Scotty Cameron Phantom X12 Review
Scotty Cameron Phantom X12 Review: Introduction
Originally launched back in April 2019 the Phantom X12 is a typically futuristic looking Scotty Cameron mallet. At launch this was the flagship model of the Phantom line.
What the manufacturer said:
“It has it all. Wings like a jet. The flowing, raised flange that tapers back for stellar alignment. High MOI. All of the curves and angles work together for a mallet optimized for the look, feel and performance.”Scotty Cameron
The Phantom X12 is a rather angular design and so will probably not appeal to the purest or minimalist. I have spent most of the last 10 years switching between two different models of TaylorMade Spider. The visuals with the X12 were somewhat similar.
For me the sight of the larger head offered by mallet putters is somewhat of a psychological crutch.
The neon yellow site lines and dots are also likely to cause division. This amalgamation of lines and dots is known by Cameron as “Combination Alignment”. As someone who spent a lot of time struggling to line up correctly I find that the combination works well for me and stands out clearly.
The putter is designed to have a high MOI and so mishits don’t feel as bad as they would with a blade putter for example.
It is constructed from steel and aluminium.
The type of ball you use will obviously affect how the putter feels when striking your putts.
One of the reasons why many modern putters have soft face inserts is to counteract the fact that modern balls tend to be that bit firmer. (certainly in comparison to the premium balls available before the launch of the Pro V1).
My Phantom X12 has primarily been used in conjunction with the Srixon Z Star ball which gives a nice solid feel off the face and a healthy ‘click’ sound.
If you’re shopping for a new putter then I would recommend testing it using the model of ball you normally play with. This will allow you to compare it with your current putter on equal terms.
I tend to prefer a mallet putter since I have a better idea of where the club is during the stroke. At times blade putters get ‘lost’.
I wasn’t overly keen on the standard pistol grip that comes with the putter. I first came across oversized putter grips at an Open Championship in the 90s. Since then I have generally replaced the stock grip on any putter I bought. I feel it helps reduce the wristiness in my stroke.
Titleist/Scotty Cameron offers a number of options to help improve the customization of your putter. They offer 3 lengths 33, 34 and 35 inch. Most of the putters in the Phantom range come with a choice of shaft bend which gives you either a face-balanced, toe hang type putter. Each style suits a particular stroke. The X12 only comes with one shaft bend and is face-balanced.
It appears that Scotty also offers a variety of different putter grips at no extra cost. This fact wasn’t mentioned to me in the shop where I purchased my X12.
On the Green
My putting game tends to suffer primarily because I struggle to line up correctly. The sightlines on the phantom X12 give me that extra bit of confidence that I am aiming where I am supposed to.
The putter is designed to be forgiving and it lives up to its billing. Even my dodgy putting stroke manages to judge the distances correctly more often than not.
The design of the sightlines gives me additional confidence on those putts from inside 8 feet that you have to make in order to post a good score.
From a usability perspective, it is hard to find fault with the Phantom X12. The alignment aids and high MOI mean this putter should be usable by pretty much anyone.
For most people, I guess the price would be a prohibitive factor. Top-end Scotty Cameron putters go for around £400 in the UK and roughly $400 in the USA. With those prices, you really have to enjoy your golf to justify spending that on just one club.
If you are able to splash out though then I think a top-quality putter is one area where you should. Don’t forget that probably 40-50 percent of your shots will be with the putter.
If you’re on a tight budget then you might be able to pick up a used model. However, a quick look on eBay suggests you will struggle to find anyone selling at a bargain price. If you’re in the market for a new putter then this buying guide will give you some handy tips.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
Are Scotty Cameron putter’s face balanced?
It depends entirely on the particular model. The Phantom X12 reviewed above is only available as a face-balanced model. Other models in the range are also available with two levels of toe hang. Similarly, if you look at other models in the Scotty Cameron range you will find a mixture of face balanced and toe hang putters.
Why are Scotty Cameron putters so expensive?
There are three main reasons why Scotty Cameron putters are expensive.
Firstly Scotty Cameron has built a reputation over more than 20 years as someone that produces high-quality, high-performance products. This allows the company to charge a higher price.
The cost of materials and construction are the other reasons for the high price of Scotty Cameron putters. For example, many of the putters are milled from single blocks of metal and this is a more complicated and therefore expensive process.
Which Scotty Cameron putter is the best?
Best is a very subjective term. Some players prefer blade putters whilst others prefer mallet putters. Some of the most famous putters include:
1. Scotty Cameron Teryllium “Sole Stamp” Newport (used by Tiger Woods to win 1997 Masters)
2. GSS Newport 2 (used by Tiger Woods to win the other 14 majors)
3. Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport Putter
4. Scotty Cameron Special Select Del Mar Putter
5. Scotty Cameron Futura
6. Scotty Cameron Red X
Scotty Cameron Website: Includes a handy archive of past putter models.
The Cameron Collector: The place to go if you enjoy collecting Scotty Cameron putters.
Custom Cameron: For those aficionados in the UK or Europe, custom Cameron might be able to satisfy your Scotty Cameron needs. You will need very deep pockets however!