Putters

ClubTest First Look: Scotty Cameron extends the Phantom X putter lineup for 2021

Master putter maker Scotty Cameron is both an artist and engineer, but maybe most importantly, he’s a good listener. When tour players, or golfers in general, want something specific, he pays attention and tries to give people exactly what they want.

In the case of Scotty Cameron’s new Phantom X line extension, which features four new models (Phantom X 5, 5.5, 11 and 11.5), Cameron showed he was listening.

For example, golfers wanted a retail version of Justin Thomas’ putter, and now they’re getting it.

“Working with our game’s best players gives me great perspective into what they are looking for in a mallet putter,” Cameron said, in a press release. “From the types of metals used to the subtle changes in shaft bends, these new Phantom X models offer brand new, highly requested options that build on our most popular models from 2020. I’ve had so many people asking for a putter like Justin Thomas’ gamer – and the Phantom X 5.5 is my direct answer.”

Cameron’s classic three dots are milled and left raw in the back cavities of the Phantom X 5 and 5.5 putters

Andrew Tursky

Characterized by their futuristic-looking, wing-shaped, multi-material constructions, the Phantom X lineup previously consisted of five head shapes (Phantom X 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12), with each shape having a slight variation for different hosel/shaft-bend preferences (Phantom 5.5, 6 STR, 7.5, 8.5 and 12.5).

After hearing consistent feedback on two of those head shapes in particular – the 5/5.5 and the 12/12.5 – Cameron has made some changes and additions to the Phantom X lineup. He’s completely redone the Phantom X 5 and 5.5 models from the original release, and he added new 11/11.5 options that are toned-down versions of the popular Phantom X 12/12.5 putters already in the lineup.

Andrew Tursky

Each of the four new models are milled from blocks of 303 stainless steel; they have milled steel faces and bodies, and they use 6061 aircraft grade aluminum in their soles and flange sections to help enhance playability, sound and feel. The combination of different materials and the wing shapes allows Cameron to boost MOI (moment of inertia) in the putters, thus helping improve forgiveness on off-center strikes.

Available on March 26, the new Phantom X putters will sell for $429 apiece. The steel portions of the head are misted and glare resistant, while the black aluminum components are misted and anodized black.

Below, we break down what you need to know about each of the four head models.

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5

Scotty Cameron

The mid-mallet Phantom X 5 head shape, which is slightly more compact than the previous X 5 model, features a wingback shape that provides golfers a nearly face-balanced putter. Golfers who prefer a straight-back, straight-through stroke style will likely gravitate toward this model, which has a single-bend, stepless shaft (compared to the flow neck of the 5.5. More on that later).

To simplify alignment, the Phantom X 5 has darker features in the flange with a single line on the top.

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5

Andrew Tursky

Throughout the years, Cameron has worked with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ray Cook, Brad Faxon, Tiger Woods, David Duval, Davis Love III, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and the list goes on and on…and on. In the current marketplace, though, it’s one player’s putter that has tour pros and amateurs alike drooling. And that putter belongs to Thomas.

While Cameron developed a limited-release “Inspired By” putter that mimicked Thomas’ X 5.5 putter model, only 2,020 pieces were made. The new Phantom X 5.5 allows a wider-range of golfers the opportunity to play the highly coveted head model.

“So many touring pros wanted that putter, even with JT’s name on it, because they thought it was cool, it was futuristic…I just thought it’d be another ‘Inspired By’ putter with a great player,” Cameron told GOLF.com. “But the demand and the want for this product was huge.”

Andrew Tursky

Inspired by Thomas’ custom setup, the new Phantom X 5.5 features a “jet” neck, which as Cameron explains, looks like a jet taking off. It’s this short, flow-neck hosel configuration that allows the mid-mallet to play more like a blade. That’s to say it allows for more of an arcing stroke that Thomas prefers, compared to a straight-back straight-through stroke style.

The neck of the Phantom X 5.5 isn’t exactly the same as Thomas’, but Cameron recently explained why to GOLF.com:

“It’s the identical putter to JT’s, but we don’t weld the top of the neck; we weld it from underneath the sole plate to hide the weld. JT’s has a weld, and everybody wants that welded neck, but every single one of those had to be hand welded…I also think it’s a cleaner look without the weld. Some say it’s cooler with the weld, but I would say this is a cleaner look. No right, no wrong… it’s the same putter with the Phantom graphics.”

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11

Andrew Tursky

Cameron’s previously released Phantom X 12 wingback mallet provides golfers with huge forgiveness, but as Cameron says, some golfers find it “a little busy and a little big.” Always the listener, Cameron decided to offer a slimmed-down version.

The new Phantom X 11, therefore, has smaller wings and a more compact shape, but still provides the forgiveness golfers want from a mallet. A light gray sightline sits atop the black aluminum material for alignment purposes.

“I took the X 5 and 5.5 shape, and mixed in characteristics of the 12,” Cameron told GOLF.com. “So it has smaller wings, it’s a smaller head, but if you look at the JT model and you look at this new 11 or 11.5, you can see the JT model. But it’s been changed to be more mallet-like instead of blade-like. The middle of the putter comes up so it’s more of a mallet, getting that longer sightline, which is easier to align, and I kind of simplified the wings so that they’re a half wing on the 11.”

The Phantom X 11, like the Phantom X 5, comes with a single mid-bend shaft to minimize face rotation.

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5

Andrew Tursky

The Phantom X 11.5 head shape is the same as the X 11, except it has a different shaft. The “low bend” shaft, according to Cameron, provides more toe flow. For golfers, more toe flow better suits an arcing stroke, rather than a square-to-square style.

Since the Phantom X putters have such subtle differences in their necks and hosels, even within the same head shape, it’s important to try out the different constructions to see what works best with your preferred stroke style. Cameron suggests finding a model that “works with you, instead of against you.”

Want to overhaul your bag for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

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