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New from Odyssey, the X-Act Tank Chipper
02 Jul 2016
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

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Interested in testing an X-Act Tank Chipper?<br>Click on the link at the bottom of the article
Interested in testing an X-Act Tank Chipper?
Click on the link at the bottom of the article
Golfers should never say never, but we typically do.

Ask any of your low-handicap friends (or yourself) and you're going to find several things that -- as the guy says on the Aflac commercial with the duck playing golf -- will resound in a "big fat Nooooo."

Ball retrievers - no thanks. Iron covers - not in this lifetime. Chippers? Foggetaboutit.

But those same golfers have no problem putting from off the green, or using their hybrid to skip a ball over the fringe, or even from light rough. Todd Hamilton made that "play" cool when he won the British Open in 2004. I've seen less of it from friends lately, probably for the same reasons I don't use my hybrid as much:

  • The club is too long, so you have to choke down and adjust your stance too much to make it effective
  • On tight lies, you can just as easily "skull" a hybrid as you can a 7-iron. You can hit it fat too.
  • The head weight is too light to get the proper feel, unless it's struck perfectly
  • The lie angle means that if you stand to far away from it, the toe can get caught in the turf -- not good

When I play from tightly-mown areas I usually ask myself if a putter would be a better play, and usually it is. But with a relatively low amount of loft (yes, putters have loft) it can be tough to get a good feel for how hard to hit it through the fringe.

The Odyssey X-Act Tank Chipper's offset design

Enter the Odyssey X-Act Tank Chipper.

The club, which was announced this week and goes on sale July 15, addresses all of the deficiencies of using a hybrid from off the green, and it also comes from a company that might make you feel better about carrying it, as opposed to a no- name club you found in the bargain bin. Chippers have been around for years, but never with technology like this. The USGA can take away our anchored putters but they can't stop companies like Odyssey from helping you save strokes - legally.

Let's take a look at some of the things the X-Act Tank has to offer.

First of all, if you're not familiar with the "Tank" product line, it's Odyssey's heavier, counter-balanced system that is available in their popular putter models like the No. 7. Taking the small muscles out of play, and helping create a pendulum motion is the goal, and it works. Many anchored putters have successfully transition to the new Rules of Golf by using a Tank.

In the X-Act Tank Chipper, the weight of the head is 355 grams -- about 50 grams heavier than your typical sand wedge, and about 25 grams more than a standard putter. The grip end is weighted to counter-balance the heavy head; I won't go into all the benefits of counterbalancing but suffice to say it promotes a fluid stroke and solid contact. And you won't have to swing so hard to get the ball rolling on a long approach chip.

The X-Act Tank comes with the Hi-Def Marxman Alignment System to get you lined up -- it's a confidence booster. The soft polymer insert promotes a solid, consistent feel. My only recommendation would be to keep a wet towel to keep it clean and white, the more you keep it wiped down the better it's going to look over time.

Starting to get interested?

Two more features really differentiate the X-Act Tank from old school chippers. The hybrid-like sole is beveled from toe to heel (it's called the X- Act sole) resulting in less scuffed shots. It's a hybrid-like feature you don't get when putting from off the green with a flat stick. And on the grip side, Odyssey has partnered with Superstroke on an oversize, non-taper grip that's longer than a standard club or putter grip.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The Odyssey X-Act Tank Chipper is available at retail on July 15 in 37 degrees of loft at 35 inches. (right hand only) at a price of $129.99 each.

TAKING IT TO THE COURSE

I haven't tried one yet, but plan on giving the X- Act Tank a try in the next week and will get back to you with my findings.

PRODUCT TESTERS WANTED

Interested in testing an X-Act Chipper? Sign up here.

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