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Review: Scotty Cameron Futura X5 putters

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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.

The Review

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  • 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.

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At Address: The Futura X5R (left) and Futura X5.

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. 

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Scotty Cameron’s Futura X (left) is a larger, higher-MOI putter than the Futura X5.

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.

Related: Our review of Scotty Cameron’s Futura X putter

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.

The Takeaway

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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.

[wrx_retail_links productid=”36″]

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I didn't grow up playing golf. I wasn't that lucky. But somehow the game found me and I've been smitten ever since. Like many of you, I'm a bit enthusiastic for all things golf and have a spouse which finds this "enthusiasm" borderline ridiculous. I've been told golf requires someone who strives for perfection, but realizes the futility of this approach. You have to love the journey more than the result and relish in frustration and imperfection. As a teacher and coach, I spend my days working with amazing middle school and high school student athletes teaching them to think, dream and hope. And just when they start to feel really good about themselves, I hand them a golf club!

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. John

    Jun 26, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    This post is very late; for a reason. I want it known the next model -Futura 5W- is an excellent putter.
    I have just bought this putter, as a trade-in club, in top-notch condition. It was a 35″ with 10gram sole weights. I spent considerable time looking for this club. I intend to make the following adjustments:
    -shorten club to 34″
    -change grip to Super Stroke 2.0 grip. I use left-hand low method, so a tapered grip is not ideal.
    -purchase 15 & 20gram weights; to experiment with on slower greens. ie. after coring.

    I stand closer to the ball at address, so need a face-balanced type putter. I am a good putter, who has struggled, with distance control, on the medium speed greens of the courses I normally play. Somewhere in the order of 8-9 on the stimpmeter. A guess on my part, as the clubs in New Zealand don’t normally rate the green speeds. I have also struggled, technically, for about a year. My recent trip to Thailand/Cambodia, putting on Burmuda-variant grass types was the catalyst for this change, after 13 years with my Voodoo. I putted abysmally.
    I previously used a 34″ Cleveland Voodoo mallet putter, with lead tape on the top, to add more weight through impact.
    My first use of the club on-course resulted in the following statistics:
    1 -8 foot texas wedge from green fringe: =0 putts
    2 -2 putts from 38 feet
    3 -9 foot 1 putt
    4 -7 foot 1 putt
    5 -2 putts from 9 feet
    6 -1 foot tap in
    7 -5 foot 1 putt
    8 -10 inch tap in
    Walked off course as consistent rain, over many days, had made the course nearly unplayable. Other players in group getting over illness, so joined them in the 19th.

    I thinks it’s fair to say I am happy with my purchase.

  2. Robert

    Jan 15, 2017 at 1:22 am

    I’ve been playing one now for a year or so and love it. Just ask Justin Thomas what he thinks…lol.

  3. Byron Keith Fite

    Sep 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I have 4 Scotties, and have used a Rife mallet for the last 10 yeard, but 2 weeks ago, I purchased an x5, and was really impressed. I love the mallet style putter better than the Ping, and Newport style blades, so I give Scotty Cameron 5 stars for constantly staying on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to putters.

  4. Chewy

    Sep 12, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I’d have to say although I agree about the hollowish feel of the X5, I think this putter is great. I play on really fast, links greens in Scotland, you get a consistent roll, the putter isn’t too heavy to get in the way of judging distance and it’s forgiving on off-centre hits. Having used the Odyssey Tank 7, Scotty Newport 2 Dual balance and an old school ping… this is my favourite from an all round perspective. My only negative is that for me the grip, although looks good something about it’s width doesn’t work for me

  5. Sodapoppin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I wonder why this review is coming out now this late?

  6. Matt Sump

    Sep 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve had one since the start of this season. My first go around with a Scotty. Had a Bettinardi BB1F blade style for years (similar to a Newport 2.5 for those that are unfamiliar). As someone who played a blade for a long time this was as big as I wanted to go. I feel like from 15feet and in this thing is rock solid. I don’t track stats but really like the feel through the stroke. I have mine setup at 33.5″ and 25G weights in the bottom.

    My only gripe is probably the 2 tone look and sometimes find myself watching the putter in the backswing compared to by blade. I might send it in to be customized all black, but not a huge deal.

  7. Steve

    Sep 6, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Its obvious the writer of this article is naive. These are not compact mallets. You can take a suburban and put it next to a bus and say it is compact. Doesnt make sense, but that is what he is trying to prove. Most will go by what is a normal and compare and this falls into the normal range, not taking a huge mallet to compare. The feel and sound of these putters are hollow. If you like that hollow little league bat feel then this is for you. The look is neither bad nor good, kinda blane, nothing exciting. There are better choices, especially in this price range. Cameron has struggle with this type of putter and think it continues with this

    • Chris Nickel

      Sep 6, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Steve – I am many things, but I don’t believe “naive” is one of them. When you compare the X5 with other full-sized mallets, it’s certainly smaller – In fact, Cameron actually did some things aesthetically to the X5 to make it actually look larger at address – as a preemptive move for those who might feel it was actually a bit too small.

      Feel is an entirely different story and one which is entirely subjective. Some like a softer feel off the putter and some like it a bit firmer – Some want a blade putter milled from a single billet of GSS – Some prefer 303 stainless with a sound slot – Different strokes –

      • Steve

        Sep 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        Some like this, some like this, i like this. Some like it firmer some like it softer, really?
        Most that buy a premium name putter at a premium price want a nice premium feel, not a empty soda can feel. If you like a little league bat feel, then have at it. But most in the market for a $350 putter will not like the feel of this hollow can. Cameron jumped the shark with the detour line. What OTR putter in the the last 7 years has been classic Scotty? Dont include his wallhanger circle t and 009 putters. If your a Scotty fan and collector it has neen disappointing. He is milking the cow, living on on his rep.

        • Chris Nickel

          Sep 7, 2015 at 10:42 pm

          Steve – I appreciate your perspective, but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Seems like you have something against Scotty and anything he’s made in the last several years. Fortunately, there’s a lot of quality putters out there from which to select.

      • Steve

        Sep 7, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        Some like this, some like this, i like this. Some like it firmer some like it softer, really?
        Most that buy premium name putter at a premium price want a nice premium feel, not a empty soda can If you like a little league bat feel, then have at it. But most in the market for a $350 putter will not like the feel of this hollow can. Cameron jumped the shark with the detour line. What OTR putter in the the last 7 years has been classic Scotty? Dont include his wallhanger circle t and 009 putters. If your a Scotty fan and collector it has neen disappointing. He is milking the cow, living on on his rep.

        • John

          Sep 16, 2015 at 9:20 pm

          Steve, you sound a little bitter about this topic as if this was your first experience with a Scotty Cameron putter and you picked the wrong one for you. As some one who owns close to one dozen Scotty’s over the past 10 plus years including one of the older terrylium putters, I am of the opinion that he still builds one of the best putters on the market. The reason I own so many is that they are just so friggin nice to look at standing over a putt. I will admit owning one of the X5’s that while it may feel hollow to you, it still puts a pretty good roll on the ball. But nothing beats my California DelMar that has been in the bag for over 3 years. So, I guess my message is that while you may feel the X5 is not a good putter for you, it does not make the opinions of the author “naive” but rather makes it sound like you invested money in the wrong putter for you. My advice: take more time trying before buying.

  8. TimJHU

    Sep 4, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I too didnt like the feel of this putter. Felt light and dead. I use an odyssey white damascus 1 and love it.

  9. Vincent

    Sep 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Hcp 19, i have bought the X5R in August and after 4 courses, I have established my best perfomances ever: 28 putts and +15. Perfect putter for me: not too many and too visible lines, that fits with my intuitive putting. And weight and swingweight give me spontaneously accurate distance. Moreover, it is a beautiful putter!

  10. slider

    Sep 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    titleist usually makes a really solid club I will have to hit them first

  11. slider

    Sep 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    this is a really nice looking putter

  12. jakeanderson

    Sep 4, 2015 at 11:33 am

    they look like a poor copy of an old oddyssey

    • Chris Nickel

      Sep 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Have you taken the time to demo one? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

  13. Dj

    Sep 4, 2015 at 10:43 am

    My experience is the complete opposite of this. I felt the mallet was huge, not even close to compact. And the feel is nothing like a nice blade. It has a terrible hollow feel with a tinky sound. It doesn’t feel anywhere near as solid as the 2013 or 2014 golo/Newport models. I really had high hopes for this putter but sold it after a couple rounds.

    • Chris Nickel

      Sep 4, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for your thoughts. Feel is always going to be subjective, but when I looked at the X5 next to some of the larger mallets (Futura X), I’m not sure how someone could describe it as “huge” – Certainly not as compact as the Golo, but the actual footprint is quite in the middle, as far as I could tell comparatively.

      • DJ

        Sep 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

        I guess the huge comment should have been compared to what I was trying to replace, which is the versa 7. The versa has a much smaller head shape than this. And agreed feel is subjective, I just expected it to feel more solid like the newports or golo

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

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Product: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Pitch: From Odyssey/Toulon: “The Odyssey Toulon San Diego Stroke Lab Putter is our take on on another classic putter. It’s an expertly crafted, premium milled blade, with our multi-material Stroke Lab Shaft, deep diamond milled cross hatch grooves, and a new Charcoal Smoke finish.”

Our take on the Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Toulon is the line of all milled putters from Odyssey, originally started by club designer Sean Toulon and his sons. Toulon putters have always featured their Deep Diamond Mill face, adjustable sole weight, and brazed (instead of welded) necks. That combination has created a great putter line that has become popular on tour as well as us amateur players. For 2019, there are some new head shapes, Charcoal Smoke Finish, Deep Diamond Milling across the whole face, and the Stroke Lab putter shaft.

I got my hands on the Toulon San Diego, a more squared-off blade shape, for this review. The shape, milling, and finish on the San Diego are great and really show off what a high quality piece it is. The biggest change visually is the full Deep Diamond Mill face, making the view from address more uniform. The face used to have the milling only in the center of the face and to some that was a distracting look while others liked the way it framed the ball. The new finish also looks great. I always have liked darker finishes and this looks high end while still reducing glare in the brightest conditions.

The Stroke Lab shaft goes well with the finish on the San Diego and the head cover is a plush synthetic leather that feels like it will hold up for years of use.

On the green the San Diego SL has a crisp sound and feel. If you like a little more click to your putter, then the San Diego SL will be right what you are looking for. And don’t take that as a negative thing, that crisp feel gives great feedback on face contact. You know exactly where the putter face and ball met by the sound and feel. The Deep Diamond Mill gets the ball rolling quickly on line with very minimal hop and skid, providing very consistent and repeatable distance control.

This is blade, so shots off the toe to tend to stray from your intended line a bit, the face does seem like it wants to rotate open a bit. Heel strikes defiantly stay online better, but tend to lose more steam and net get the roll out you might expect. The simple alignment line on the flange of the putter is easy to align, even for a guy who has been using mallets for years.

Like I have said before, I think there is something to the Stroke Lab tech, the lighter shaft and weight in the butt of the shaft do affect tempo for me; I noticed a slight calming of my backstroke and stroke through the ball.

Overall, the San Diego is a great putter for those who like a little firmer feel and more audible click on their putter. It is very responsive and putts a great roll on the ball. This isn’t a cheap putter ($450) and the fit and finish let you know that you are getting what you paid for.

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Miura MGP-NM1 Putter

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Product: Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Pitch: Limited to 300 pieces, the Miura MGP-NM1 is Miura’s first 303 stainless steel putter. Its appearance is in keeping with the bolder designs of the Miura Giken family.

Our take on the Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Miura Giken has become the brand where Miura can push some limits and try out designs and technology not really fit for the standard Miura line. And if doing something new and different is what Miura Giken is about, then the MGP-NM1 fits like a glove. When most people think of Miura, they think forged carbon steel and traditional, old school shapes. The MGP-NM1 is a long ways from that, being milled from 303 stainless steel, having adjustable weights and milled stepped pockets in the sole.

If you love mill marks, then the MBG-NM1 will fulfill all our needs because the head is covered with them. I really liked the top line where the mill marks go front to back but then get much finer around the alignment line. If you look close the milling is still there, but just much finer. It works great along with the alignment lines on the “fangs.” The MGP-NM1 is a great size: large enough to give you confidence that a mishit will stay online, but not too big to be distracting. Like most putters with this (Odyssey No. 7)  shape, it frames the ball really well and looks great to my eye. The way the shaft goes into the head is for sure unique, it is straight from address but does drop down into the head.

I will get my one con on this putter out of the way early: the way the shaft goes into the head from address. I love the shape of the head, but the way the shaft enters the head makes it harder for me to line up. At address you can see the the top line of the putter on both sides of the shaft and for some that might be helpful, but it took me a long time to get comfortable with my alignment. Also, the head cover isn’t up to standard for a putter in this price range.

But the good of this putter really outweighs that bad. The putter  feels and sounds great, much like the Miura KM-009 reviewed previously. Feel is very solid with, to me, the perfect amount of click on impact. There might be just a slight bit of vibration on contact, but very minimal and will probably vary with the ball you play. Contact on the toe and heel really stay on target well; you can tell this mallet has a fairly high MOI. Like any responsive putter should do, this really provides good feedback on mishits. Toe and heel shots are not punished as much as you would think, the ball still rolls out well with minimal distance loss. That solid, soft Miura feel really does come through with this putter.

Overall, I think the Miura Giken MGP-NM1 is a really great way for a mallet user to put a Miura putter into the bag.

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Putter Reviews

Review: Optic Z Putters

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Pros: Point-and-shoot putting. Optic Z putters use a Z-neck design that can lead to a more consistent setup with your hands and eyes on every putt.

Cons: It could take a little while to get used to the design.

Who It’s For: Players looking to develop a consistent setup and stroke.

The Review

  • Model: Optic Z8
  • Head Weight: 365 grams
  • Material: Proprietary “Power 51” Alloy
  • Finish: Black “High-Tech Molecular” application
  • Face Milling: Deep Double Mill
  • Stock Lie: 70.5 degrees (rolled sole allows angles from 67 to 75)
  • Loft: 2.25 degrees
  • Stock Length Options: 35 inches (All lengths available custom order)
  • Stock Grip: Lamkin E.B.L “Optic” grip (Custom grips available)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Steel (Aerotech, Loomis, and UST available)
  • Price: $325 Base (Up to $500 with custom options)

Over the past decade, it seems like there have been as many new putter companies as there have been drivers released in the past year (I think another one just released since I typed that sentence). While many of them have come up with ways to re-create or re-design the classic favorites of the past 40-plus years, there are a few companies that are pushing the boundaries of what a putter can be and how it can help make putting easier. And a company called Optic Z Putters has done just that.

Z8Putter4

I reviewed the company’s Optic Z8 putter, which has a distinct batwing shape. It’s one of three putters the company offers — its Z3 is more blade-like in shape, while its Z7 is more mallet-like — and each putter sells for $325.

According to the company, Z Optic putters take the two main parts of putting and making them easy to reproduce. And with every putt, Optic Z putters are said to help golfers set their hands and eyes in the same exact position for every putt. “This has been done!” you say? Well, let’s find out if my experience with the Z8 was different.

The Look

back optic z8

When I first saw the Z8 putter with its Z-shaped hosel, I began to wonder, “What exactly is going on here?” It has a unique Z-neck that creates a “3D” effect when looking down over the ball at address. But when looking at the putter in any other view, it does look odd. It will take a little bit of time to get used to it, but like many putters that come out these days, after a while you simply get used to it and forget about it.

Z8putter1

The putter is 100 percent milled, U.S.A. made, and has a deep “double” milled face pattern that is familiar to most people. It offers an incredibly soft feel that is part from the milling, but also from the Proprietary Power 51 alloy metal that is used. The sole of the Z8 has 8 degrees of roll to it. This means that it can effectively play with a lie angle anywhere from 67 to 75 degrees. The new Z-neck hosel also makes the putter face balanced as if it was a center-shafted putter. And finally, there are several thick alignment lines, both horizontal and vertical, to help aim.

The Z Revolution?

3WayAlignment_grande

Once you set the putter down and see how everything lines up in a “3D” type of alignment, you get the point of the Z-neck. Instead of just giving one point of reference similar to other putters, the Z8 gives you three points of alignment.

You align the Z-neck bend with the toe of the putter, the heel and shaft together, and then make sure both are lined up together. Once you have this set, your hands and eyes will be in the correct position.

Z8Putter6

In addition to adding more reference points, the key difference with the Z8 is that it actually requires you to have forward press with your hands. The stated loft of 2.25 degrees is the loft with your hands in that forward-press position. The Z-neck is also supposed to eliminate the visual moment of impact of when the ball comes off the face of the putter. The theory is that it helps you relax more through the stroke by not seeing the point of impact, a similar theory to looking at the hole instead of the ball when putting.

Does it work?

Z8Putter5

I was skeptical of the putter when I first started using it, and it took me a little bit to get used to the 3D effect. After spending a good amount of time with it, I can say that it does what it is supposed to do. It really becomes a “point-and-shoot” kind of putting, and it makes the set up of putting incredibly easy. The ball rolls really well off the face, too, and the feel is incredibly soft. The alignment aids do a good job helping at address, and I’m someone who has moved away from alignment aids because I tend to aim them incorrectly.

The Optic Z8 putter performed the best for me on putts inside 10 feet. I struggled on longer putts, but it was more due to the weight of the putter. At 365 grams, it is much heavier compared to what I’ve been using, but I’ve always struggled with long-distance putting with heavier putters. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. And the more I used it, the more comfortable I became and the more putts I made.

The Takeaway

Z8putter

If you struggle with consistency, especially at set up, this is one to try. It may take some time to get used to Optic Z putters, but most golfers should be able to adjust. These putters are well made, feel great and can truly help golfers in two areas that we know are important to putting.

To learn more about Optic Golf’s putters, visit the company’s website

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