Pros: The heavier weight of the putter combined with a new, softer insert gives the new Ghost Tour putters a fantastic feel. The site lines parallel to the dominant alignment line assist with set up, and the artistic design elements such as the curvy edges and button-back label in the cavity add visual intrigue.
Cons: Durability is the major issue, with paint chipping as early as the first round of play. For some, the parallel lines on the top part of the cavity could also be dizzying, which may cause a visual distraction at address.
Bottom line: The Ghost Tour Series putters look artistic and technologically advanced out of the box, and they come equipped with a softer-feeling insert that provides a consistent roll. But the lack of durability of the putter’s white finish is a major concern.
With the new Ghost Tour Series putters, TaylorMade focused on the art and craftsmanship of the instrument, asserting that the player must love the look, feel and sound of his/her putter in order to have confidence in it. The putter is “seductively designed” and “provocative” with a “sexy mirror black ion-plated sole,” according to TaylorMade ads.
The pure roll face insert consists of 80 percent Surlyn and 20 percent aluminum, which offers a softer feel than the company’s Titallium insert, but not as soft as the 100 percent Surlyn insert found in the company’s Spider and Daddy Long Legs putters.
The Daytona 12 blade putter that I reviewed comes equipped with an L-neck, 40-degree toe hang, a 350-gram head and a stepless shaft.
The TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 sells for $149.99 in retail stores.
The Ghost Tour Series provides fantastic options with different head styles and toe hang putters, accommodating a variety of preferences and putting strokes.
Daytona 12 (Blade, 40-degree toe hang, L-neck hosel)
Daytona 62 (Blade, 57-degree toe hang, short curve hosel)
Maranello 81 (Small mallet, 65-degree toe hang, long curve hosel)
Fontana 72 (Mallet, 0-degree to hang, shaft in hosel)
Sebring 62 (Blade, 65-degree toe hang, short curve hosel)
Monte Carlo 12 (Mallet, 25-degree toe hang, L-neck hosel)
*All of the putters come equipped with a 350g head, 3.5 degree loft, a 70 degree lie angle and a $149.99 price tag.
The soft insert and grooves on the face of the Ghost Tour putters do a great job of grabbing the ball and imparting more of a “forward” spin, producing a smoother roll. But setup and alignment is where the Ghost Tour putters really thrive. The lines on the top part of the back cavity run parallel to the dominant alignment line, which provides golfers with fantastic feedback on their aim point. The black cavity area also contrasts nicely with the white putter head to give immediate feedback on whether the ball is placed on the center of the putter at address. Also, the path of the stroke and contact (center, heel, toe) are easily identified.
The face maintains a consistent roll on off-center strikes (unless you miss the grooves of the face altogether, in which case you probably deserve to miss the putt anyway). The loft of the putter, at 3.5 degrees, allows for a slight forward press, which I appreciated.
The grip is rubbery, and holds up to sweaty palms and rainy conditions, but it isn’t sticky when its dry. I originally thought the red tip on the butt of the grip would be distracting, but it isn’t noticeable during the stroke and works well with the color scheme of the club. The chipped paint (more on that later) doesn’t affect the weight of the club or soft feel of the face, but does create a distraction.
A small concern: Sand gets stuck in the grooves on the face, which is too small of an area to pick out with a tee. It won’t affect the roll necessarily, but could be an annoyance.
Looks and Feel
Overall, the color scheme and design of the club are beautiful. The ion-plated sole is a work of art, which was TaylorMade’s goal in creating the Ghost Tour line of putters. The button logo on the back of the putter (replacing the usual spelled-out “TaylorMade”) also provides a clean look. The club’s edges are curvaceous rather than sharp, making it visually poetic.
But underneath the white paint is a black base color, which is an eye sore when the paint begins to chip away. After one round without a putter cover, the paint started chipping in multiple spots. A putter is something golfers have to love, and its hard to fall in love with something that only looks new for a little while. Some players, however, may prefer the well-gamed look over one without blemishes.
The white putter headcover is also impressively artistic, but like the white paint on the putter it won’t look new for very long.
If you’re looking for a flashy putter to add to your collection, this is a beautiful club with a cool factor due to the color scheme, curvy edges and overall design. The club won’t spend more than a season in the bag of golfers who care about how their putter looks, unless they take precious care of it and keep the head cover on the putter at all times except when putting.
If you can get over the delicate paint job, you’ll be getting a putter that offers great looks and a really nice role at a price cheaper than most premium putters. These aren’t the traditional-looking putters that your grandfather would like, but it matches the Twitter generation with its flashiness, short life span and advanced technology.