OVERALL RATING: 89. GRADE: B+. The Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat combines an excellent putting surface with some unique teaching tools, such as a smaller than regulation cup and alignment and backswing markings. It is the widest of the entry-level putting mats that we tested, which, combined with the moveable cup, provides some leeway to putt at different angles.
There isn’t much to the product outside of the surface (the mat is completely flat, and there is no ball return mechanism), but the quality of the surface makes it a nice product for practicing at home or in the office.
- Quality putting surface that unrolls flat and replicates the texture of an actual green
- The “cup” is smaller than an actual cup, promoting greater accuracy
- Nothing too exciting about it – this is just a flat mat, with no ball return
Retail price: $69.99
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There are only two simple steps required to set up the Callawy Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat – unroll the mat, and then affix the “cup” wherever you want to place it, using the velcro on the bottom of the “cup.” We call it a “cup” because it isn’t a hole, but rather just a raised semicircle with a target (the Odyssey logo, to be more precise) painted on it. The end result of your practice should be the same, but if you crave the sweet sound of a golf ball dropping into a cup, you won’t get it here.
The mat is thick enough that it lay flat immediately upon unrolling, without requiring us to place any heavy books on it to smooth it out.
The Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat markets itself as promoting better putting through:
- Putting Cup – the “cup” is 1/4″ smaller than a regulation hole, and thus ostensibly promotes greater accuracy in the long run.
- Alignment Markings – the mat features a straight line down the middle, which can be used to teach your eye to see when you are correctly aligned with the hole…assuming, of course, that you properly velcro the hole in line with the alignment markings!
- Tempo Markings – there are four separate lines that are drawn perpendicular to the alignment tool. Presumably, you choose the one that matches the tempo of your swing, and practice making sure you take the putter back to that same line each time. Note that these lines are only drawn on the mat at the 7 foot marking, and not available at the 3 or 5 foot points.
- Distance Markings – the mat indicates 3, 5 and 7 foot distances, but don’t take these measurements as the gospel. To begin with, the cup isn’t permanently affixed anywhere, so to get a true 3 foot putt, you have to pull out the measuring tape and place the cup accordingly. More importantly, however, the markings aren’t actually two feet apart from one another – it’s more of an approximation, as the distance between the 5 and 7 foot markings was about a 1/2 inch shy of two feet, and the distance between the 3 and 5 foot markings was more than 1.5 inches short of two feet. This is unlikely to make a real difference in your putting, but it did strike us as bizarre.
The Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat’s teaching tools struck us as helpful, although, as noted above, each one is executed in a way that is slightly odd.
The fun factor in the Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat is relatively muted, since it’s just a basic flat mat. Without any nifty gizmos like an automatic ball return, what you’re left with is a basic surface on which you can practice your putting stroke. After having experimented with other mats that shoot the ball back to you, we’ve discovered that it’s a lot more fun to practice when you don’t have to take those few steps to retrieve the ball after every putt.
CONSTRUCTION / DURABILITY
The Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat is the best constructed product among the entry level putting mats we tested. The loom woven carpet provides a consistently smooth surface on which to roll putts. The backing of the putting surface is rubber, keeping it from skidding.
Interestingly, the graphics printed on the mat seem to be oriented toward left handers. It doesn’t really affect the way the product is used, but just struck us as odd.
Finally, the width of the mat (1’10”) results in the front part of your feet being on the mat, and the back part being off. Contrast this with the other entry level putting mats we tested, which are so narrow that the entire foot is usually off of the mat. This probably isn’t the end of the world, but it can be a bit disconcerting. The mat is 8 feet in length, which, combined with its width, makes it the largest entry level putting mat we tested.
COST / VALUE
The Callaway Golf Odyssey Marxman Putting Mat comes at a pricey MSRP of $69.99, but the excellent construction makes it feel like a premium product. The lack of features, however, keep it from achieving a top score in value.