Tell us about your new Phantom X putters.
Phantom X is by far the most high-tech putter line I’ve designed to date. This product is so much faster looking and taken to the next level that it needed a new name. It’s a major leap in performance. We’ve designed a variety of flange setups, alignment options and shaft bends to offer mallet players more models to choose from. I was inspired by Tour players and everyday players alike who’ve asked for slightly smaller profiles with more alignment options and solid face construction. The engineering has been ramped up to an entirely new level to bring this brand new line to life.
Who is Phantom X for?
Phantom X is the ultimate lineup for mallet players. With nine models, I think there’s a mallet in the family for every type of player. The Phantom X line is about offering mallet players as many options as possible. When you make the move to a mallet, you may gravitate toward a certain “look.” For me, the setup and alignment cues need to give me a road map to the hole in addition to rock-solid stability and overall forgiveness. Of course, it has to look cool, too. I want to set down a beautifully crafted putter with lines and curves and all the visual stimulation mallets present. That’s where the confidence comes in. Players who believe in the mechanical, industrial setup of a mallet—Phantom X is for you.
How do the shaft bends used for each model relate to performance?
With three shaft options – mid-bend, low-bend and straight – offered across the Phantom X line, players have more choices with regard to their preferred amount of toe flow. Regarding our naming nomenclature—the “.5” options (i.e., Phantom X 5.5, 7.5 and 8.5) signify a low-bend shaft, which promotes a bit more toe flow due to the bend height. The lower bend moves the shaft’s axis point around which the putter head rotates toward the heel giving the putter more toe hang.
The Phantom X 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12 models have a slightly taller, mid-bend shaft for a near-face balanced setup that produces less toe flow than the .5 models. Mid-bends shift that axis point more toward the center of the putter head, therefore setting up closer to face balanced for players who favor a straight-back-straight-through stroke. Speaking of, the Phantom X 6 STR has a straight shaft with zero offset for the ultimate setup for straight-back-straight-through putting strokes.
How are you approaching the concept of alignment?
With the larger surface area designed into Phantom X, it was a great opportunity to maximize the space to really dial in alignment cues. Lines, dots, the positioning of aluminum versus steel…everything is designed to maximize the putter’s alignment properties. Even our shaft bends are angled to point directly down the target line. I’ve approached alignment as something that’s integral to the entire concept of Phantom X. For example, I chose neon yellow paintfill for the lines and dots 100% on purpose. The color acts like a rifle sight to help your eye focus on your chosen line. Contrasting against the black anodized aluminum topline and flange components, the path to the hole is clear.
And since each player is unique, I created multiple alignment options to include continuous sight lines from the leading edge all the way back, just sight dots, raised or stepped down flanges, and wider or “vanishing” toplines. Each model is designed to frame the golf ball at address, with several ways to achieve that goal.
What can you share about the new head styles?
When it comes to what goes in the bag, a putter needs to inspire confidence. The player needs to trust the look. And, since not every design will appeal to every player, I created several options. Nine models, in fact, with Phantom X, but it’s really five unique head styles each with specific shaft setups installed for precise performance. Within those five styles, I think we’ve covered the bases regarding topline appearances, flange setups and alignment aids. You can get more information regarding each model on the website, of course, but I can share a little about each starting with the Phantom X 5.
A long-time performer on Tour, the Phantom X 5 design has evolved into this faster-looking, racier model. I wanted to give players exactly what they’ve been asking for—a slightly smaller head with simple sight dot alignment, a wide topline and tapered wings. It sets up really nicely, especially with the new solid aluminum face.
How has your work with Justin Thomas influenced the Phantom X 5.5?
We’ve reached the next level with the design that Justin Thomas and I started talking about a few years ago. Each prototype evolved into the next until we created the Phantom X 5.5. Same head shape and construction as the 5, just with a lower bend for a little more toe hang to produce a nice arc to the stroke. I gave one to JT at the Sony Open and it went right in the bag. We’re looking forward to seeing this putter in play throughout the season.
Tell us about the setup of the Phantom X 6.
Like a low-slung, high-powered sports car, I put the back flange of the Phantom X 6 right down on the ground. With those long, bright lines framing the ball and the sight dots guiding the way, you just line it up and go. Simple, elegant performance and the sweet feel of a solid aluminum face. We’ve got heavier, stainless steel—including the sole weights—where we need it, and the lighter, aluminum components providing area for long sight lines. Cars and putters have so much in common when you think about it. Balancing weight for the desired performance.
Why a straight shafted Phantom X 6 STR?
It’s all about options. I talk to lots of golfers who like a face balanced setup. I went with a straight-shafted setup with the Phantom X 6 STR for players who want to create a straight-back-straight-through putting stroke. It has all of the racy good looks and visual alignment guides of the Phantom X 6, just without offset and a straight shaft.
The Phantom X 7 and 7.5 have some interesting lines.
The Phantom X 7 and 7.5 have the perfect blend of soft, sculpted contours mixed with angular shapes to help frame the golf ball. These materials work so well together—aluminum and steel. The 7 style has a rounded flange with long lines going all the way back. Sole it and there are no shadows, the flange runs from the leading edge back across the topline and just melts away toward the back. We made both of these models in left-handed, as well.
The Phantom X 8 and 8.5 are about as futuristic as it gets.
The Phantom X 8 design is new territory and entirely “next level”. No distractions. All alignment in a shape that sits like a fighter jet wing. Mallet players are very particular. What might appeal to one may not be what another is looking for. I created Phantom X to offer options I thought would appeal to all types of mallet players. And the Phantom X 8 head shape with its full back flange, sight dots indicating the sweet spot, and the long lines is all about alignment. The 8 has the mid-bend and is close to face balanced, while the Phantom X 8.5 has just a bit of toe hang with the low-bend shaft setup.
Tell us about the Phantom X 12.
The flagship model of the line. The Phantom X 12 has it all. Wings like a jet. A flowing raised flange that tapers back for stellar alignment. High MOI. All of the curves and angles work together for a mallet optimized for look, feel and performance. As you look at the Phantom X lineup from the 5 to the 12, it’s a very cohesive family of mallets. I think you’ll find one in there that appeals to every mallet player, major winners and the rest of us, too.
Why did you go with solid, one-piece construction for the putter faces?
For these shapes and for what we’re trying to accomplish—next level mallet design, alignment and performance—solid 6061 aircraft aluminum is the perfect option. First, the feel is pure. I’ve been using aluminum for faces since even before the days of the original Futura, and with Phantom X it really fit the design. Tour players like to know that they’re contacting a solid face. This gives solid feedback, while preserving the soft feel players prefer. Even with our success using multi-material heads in the past, I really wanted to design Phantom X with solid faces even though each putter is actually made up of multiple components.
Each Phantom X mallet is constructed with a standard-milled aluminum face anodized black that extends back and through the flange areas of each model. It’s very easy to mill to our tolerances and allows me to move weight around due to its lightness. And, by allowing me to increase the physical area of the mallet head, I can craft longer sight lines and visual cues that really capitalize on the overall design.
Tell us about the Pistolero Plus grip.
Every putter line gives me an opportunity for improvement based on player feedback, experimentation and what is possible with technology. Mallet players shared the desire for an overall thicker grip that didn't taper as much down the shaft. So, we got to work with our grip experts and crafted the new Pistolero Plus. The Phantom X line marks the debut of this new grip in gray with gloss black paintfill. It’s a modified Pistolero grip with a thicker, less tapered right (low) hand that combines the Tour-preferred performance and feel of a rubber Pistolero-style grip with a slightly built-up feel perfectly suited to mallet putters. It’s just another way to dial in the entire Phantom X experience. It’s next level from every perspective—design, alignment and performance.