’ve created contours on the Aluminum backer of the insert which we co-mold to a White Hot Urethane striking surface to promote consistent ball speed across the face with the classic White Hot feel that Tour players and amateurs love.
Our designers and engineers developed a Panlite window, which is a unique automotive grade polymer, that allows us to showcase the unique topology of the back of our insert.
SL 90 SHAFT
A lightweight steel shaft with 20-30 grams (depending on the grip) of counterbalance weight in the butt end. This is an evolution of our Stroke Lab weighting that will appeal to even more golfers.
UNIQUE NAVY BLUE PVD FINISH
These putters all feature a beautiful navy blue PVD finish that really sets them apart and gives them a premium look.
INTERCHANGEABLE FRONT WEIGHTS
Available in 5, 10, 15 and 20 grams these removable weights allow you to dial in your head weight to your exact preference.
“That paired with a couple of setup changes seemed to help shift his aim and tighten the gap between aim and start line,” Hale noted.
But back to the alignment aid change for a moment.
Look back at Clark’s previous Jailbird and you’ll notice three small dots on the topline for directional purposes. Lines and dots are commonly used to help golfers focus on their target, but if you rely on them too much, things can go sideways. Years ago, Jason Day switched from a TaylorMade Spider with a line to a clean crown after he found himself relying too much on the line at setup.
Similar to Day’s situation, removing the dots kept Clark from fixating on visuals and made the head look slightly more open/square at address. Problem solved. It’s a small change, to be sure, but one that can make a world of difference, particularly for elite pros.
Along with the head changes, Clark found Odyssey’s Ai insert to be particularly good on mishits. Based on the nearly 200 feet worth of putts he dropped on Saturday at Pebble Beach, it’s safe to say the changes have already made an immediate impact on Clark’s putting — and his bank account.
“A lot of big changes,” Clark said, “but when you’re in a spot where I was mentally in putting, you kind of needed a change, just something totally different so you couldn’t complain or have those same feels that I had in previous tournaments.
“So yeah, a lot changed, but I think not having the line on the putter’s been the biggest thing for me.”
Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.
Eugen Boglaru is an AI aficionado covering the fascinating and rapidly advancing field of Artificial Intelligence. From machine learning breakthroughs to ethical considerations, Eugen provides readers with a deep dive into the world of AI, demystifying complex concepts and exploring the transformative impact of intelligent technologies.