Pros: The Futura X5 and X5R are compact mallet putters that offer clean aesthetics, premium craftsmanship and fantastic feedback at impact.
Cons: They may be a bit undersized.
Who they’re for: Golfers who don’t want to stray far from the size and feel of a blade-style putter, but are interested in the increased forgiveness and stability that a face-balanced mallet can provide.
- Construction: 303 stainless steel with 6061 aluminum sole plate
- Lengths Available: 33, 34 and 35 inches
- Stock Loft: 3.5 degrees
- Stock Lie: 70 degrees
- Stock Grip: 10-inch Matador (77 grams)
For more than a decade, Scotty Cameron’s Futura line has occupied the creative slot in the putter maker’s lineup. It’s the brand within the Cameron brand that showcases new designs, materials and technologies.
The Futura X5 and the Futura X5R certainly fit that description, and use a winged-back design that has been popularized by other putter makers. Certainly more than one Scotty Cameron fan found himself hoping that one day he would see Scotty’s take on Odyssey’s #7. The X5 and X5R are those putters.
Most mallet putters offer some type of alignment aid, and the X5 and X5R are chock full of them. Parallel lines denote the steps from the top lines of the putters to their midsections, and then from their midsections to their wing-back fins. Most golfers will probably use the putter’s black midsection, which is part of the aluminum sole plate, as the primary alignment aid, however. It houses a a silver T-shape that blends beautifully with the putter’s Silver Mist finish, creating a distinct two-tone look.
In practicing mid-range putts with the X5 and X5R, I couldn’t help but feel that I was starting more putts on my intended line. I have a tendency to position my putter face opened to the target at address, and the combination of alignment features gave me immediate feedback if I was doing so. Some might call the abundance of alignment features overkill, and these putters weren’t designed with them in mind.
From a materials standpoint, the most notable feature of the X5 and X5R putters are their aluminum sole plates. Aluminum is lighter than steel, so its inclusion gave Cameron the ability to reposition discretionary weight to make the putter slightly more forgiving. For that reason, the X5 and X5R felt more stable to me than the all-steel mallet putters that I’ve used in the past.
As far as modern mallet putters go, however, the Futura X5 and Futura X5R are on the small side. This was reinforced when I took a moment to place them side by side with Cameron’s Futura X, which is made from aluminum. That gives the Futura X a more hollow sound at impact. The X5 and X5R putters use a 303 stainless steel face that mimics the denser feel of Cameron’s blade putters.
Visually, the X5 and X5R have more similarities than differences. But for the detail-oriented crowd the Cameron brand tends to attract, the two shaping options could be the difference between buying and not buying.
The X5 uses a more linear shape that will appeal to players who prefer a boxier, industrial look. The X5R essentially takes all the corners on the X5 and rounds them off. I tend to prefer putters with softer lines, so it was no surprise to me that I liked the X5R. Maybe it was just placebo, but I actually felt that the X5R promoted a more relaxed feeling at address than the X5. Your response might be different.
Both the X5 and X5R have a full-shaft offset and single-bend shaft. Not only does this create a face-balanced putter, but it offers an unobstructed view of the top line, which has the three-step flow of Cameron’s most popular blade putters. The clean look almost makes you forget you’re playing a mallet, and perhaps the X5 is best described as a blade disguised in a mallet’s clothing.
Sometimes the mold is broken and sometimes it is refined. With the Futura X5 and X5R, Scotty Cameron did a little bit of both. His take on the popular wing-backed mallet is uniquely Cameron, and with this offering he gives golfers a line of putters that bridge the gap between traditional blade putters and mid-sized mallets.
If you’re looking for a putter that delivers the alignment aids and forgiveness of a mallet while mimicking the feel of a blade, the X5 and X5R could be your total package.