Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S Putter Review

Carly Frost tests the new Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S putter to see what feel and performance golfers can expect

Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S Putter Review
(Image credit: Carly Frost)
Golf Monthly Verdict

Odyssey’s distinctive new White Hot Versa line of putters has been designed with one primary goal in mind - easy alignment, and it achieves it with its eye-catching black and white block color scheme. With the responsive White Hot insert and high-performance Stroke Lab shaft you’ve got a winning combination for draining more putts.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Easy to align

  • +

    Super responsive feel

  • +

    Encourages a pendulum-style rocking action.

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Some may want a firmer feel with more speed

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S Putter Review

Did you know that for a typical putt inside 10 feet of the hole, a putter pointing just one single degree offline can result in the ball missing? It goes without saying that accurate alignment is the difference between winning and losing. World-renowned putting instructor Phil Kenyon knows this too well. He analyses the dynamics of tour player strokes day-in, day-out and has been instrumental in advising Odyssey on their new designs. His feedback, alongside the demands of the world’s top players to bring back the brand’s patented Versa alignment, led to the creation of this new White Hot Versa line of putters. Their distinctive high contrast alignment technology highlights the face angle from address to impact, allowing you to aim the putter more easily. 

I tested the Versa 12 S and was instantly drawn to the bold black and white contrast head, which really helped me aim the face at address and keep an eye on where it was pointing throughout the stroke. The high-vis monotones definitely assist your focus and concentration. The sleek styling and high quality finish remind me of the paintwork on a luxury sports car. It’s bold and beautiful, placing it comfortably among the best Odyssey putters on the market.

Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S Putter at address

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

The simple addition of a very small aim line at the front is great if you like to draw a line on your golf ball for aiming. It was easy to match up, giving the added reassurance that you’re pointing the putter right where you want. The mid-sized footprint of the putter fills that perfect void between blade and mallet, although it's closer to a mallet. Although the unusual shape won’t suit everyone’s taste I found that the bigger head gave me a greater awareness of where I was striking putts. This is one of the performance traits that sets the best players apart from the rest. They know a centred strike from a miss-hit. Rolling a putt out of the middle ensures that it runs out true and smooth even across bumpy winter greens.

I enjoyed the weighty feel in the head as it makes the face feel very stable, encouraging a pendulum-style putting action. This really improved my lag control allowing me to roll putts consistently close from long range. 

Made of the same urethane material as Callaway's Rule 35 golf ball, firm to the touch but soft at impact, the White Hot insert delivers a pleasing sound much nicer than many putters whose sound is a lot more muffled. In the years since, Odyssey has expanded its inserts to include all sorts of materials, but a devoted group of golfers have remained loyal to the original, so much so that nearly half of Odyssey putters used on tour last year were either older White Hot putters or newer putters with the original White Hot insert put in. So reintroducing the original White Hot insert in its original formulation, feel, sound, and performance is a natural move. 

There is definitely still something very special about the unique feel off the face. I think it’s the combination of noise and responsive feedback to the hands that makes it work so effectively for me. 

Odyssey White Hot Versa 12 S Putter testing

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

The new Versa putters for 2023 are all fitted with Odyssey’s latest Stroke Lab shaft. These are made partly from carbon fiber that’s more than 40 grams lighter than traditional shafts, allowing weight to be redistributed to the putter head and grip. The effect of this weight distribution is dramatic, improving the consistency of backswing timing, face-angle at impact, ball speed, and ball direction. Plus it encourages a greater awareness of the putter head which helps you make a more repeatable stroke. 

The Stroke Lab shafts are a distinctive rich red colour blending to a more subtle silver shaft near the hosel. The key difference between the latest Stroke Lab shaft and the predecessor being it has a shortened steel section, reducing the weight by seven grams. This has made it stiffer and more stable for even more consistency in your stroke. I also think that by having the steel section it cleverly avoids the bright red sheen of the shaft being a distraction as you make your stroke. 

Overall I felt that the shaft significantly helped the putter swing, encouraging the face to open and close but square up at impact, something the best golf putters do. This is something the best putters in the world to subtly. The Versa 12 S has been designed with a single bend neck for players like me who prefer to follow a straighter putter path with very little rotation back and through, particularly on short putts.

It can be confusing when manufacturers introduce so many options in new putter lines (there are 8 new Versa styles to choose from.) Quite sensibly Odyssey has addressed this by adding a handy ‘find your perfect putter’ selector tool on its website. Answering the few basic questions to guide your choice is quick and easy. 

With so many positives to point out about the Versa 12 S putter it is hard to pick fault. Perhaps, for me, simply that it is only available in three stock lengths - 33”, 34” and 35” - a shorter shaft option would have been nice.

Carly Frost
Golf Monthly Contributor

Carly Frost is one of the golf industry’s best-known female writers, having worked for golf magazines for over 20 years. As a consistent three-handicapper who plays competitive club golf at Parkstone and the Isle of Purbeck courses in Dorset every week, Carly is well-versed in what lady golfers love. Her passion for golf and skill at writing combine to give her an unbeatable insight into the ladies game.  

Carly’s role at Golf Monthly is to help deliver thorough and accurate ladies equipment reviews, buying advice and comparisons to help you find exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s the latest driver, set of irons, golf ball, pair of shoes or even an outfit, Carly will help you decide what to buy. Over the years Carly has been fortunate to play some of the greatest courses in the world. Her view ‘from the ladies tee’ is invaluable. She ranks Sea Island, Georgia, USA, where she met her husband, world-renowned golf coach Dan Frost, among her favourite golf resorts. Their aptly-named eight-year-old son Hogan is already hitting the ball as far as Mum and will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for in the future. Carly is a keen competitor and her list of golfing achievements are vast. She is a former winner of the South West of England Ladies Intermediate Championship, a three-time winner of the European Media Masters and she once beat an entire start-sheet of men to the title of Times Corporate World Golf Champion. She has played for both the Dorset and Surrey County Ladies first teams and is known for her excellent track record at matchplay.

Carly holds the ladies course record (68) at her home club Parkstone and her lowest competition round (seven-under-par 65) was carded in the pro-am of the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle, playing alongside Solheim Cup superstar Anna Nordqvist. Although her current handicap index has crept up to 3.7 since Covid she has her sights firmly set on achieving that elusive scratch handicap and hopefully playing for her country when she’s 50.

Carly’s current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Callaway Epic Max, 10.5° 

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15° 

Hybrids: Titleist TS2, 19°, 21°, 24° 

Irons: Mizuno JPX900, 5-PW 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX, 52°, 56° and 58° 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5

Ball: 2021 Callaway Ladies SuperSoft