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!’

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