There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides., but you still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
Meet The Expert
Dave Wolfe – Ever-curious MyGolfSpy writer and putter fanatic. When it comes to golf products, I believe impulse control is something to be controlled.
The Toulon Garage is Again Open For Business
We had our first peek into the Toulon Garage back in 2017. While cool, that first version of the Toulon Garage was a little clunky. Still, it was by far the best online custom putter building tool on the market. After a brief closure for remodeling, a new and improved Toulon Garage opened in 2019. This time around, the interface offered a significantly smoother flow through the design process.
Then the doors closed in 2021.
For me, this evoked excitement rather than concern. I knew the garage was more cocooned than closed, shutting the doors temporarily so that it could emerge bigger and better. As predicted, by March 2022, the Toulon Garage had finished its metamorphosis and was once again ready for customers.
What would it look like this time around? Would this third incarnation of the Toulon Garage follow the upward trend of the previous remodel?
What’s New with Team Tou?
Before we get to the reconfigured Toulon Garage, let’s look at the new 2022 line of Toulon Design putters. This year, the Toulon Design putters had some significant design changes. Yes, you’ll still find some familiar Toulon features. The Stroke Lab shaft and deep diamond groove face milling are still there. However, the milling isn’t exactly the same. Horizontal lines have been added to improve roll.
Things have changed at Toulon, though. Most notably, the putter aesthetics have improved significantly. The new look makes the old putters look, well, old. Team Toulon killed it with the contemporary minimalistic design. Toulon putters have always been the most expensive putters in the Odyssey line. With the new aesthetics, they now look the part.
The other significant design change came with the putter weighting system. Across the board, the new Toulon putters now feature a new face-forward weighting scheme. Like the new Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K putters, the Toulon’s adjustable weights are at the front corners. This is a departure from previous Toulon putters where the head weight was adjusted using a plate on the sole.
What does this weight shift accomplish? What do we usually talk about with putters? Moment of inertia (MOI) and center of gravity (CG). Moving the weights allowed Toulon to boost MOI and move the CG forward which should improve stability and roll. The goal of the Tri-Hot 5K line was to give blades mallet-like stability and playability.
Did it work? Let’s check the 2022 Most Wanted putter scoreboards. With the mallets, the Odyssey Eleven and the Toulon Memphis placed in the top five. The blades didn’t finish quite as well. The Tri-Hot 5K Two placed third at five feet but most of the Odyssey blades finished in the middle of the pack in the overall ranking.
While that track record is not a ringing endorsement for the new technology, I’ll not be discounting it just yet, especially with the mallets. The Toulon Memphis is a special putter and it was my first choice to customize this time around in the Toulon Garage.
Functional or Only Cosmetically Custom?
I asked this same question back in my Callaway Customs Rogue ST Driver article. Admittedly, the driver customization you get for the price is primarily cosmetic. For the most part, you have the option to custom paint a stock driver. While I adore my Ventus-themed driver, non-cosmetic design options were limited or rife with upcharges.
That is not true with the Toulon Garage customization. This system gives you loads of functional options. First, you pick the head. Then you can choose from different necks, alignment schemes, weighting, shafts, grips, and have the putter cut and bent to your specifications. These are things that affect performance. Selecting different build options will result in putters that play very differently.
Naturally, you then pick the paint fill at multiple locations on the putter. You have all kinds of paint choices. The painting is secondary in the process, though. First, you build the putter you want, taking advantage of many non-retail options. Then you paint and engrave your stick to truly make it yours.
Do They Make A …?
Some of you feel slighted whenever a company rolls out new putters. Yes, left-handers, I’m looking at you. So many times, when a new putter line is revealed, all you can do is shake your sinister fist at the sky in frustration—lamenting that once again, love for the lefty is lacking.
Good news! That photo above is legit. I didn’t flip it horizontally just to mess with you. Those who ride the other side of the ball will have three models to choose from. Sure, that’s fewer than the right-handers get but it is up about 300 percent from what you usually get in a putter release.
Is that a center-shafted Toulon Design Memphis? You bet it is. That means that Team Center-Shaft also gets an option. OK, so it is only one model but, like with the lefties, that’s more than the usual allotment.
What about those looking for a center-shafted, left-handed putter? You, unfortunately, are receiving no love from Team Toulon this time around.
On My Screen: Toulon Garage Daytona Beach
Since I’ve already built a couple of blades in the garage, this time around, I was going mallet. If you missed them, my first Toulon build was this blacked-out Rochester. The Toulon Garage 2.0 putter was a flow-neck San Diego.
Choosing the head took more time than anticipated. Of the nine available models, five are mallets. I was so impressed with the stock version of the Memphis that I almost went in that direction. The Memphis feels so good. Curiosity conquered comfort, though, and I decided to go with the Daytona Beach model since it was new this year.
The design options have changed since the last time I built a putter in the Toulon Garage. One of the first things you will notice is that you only have one finish option. The black finish is gorgeous but it was nice to see what the putter could look like in non-retail colors such as silver and bronze.
The good news is that custom finish was the costliest of the options, usually bumping the putter price by $100. So you lose some of the finish options but you save some cash. Perhaps we need to blame COVID for this. I’d not be surprised if Toulon was worried about the sourcing and time required for the other finish options. Perhaps they dropped the options to streamline manufacturing and deliver putters more rapidly to consumers.
Back to pricing for a bit. These putters cost $600, placing them $150.01 above the retail versions. That $600 price tag is now the flat rate. It stays the same regardless of your neck or whatever other options you choose.
In My Hands: Toulon Garage Daytona Beach
So how did the Daytona Beach turn out? As with with previous builds, I think the final product is well represented in the computer mock-up. Also, like previous builds, the final putter is much more impressive when you see it in person.
Odyssey does a great job packaging the Toulon Garage putters. They arrive in a fancy Toulon Garage-branded box. The box contains your putter but it also includes a couple of stickers, a ball marker, a pitch tool and the coolest metal spec sheet. It feels like you are getting a special putter when you open the box.
Like the new stock Toulon Design putters, the Daytona Beach is a beauty. I love how the yellow-and-black theme came out. More and more, I’m starting to list the Lamkin Deep Etch grip as one of my favorites.
There are a couple of things I would have changed in my design had they been options. First, I would love to see dual sightlines as an alignment option. This is purely a personal preference but it seems like that alignment scheme could fit on the top.
It would be nice if Toulon Design had a weight kit for their new putters. Maybe one is on the way. Regardless, adding a weight kit as a checkout option would be helpful for those not totally sure if they want to go lighter, stock or heavier.
The only real miss in the designer for me is the shaft options. You choose between steel, 2Gen Stroke Lab and 3Gen Stroke Lab shafts. The problem is that the colors are minimal. The 3Gen shaft is available in green, red or gray. The 2Gen shaft comes in black and the steel shaft is only in chrome. I wanted a black steel shaft for this putter. That option existed previously but is no longer available.
I like how the putter turned out but the black shaft would have completed the look. Again, maybe once all things supply chain settle down, some extra head and shaft finish options will become available.
Final Take: Odyssey’s Toulon Garage Custom Putter Program
Odyssey’s Toulon Garage custom putter design system is the gold standard for online putter building. I said that in 2019 and I’m repeating it in 2022. While some of the finish options have gone away, you still have a huge number of possible build and aesthetic combinations. This allows you to build something you will not find in your local golf shop. The best part is that you can design your putter from the comfort of your computer or phone.
While the Toulon Garage does not offer anything in terms of fitting like PING’s new Custom PLD program does, it also costs half as much. If you know what you need, especially if what you need can’t be found at retail, head to the Toulon Garage. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new putter, it’s fun to see what you can build. Just leave the credit card in the other room and you’ll be safe.
Build your own Toulon Garage putter at odysseygolf.com
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