The Odyssey 2-Ball Putter
Dear Dr. Putt:
Great to hear from you! I have had many many letters suggesting the same thing. The products do share something in common. The Odyssey and the EOB systems are based on the idea that visually the player sees a line more accurately in terms of lining up spheres -- an insight first noted by Dave Pelz years ago in his Pelz Putter (which was subsequently outlawed by the USGA).
However, the Odyssey is only two dimensional and the EOB system is three dimensional, plus the Odyssey does not aid in eye placement over the line of the putt (nor did the Pelz putter), as does the EOB device.
If one were to use the Odyssey, Dr. Putt would advise adding a line through the two balls with a permanent marker (like a Sharpie pen) that lines up with the line one should be using on the golf ball to aim at the hole. See Dr. Putt's letter marking the ball.
Other differences? The Odyssey does not have as much perimeter weighting as the cavity backed putters for which the EOB aiming and alignment device was designed. And most of all, the EOB device costs under $15 while the Odyssey costs in the range of $170. So, if you like the feel of your current cavity backed putter, then save yourself about $155 and get the extra advantages built into the EOB aiming and alignment device.
Here is a table that compares the features of each aiming system.
Pictures may show you the differences better than the table. Here is what you would see if you used the two-ball putter as advertised, and then the EOB device as recommended by Dr. Putt, in practice mode and then in play mode. (Black or red lines on the ball are a matter of personal preference.)
While the Odyssey system aids you in lining up the putter with the ball, and then striking along that line, it does not ensure that that the ball and putter are aimed along the intended line. Starting by aiming the ball with the line that you have drawn on the ball is a more sound approach. Of course, one could do that with the Odyssey, but it has no line on it to aid in the process. Dr. Putt would suggest that Odyssey add a single line on the "2-balls" on their putter.
The Odyssey 2-ball is an excellent putter. It is based on sound principles of vision and perception. Dr. Putt has had some fun playing with it and a number of professionals are having great success with it on the tour. Its soft insert on the face gives it an excellent feel for today's fast greens. But the EOB device does what the Odyssey does plus more -- with the club you probably already have in your bag at less than one tenth the cost!
Because Dr. Putt does not pay endorsement fees nor does he pay anyone to use the EOB putting device, it may take a little longer to see the pros playing with it, but one day that will happen.
Good to hear from you again, Dick, and thanks for your question and your insightful observation.