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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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