Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today, Shane Bacon and I focus on TaylorMade's spooky Corza Ghost putter.
Busbee: It's not enough anymore for a new club to play well. It's got to look good too, and when I pulled the new Corza Ghost putter out of the shipping crate, I wanted to call my regular playing partners and drive by their houses to show it off. But since it was late in the day, I contented myself with running it through initial tests by putting from room to room of my house. Initial feedback: the Corza Ghost is money whether you're putting on carpet, hardwood or kitchen tile, and sometimes all three in one long room-to-room-to-room jaunt.
However, few courses these days feature hardwood flooring on their greens, so let's talk about how it actually plays on the course. Mr. Bacon, you're away.
Bacon: Some might not like the new white revolution from TaylorMade (and Cobra), but I do. I think the Ghost is a different look over the ball, and for some reason, seems easier to get the ball on line. The first few rounds I putted with this thing drew positive comments from my playing partners, and while it is a bit more upright than I usually like my putters, I feel like I have an easier time hitting them solid and actually, and this is going to sound crazy, MAKING PUTTS.
I feel like no matter the handicap, just having a club that is white and looks good (and is different) will give you confidence, even if it's just mental. I think that's the deal with all the white clubs. You now have the club that everyone else in the group wants. It's no wonder my uncle has already put a Ghost in his bag as well.
Busbee: The circular hole behind the sight lines takes a little getting used to, as well, but according to TaylorMade PR, it gives you a second method of orientation on the ball, another way to ensure you're lined up properly. Sure, I guess that could work.
What's of more interest is the grooving along the face. The idea is that when you strike the ball, the putter doesn't impart as much backspin, and thus the ball doesn't spend its first few feet off the club pulled in two directions, momentum-wise. Now, this at first seems like a solution created for a problem that nobody knew existed, like tartar-control toothpaste, but I will grant that the ball is indeed smoother coming off the face. Once I actually got out onto some real live greens, there was a noticeable fluidity to the ball that wasn't there. In other words, the ball looked very sleek as I ran it past the hole on that knockdown four-footer.
Bacon: So, an honest question; does it amaze you that technology has now gone into the putters? Do you think that all of this could really make, say, a 14-handicap a better player, or is it all just a sleek look to sell clubs?
Busbee: For golfers who time their putting strokes to heartbeats, yes, technology makes an enormous difference. For the higher-handicap types, this is more flash-and-dazzle than actual game improvement. But I will say that since confidence plays such a huge role in the golf game, if you feel like a club that looks like it came from the Death Star will improve your game, you're going to be more comfortable out there on the course. Will it shave strokes off your card? Probably not more than one or two, but you'll be a lot less likely to hurl this club into the rough when you lip that critical putt. Then again, you could buy five beater clubs for the cost of one Ghost and hurl away till your heart's content, which has its own benefits.
My bottom line: if you can afford the Ghost, which runs about $150, you're going to like the Ghost. A lot. And you, sir?
Bacon: I completely agree. If you can do it, pull the trigger, because if nothing else, you'll have the coolest putter in your group. And I agree with what you said about the putter; a nice looking one that you're proud of will do, if nothing else, make you confident again in your stroke, even if it looks like you're trying to hit a hard slice on the green. Do it. You'll thank us later.
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