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TaylorMade Ghost Tour Putters: Editor Review

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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.

Overview

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.

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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.

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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.

Click here to read more about the full line of putters, which for the first time are available through TaylorMade’s custom department with the company’s black-painted tour shafts.

Performance

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.

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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

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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.

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The white putter headcover is also impressively artistic, but like the white paint on the putter it won’t look new for very long.

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The Takeaway

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.

Click here to read more about the full line of putters, which for the first time are available through TaylorMade’s custom department with the company’s black-painted tour shafts.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Looks like every other putter, but.....

    Oct 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Why go as far as the two stripes on the bottom? Just curious…never have seen a graphic design duplicated that bad, using a similar or copying another’s engineering for an idea to build is one thing, (as putters, wedges, etc are all for most part copied ideas from past, it’s how well it’s done that matters) but just find the replication of the Scotty/Titey sole design is a flaw. Nice putter, just think TMAG needs to take Scotty’s putter outta their mouth on this one…

  2. lloyd duffield

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    taylormade make great putters every time you watch golf on tv most of the tour players has a taylormade putter in the bag but i cant understand why they use white dont get me wrong its nice but the chipping is a big problem. they should start making putters like the scotty cameron sort of finish. but if you put your head cover back on after using your white putter you realy shouldnt have a problem with chips. lets not forget bag clatter damages all clubs not just your shiny new white putter.

  3. craig@tourimpactgolf.com

    Oct 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Actually I prefer a putter that looks experienced.

  4. BL

    Oct 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Easy solution…. use the putter cover. No paint loss.

  5. Regis

    Oct 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I have a ghost spider (and thats a lot of area). Have had it for 3 years. No special treatment other than keeping the headcover on, and looks good as new. Same with the R11S drivers fairways and hybrids. I guess I must be doing something wrong because I just can’t get the paint to chip

  6. adam

    Oct 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I had one of these and two and the Counter balanced ghosts! Used head covers at all times and paint shipped after one – three rounds. Saw one still in the plastic in our golf shop with the paint already chipping. The older model ghost putters held up just fine if protected like some of you have said above. The new ones just don’t do it! I’m glad this article is straight forward and honest. Hope TMAG reads it!!

    • Jack

      Oct 9, 2013 at 12:02 am

      It would be a different story if the author had said that it chipped even though he kept the headcover on, but he was just one of those guys who puts his putter in the bag without the headcover. Most guys I see do that don’t care how their clubs looks. But then he goes on complaining how the paint doesn’t last. That’s why most everyone is peeved at that issue. If he like you had kept the cover on and found that it chipped anyway, like it’s flaking even without anything to cause it to, then that would have been more to prove your experience.

  7. Andy

    Oct 7, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I’ve got to agree with everyone else… headcovers are made for a reason. No matter how much of a quality paint job you have on your car, if you drive through a rock bath, you’ll end up with chips and scrapes. Please try to leave your carelessness out of the review. I really hope you purchased this putter and didn’t just thrash a freebie you got to review.

  8. NG

    Oct 7, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I’ve had a Manta for 2 years now and that’s got more white paint than anything…no issues. I think this is harsh!

  9. JK

    Oct 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I’ve had mine for months without paint chipping. use the headcover people.

  10. Jack

    Oct 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Not sure why you wouldn’t keep the headcover on in the bag

  11. Rich

    Oct 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    It’s white!
    sick of white! and plumbers necks..

  12. Eric

    Oct 5, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I have had a tm putter for a couple years. USE THE HEADCOVER its why they make them and they do not chip. If you don’t take care of your clubs, you’ll never have nice things.

  13. Curt

    Oct 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Yeah, come on TM, get the paint right. Golfers here are very anal regarding care of their equipment…………this will never fly except for the occasional hacker that really doesnt care about golf…………..then, that guy wont pay much for a putter in the first place…………….

  14. tyler

    Oct 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I have demoed these and they are pretty solid. I’m not sure why TM cant seem to get the paint right. One big chip on one of these would ruin the club IMO.

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pga tour

Ian Poulter WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik TP7HDe 7X

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shaft: Project X LZ 130 7.0

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shaft: Project X LZ 7.0 (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: EvnRoll Tour ER
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Putter: Rife Antigua Island Series
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Poulter’s clubs. 

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Equipment

10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Honda Classic

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From our featured image of Rory McIlroy putting in a different kind of work on the range in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, to shots of Tiger Woods’ similarly early pre-pro-am range work, to some intriguing shots Patrick Reed’s prototype Bettinardi putter, GolfWRX has plenty of fantastic photo content from PGA National.

Here are some of the best shots from Wednesday.

Tiger Woods at work prior to his crack-of-dawn pro-am tee time. Gentleman in the foreground: You do know that as the sun has not yet risen, you do not need a hat to aggressively combat its rays, right?

“My feet do not look like that at impact.”

All eyes on the Big Cat…except those focused on the live video on their cell phone screens…

Let’s take a closer look at Patrick Reed’s yardage book cover. Yep. As expected.

Do you think these two ever talk?

It looks like Captain Furyk already has some pre-Ryder Cup swag in the form of a putter cover.

If you’ve ever wondered why Rickie Fowler selected these interesting locations for his tattoos, this may be the answer: Visible when he holds his finish.

We’ve got a Pistol Pete sighting!

Patrick Reed’s droolworthy Bettinardi Dass prototype.

Fun fact: Wedges double as magnetic putter cover holders, as Jon Curran illustrates here. Healthy application of lead tape, as well, from the tour’s resident graffiti artist.

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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