A new Ghost is haunting the PGA Tour, and like its predecessor, it didn’t take long for it to find the winner’s circle.
Indeed, the new Tour Ghost putters ($159) by TaylorMade are off to a hot start after Rory Sabbatini used one to win the recent Honda Classic, just as Justin Rose notched a victory with the original Corza Ghost putter shortly after it was introduced last year.
But do the new Ghost putters really change the game for TaylorMade, or are they just more of the same? Following is PutterZone.com’s TaylorMade Tour Ghost putter review, specifically the TM-110 Daytona model.
The Tour Ghost putters mark a departure point for TaylorMade. A new “Pure Roll” titallium insert replaces TaylorMade’s longtime AGSI+ titallium insert. The moniker “Rossa” has been dropped as the unifying banner for TaylorMade’s putter offerings, and the red motif of the Rossa theme has been ditched for a black-on-white look.
But what hasn’t changed is the signature white Ghost finish that was first introduced last year on the original Rossa Corza Ghost putter, which has proved to be a smash hit for TaylorMade, and which has now migrated to their latest drivers.
The white finish aims to help the golfer establish proper alignment. It offers enhanced visual contrast against the green of the grass for improved visual reference, particularly in matters of squaring the face to the target line.
According to TaylorMade, the new Pure Roll insert offers the compatible dual benefits of sufficient launch off the grass with quick forward roll that minimizes backspin. The result is a “pure roll” that remains more impervious to imperfections on the green, and thus more consistent in matters of directional accuracy and distance control.
The Tour Ghost models are the TM-110 Daytona, TM-770 Fontana and TM-880 Maranello. The stock head weight of the Tour Ghost putters is 350 grams. The lie angle is 70 degrees, and the loft is four degrees. The Tour Ghost putters are also the first Ghost putters to incorporate TaylorMade’s Moveable Weight Technology (MWT), whereby small weights in the head can be changed on custom-ordered lengths to calibrate a desired swingweight.
The View from PutterZone.com
The new Tour Ghost putters are leaner and meaner in both name and looks, and that’s a good thing from my vantage.
In retrospect, the ditching of the Rossa moniker was long overdue. It’s one thing to consolidate your putters under a separate and clearly defined brand umbrella, such as Callaway Golf’s Odyssey putters. But the Rossa moniker really never broke away from the TaylorMade mothership, so you ended up with confusing mouthfuls such as “TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider” and “TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost” along with competing Rossa and TaylorMade graphics.
TaylorMade’s designers have responded to this newfound focus by designing a crisp, righteous-looking putter that takes the Ghost line to the next visual level. Freed up from the legacy constraints of the Rossa moniker and the red AGSI+ insert, they have gone back to the drawing board to re-envision the Ghost as a putter that looks just like its name sounds—clean, lean and mean, with an abundance of white offset by judicious dollops of black.
The only other hue on the putter is a small red “TM” in the model name on the sole along with small red dots inside the moveable weights, hinting at a temptation to add more color that was commendably resisted elsewhere on the head.
Simply put, there’s now a badass look to the Ghost line that should convince even more golfers to wield a white putter. The black sole and new Ghost logo really hit the aesthetic mark, and the inclusion of the weight ports adds a slightly bejeweled quality for just a hint of flash.
I was able to closely compare the new Tour Ghost TM-110 Daytona with its predecessor, the Rossa Daytona Ghost, and while I didn’t detect any significant differences in the performance department, there are some playability enhancements that are worth noting.
The most obvious is the shift from one sightline along the flange to three sightlines. I imagine that some golfers will find this to be a bit excessive, but since this is a putter that is sold on alignment features, I can accept the added sightlines as consistent with the overall ethic of the putter. The outer sightlines smartly frame the width of the ball, so they not only offer a directional reference, but also a centering guidepost at setup.
Compared to the Rossa Daytona Ghost, the head on the new model appears to be slightly larger and sharper in the in the cornering department. Whereas the earlier model was more curvaceous along the flange, the TM-110 Daytona is crisp and beveled, a look that better fits the directional flow of the three sightlines and the overall sense of squareness of the putter at address.
The Tour Ghost Daytona is also five grams heavier than its predecessor, which some golfers will find appealing. The new Pure Roll titallium insert, as far as I could tell, doesn’t behave much differently than the AGSI+ titallium insert on the earlier Ghost models. I did sense a subtle shift in feel that might be attributable to the new insert, as the feel of the Tour Ghost seems a bit more firm and defined. This could also be attributable to the larger, heavier head. Either way, I find it to be an improvement, although I still find the tactile depth of the putter to be a bit lacking.
I’m not a fan of the white loop flourish on the lower grip and the white shaft band sticker beneath the grip. They add bright visual noise and nothing else, and are thus an inexplicable misstep for a putter that is designed to enhance your optical environment. But the sticker is easily removed, and a black marker can quickly remedy the grip flourish.
Oh, and did I mention that the putter is white? I guess that’s just no longer too newsworthy to me, which shows how far we’ve come over the past year. It wasn’t long ago that an all-white putter was considered shocking by many. Now the Ghost putters (and companion white drivers) are essentially commonplace, a familiar sight in pro shops and on the professional tours.
My take on the all-white finish is unchanged. I think that TaylorMade found the perfect shade of white, one that offers vivid contrast without assaulting the eyes. This, in turn, fosters enhanced alignment awareness and aids in squaring the face to the target line. The look isn’t for everyone, but there’s no doubt that many golfers will benefit from it.
The Bottom Line
The Tour Ghost putters pack noticeable enhancements into a popular and proven concept, and thus represent a smart evolution of the Ghost line. Don’t expect any major performance differences between the Tour Ghost putters and their predecessors. But with the addition of two new models and a sleek new look, the Tour Ghost putters are poised to win a new wave of converts.