TaylorMade Ghost Manta Belly Putter Review

by   |   May 1, 2012
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TaylorMade Ghost Manta Belly Putter Review Rob Miller
Feel/Sound:
Looks:
Performance:

4


by member SheriffBooth

TESTED:
TaylorMade Ghost Manta Belly Putter 47”

PLAYER PROFILE:
Age:35 Ht: 6’4” Wt: 185
Yrs Playing: 20
Hcp: 3.4
My game: I was scratch as recently as 2007, but work, marriage and children are slowly eroding my handicap, as is want to happen. But this is mostly due to chipping and putting, not poor ball striking or driving.

WHAT TAYLORMADE SAYS:
EASY ALIGNMENT AND FANTASTIC FORGIVENESS IN A SIMPLE SHAPE.
Features:
Rich and more durable white finish eliminates glare; high contrast with turf makes aiming easy.
New large performance mallet shape promotes great feel and excellent stability on mis-hits.
PureRoll Surlyn face insert promotes forward spin for a smooth, accurate roll and beautiful soft feel.
Dual alignment lines frame the ball, making aiming easy while maintaining a clean and simple appearance.

PROS:
Easy to align
Great contrast with green surface
Face insert puts a smooth roll on the ball
Adjustable sole weight for customization
Great looking headcover.

CONS:
Stock weight a little heavy
Stock grip a little slick
Face insert maybe too soft and muted for some

LOOKS (4.5*):
Out of the box the putter looks great. The white finish has almost no gloss at all and to the touch feels like perhaps its some type of powder coating. The total Ghost package looks really sharp and well put together from the Winn pebble grip down to the perforated leather (or leather-like) and sheepskin (or sheepskin-like) headcover. I’ve read complaints about theManta tending to flop open because of the sole design, and I’ve noticed this in standard length versions, but this belly version soles square and definitely does not flip open like I’ve experienced with its shorter sisters.

PERFORMANCE (4.5*):
On the green the Manta puts a very nice roll on the ball. I would say the roll grooves have an impact on slightly longer putts and that the ball rolling more quickly in the first 4 or 5 feet after impact is noticeable. The putter is also extremely easy to align. I think this is the by far the best implementation of the Ghost concept in a putter yet. The white body with the black lines is fantastic and I’m not a fan at all of the other Ghost Tour putters.

The putter shines, as it should, on putts inside of 10 feet. If you like easy alignment and consistent rolls then this is a putter to try. It doesn’t read the green for you, but it does most everything else. My version right now is a little heavier than I would like, but that’s going to be easy to fix with a simple weight change.

The bottom line for me is that this is the easiest putter on the market to align, and once I get the grip and weight squared away with a couple of tweaks I’m expecting to make a lot of putts this summer.

FEEL (3.5*):
The pebble grain Winn grip is just okay. There is a reason that almost every pro on tour is using the same red and black Winn wrap belly putter grip – it’s very good. That grip is very smooth, but also very tacky. The Ghost Manta’s grip is a little bit softer and squishier than the more common Winn, and the pebbles also make the grip more slippery. If the Manta is going to become my #1, it will need a grip change to match my Odyssey.

I think the face insert will be a mixed bag for a lot of players, especially if you are used to an all steel head. The Manta’s surlyn face has a very soft and muted feel, even when compared to current Odyssey or Ping inserts. Because the head is so heavy and the face so soft, there is very low feedback. But then again, the Manta isn’t being sold to the Loren Roberts and Brad Faxons of the world and many will appreciate this softness. My personal preference would have been for a slightly crisper feel, but the feel did not alter the performance.

PLAYTEST:
I’ve been putting with a belly putter since January of this year. I started my belly experiment with an older Odyssey XG SRT Mid that I had extended from 43” to 47” due to my height. I had a pretty unpleasant yip problem that started around 2003 and had pretty much made short putting a nightmare for 8 years. I switched to the claw grip in 2011 (thanks to a tip from Hank Haney) and this was working well for me, but belly putters are hot and I thought I’d give one a try during the offseason. It took me about 4 practice sessions and 3 full rounds to get used to it, but once I got it dialed in I’ve really enjoyed it. I can’t say that it’s revolutionized my putting, but it’s definitely given me a boost of confidence especially on 3 and 4 footers.

So now the Ghost Manta. TaylorMade built mine at 47” straight from the factory, so I got to test with the stock Ghost grip. Mine came built with a 25g sole weight, which is changeable and I’m supposing that this is the stock weight but I don’t know for sure. Fitting is the most important part of belly putting, so if you buy a Manta belly off the rack you may need to have a shop adjust the length up or down for you or order the length custom.

In the three rounds that I’ve used the Manta, I can say for certain that it is very consistent and confidence inspiring on short putts. For a belly putter, this is an absolute first hurdle. On longer putts, I found the ball to roll out a little bit more than I was used to, which I think is a combination of the slightly heavier weight of the head and the PureRoll face. On very long putts the head weight and grip combined to create some looseness in my stroke; distance control was just fine but keeping the head on a consistent swing path was a little more challenging.

The appearance and alignment of the putter is the trump card for me, and I’m looking forward to making a few tweaks and hopefully getting the Manta dialed in.

CLICK HERE TO DISCUSS THIS REVIEW OF THE TAYLORMADE MANTA IN THE FORUMS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GolfWRX Tech Talk with Mike Fox of TaylorMade:

WHAT TAYLORMADE SAYS:
EASY ALIGNMENT AND FANTASTIC FORGIVENESS IN A SIMPLE SHAPE.
Features:
Rich and more durable white finish eliminates glare; high contrast with turf makes aiming easy.
New large performance mallet shape promotes great feel and excellent stability on mis-hits.
PureRoll Surlyn face insert promotes forward spin for a smooth, accurate roll and beautiful soft feel.
Dual alignment lines frame the ball, making aiming easy while maintaining a clean and simple appearance.

 

About

Rob is a golf junkie that has been involved with GolfWRX since its inception in 2005. From designing headcovers, to creating logos to authoring articles to social media management to sales and marketing, Rob has done it all. Born and bred in NJ. Favorite golfers: Phil, Freddie. Favorite club: Driver.


One Comment

  1. Pingback: TaylorMade Ghost Manta Belly Putter Review | Augusta Blog

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