When I was invited to an exclusive launch of the 2017 Callaway range I was not expecting there to be two game changing products.
The first was the Great Big Bertha Epic driver and the second was at the other end of the bag with the Odyssey O-Works '17 putter with a new MicroHinge face insert.
Synthetic inserts are great for putters as they enable designers to save weight in the centre of the club and move it to the heel, toe or further back to make the club less resistant to twisting on off centre strikes.
When just a degree of face angle can cause a miss, this is a big deal. However inserts just don't feel or sound the same as a metal face and that is your trade off.
True, a softer insert allows you to play with a firmer ball, which is good for distance, but as we are now heading for softer balls generally, then a hybrid insert is the obvious solution.
Callaway's White Hot insert has lead the way for years and manages to give enough firmness to be one of the best faces of all time. Odyssey has tried a few times to cover this with a steel mesh, but as I reported in the review of the Odyssey Works Fusion RX putter it is neither one thing nor the other.
Step forward MicroHinge, which uses upside down L shaped stainless steel hinges on the face that are embedded into the Thermoplastic Elastomer Feel Layer of the insert.
These flex a little at impact to impart 70 rpm of top spin on to the ball to get it rolling more quickly and stop it jumping which is a major cause of it starting off line.
Before the sceptical amongst you raise your eyebrows, Callaway turned the Microhinges the other way up in a test and it put backspin on the ball, so they know it works.
What it also does is give the insert of the Odyssey O-Works 17 the closest feel to a steel face putter that I have experienced.
It gives you back a lot of the sound and feel you will have been missing if you prefer a steel faced putter, but with the benefits of an insert design and a better rolling face.
When I tried the previous Odyssey Works Hot RX with the Callaway Chrome Soft ball it was like two cushions hitting each other, but now using the O-Works '17 with the same ball there is some contact sound there and for 'sound' feel players that makes all the difference.
I also think the silver and black finish on the black background gives it a great look and the black and white Versa alignment theme has been integrated into the range of heads that starts with the #1 and iconic 2-Ball and expands to the #7 and eight other models.
The #1 also has the Versa T red alignment line parallel to the line of the putt for those who like that directional assistance. I am one of those, but it seems a little out of character with the black/white Versa theory and a bit of an afterthought.
However I am all for this direction aid, but maybe something bolder and more along the lines of the Marxman designs would suit us parallel putters more.
The 2-ball goes back to the all-black head to highlight the two-dot-plus-white-ball approach to alignment with the original head style for the flange on the sides, but you will have to fork out an extra £20 for this model.
However they all come with a black finish on the sole that also includes some nice red detailing for the 15g weights, which can in theory be removed, but are really highlighted for effect and it looks pretty good.
All the Odyssey O-Works '17 putters come with premium SuperStroke Counter Core grips and the Pistol GT Tour 2.0 that I tired had a lovely flat front with a stitched rear that is lovely to hold and gives a quality feel.
The Microhinge has already proved itself in battle, but you wouldn't know it, as Phil Mickelson used a blacked out version during the 2016 Ryder Cup en route to holing everything he looked at.
I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best putter inserts I have used and I confidently predict that it will stand the test of time and be looked back open as being as successful as some of the Odyssey classics like the Stronomic and the White Hot.
When you combine it with some of golf's iconic putter heads like the #1, #7 and the 2-ball, then Odyssey will have their O-Works cut out for them keeping up with demand in 2017. And beyond.