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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The white putter headcover is also impressively artistic, but like the white paint on the putter it won’t look new for very long.
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.
Ben Hogan launches game improvenemnt Edge EX irons
After the successful recent releases of the Icon blade iron and the larger GS53 Max driver, Ben Hogan Golf is again turning its attention to golfers looking for extra forgiveness with the release of the new Edge EX game improvement iron set.
The 2021 Edge EX is the newest iron to carry on the Edge name which was introduced in 1989 with the first forged cavity back from the Texas-based company. The new Edge EX’s are designed to be easy to hit while still maintaining the traditional look golfers have come to expect from Ben Hogan.
A big push for the direct-to-consumer equipment company is to show golfers that Ben Hogan equipment is made for every golfer and not just lower handicap competitive players, which was a conclusion made from a consumer survey conducted by the company.
“Some golfers who play the game just for fun felt that our products weren’t for them. We continue to try to educate golfers that forged clubs are not reserved for only the best players in the world. In fact, quite the contrary. Edge EX irons will offer average golfers the playability, forgiveness, and feel that Ben Hogan once described as ‘… that blissful feeling that goes from your hands, up your arms, and into your heart.” -Scott White, President and CEO of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company.
The Edge EX irons offer a deep undercut cavity and extreme perimeter weighting to increase launch and raise MOI. Along with the overall design, the actual iron head has been increased to create a larger effective hitting area to maximize forgiveness.
“We tested these irons more than any other product we’ve brought to market in recent years and golfer response and feedback has been exceptionally good throughout the development process. Golfers of all ability levels, but especially those with double-digit handicaps told us that Edge EX irons were some of the easiest-to-hit irons they’ve ever played.” -Scott White
Price, specs, and availability
The new Ben Hogan Edge EX irons are available now for pre-order with products scheduled to ship in late April.
The Edge EX irons will be separated by consistent 4-degree gaps, and start at a 44-degree pitching wedge and going to a 20-degree 4-iron.
Seven-piece (4-PW) sets will be priced at $800.00 with a choice of premium steel and graphite shaft options.
Six and five-piece sets with also be available for $720 for 5-PW and $630 for 6-PW for golfers that would like to build a combo set with either the Ben Hogan UiHI utility or VKTR hybrids — priced individually.
Edge EX irons are available for purchase exclusively at www.BenHoganGolf.com.
The ‘knock down’ bag – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing a theory and strategy often employed by Phil Mickelson. WRXer ‘ExtraStiff’ kicks off the thread saying:
“In one of Phil Mickelson’s 2021 Masters interviews, he says he considers going game improvement irons around Augusta because high and spinny/attacking is usually the shot of choice. But he uses less forgiving clubs at a lot of other venues cause he is hitting ‘knock down shots’,… taking a couple of clubs extra, and taking some speed off it to keep trajectory and spin low so wind and such is less of a factor.
Anybody here playing two sets of irons for this reason, or have any thoughts? Are there any other pros that have suggested this philosophy?”
And our members have been sharing their thoughts on the strategy in our forum.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- jvincent: “Phil is the ultimate WRXer. That said, he actually has the skill to pull this off. I’d say there may be a handful of guys on here who actually have enough skill to do this kind of thing.”
- acemandrake: “Ben Hogan said he always used more club on approach shots. That way, his swing never changed. He also liked to aim for the middle of the green.”
- PEI_Golfer: “This just seems like Phil being Phil and overthinking something. He is talented enough that if he wanted to hit it higher, he would just hit it higher. It is almost like trying to give yourself an excuse for poor play with the clubs he is supposed to be the most comfortable with.”
- cardoustie: “I have more success with smaller short irons (7-PW) … and I hit a load of knockdowns … it’s my preferred shot inside 155. I have 9 sets of irons right now but no full set of SG!”
FootJoy X Todd Snyder launch new ‘Premiere Series’ capsule collection
FootJoy and Todd Snyder have joined forces to launch a new unique capsule collection featuring modern interpretations of timeless silhouettes with performance to meet all golfers’ needs.
The Premiere Series features three new upper designs, all inspired by iconic shoes from the FJ archives made relevant for today through modern technology, materials and detailing.
Utilizing advanced lightweight materials and the proprietary VersaTrax+ traction technology, the Premiere Series is designed to deliver maximum underfoot comfort, game-changing traction, and Tour-caliber performance.
The highlight of the capsule is the FootJoy X Snyder Premier Series shoe. which contain the following technology, design and features:
- Pittards of England Waterproof Chromoskin Full Grain
- Sheepskin leather quarter linings w/faux suede heel pocket
- Italian Calfskin leather detailing
- FJ Laser Street Last (built on 1000’s of digital scans of golfers feet to create the last). Same as laser with a slightly shaved down toe
- Ortholite footbed w/molded heel cup using ECO Plush foam technology
- Molded TPU heel clip
- Dual durometer Versatrax Plus TPU outsole w/ Pulsar LP cleats from Softspikes
- Genuine leather welt
- Unique Todd Snyder and FJ packaging and with shoe bag
In addition to the shoes, the collection features polos, joggers, shorts, cardigans, jackets, fleeces, hats and accessories.
Speaking on the new capsule, Todd Snyder said:
“I was looking in the FootJoy archives at pictures of Arnold Palmer and Chi-Chi Rodriguez, and recognized this moment before performance fabrics took over when players had this effortless cool aesthetic that felt very relevant to right now. We are excited to collaborate with FootJoy on a wardrobe inspired by that golden era of golf, but for the modern guy who wants to maintain his personal sense of style when he hits the golf course.”
The FootJoy and Todd Snyder capsule collection launches today at FootJoy.com while supplies last.
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