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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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Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)

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While cryptic, it does appear Mizuno is announcing via Twitter that its new JPX 919 Tour irons are coming on 8/29/18. One would have to assume that means they will be launched on 8/29, not actually hitting retail on 8/29, but that remains to be seen.

We recently spotted a number of new irons on the USGA conforming list, including the JPX919 Tour irons pictured above, JPX919 Forged and JPX919 Hot Metal irons from Mizuno. So it’s likely that the JPX 919 Tour Forged irons won’t be alone in the JPX 919 family when they hit retail.

The JPX 919 Tour iron specifically pictured in the Tweet above seems to be the replacement for Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons that Brooks Koepka used to win this year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Learn more about the original JPX 900 Tour design from Mizuno’s Chris Voshal on our Gear Dive podcast.

Diving a bit deeper into the picture from Mizuno’s Tweet, it appears the JPX919 Tour irons will utilize Mizuno’s familiar Grain Flow forging, and will be made from 1025E; that’s based on the hosel stamping that says “GF Forged HD 1025E.”

Stay tuned for more info from Mizuno.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the JPX919 Tour irons here.

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USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive

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Getting you in the Ryder Cup spirit a little more than a month from the competition in Paris, Callaway announced Chrome Soft European Truvis golf balls and new Chrome Soft X Truvis Stars & Stripes balls today.

The Carlsbad company is also bringing its popular Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls back to market.

The new European Truvis balls features a European-themed white, blue, and yellow design. Both Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls include a patriotic red, white, and blue pattern.

All models of these made-in-the-USA golf balls will be available at retail August 24th and will sell for $44.99.

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An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer

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I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scratch. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.

As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?

Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.

Question 2: Is there a style of putter that you like, that perhaps served as inspiration for some of your designs?

We bought and tested dozens of putters but two putters caught our eye and those putters are the Scotty Cameron Squareback and the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Notchback.

Question 3: Can you tell us a bit about the materials/components that you chose for T Squared Putters?

We use American-made 303 stainless steel in all of our putters, but we also we use 6061 aircraft aluminum for the insert on the 713i.

Question 4: How do you balance your responsibilities and commitments, with your T Squared production?

During the school year academics are my number one priority. Over the summer I have been balancing my Tsquared putters work while working on the progression of my golf game. Fortunately I have a team that is very supportive of my vision for T Squared putters.

Question 5: Any chance we will see a mallet-style putter from T Squared?

Yes, we are currently testing other mallet putters to determine the most desirable features for our mallet putter. We are anticipating a prototype soon.

Question 6: Are you a better putter now that you know so much more from the design and production side of putters?

Yes, I have an entirely different perspective when I stand over every putt.

Question 7: How do you get the word out about the quality of your putters?

We have been very active on social media. The golfers that are currently using a Tsquared putter have been spreading the word. We have also been attending local golf tournaments to establish our brand.

Question 8: Do you hope to make a career of this venture, or do you envision it as a step along the path of a 21st-century businessman?

Yes, as golf is my passion I hope to take Tsquared putters to the next level. Golf will always be a part of my life whether it is professionally or recreationally.

Question 9: Finally, what question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.

I haven’t been asked how this process has affected me as a person. As a 17 year old I have a new appreciation for patience, persistence and hard work.

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