When TaylorMade Golf unveiled its inaugural Ghost putter, some folks pegged it as a gimmick destined for a short shelf life. Now, two years and several tour victories later, the TaylorMade Ghost line has not only generated serious staying power, but also significant retail market share.
The latest addition to the Ghost family is the Manta mallet ($179), which aims to combine maximum stability with traditional shaping.
Does the Manta add a significant twist to the Ghost line, or does it come across as a mere line extension? Following is PutterZone.com’s TaylorMade Ghost Manta putter review.
Golf clubs with white finishes are so common these days that it’s easy to forget that there was considerable hue and cry when TaylorMade unveiled its original Corza Ghost putter two years ago. Yes, TaylorMade was crazy…like a fox.
Since then, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Rory Sabbatini are among the professionals who have put the Ghost putter firmly on the tour map, and now several brands are producing white putters.
Into this picture steps the Ghost Manta, which is designed to offer high moment of inertia (MOI) and resulting stability, similar to the preceding Ghost Spider, but within a more traditional package compared to the UFO-like Spider.
According to TaylorMade, “The neo-mallet-shaped Ghost Manta takes a very clean and classic Tour-proven look, along with an advanced and modern technology that often comes in a quirky head shape, and combines them into one comprehensive putter.”
Two tungsten perimeter sole weights heighten the MOI, helping the head resist twisting and turning on miss-hits. A third changeable weight in the center of the sole enables the golfer to customize the total head weight for an added putter fitting option.
As with all Ghost putters, the white finish is designed to help the golfer establish proper alignment. This finish provides visual contrast against the green of the grass for improved visual reference, especially in matters of squaring the face to the target line.
The Manta’s large head also incorporates two black rails on the crown. These rails frame the golf ball and contrast with the white top to help improve alignment and visibility. The face of the Manta features TaylorMade’s Pure Roll insert, which is designed to impart a smooth, accurate roll.
The stock head weight of the Manta putter is 370 grams. The Manta is face balanced, and is offered in two shaft configurations: no offset and half-shaft offset. The loft is four degrees, and the lie angle is 70 degrees. Belly putter versions are available as well.
The View from PutterZone.com
In matters of alignment, the Ghost Manta is an absolute beast. This putter is going to help a lot of golfers who are under-confident or otherwise troubled when it comes to squaring their putter.
The magic of the Manta lies in the alignment “rails.” On the one hand, they act as dual black sightlines, which isn’t terribly unusual. But what’s different is the fact that these sightlines are set deep into the putter, essentially creating two channels. The sides of the channels are slightly beveled, creating a sort of 3-D quality.
It’s hard to explain the optical effect of these channels, but to my eye, they help immensely. They go beyond the average sightline and seem to visually “grab” the target line. When you combine that effect with the high-contrast white topline, you have a putter that is very easy to aim. In fact, I would say that this is one of the easiest-aiming putters I’ve ever seen. It’s a real confidence booster on short putts in particular.
The Manta also feels quite stable through the stroke, as advertised. One thing you need to know is that the head of the Manta is quite large, owing to its pursuit of high MOI. For many golfers, this won’t be an issue. But if you’re resistant to wielding a “big ‘ol putter,” then you’ll have to overcome the size. Despite the girth, however, the Manta manages to give off a traditional vibe. There’s nothing wacky about the shaping. Also, while the head weight is a hefty 370 grams, the putter doesn’t feel particularly heavy.
I’m underwhelmed by the feel of the Manta putter. I don’t know if it’s the insert or the inherent properties of the aluminum head or a combination thereof, but the feel of the Manta just strikes me as a bit dull and muted. For true feel geeks, it could be an issue. Then again, how many recreational golfers are feel geeks? At the end of the day, this is a putter that you buy for alignment and stability, not feel.
Aesthetically, the Ghost Manta shows poise and maturity. The head is white, black and silver, and nothing else. There’s only one TaylorMade logo on the whole head, and even that’s relegated to a small spot along the rear end of the putter. The included head cover looks cool and feels sturdy. All in all, the Manta delivers a compelling package of features, performance and aesthetics.
The Bottom Line
In matters of alignment, the TaylorMade Ghost Manta putter is truly magnificent and one of the best on the market. The Manta will help a lot of golfers keep the ball on the straight and narrow.