Ask the expert: Austie Rollinson
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Austie Rollinson, Odyssey putter designer
The name of Austie Rollinson, principal designer, Odyssey Golf, can be found on most of the patents relating to the 2-Ball and Tri-Ball putters from Odyssey.
Golfweek: Did you expect the 2-Ball to be so successful?
Austie Rollinson: No. It was supposed to be a game-improvement putter, but the tour pros really embraced it. That was surprising to us. Our original forecast was really low on it. That first year, we sold 10 times what we thought we would sell.
GW: Are putters better than they used to be, 15 or 20 years ago?
AR: Absolutely. They are better designed, better made, and we have more science behind them. This has helped average golfers more than elite players, because average players don’t really
practice their putting.
GW: How has the evolution of the golf ball affected putter design?
AR: We have to look at the properties of the golf ball when we design putters. As golf balls have evolved, we’ve had to evolve with our inserts, too. Because tour-level golf balls have gotten harder and harder, we’ve had to go softer and softer (with inserts).
GW: Do Tour players think about inserts?
AR: Phil Mickelson switches between our Tour i and Tour ix balls, so sometimes he will change inserts (and putters) depending on what ball he is using.
GW: Can age or the sun cause putter inserts to dry up?
AR: No. The urethanes that are used are pretty stable materials. . . . However, I recommend using a putter cover because the top line of the putter can get banged up. They may not realize it, but a lot of golfers use that top line.