Remember not all that long ago when belly putters were the rage. After the USGA nixed that since it didn’t like the look, it was then a shift to counterbalanced models. The idea being that maintaining resistance to twisting (MOI) was the way to making more putts drop. Now another part of the club is coming under scrutiny to make players better or perhaps enjoy the game a little more.

Odyssey says its Stroke Lab (picture the late Robin Williams’ routine on golf) is about challenging common, well-established putter norms with ideas that promote improved performance.

The new Stroke Lab line of putters by Odyssey incorporates a new method of weight distribution, according to the company, designed to boost the physical dynamics of the stroke. The vast majority of golfers’ putting strokes are inconsistent. DUH! Yet most putting technologies, yes including Odyssey’s, focus on improving alignment or improving the quality of roll. They attempt to mask a given stroke’s weaknesses; the company points out, instead of improving those weaknesses.

Odyssey’s new Stroke Lab putter line promises to help improve the stroke through a change in weight distribution made possible by a new shaft. I smell a lawsuit from Barney Adams! The Stroke Lab shaft, the company says, is a full 40 grams lighter compared to a standard Odyssey steel putter shaft. It is a new multi-material shaft design that combines a graphite body with a steel tip to net out at just 75g, with most of the mass concentrated in the tip. Odyssey said it added 10g to the head in the form of two sole weights, and 30g to the grip-end via a 10g-lighter grip and 40g end-weight.

Odyssey studies indicate improvements in the consistency of backswing time, face angle at impact, ball speed, and ball direction in comparison testing versus an Odyssey #7 putter. Feel for the putterhead, it said, became more acute, helping the golfer repeat the same, smooth stroke time after time. The Stroke Lab lineup consists of 10 great shapes -- six mallets and four blades – all the company’s White Hot Microhinge insert in a choice of pistol grip or oversize grip.

“You feel the difference immediately,” reported Luke Williams, senior director of putter marketing. “The putterhead moves freely, smoothly and on a sound path, helping you roll the ball accurately while giving you greater speed-control.”

“These new putters epitomize what Stroke Lab is all about,” added Sean Toulon, senior vice president and general manager of Odyssey. “Questioning the norm for the purpose of developing putters that perform substantially better to help golfers make more putts.”