GOLF IS GOOD: ANDREW DADDO
IF IT wasn’t the first three putt that had me thinking, it was definitely the third or fourth.
This is a whole new world, I promise. Up there with a shank-free round and not finding the fairway with a provisional ball (why is that second ball straighter?). For some reason, and hoping not to sound like a total knob, the horror of the multi-three putts per round is something I’ve generally managed to avoid. Generally – until now.
There had to be a reason. It wasn’t the greens, which, a week before coring, were fantastic. It wasn’t the ball or even a crooked stripe to putt to. Nope, it was something else, and aside from my good self, that left the putter.
Obviously, no one was more surprised. This thing of beauty I putt with is an artwork, it’s like the love child of an aeronautical engineer and a playboy photographer. Functional. Sexy. The Odyssey O-Works Tank #7 is the shizzle.
For the record, it’s a “…modified mallet with weighted alignment wings, a double-bend shaft, high contrast Versa alignment, Microhinge Face Insert, sole weighting, Tank counterbalance, full-shaft offset, and a Superstroke grip.”
Alignment wings! Microhinge Face Insert! It sounds like something you need a license for.
But it died on me. Not physically – spiritually. Like, I’m looking down on it, and whilst the red dots and the lines are beautifully juxta positioned against the green of the rolled and shaved green grass and it’s looked up and said, ‘heal me.’ Just not in so many words.
So, I’ve looked at the putter and tried to figure out the problem. Hell, I’ve looked at the rest of the group and sought solace – at the very least, an answer. Amazingly, that’s where salvation came from.
The O-Works #7 needed a facelift. She wasn’t happy with her look. She wanted to go blonde, or have her double chin reduced, or her lids pulled back, you know? And because I love her for who she is, but also what she might become, I agreed to help.
If I wasn’t such a tight-arse I would have bought a sandblaster. Instead, I opted for a disposable butane burner from the hardware shop. The idea was simple. Torch the colour off The Tank and give her a new life. How hard could it be? Very hard as it turned out, especially with a cheap burner. And worse, I hadn’t expected the glue holding that Microhinge Face insert to shit itself, lose its strength and spit the face off the putter head. That was a bit of a shock. But it did free me up to really cook the sucker.
That only kind of worked. What she really needed was some grinder action. Armed with a power tool that literally makes the neighbours scream, the Tank was transformed. For the record, I did take the weights out of the bottom before any of this started.
Once the paint was gone from the easy to reach places, the nightmare of stripping those hard to get at corners started to unfold. Thank God for acetone, eh? Imagine if someone had realised acetone would have done the job without grooves or divots or unhinged face inserts from the very beginning? But where is the fun in that? Besides, the very job of re-gluing the microhinge face back into the club with a clamp and chisel jig was one of the very best bits of the exercise. Truly. The fact it actually worked was a relief in itself. When it was done. When the deed was washed up and finished and buffed with all the patience of a teenager over late night dishes, the results were thrilling.
The Tank #7 has been transformed. It now looks fantastically like something that’s fallen off an American Airstream caravan, the beautiful old-polished aluminium kind. Or even better, an old DC-3 airplane.
It’s bloody cool. Where things haven’t quite worked out, the Tank looks bruised, as if it’s been into a battle or a war – which is kind of what golf is, right? And whilst the good folks at Odyssey had their own reasons for calling this putter “The Tank,” it was only now that I could see why.
Maybe this is what they had planned for the O-Works Tank #7 all along. Maybe, like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, they’ve actually planted five golden tickets under the paint job of their putters. It seems mine wasn’t one of them. Maybe yours is. Maybe you should get to work. Maybe you’ll get a golden ticket. Or maybe you’ll just get a putter that makes the golfers around you stop and say, ‘What the hell is that!’