50 Words or Less
The Scotty Cameron Phantom X 8 putter is large, modern mallet. Two toe hang options plus adjustable weighting. Feel is much improved from recent Cameron putters.
After a few years of small releases, Scotty Cameron came to the 2019 PGA Show with a massive line of new putters. In all, there are nine new putters: five different heads, most with two neck options. In this review, I’ll take a look at the Scotty Cameron Phantom X 8 and Phantom X 8.5.
There’s nothing traditional about the appearance of the Scotty Cameron Phantom X 8 putter. That starts with the size and continues to the angular, futuristic shape. At address, the Phantom X 8 and Phantom X 8.5 are the only all black putters in this line; every other model has some silver.
Cameron refers to the Phantom X 8 as having “continuous alignment.” Because there is no traditional top line, the milled alignment lines run the length of the putter uninterrupted. The three dots define the sweet spot. I prefer a putter without alignment aids, so I was surprised at how much I liked the look of the Phantom X, especially how the lines frame the ball. The bright yellow paint will likely be a turn off to some, but it does provide sharp contrast.
Sound & Feel
In my opinion, the Phantom X putters have the best feel of any Scotty Cameron in quite a while. The face and flange are one solid piece of milled 6061 aluminum. This gives the putter a firm, solid feel on impact.
As you would expect from a mallet, small mishits are hard to feel. Large mishits can be sensed in the hands, but you have to make an aggressively bad stroke to get this putter head to twist.
There is one key difference between the Phantom X 8 and the Phanton X 8.5: toe hang. The Phantom X 8 is face-balanced. Mr. Cameron goes overboard in referring to this as “Mid-Bend Shaft Technology,” but, marketing aside, this configuration is designed for the player with minimal face rotation in their stroke.
The Phantom X 8.5 has “Low-Bend Shaft Technology” which creates a slight toe hang. This allows players with arcing strokes to take advantage of the performance benefits of a mallet.
The two major performance benefits of the Phantom X 8 are alignment and forgiveness. I felt immediately comfortable aiming the Phantom X 8, and my results on short and medium range putts were excellent. Additionally, these putters have the forgiveness you would expect from a modern mallet. As long as you keep the ball near the center of the face, it will get to the hole on its intended line.
Finally, both Phantom X 8 models feature adjustable weight ports in the sole near the face. Golfers can plug in weights of 10, 15, or 20 grams to customize the head weight to fit their swing weight preference.
The Phantom X putters are a stark departure from Scotty Cameron’s normal flow of traditional head styles. With the Phantom X 8 and Phantom X 8.5, he offers an interesting, futuristic shape with bold alignment help and a variety of ways to customize the performance.