Jon Rahm switched to Odyssey’s Ai-One putter after seeing this staggering stat
If you want to get the attention of elite pros, show them how good they could be if they put a club in the bag. Instead of simply trumpeting the tech behind their new Ai-One putter line, Odyssey’s brass decided to do something a little different to showcase the benefits of the new AI-designed insert to arguably the biggest name on their Tour staff: Jon Rahm.
Ahead of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Rahm made the trip to Carlsbad, Calif., to do a quarterly checkup with the Callaway Tour team — a routine meeting that allows Rahm to see where he’s thriving and struggling on the course, based solely on data. The meeting then gives Callaway the opportunity to present potential club options that might be a better fit in the bag.
In addition to the usual on-course findings at the meeting, Jacob Davidson, Odyssey’s general manager and head of global tours, had a putter pitch to present Rahm that was backed by findings sure to elicit a reaction.
“We know we have an insert that’s 21 percent better, but how do we capture Jon Rahm’s attention very quickly?” Davidson said. “We figured there was no better way to get his attention than to walk him through his stats and show him what would happen if he would’ve used the AI insert this year.
“Over lunch, we wanted to pitch him on the benefits of the new AI putter,” he said. “We weren’t going to have it ready until the Tour Championship, but with his putting coach, Dave Phillips, we wanted to present to both of them.”
After sifting through every made putt on the PGA Tour during the 2023 season, Odyssey picked up on an interesting intersection between the average length of the first putt (for a green in regulation) on Tour and 3-putt probability. The lines came dangerously close to crossing at 34 feet, which allowed Callaway to pinpoint the distance where pros have a higher probability of recording a 3-putt than they do holing of holing the putt.
Odyssey Ai-ONE Rossie S Putter
“We knew there was something there early on,” Davidson said. “We explained this to Jon and it made sense. He talked about how he’s not trying to make it from that distance, it’s all about speed control.”
Odyssey then showed Rahm his putting stats from every length, including the all-important 30-35 feet. At the putt length, Rahm had 66 tries and made five during the season, with an average “leave” length of 2.74 feet. But he had 23 putts wind up outside of 3 feet. Referencing the initial chart, Rahm started to notice his make probability decreased the further he was outside 3 feet.
From there, Odyssey ran all of Rahm’s putts, from every length outside 3 feet, and determined he left 133 putts outside the number. Using the same Rossie S head with the AI insert, the team was able to determine he would’ve been able to practically cut his 3-putts in half — from 23 to 12 — with the new insert. They were also able to determine insert would’ve given him a 0.20 improvement in SG: Putting, moving him from 23rd on Tour to 8th in the statistical category.
Then came the staggering figure that sold Rahm on Ai-One.
“We were able to determine his 3-putts cost him $2.5 million this season,” Davidson said. “When we told him that, he perked up a little. These guys like money and they’re competitive. We knew when we showed him that slide, it was going to set him off. It was a ticking timebomb.”
Rahm was running hot. He doesn’t like to lose, and according to Davidson, he spent the next 5 minutes telling everyone in the room why he was a better putter than the names in front of him on the list.
“That’s why we love Jon — because of how competitive he is,” Davidson said. “At that point, he was all-in on Ai-One and the performance.”
Rahm wasted little time putting an Ai-One Rossie S in the bag at the BMW Championship and hasn’t looked back. He’s continued to rave about the performance of the putter every chance he gets, including a recent putt at the Ryder Cup that caught his attention.
Needing at least a birdie on the 18th hole to earn a critical half-point from his match against Scottie Scheffler, Rahm watched his 90-foot putt settle inches from the hole. A few weeks after the putt, Callaway Tour rep Joe Toulon caught up with Rahm to get a debrief on the week — and the putter.
“I remember him telling me that he actually heeled the putt quite a bit,” Toulon recalled. “I’m like, OK, perfect, make sure you mention that. That was one of those tidbits we’re expecting to see from others as well.”
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