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Official Forum Member Review - MLA Tour XDream Putters

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Official Forum Member Review

 

MLA Tour EXDream - 2.jpg

 

MLA Tour XDream Putters

 

 

 

Submitted for your approval, our testers and their reviews:

 

Jmikecpa                      Stage 1                     Stage 2              Stage 3
 

Cksurfdude                   Stage 1                    Stage 2               Stage 3

 

TSauer                          Stage 1                    Stage 2               Stage 3

 

Dave73nl                      Stage 1                     Stage 2               Stage 3

 

flynn_rozza                   Stage 1                     Stage 2                Stage 3

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First off thank you to MLA and MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to test a new flatstick.  Those in the forums may know that my love of putters runs deep.  I currently own somewhere north of 100 putters of all shapes, sizes and makers…along with more headcovers than I can count.

 

IMG_0989.jpg

 

IMG_1843.jpg

 

So my story is a pretty interesting one (at least to me anyway).  I started playing the game 38 years ago when I was two years old mostly so my Grandparents could get out and play.  I loved the game early on but golf was really not a cool game to play so I rarely played competitively outside of junior events at our club.  I played baseball and football for most of my life as well and decided that baseball would be the sport that I would focus on most, but still found myself practicing my golf game just about as much.  I was a course rat and a range rat most of my teens and became a scratch player in my mid-teens.  Went to college to play baseball and due to injury I ended up playing D1 golf for a few years and never looked back.  From that point on baseball was second and golf was number one for me. 

I played a full season of tournament golf until my late 20's when my first child arrived.  Over the next year or two it was paired down until it was gone by the time number 2 and number 3 arrived.  About 6 years ago I started playing a lot more and got my game back to form and now hover in the scratch to plus range throughout the summer.  My oldest has decided that golf is going to be his top priority and pushing me to practice a lot more than I normally do.  He is also pushing me to give some USGA events another go, but he has yet to be successful in that pursuit. 

 

To sum up my game I make six from places I should make three and a three from places that are not on the map.  My biggest asset is length off the tee and with my irons as well as a pretty good short game.  I have managed to keep my driver swing speed in the 118 mph to 120 mph range even after turning 40 which has been a huge plus for me.  The biggest issue that I have had as of late is on the greens and finding a putter that I am comfortable with.  I have had three different pros look at my putting and they can find nothing wrong other than I lack confidence in my stroke right now.  So far this year I have been through multiple putters just trying to find the one that will catch fire. 

 

Currently in my bag and for the first time in a while not much is subject to change

 

Callaway Epic SZ 9* with a shaft to be determined

Callaway 816 Alpha 14* Aldila Rogue IO 70x

Callaway X2Hot Pro 18* Proforce V2 90x

Callaway Apex UT 24* Aldila RIP Pro 115x

Callaway Apex Pro 5 – PW Aerotech Steelfibler 110cw x

Callaway MD Forged 52* TTDG Tour Issue S200

Callaway MD PM Grind 58* & 64* KBS Tour

 

The one club that was left out was the putter as this has been a revolving door for most of the season due mostly to the 8 inches between my ears.  Currently I have been rolling a TM Spider Tour Black with a SuperStroke 3.0 with a bit of success.  Not enough success that it is safe but seems to be working better than some other that have been in the bag.  With the club championship right around the corner I need to find a winner sometime soon.

My first impressions of the MLA Tour X Dream are that it is a quality stick that seems worthy of its price tag.  The head is milled to perfection and the fit and finish is up there with some of the nicest sticks I own from TP Mills, Bettinardi and Scotty. 

 

IMG_3091.jpg

 

For the specs I went as standard as I could with the putter at 35” and the standard forward grip.  The grip is nice but vastly different from anything I have ever played and that may not be a bad thing.  As this is a putter style that I have not used all that much I decided it was better not to tinker.  In the box there was obviously the putter with a decent cover, weight kit and a nice hat that was a good touch.  My only gripe would be that the packaging was not the best and the weight kit opened in transit which made me fear the putter would come out of the box in pieces.  Fortunately all was fine but for a putter at this price point I would expect some nice packaging similar to other OEMs at this price point.

 

IMG_3093.jpg

 

As far as the review portion goes I have a lot of putters that I can compare this to.  On first thought I am thinking that it will be going head to head with the Spider Tour, Bettinardi BB54 and a Scotty Futura X as these seem to be comparable to the MLA on some level.  If there are any other putters that are in my stable that anyone would like to see this go up against I can do that……a lot to choose from.  I will be testing both on the putting green at my club as well as on the course with the hope that this will be the one that is in the bag for the club championship.  Stay tuned for the Stage 2 as this is going to be a fun ride….

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MLA Tour X Dream Stage 2  by Jmikecpa

 

Apologies as this review is a little late, but on the plus side I did get to spend a lot of time with the new flatstick than I though I would.  Also apologies for the lack of pics as I am still having tech issues with my new laptop, but I got email after a month so I have that going for me.  I covered my bio and WITB in Stage 1 but as always my WITB is a revolving door most seasons.  Currently in the bag is:

 

Titleist 917 D3 9.5* HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 76g set to A1, neutral weight

Titleist 917 F2 15* Fujikura Speeder Tour Spec 74x set to B2, neutral weight

Titleist 816 H1 19* Fujikura Motore Speeder 8.8x set to C2

Titleist 716 TMB 4 – PW TTDG AMT S300

Vokey SM6 53* (F) & 58* (K) TTDG S300

Vokey SM5 62* (T) TTDG X100

 

Quite a bit of change from earlier in the year, but it has been working for the last few weeks with little change except for swapping in and out wedges depending on where I am playing on a particular day.

 

Now that my club gigolo tendencies are out of the way….how does this perform for me?

 

On the Practice Green

On first look at the putter behind the ball it actually looks smaller and more compact than I would have thought.  The center of the putter frames the ball really well and as its claim to fame it is dead easy to line up……like just almost illegal easy to line up.

 

The only real gripe that I had with the putter was the grip; which is not a reflection of the putter or quality just that I did not get along well with the Forward grip.  On my first session on the putting green I made absolutely nothing and really struggled with distance control.  Took the putter home and swapped out the grip for a SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 and back in business. 

 

My putting this season has just not been up to my standards and I spent a lot of time on the practice green this year working with an alignment mirror, stroke gate and the Pelz Board.  With that said these are my thoughts on how the MLA performed on the practice green.

 

·       Accuracy – Just flat out easy to line up.  I use the ProV1 line on the side of the ball for alignment after I read a putt and this was just point and shoot.

·       Distance Control – Took some time to get used to but the ball comes off the face very consistent making distance control very easy to master.  I played on fast and slow greens with this putter and it performed very well on both surfaces.

·       Alignment – A putter with a shaft band that has #1 Aim has to be easy to line up…well this excels in what it is billed as.  Almost illegal in how easy it is to line up.

·       Forgiveness –  For the size of the mallet I would have figured it would have been a bit more forgiving than it is.  Testing heel and toe strikes really cost you distance and accuracy.  For a mallet it was well behind either of my Spider Tours and Scotty Futura X on off center strikes.

 

Practice Green Score: 9 out of 10 points

Would have lost more on forgiveness but everything else about the putter was really good.

 

On the Course

Rather than summarize my on course thoughts into bullet points I will attempt to cover all areas together.  As noted in my bio I have been playing for a long time relative to my age and have been scratch to a plus index since high school, but struggled with putting for a long time.  The last ten or so years putting went from a weakness to a strength most due to practice, practice and more practice.  I have a putting green in my basement and spend a few hours a week at my club rolling putts during the season.  What I am looking for in a putter is mainly consistency; as with all the clubs in my bag.  I like to have as many knows as possible in my bag as I can and eliminate as many variables as possible.  So did the MLA meet these criteria?

Well yes and no…..at first.

 

First round with the MLA in the bag was our annual play with the pro round and I played well tee to green….not so much on the greens.  I had 16 putts on the front nine alone which would only be on 8 holes since I chipped in for birdie on 9.  Now an average of 2 putts a hole should not be considered poor but I missed four putts inside 8 feet and they were not even close.  Get to the back 9 and drain a nice 20 footer on 11, make a nice 8 footer to save par on 12 then yanked a 6 foot eagle putt after driving 13.  The rest of the round was up and down and my confidence on the greens was shot.  Normally I would just bench the putter and grab another one from the stable and go on with life.  This time around I hit the putting green and put in some work.

 

Played the next day and shot even par with 28 putts….maybe there is something to blaming the guy making the stroke.  Once my setup issues were addressed the putter performed really well for me.  It is really dead easy to line up and there is something to the science behind this putter.  This is not to say that you will make everything, but I had very few instances of not being able to get the ball rolling on my intended line.  Distance control is really intuitive on well struck putts, but off center strikes are really a crapshoot for me.

 

Overall this is just a very solid putter from a company that is not well know.  I would put the quality of the flatstick on par with a Scotty or Betti any day of the week.  Add to that the technology in the aiming system and it is a winning combination.  The only real negative that I could say is that at times distance control could be an issue with poorly struck putts, but that is usually the case with most putter.  From 12 feet and in this seems to just be money.

 

Course Score:  38 out of 40

 

Performance Notes

 

Overall this putter was a great performer for me on putts that I should make and took some time to get used to lag putting.  Compared to the revolving door that is the putter spot in my bag this stick could easily earn a spot in the rotation.  So far this season I have had a Spider Tour Red, Spider Tour Black, Odyssey OWorks 7s, Odyssey OWorks 1W, Scotty Notchback, Scotty Circa 62 Circle T…..well you get the point that I really can just be a revolving door.  Last year I rolled one putter for the entire season and it must have lost its magic over the winter and has not made it back into the bag.

 

The MLA is right up there and just as solid as the other sticks that I have played this year.  The face is soft but not too soft and firm but not too firm.  For me it strikes the right balance between the feel of an Odyssey and a milled Scotty, very similar in terms of feel to a Betti Fit face putter.  The feel seems to carry across the face and I had to “purposely” hit a few off the toe and heal to really get a harsh feedback.  The addition of the changeable weights is a nice touch allowing the ability to dial based on green speeds and conditions.

 

Sound and Feel

Describe how the product sounds and feels

·       Very similar to a Betti Fit Face and that is really good company to be in

·       Does it feel consistent across the face, or are mis-hits noticeably pronounced? Yes, unless you are really far out on either side of the clubface.

·       The sound is somewhere between an insert putter and a milled putter.  I know this is milled but the grooves on the face have a pronounced impact (for the better) on sound and feel.

 

Sound and Feel Score: 13 of 15 points

 

Looks

Generally just a very confidence inspiring shape and not nearly as busy as I thought it would be.  I am not the biggest fan of green, but the colors here blend really well and not too busy.  The top is very simple and my eye is really drawn to the alignment features while the site dot is really a nice touch.  On the bottom of the putter there is a lot going on and pretty busy looking.  This is not a distraction at all since none of it is visible at address.  One of the absolute best mallets that I have seen in a long time due mainly to its compact appearance behind the ball. Not really sure there is anything that I would change on this putter from the looks perspective.  Very well done, very very well done.

Looks Score: 15 of 15 points

 

Likelihood of Purchase

So I guess the last area is likelihood of purchase which for me there really is not a putter that I won't buy.  The only aspect that would hurt me here is that I am an impulse buyer and if it is in my hands I am game to bring it home.  I would be hard pressed to purchase a putter over the internet that I have never even seen or touched….not saying I wouldn't but it is slightly less likely. Now that MLA is on my radar I am already thinking of adding a blade version to the stable.  Just so that I have options….

LOP Score: 19 of 20 points

 

TOTAL SCORE:  94 out of 100

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­MLA Tour XDream Black Edition putter

Official MGS Forum Member Review

By cksurfdude (Summer 2017)

 

 

Stage 1.

First, a really big THANKS!!! to MLA Golf for making these putters available to us and to the MGS GolfSpies and selection committee!

 

In this Stage 1 background review, I'm gonna look briefly at the putter first and then talk a bit (well, a lot…) about me as a golfer; please note that putter performance is covered later in a Stage 2 post.

 

 

About MLA.

 

top_view.jpg

 

So.. what is the “MLA Concept”?

 

“MLA (Multiple Line-detector Activation) is the new patented alignment technology that will revolutionize your putting. This is how it works…

We all have internal guides to compare and analyze sensory information that control pace and direction of putts. The MLA putters are designed to take advantage of these guides. MLA Putters worked with Dr. Lennart Högman, Ph.D. Dr. Högman has studied the perceptual process for more than 20 years and has performed studies that have revised the science between the human's perceptions and the human being's motor skills.

He says: ‘An alignment system that acts upon multiple line detectors is a key to obtain veridical motion perception and a perfect in-line stroke surface.'

The brain consists of 100,000 line detectors that are divided into a number of groups that help us decide what is straight. A simple line, for example, activates a group of detectors. When several groups of detectors are activated, these help the brain to make correct judgments.

However, the more line detectors that are stimulated will not automatically lead to a better line judgment. On the contrary, this can create a “competition” between the line detectors that will lead to different degrees of (so called) optical illusions.

MLA is developed to activate the maximum number of coordinated detectors for optimal aiming judgment.
”

 

(from the MLA Golf website at… https://www.mla.golf/pages/mla-concept)

 

 

Yeah, I had to look it up, too:

  • ve·rid·i·cal
    vəˈridək(ə)l / adjective
    truthful.
    coinciding with reality.

So.. it seems like they're saying it's designed to help you see a straight (“true”) line from the putter head to the ball, and then.. help you move the putter head in a straight line through the ball towards your target…

(You're still responsible for lining up the ball to your target, I guess...)

 

MLA_Alignment_video.jpg

 

·         Videos at… https://www.mla.golf/pages/video

 

 

A few other tidbits found while perusing their website…

  • The XDream shape seems to be a bit of a cross, or blend, of the styles and head shapes of their Tour Classic and Tour Mallet.

MLA_Tour_Series.jpg

 

  • They have (to date) one Senior Tour player - Barry Lane - who's using the Tour XDream.
    • After Round 1 of the US Senior Open he was T-4 (6/29/17; did not follow what happened Rd 2 and later) .. so guess he's a “legit” player.
    • They also list three International "Other Tour Players playing MLA putter" (2 from S. Africa, one from Ireland)
  • Under “Accessories” they have what appears to be a nice putting practice mat ($35 with free shipping; but I already have two others).
  • MLA, based in Switzerland, also produces a set of forged cavity back irons.

 

 

OK .. it's here!

 

Packed in the box along with the MLA Tour XDream was...

  • Tour weight kit
    • includes a pair each of 10- and 15-gram weights
    • 5-gram weights are pre-installed standard
  • Mallet headcover
    • shipped on the clubhead
  • a card assuring you it's been checked by their QC Dep't.
    • Also handwriting indicating custom options (for me: “Lie +2”)
  • and an MLA Golf cap (nice touch!)
  • ..and notice the MLA wide, white alignment mark on the front kinda looks like a smile  :)

unpacked.jpg

 

A few very minor negatives I noticed during unpacking…

  • the weight kit's lid opened during shipping, so a few of the weights were bouncing around inside the box
  • a black sticker, with silver lettering, on the shaft just below the grip
  • Kinda nit-picking, but the headcover, though a quality piece of leather with nice stitching and a plush interior, does not seem to 100% completely cover the face … maybe this is common to many mallet headcovers? Also, the magnets inside make it simple to open/close but seem to want to grab the putter when sliding it back on.

headcover.jpg

 

 

A bit about the putter.

 

A few things that caught my eye after unpacking it include…

  • Most of the mass is in the front of the head, not in the “wings”
    • In fact, the wings are drilled out on the sides and flatten out towards the back; ie. less mass at the sides and rear of the putter (guess I had, umm, “assumed”, a high MOI mallet would have relatively more weight out to the sides and back).
    • The shape of the back edge of the front (most mass) part of the putter parallels the shape of the MLA alignment aid (function? Or aesthetics?).
    • There are also two small rectangles routered out of the bottom, presumably to shift a few of grams weight around?
  • It's not center-shafted and not heel-shafted, sorta in-between (though if you look down the shaft from the top it appears as if the shaft does enter the putter head in the center)
  • It's not face-balanced (thought I'd read that somewhere), but has a very slight toe hang
  • Shaft is a single-bend, ‘into the head' (no plumber's neck), half-shaft offset
  • Face is wider across vs. my Versa 1W (about the same height)
  • Face is milled with straight lines .. and with what look like to me as fairly deep grooves .. across the whole face (no cross-hatching or other grinding; and not a face with any kind of insert)
  • Black PVD finish is matte on top, glossy on bottom
  • Face is also Black PVD

side_view.jpg

 

face.jpg

 

 

A bit about the putter I ordered.

 

I ordered mine at 33” and at +2° Upright .. as I'm short (5' 7”) and I like to set up close to, and looking down on to, the ball on putts. Everything else I left at their “standard”.

 

The other options:

  • lengths - offered at 1” intervals from 32” to 36” (RH or LH)
  • loft - 2.5 degrees, +/- 1°
  • lie - 70 degrees, +/- 2°
  • top weight (which I'm guessing means counterbalance) - 25 to 100 grams (but “mainly for 33 and shorter”)
  • grip - can get SuperStroke Slim 3.0, Ultra Slim 1.0 or Flatso 2.0 or a Forward Golf Jumbo grip

Forward_grip_with_alignmentstickonit.jpg

 

Forward_grip_buttend_view.jpg

  • Weight Kit is included with any Tour Edition putter and gives you a pair of 10g and 15g weights, in addition to the 5g installed weights.
  • The head is 375 grams – inclusive of the 2 x 5g weights.

 

Complete product description and specs on their website at…

https://www.mla.golf/collections/tour-series-black-edition/products/tour-xdream-black-edition

 

 

 

OK, so now onto…

 

A bit about me.

 

In summary, I'm a very average but constantly-working-to-improve golfer .. some good shots and some not so good shots… Length and consistency off the tee probably the biggest thing holding me back; have been working on my irons and short game to try to make it up.

 

My putting has been slowly improving over time, though still inconsistent, but early this season seemed to have pretty much abandonded me. So .. no surprise to many of you who may also tinker with gear or with new techniques ... I started trying different ways of gripping the putter and then tried a different putter.

 

No definitive success, so the opportunity to review this putter was a very timely and fortunate circumstance - and I'm hoping that the MLA Tour XDream might help me get a step closer to better, more consistent, putting.

 

 

  • Player Story

I'm 61 now and started playing 8 years ago, though unfortunately lost big parts of those first few years .. and then last season again .. to work-life-family-injury issues. Playing catch-up now with more practice and more on-course time, after doing a lot of PT last year and a lot of light, steady exercise over this past Winter (including different kinds of “assisted” squats and stationary bike).

 

I've been retired for 3 years now after almost 30 years in the investment industry. It took me like two full years to finally start to unwind and relax and shed the accumulated stresses…. But I know I'm very fortunate to be in the position I am!

 

Yes - I've got aches and pains and worn-out joints and arthritis all over and cervical vertebrae isssues and old injuries that keep me from moving and performing at 100% .. and from playing as much as I'd like .. some mornings are a bit stiffer and achier than others .. so I try to stay fit to compensate. But it's not much compared to some of the other old boys on this forum who can get out there and play 18 so I'll count my blessings and move on :)

 

I live on Long Island, NY and don't belong to a private club so I play on muni or daily fee courses; frequently play 9 at a short (unrated) course on the grounds of a VA Hospital nearby. I volunteer at the course once a week and they let you play any day you want, so it's convenient to get out and just go play/practice a few holes anytime. If there's no one playing behind me I'll hit a few extra approach shots or extra greenside chips or roll extra putts from different spots.

 

There's a small practice green there with some good slope to it, and a just wide enough rough grass area surrounding it that you can chip around; otherwise no other practice areas nor range. There are a few ranges within 20 - 35 minute drives but I spend more practice time in my garage or backyard swinging a training club or mostly just working on pitching / chipping movements with an old wedge - usually with no ball or sometimes a tennis ball (saw that in a video tip, and also so the dogs can chase it .. otherwise they steal the golf ball and chew the cover off!).

 

 

  • Sports Growing Up

My Dad didn't golf nor did any of my childhood friends. My Dad liked boats so he joined a yacht club and I spent Summers in the junior sailing program. Got pretty good at it and won or placed in several regional regattas over a few years. Joined the sailing team when I went to college but didn't stick with it. My Dad also liked skiing so that's what we did during the Winters. Got pretty good at that; in fact after college spent a few years ski bumming all Winter and surfing all Summer (ahhh to be 20-something again…..).

 

After the knees wore out and skiing ended a friend (back home) introduced me to windsurfing, and this became a passion for many years. The sailing experience crossed over and helped me to get good at this, too. But after I got really good at windsurfing I found I was going less and less if the conditions were not just right .. so I got more and more into wave surfing. Got decent enough at that, not great but I could go out and get fun rides in small waves. More recently picked up stand-up paddle surfing; use it mostly as a good workout.

 

Equipment notes:

Small boats are sensitive to small changes in sail trim, weight placement, etc. and in what's called one-design racing - where all the boats are the same - it's the skipper's and crew's sail handling and boat handling ability, on top of their course racing strategy, that makes the difference. Skis actually have a lot of parallels to golf shafts - eg. materials and construction, flex and flex points and overall bend profile, also what's appropriate for what type of skier in what type of terrain, etc etc.

 

Windsurfers are really complex: from the variations in boards - style (what type of sailor and what conditions it's appropriate for), length, volume, width, rail outline, rocker (bottom curve), and on and on; to the variations in fins - size, length, camber and foil, flex, materials, even number of fins (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5!). Also consider that water is many times more dense than air so the hydrodynamic effects on a fin and board are very high.

 

Then on to the variations in sails - size, style (again, what type of sailor and what conditions it's appropriate for), cut and materials, etc…, plus the mast and boom that you rig the sail on .. so how well you rig (set up) the sail and and how well you control the aerodynamic forces on it determine how well you do out on the water.

 

So the applicable part of all of this to golf is that these sports are each very equipment-dependent in their own way .. or: the better you know and understand your equipment, the better you can select what's right for you and set it up and use it .. and the better you do (and the more fun you have!). So even if I don't have a long history with golf and golf equipment I think I have a good feel for what works, or doesn't, for me.

 

 

  • How I Got Started in Golf

After my Mom passed away and I went out to her place to clean up, I found a bunch of golf clubs, bags and balls, etc. in the garage. She had gotten into golf after getting remarried later in life - her second husband was a “golf nut” (her words) and they ended up moving into a golf retirement community. So figuring I'd at least give it a try “for her” - as she was always trying to talk me into playing .. see, I'd always thought golf was dumb and a waste of time .. I packed it all up into a big box and shipped it back home.

 

So one time during Summer of that year (I was 53 ½) a friend is over and notices the stuff sitting now in my garage .. he runs home, comes back, grabs a few of the clubs and has me hitting foam practice balls in the backyard. I .. clearly .. didn't know at all what I was doing but he's all encouraging like “You got it!” So that weekend we meet at a range nearby and he works at coaching me some more and after a short while I'm actually starting to think, “Hey - this is kinda fun!”

(and very shortly thereafter started my journey into “Club Ho'Dom”…)

 

 

  • Learning To Play The Game

I took a few lessons at a public course near where I was living at the time (which is an Arnold Palmer managed facility, so I hoped they had a good instructor staff there) and attended a few short game clinics there, too. Realized pretty quickly that I was not a big hitter and that to play well I would need to learn both a good full swing technique and good short game skills.

 

My second season my wife and I attended a 3-day David Leadbetter School; she got a lot more out of it than I did, as she'd had a little bit of golf experience as a kid - her parents played and belonged to a club. I also looked at books and magazines and instructional DVDs, including a few of Leadbetter's, Phil's “Short Game Secrets” and Tom Watson's “Lessons For A Lifetime” (really like that one). Last Christmas my wife got me Dave Stockton's “Unconscious Putting” (another good one). Do not really look at YouTube videos.

 

I have a friend - from windsurfing, initially - that I later found out was a club pro and also had competed a few times professionally. My second season I was able to get a lesson from him and the core of it was very simply do not interfere with the natural motion and path that the clubhead wants to travel in ... or: a lot of what we're working so very very hard to do can actually end up being the exact wrong thing* to attain a better swing… Didn't totally get it then but starting to “internalize” that now - like 6 or 7 years later!

 

 * Ben Hogan is quoted as saying: “Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.”

 

As a result of this lesson .. or let's call it “feel-based movement” .. I've been a bit skeptical of more traditional ‘get into this position at this point in the swing with your weight at X% and at Y% and your hips at this angle with this degree of rotation and your spine at this angle holding your trail arm angled like this so the clubhead is here but not there and ….”

 

Which is actually a little strange as I've always been a very analytical and more technically-oriented person. But different people learn differently...

 

Anyhow my friend travels a LOT but early last season was able to catch him again for a coaching session at a range near his house. The core of that lesson was one incredibly simple thing - a flatter backswing - but incredibly difficult for me to reliably execute. Well .. over a year later and it's finally starting to work its way into my swing.

 

Yeah, this game is HARD and requires a LOT more patience than I had when I started .. so I guess that's something else I'm learning along the way.

 

I'd also started investing in training aids early on, and now have a whole collection with things like a Leadbetter “Swing Setter”, a Momentus weighted club, a speed stick, a pair of balance disks, Tour Striker 7i and PW, DST 8i and Wedge (prefer these to the TS), an iGotchaReady warmup weight (you use it on three different spots on the shaft), a SKLZ Gold Flex, Tour Tempo earpiece, Pocket Bunker (to simulate bunker shots) and an old wedge that I stuck a broken driveway marker into the butt end .. and then added a piece of white foam at the tip .. so that you can be aware of just where the butt end of the club is pointing while you practice chipping and pitching swings (eg. keep it pointing at your navel or at your left hip).

 

DIY-wedge-trainer.jpg

 

And of course a mat and net in the garage and alignment sticks (driveway markers from Home Depot) and not one but two putting mats.

 

 

  • My Game Currently

I'm happy to say that this year after a lot of work I feel as if I'm starting to “get” the game. I love the challenge of it, and I really want to play better. I like outdoor activities and prefer to walk the course when possible. My wife also enjoys playing so it's something we can get out and do together; we also plan vacations around being able to play golf.

 

I don't maintain a handicap – though I joke that it's 5…

1.     Woods

2.     Hybrids

3.     Irons

4.     Wedges

5.     Putter

 

I don't usually keep score but track my shots vs. Par per hole. A good day for me would be a consistent +1 over with maybe a Par or two and hopefully no more than a few Doubles or worse, so maybe like mid-90s currently (1) .. .. but typically there will be tee shots OB or lost or topped, and a fluffed bunker shot or two and a few 3-putts so now we're back up into the 100s zone.

 

(1)   Update: kept score and shot a 95 .. *not* counting 6 Mulligans (all lost tee shots) .. on a challenging, hilly track with crazy fast greens at West Point, NY (7/05/17).

 

I work a lot on my short game to try to minimize those fluffed chips and three-putts since clearly that's where I could pick up strokes. But also working on the mental game - tension, nerves, focus - to try to minimize the duffed shots off the tee and stop losing so many strokes to bad tee shots…

 

I have an equal opportunity miss off the tee - can top it, can pull it left (I'm right-handed) or can slice it away into right field (though that is becoming less frequent as my swing improves and as I start to understand the ‘what' of what causes that to happen; eg. like getting too steep and coming back OTT).

 

I'm not gonna bomb it off the tee .. I'm relatively short and scrawny at about 5' 7”, about 157 lbs. My goals are to improve my technique to make better contact and to hit more accurately and more consistently, ie. put more balls closer to my intended target (“200 in the fairway beats 250 in the woods” - my first instructor said).

 

And working on my putting, too - been spending a lot more time on the practice green this season.

 

 

  • My Swing

I talked earlier about my sports growing up and pre-golf (sailing and skiing, then windsurfing and surfing) which are each fairly dynamic - eg. in sailing you're moving around the boat and the boat is moving over the water; in skiing you're moving over the terrain and moving your body position relative to your skis; in windsurfing you're also moving across the water (or sometimes briefly through the air when you jump) and you're constantly adjusting your body position relative to the board and to the rig (the sail) to adjust for the ever-shifting water and wind conditions.

 

So when I started golfing it was ugly. UHHHGLEE! Could not hold my body still and swing .. lotta swaying, lotta up-and-down. Despite lessons and instructors' admonitions and my own strong desire it just felt so UNNATURAL to me….

 

Really: holding your golf posture while swinging a club is a very specialized skill.

 

But .. just as of late .. I feel like I've taken a big step forward and feel like my swing is starting to loosen up, and like I'm starting to feel the weight shift and body rotation. I'm starting to be able to keep the ball in play better, and (almost) feel like I have some control over where the ball is headed - ie. more shots are landing closer to where I'd intended. Still wide on tee and approach shots too often but they're not as far off as last season!

 

I'll estimate my swing speed as moderate - not real good player fast but not real bad player slow either; and my swing tempo as moderate, also – still gets a bit hurried but am working on smoothing it out and completing my back turn with an ever so slight pause at the top.

 

 

  • My Clubs

My 150 club is my 7i; my irons (5i-PW) are Cobra King OS with Recoil 807s and were fit at a Club Champion (all other clubs are self-fit).

 

At the top end of the bag what counts as my driver currently is a Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 set at 14° (head volume 235cc so it's like an oversized 3W) which on a good day I can get out to maybe 220 total (and hoping to extend that as my swing continues to loosen up and my contact continues to improve). According to a chart I found on Golf WRX (http://www.golfwrx.com/64715/carry-distance-vs-swing-speed-chart/) that would extrapolate to an approx mid-90s mph swing speed with a 3W. Then I have an XR16 5W and an XR 4H.

 

On the short end my 50 and 54 wedges are Callaway MD3 that I rarely hit with more than a 3/4 swing .. working on hitting my targets and distance control is more important to my game than outright distance. If I need to go further than a "comfortable" distance with a wedge I'll club up and grip down an inch.

 

 

  • My Putting

When I'd started playing I didn't like putting. Not at all. Think it was Hogan who'd called it “a game within a game”. (So maybe it wasn't his favorite part of the game, either?) I mean, you're supposed to whack the ball, right?, to make it go far, right? .. so what is this other thing we have to do now? So you can see I never really played mini-golf as a kid.

 

Well, with time and experience I've come to appreciate the nuances and subtleties .. and challenges! .. of trying to hole out the ball on different kinds of greens. So over time my putting has slowly gotten steadier and more reliable, though starting off this season I'd seemed to have lost it all.

 

So .. as many of you can relate to... I'd started experimenting with a new putter (which I nicknamed BUFF = Big Ugly Fat F***er) and also started experimenting with different styles of gripping the putter - like trying to hold it like a long putter with the lead hand on the top of the shaft, lead arm bent and elbow pointing forward, and the trail hand low with a claw grip. Found this worked decently for long putts but not for short putts.

 

Tried a few other variations but the result was kinda the same - BUFF helped more with distance control and hitting a given distance more consistently on long putts, but I was not totally comfortable with it on short putts .. so was still missing a lot of what should be “scoring” putts. My current Versa #1W, on the other hand, was much better for me on short putts but less consistent on long / lag putts.

 

(So - should I carry two putters in the bag? He asked only half-jokingly.)

 

  • Putting Strengths
    • Lag putting, generally, though sometimes just a wee bit ;-) short or long.
    • Putting from the fringe - often can get it close, very occasionally hole it.

 

  • Putting Weaknesses
    • Mid-length putts, from like 7 to 15 ft.
    • Grazing the edges of the cup too often.
    • Reading greens - the old eyes aren't what they used to be, and I can miss small contours or subtle breaks .. especially right around the hole. I'm good for at least one or two gross mis-reads per round.
    • Patience – don't usually take time to line up the alignment aid on the ball with my intended target line.

 

Read an article about AimPoint and when I'm not sure which is the high side I'll walk halfway to the hole and try to feel with my feet which way it's going. (Yes, I understand this is just the ‘express' version of Aimpoint Express.) Otherwise if I'm still unsure I'll just go at the hole and try to get the distance correct to leave it close.

 

 

  • My Current Putters
    • Odyssey Versa #1W
      • 33”, +2 degrees upright, SuperStroke Slim 3.0 (not counterbalanced)
      • Dual-Insert face – metal mesh over a softer inlay.

 

Bought this a few years ago when I felt I was ready for a “real” putter. I like the classic look along with the added width. At the time I got it, I couldn't justify the extra $100+ for the Works version so got the plain old Versa, unfinished except for one black stripe along the flange and one white alignment line on the flange. In hindsight probably should've splurged for the Works version as I've added lead tape to the rear of the flange (I like to tinker with gear).

 

Prior to this I had a basic Cleveland mid-mallet (#6, I think?) and a weird-looking center-shafted Ping Half-Crazee (seemed to work well in the store anyway); neither seemed to do much for me so didn't last long (ahhh, the endless journey to find “better” clubs!). My first putter - that I'd gotten from my Mom's gear - was an old Anser style Ray Cook with a smooth face and narrow pistol wrap grip.

 

But this season my putting seemed to be way waaaaay off, so in another impulsive “Club Ho” / throw more money at the problem ;) moment I ordered...

 

  • Cleveland TFI Smart Square Halo
    • 38”, 405g head with 135g counterbalance, standard loft, lie, grip
    • TFI (True Feel Innovation) face is a copper (soft) milled overlay.

 

This is the one I call “BUFF” and is pretty much the opposite of 1W in *every* way … eg. longer, heavier, bigger and all black and funky-lookin' and has these two large prominent white squares for alignment on the top.

 

But I do like the feel of the TFI face, and I do think it helped my putting .. but lag putting more than shorter / “scoring” putting.

 

So .. the hunt is still on for the right putter…

 

1W vs BUFF - top view.jpg

 

 

OK ... if you've read through all that - thank you!

(I guess now you know more about me than you ever wanted to...)

 

 

-- Any and all questions or comments, please post into this topic (it will appear after all of the “Reserved Stage” spots). I, and I know the other reviewers also, will be monitoring this thread and can follow-up.

 

And please check back in a few weeks for the Stage 2 Performance Reviews!

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Stage 2 - preliminary.

 

Hey All - just a quick update while I prepare the full review .. I like this putter!

 

Yes: it's big and funky-looking.

Yes: that big, wide white "smile" of an alignment aid looks strange.

 

But it unquestionably is helping me putt much more consistently!

 

 

(--

Stage 3 - sneak peek.

It's in the bag, and staying there for now.

--)

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TSauer Tour XDream Stage 1

I like big putts and I cannot lie

 

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*starting things off with a bang. Okay not so much a bang, but some sparklers.

 

What's up y'all? Welcome to my stage 1 review of the MLA Tour XDream putter. Shoutout to MGS for allowing me this opportunity, you da real MVP!

 

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Grab a drink, pull up a chair, and let me tell you a little bit about myself. I started golfing nearly three years ago at the age of 24. I never had any interest in the game growing up, but my best friend, who has played pretty much all his life, talked me into buying a set of Top Flite clubs and going out to play with him. Well, just like that I was hooked. Quite literally. I am fortunate enough to live about 3 minutes from our golf course and can go out and play whenever I get the urge, which is quite often. I have never had lessons and when I started out I did all of my learning through YouTube videos, books, and recording and studying my swing. My game has improved tremendously over the few years.

 
 

Strengths of my game

 

Recently I have been focused a lot of iron play. I used to whiff a lot of tee shots, leaving me with poor second recovery shots. With all of the practice I've been doing, I'd say my irons are my strong suit. More particularly, 7 iron and below. I feel more confident than ever stepping up sending anything up to 170 yards.

 

Weakness of my game

 

This award, hands down, goes to my driver. It is not that I can never hit it, it's just that it is so unpredictable. One day I can hit balls straight down the middle and find fairway every time. Other days I'm not even sure what a fairway is. My main problem was a slice, I then fixed that and hit a hook, now I hit a combo of both with an occasional straight one down the pipe.

 

Current putter

 

I play a Ping Sigma G Anser at 36.5” equipped with a Flatso 2.0 grip. I bought this about 4 months ago shortly after the Sigma G line released. I was able to roll some putts at DSG and I loved the feel. The technology behind it actually works and I thought it was the one. I always considered myself a blade putter, but that soon may change.

 

Why I chose this putter

 

The Sigma G caught my eye right off the bat. I love the minimalist look, and I'm a firm believer that if you game something that is appealing to you, it will boost your confidence when standing over the ball. I'm also not one to read into the hype too much when it comes to all the technology involved in putter faces, but this time I did. And, it held up to be true.

 

Putter strengths/weaknesses

 

I consider myself an average putter. I'm definitely no Spieth, but I also don't have a lot of 3 putts. When it comes to putting my biggest strength is feel and judging distance. I can typically get putts close to the hole for tap-ins, key word being close. That is where my weakness comes in, aim. This is my biggest weakness when it comes to the dance floor. I have always gamed a blade putter with minimal aim aid, which could account for some of the problem. I am always able to get them close, I just cannot always get them on the right line.

 

How long have I golfed?

 

As I mentioned earlier, I have been golfing for 3 years this month I believe. I live on in Missouri so we are able to play throughout most of the year, minus a couple months maybe due to snow and it just being too cold to go out. I'm fortunate enough to have three day weekends every week, so I usually try and play at least one round every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Throughout the week, I will try and go up at least twice. So, I usually end up playing roughly 4-5 times a week.

 

Why do I love the game?

 

I've always loved the outdoors and I've always loved sports. Golf is the perfect combination of them both. I love it because I can go out and play and even when I'm not shooting that well, I can still enjoy the scenery. It's also one of those sports that keeps you humble. You can be playing so great, then the Golf Gods strike down and you shank one into the woods and put you back in your place. There have been several times I wanted to just give up, but I know I never will. All it takes is for one perfect shot to draw you right back in.

 

What type of golfer am I?

 

Competitive, yet I know when to relax and just have a good time. I've always been competitive in everything while I was growing up, whether that be sports, video games, hide-and-seek, you name it. That being said, I can also go out and have a good time and not worry about trying to beat anyone else and just have a good time with friends. But, I'll always be battling with myself out there… that's just golf.

 
 

How about a little unboxing?

 
3uWFppX.jpg
 

I wanna start off this unboxing by saying how well packaged the putter was. It came all the way from Switzerland to Missouri without any harm. I actually never thought I was going to be able to get it unwrapped with all the bubble wrap they had securing it.

 

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Cruising down the street in my 6-4, trying to get rid of my yips, I don't want ‘em no mo'

 

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Straight out of the box, I knew this thing was going to be top quality. The weight kit includes 10g and 15g weights, with the putter coming installed with 5g weights already. The headcover has a magnetic closure, which is something I always prefer with my putter covers. I am not a fan of the velcro closures. The inside is as smooth as a baby's bottom, maybe even smoother.

 

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We were given the option to choose what grip we wanted, I stuck with their original MLA Forward grip for review sakes. I love, love, love it. I'm not sure how to explain the material it is, but it feels great in the hands. It's not tacky like a SuperStroke, but it still provides plenty of traction. The shale reminds me of a Flatso, but not quite the same thing. If I had to choose between the two, I would go Forward all day long. There's something about it that I'm just digging.

Now, on to to beauty shots of this Dream.

 
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I don't want to spoil everything already, so this is where I'll leave it. I just wanted to share a few photos, give a few teaser thoughts, and hopefully keep you entertained enough for the next go-round. There is plenty to be said about this putter and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

 
 
 
 

 

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MLA Tour XDream Putter Review by TSauer

Stage 2

 

A little bit about me and my putting...

 

When I first started golfing my beginner Top Flite set had a mallet putter, but needless to say that didn't last long. Shortly after getting hooked, I know I needed to pick up a new flatstick. My first purchase was the Cleveland TFI 2135 1.0 blade putter at 35”. I always considered myself a blade style putter, I think primarily because I prefer their classic look to the bigger mallets. After gaming that one for a quite some time, I actually purchased two different putters that I never used and ended up returning. Those two putters being the Odyssey Tank Cruiser #7 and the Odyssey #9. I enjoyed the #9, but if I recall correctly, I purchased this around the time the new Ping putter line was released, which brings me to the next piece of equipment. I did a static fitting through Ping, which ended up with me purchasing a Ping Sigma G Anser at 36.5”. I purchased this putter primarily for two reasons, the first being the look. I know that isn't the top reason to buy a putter, but I feel you should always game something that appeals to you. Secondly, the technology behind this putter actually worked. My putting improved, but I still did not think it was where it should be, something was off. The main concern with blade putters for me is the minimal alignment aid, therefore making it more difficult to line up putts and hit your intended line. This was where my game on the dance floor was slacking. I could always get putts near the hole for tap-ins, but starting them out and keeping them on my line was the problem. I told myself I wasn't going to buy another putter, that I was going to practice and practice more until I was confident I could hole every putt within reasonable distance. So, the Sigma G was my recent gamer up until I was chosen to review this Tour XDream and it's been, well, a dream.

 

94Mf63m.jpg

 

 

 

Performance on the Practice Green

 

 

  • Accuracy/Alignment: Right off the bat, this is where the MLA putter shines. You're probably thinking, well yeah, that's the entire concept behind the putter. I am able to hit my intended line now more than ever. At first I was worried, as there is no alignment line running behind the ball, just a single subtle dot. But, this is where the science comes in.

"An alignment system that acts upon multiple line detectors is a key to obtain veridical motion perception and a perfect in-line stroke surface."

 

A2uri1S.png

 

I felt that once I got the ball lined up in the center of the putter, where the dot is, I could easily visualize the photo above and nail my line every time. A golfing partner made a remark one evening while we were out, stating there was no line on the putter to line it up. He mentioned it's like selling a Lamborghini with no headlights (or something of that nature), it just doesn't make sense. I will admit, it's different at first, but once you understand the concept behind it all you'll get that “ah ha” moment and understand what it's all about.

 

Mme0dHP.jpg

 

 

  • Distance Control: This was an area where I was already strong in with my previous putters, and this putter didn't change that a bit. I stuck with the 5G weights, as our greens are always changing with the crazy Missouri weather. All of my long putts I was able to roll close to the hole for tap ins, which is my main goal for long putts that have a low probability of going in.
  • Forgiveness:  As I suspected with this putter, it's very forgiving. I took the time to purposely hit putts off of the toe as well as the heel and I'm very pleased with the results. All of my putts were able to hold my initial line and I noticed only a slight decrease in distance with mis hits. I will note that the ball felt a little firmer when struck off the heel or the toe, as compared to striking one dead center. They did not come off as hot, therefore not rolling as far, but certainly not losing any significant distance.
  • Control: Again, this putter is forgiving and that plays a role into control. This XDream is all about high MOI. As long as you can find your line, hit the ball in the center, it's going to go where you want. That's the simple part. I never had a problem controlling the ball and getting it to roll the right distance, after I got used to it. Like mentioned in Stage 1, it does come with a few set of weights to tinker with depending on what type of greens you play but I stuck with the 5g weights. I didn't want to tinker with those too much in my initial testing as it would alter my putting statistics while trying to get used to something heavier/lighter. I will go back and do that later on.

mkk5Fpj.jpg

 

Practice Green Score: 10/10

 
 
 
 
Performance on the Course
 
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  • Accuracy/Alignment: Not much has changed from the putting green to the real action. This Dream is still easy as ever to line up (1 minor flaw) and with the technology behind the alignment, it's so easy to roll one in the hole. There is one minor flaw when it comes to alignment, as least in my eyes. I will touch on that in towards the end of this stage. I'm not sure what it is about this putter, maybe it's the fact that it's a mallet, maybe it's the design features, I'm not sure… but, ever since I put this in the bag my putting confidence has improved tremendously. I have yet to have a single 3-putt (knock on wood) and my scrambling partners have been blown away by how many long putts I have been able to hole. I did some small putting sessions, attempting to hole putts at varying distances and I was impressed by the percentage of putts that went in or were close to going in. I never had any problems hitting my intended line, it was just a matter of judging the correct distance.

 

  • Distance Control: Like I just mentioned, distance. I have always been good at judging distance and how hard I'm going to have to hit the ball to get it to the hole. This was a hit or miss for me on the course with the Tour XDream, I would say 85% of the time I could get the ball to hole while the other 15% I was not close. However, it was significantly better than my previous putters performance. I worked a lot on long putts while I was on the practice green, because my short game isn't the greatest. I always end up with longer putts that I really need to get close or even drop in to save par. More often than not, I would save par or even birdie putts that were in the 15-20ft range. Heck, I've even been able to hit a few putts just off the green that were sitting on the fringe from about 30ft out or so.

 

  • Consistency: My putting consistency has improved tenfold. I have noticed that my misses now have nothing to do with not hitting my line, but just leaving it short or hitting it a little too strong through the break. Short and mid range putts have been good, though. Long putts, on the other hand, have been great. I have been able to lag putts close consistently, which helps a lot when you are in fear of 3 puttings some lengthy putts. I would say this is probably the most consistent part of my game now, by far. I have been able to easily shave some strokes, and now I'm the one hitting the clutch putts in league night.

 

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Course Score: 38/40

 

 

Performance Notes

 

 

  • How did it perform? Like a… Dream. Seriously though, I love almost everything about this putter. From never even  hearing of the MLA brand before, I am blown away by it.
  • This vs my Sigma G? Two totally different worlds, imo. Blade vs mallet. Both have some great technology behind them and both work. The Sigma G just looks better, I like the classic style. However, the Dream performs better. It's really going to be a tough decision.
  • What am I pleased with? The alignment aid, hands down. I've never seen any alignments aids quite like that and they're doing something that is on a whole different level. A good level.
  • Better production on practice green or course? Tie. Everything was dropping for me in both settings. It just felt effortless sometimes.

 

  • What improvements would I like to see? The only thing I can think of, which I will mention below, is the dot to line up the ball. I would make it white, so it would stand out and be more visible.


 

Subjective

 

Looks

 

This is a mallet unlike any other I have ever hit, or even seen. At first I was not a fan of how it looked. As I'm sitting here looking at it more closely, it almost reminds me of their mallet putters, if you were to remove the entire back end of it. Everything behind the white line does have some nice curves along with two holes on each side wall of the putter. I'm not sure if they provide something in terms of performance or if they are just there for looks. My eyes really enjoy the entire color scheme and graphics that they have going. I'm not a fan of super bright things when it comes to golf. I like to keep it simple, classy. This does just that with the all black putter and the simple white guide line. The green accent color used on the bottom, as well as the grip, is a nice touch to give it a little flair. I wish there were some other mallet putters I could compare this to, but as I've always played blade style putters, I cannot do any justice in that area. One teeny tiny thing I will not that may be a problem is the dot alignment aid. This is a love hate relationship. I love the simplicity, but I don't know how I feel about it being black. When you are playing in not so bright conditions or even putting in your own shadow, it is very difficult to see the dot to line the ball up. This is just a minor annoyance that I have found.

 

Looks Score: 10/15

 

Sound and Feel 

 

I didn't really know what to think after hitting my first putt with this. The sound it makes was a little off putting at first. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I've never really heard it out of a putter before. It's sort of link a firm “tink” sound, but that doesn't mean the putter is firm. Every putt still feels soft, but with the same sound. It's different, to say the least. I'm not a huge fan of it, but a couple of my playing partners really like it. Depending on where you hit it and with what kind of bal you use, the sound will vary. If I used a cheap Top Flite or something of that nature, the “tink” is much more noticeable versus when I use my typical ChromeSoft. I would not say it is as soft as my Sigma G, but it's definitely not far off.

 

Here are some links of me hitting the off of the middle, toe, and heel of the putter.

 
 
 

    Sound and Feel Score: 13/15

 

Likelihood of Purchase

 

For the price of this putter compared to more known brands (Scotty, Toulon), I don't think I would drop the cash on this one. The technology and all the alignment is very well done, but I don't think I can justify spending that much on a putter that doesn't appeal to my eye 100%. It is not my taste, but it may fit others who like this style.

 

     LOP Score: 15/20

 

Conclussion

 

If I were to walk into my local golf shop and go to the putting section, I have to admit this wouldn't be the first putter I would pick up and hit. Heck, I'm not sure if I would pick it up and test it out at all. I've never been attracted to mallet putters, but if I absolutely had to game one it would have to be clean. I'm not a big fan of the half circle look, I much prefer a mallet style to that of the Odyssey 7 or Ping Tyne. However, say I picked this up and starting hitting putts on the practice green I would instantly start to consider it. No it may not suit my eye, but if it shaves strokes off my game, then so be it. This Tour XDream reminds me of the saying “you can't have your cake and eat it too.” You can't have the good looks and the great performance, you get to choose one. This thing is all about performance and it can easily help you out on the green.

 

     Total Score: 86/100

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Stage Three: Follow Up Questions

 

  • Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?

This is a toss-up for me. Not because this putter doesn't perform, but because I just picked up a Sigma G Anser before testing this, so I'm kind of going back and forth. I ABSOLUTELY love this putter. If I didn't buy that Anser beforehand, this would go in the bag and stay in the bag. MLA's entire alignment system is revolutionary. It's crazy to think that I have never heard of this brand before and now, all of a sudden, it's one of the best putters I have ever used.

 

 

  • To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?

If alignment is something you struggle with, the MLA Tour XDream is for you. High MOI and a flawless alignment system gives you the best of both worlds. It is not the most appealing mallet on the market, especially at the price point, but if you want to save strokes, this is the one. At least try and roll one somewhere just so you understand what the hype is about.

 

  • How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of MLA?

I have never heard of MLA before, and I've done a lot of product research. When you mention putters that are $300+ you think of Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi, Evnroll, etc. All of which are brands that many people are familiar with. If you tell someone you have an MLA putter, you can assume they'll say.. what is that? After gaming this for quite a while now, I've gotta say, it's completely changed my impression of MLA. Not only does this putter shave strokes, you can tell that there is some premium craftsmanship behind it. Is it worth the price? That's your call. I can definitely say it's a contender for Scotty's and the like. 

 

  • What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?

Honestly, I can't think of anything I would change for the next generation. This is a solid, well built flat stick that has so much going for it. The only thing I can think of is to maybe add a model that comes with a black shaft. That would be a really cool touch. Other than that, it's golden.

 

 

  • What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?

Well, this is an obvious answer.. the alignment. This is what their entire brand is built around and it's phenomenal. I don't know exactly how that can be evolved, but knowing MLA, there is a way. I will keep my eye on these guys for years to come, just to see what kind of unique, amazing products they come out with next.

 

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Hello MyGolfSpy community!

 

This is my first official review here after i had a small testcase with my Chinese rangefinder. I’m very grateful that the MyGolfSpy staff and MLA let me do the testing and reviewing of this putter! I'm still living my own little dream!

 

Let’s get straight to a very important fact: “I’m not a native English speaking world citizen so please keep that in mind if you read this”.

 

There are 2 kinds of people, readers and watchers. So why not provide both of them with discovering bits about me?

 

Let’s start with the “who’s Dave73nl” part in video so you can take a trip to my world as a start...

 

 

 

 


 

How i started and got my clubs together.

 

I started rather late with this noble sport. 5 years ago i told my little brother we had to find something to do together after we stopped playing soccer. We thought golf would be a good way to waste the little bit of free time we have and spend it together.

 

After some lessons we hit the course and we were hooked instantly, golf was magical, competitive and relaxing at the same time. I bought my first set of irons (Penn something) and start taking more lessons. I wanted other irons because i felt these weren’t that great, and i could get some secondhand other irons for a few bucks. So in came the Wilson-Staff Di7’s and i absolutely loved them!

 

After i got a sweet deal on new Taylormade Burner 2’s (less than 250 dollar new) i traded them in for a set of Taylormade Burner 3’s probably the only set outside of the US hahahaha. Those were fitted to me and i was over the moon. After i sold the Wilson-Staff set i bought myself a matching Taylormade rossa daytona 1 agsi putter and two Taylormade ATV wedges. Untill now i played this combination.

 

Drivers is another but way shorter story… I started with a Cleveland XL and could pick up a Taylormade SLDR-S for 80 dollar and never changed. My parents got me a Taylormade RBZ2 3w and i was done ;)

 

My game.

 

So, what kind of player am i. Most of the time i play with a group of friends all around 20/25hcp. We all have the same idea about golf: Enjoy and play the game as it feels! What i mean with that? I read allot about rules and how to make the game more attractive. If you enjoy the game it IS attractive and i think some of the rules are not meant for just a recreational game. We play as we think it’s supposed to be and if we don’t know it we look up the rule, drink a beer over it and try not t o forget it next time! Of Course in a tournament or official match this doesn't apply ;)

 

My home course is a cosy 9 holes course 10 miles from my hometown. I selected that course because of the nice pricing and the laydback community of members. Here in the Netherlands the prices of greenfee’s are too high in my eyes, and this course is 62 euro a month.

 

That saves money for something i try to do three times a year: Golf in the UK. Once a year i visit the UK for my family vacation because my son loves it and we combine it with visiting a football match and relatives. In the two week period we’re there i play 3 or 4 courses alone. I love playing alone and make course reviews about them on Leadingcourses. The other two times i go with my brother and/ore friends. We play from sunrise till sunset leaving almost no time for drinking beer. A golfing break is a golfing break and man i love to do that!

 

How serious i take the sport? I am very much aware of the fact that you can only get better if you practice and take a lesson once in awhile. Unfortunately next to my work i follow a study but when that's done i’m gonna commit myself to become a single figured handicapper.

 

My strongest part of my game is course management and creativity. I’m a dreamer and aldo sometimes that's not a positive thing, in golf it is. I’m looking for possibilities and opportunities instead of impossibilities and problems. Different ways to create results. The only thing that’s in my way is my striking technique ;)

 

My weakest part is my tee-ing off. I slice like a boomerang only from the tee. Ummm no, not only from there. Now i’m writing this down i have to commit that my hybride 3 and wood3 also slice… My swing come’s to much from above so that's a disaster waiting to happen, and it does happen...

 

On my wedge and iron 9 i am lethal! Especially if your head is as breakable as a eggshell and you're walking around the green. I’m point-on at 110/100 meters but under that numbers it's getting weaker and weaker again. My short game has known better days but is picking up slowly again. Let’s say it’s work in progress! I’m more of a feeling player, often take my glove off to have a better touch.

 

My iron play is okay for my handicap i guess and i’m feeling pretty confident if i have to make swings with them. My 5 hybride is a strong weapon in my eye’s. Especially if you use it for hitting people or scaring them off, in mij golfing game it's okay to.

 

So how i putt? Okay i have recorded 111 rounds with my Golfshot app and i played 1,95 putts per hole so that's pretty decent for someone who just plays under a 100 i think. Aldo i’m not such a bad putter i felt less confidence in it the last few months and i was looking online for things get a little more stable and confident.

 

My putter has past his great looking day’s a long time ago but does still feels solid in my hands and performs rather good…

 

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And then…

 

The postman brought me this! He only had to ring once because i knew what was comming... After applying to a message on the forum i was chosen to test the MLA Tour XDream, butt after a day it became clear it would even be the Black Edition putter. It took the putter some time to find my home but when it was in i was over the moon. I consider myself a budget golfer, never spend more than 250 dollar on anything what’s in my bag. I can’t afford to spend the money at new top rated gear and i try to play as good as possible material for as cheap as possible. I’ve always believed that my skills were the reason for not getting better, not my material.

 

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My first impression was WOW… I really loved the black/white/green color combination on it! The finishing is sublime, paintwork is world class and the SuperStroke slim 3.0 grip feels great. The headcover looks classy and elegant. The stitching is beautiful and the details are really nice and subtile on it.  

 

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With the putter also came a little box with the MLA logo on it. In this box there are 4 weights, 2 for 10gram and 2 for 15 gram with a Allen Key to switch them in the sole of the putter. I also found a black cap with the MLA logo on it in green and white. Surprisingly these 2 items feld and looked cheap… The little weight box was made of plastic and aldo that isn’t always a bad thing, the outer side felt like cheap movable plastic and the locking mechanism doesn’t compliments a 350 dollar putter. I had the same feeling with the cap. The texture of the fabric was really thin and felt like it was made from a parachute. It doesn't feel like a heavy duty cap that's gonna last for ages, but on the other hand, it’s an extra!

 

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Still my first impression hasn’t changed in the few day’s that i have the putter in my possession, and i stare at it multiple times a day...WOW.

 

So let’s take it to the course for a good investigation in bright sunlight and make some pictures. Because i was too scared to make scratches on it on my stone floor i hadn’t made some strokes with it to feel how it was in my hand but now on the course it feld fantastic and after the first put i tried sank i knew i was in love…The balance was good and the grip of the SuperStroke felt really nice to. It’s the first time i use a bigger putter grip to.

 

I don’t know if it’s fair to compare it with my other putter... I never have used such a top level putter so i don’t have any reference about what's good or not.

 

We'll see that in stage 2!

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Stage 2

 

Performance of the MLA XDream Tour Black Edition in my hands.

 

Okayyyy here we go for the second part! I had saved up a box of Titleist ball's for a special occasion and i thought THIS is the moment! The last weeks i spend a lot of time on the putting green of my golfclub. I thought a lot about how to make the test so fair as possible and this is wat ik came up with!

 

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Performance at the Practice Green and the course.

  • Accuracy – Wow… It's hot! Or am i getting a better putter? I am holing out a lot more putts that's for sure. If i'm not holing out it's pretty damned close or lipping out. It gives me a secure feeling. If i'm standing over the ball for the putt i feel full of confidence. I have to admit that the testing for the putter have made me more conscious about how i putt, and what i do when i'm going to putt. I'm much more aware of my putting routine and my stroke. If the putter isn't making it in my bag (wahahahah who am i fooling now) than the fact i'm more concentrating about what i'm doing while putting is a win on it's name by points!

  • Distance Control – After all the practicing the last few weeks i felt my biggest point to work on is my distance control. I feel my hands are straight but i still ‘work' to much to ‘make' the stroke instead of letting the putter do the work. I feel that it's getting better butt still make to many putt's to short. That's not the fault of the material but the user has to learn a lot more. I have more control over the distance then i had with my old putter.

  • Alignment – That was an eyeopener! I had a love at first sight moment with the alignment system of the MLA. It felt natural from the start. I get the putts on the line i intent to shoot them at almost always. I use a coin drill where i lay a coin on 4 feet and putt the ball over it with ease!  I haven't missed the alignment line on the Taylormade putter (or any other putter) for a moment...

  • Forgiveness – It is forgiving in the direction it travels when you're miss-hitting the ball, it will only change the distance the ball is traveling.

  • Control – My stroke arc became a little less arcy. The mallet (which is face balanced) wants to go straight! Of Course i didn't wanted to take this for granted so i had to come up with a solution to prove it. Okay why not try the iPing app? Ummm maybe because i don't have a iPhone? Hummm that's a good answer, let's work around that problem then! Let's take my wife's work phone (iPhone SE) make a case myself and don't tell her? Hell yeah great idea! So i came up with this...

 

 

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My home build iPing case. I really feld like MacGyver! Because of the build i only use the information about the arc of my stroke. Maybe the rest is'n really useful because my wife's iPhone isn't installed on the right way to the shaft? BUT i had my evidence: i hit the ball with a straighter stroke when i play my MLA!

 

 

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Practice green and course score combined: 45 out of 50. It feels great, works good for me. It gives me confidence when i'm getting ready to make my putt.

 

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Subjective

Looks

Describe the following:

  • General shape. I really like the looks of the plutter! I love the black looks with the subtle green and white details. The white alignment on the top of the putter is clear and classy. I really like the looks of this putter, clean clear classy. When i saw it on the pictures i thought it would be big and bulky but now i play with it i see it's elegants. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder isn't it?

  • Offset, doesn't offset me at all ;)

  • Graphics. Nice, subtle and classy. Not to flashy, not shouting here i am! I like that classy look and i love the fact that there are only 3 colors used.

  • Other unique details. I love the headcover. The stitching is really nice and subtle details in the stitching makes it even more classy.

  • How does it come together visually?

  • How does it compare to other products in its category? That's difficult because i don't have allot of compericin material. It's a league of it's own compared to my Taylormade, my friends Oddisys and Wilson putters. It has it's own stylish looks and i love it.
     

Looks Score: 12 out of 15. It's almost perfect for me! Almost because i think i loved it more when the mallet shape would be filled instead of the open parts in it. I think the standard grip looks great on it, my superstroke looks nice to but could be even better if it was in black with green details AND maybe a black shaft as well in a ‘Black Edition'. It's so well crafted and the finishing is superb...

 

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(Thanx for letting me use the picture @RexS)

 

Sound and Feel

  • I love the sound it's a clear ‘tock'.I can't hear if i hit it centre or off center, it gives the same nice sound.

  • It does feel and sounds consistent were you hit it on the face.

  • It feels great, i love the bigger weight of it it's predictable what the putter is going to do when you let it come back from taking it away, it wants to go straight forward! Maybe the possibility of putting a counter balancing weight in it would make it even more versatile

 

Sound and Feel Score: 12 out of 15.

 

Likelihood of Purchase

  • Why or why not? This is a difficult one. Let's be straight; it's too expensive for me! Aldo i feel it has made me a much better putter it's way out of my league in price. I do think different about putters after i have tested this one. A good putter makes a world of difference! If i could make money free for purchasing a world class putter i would after this experience, i would love to test it against a cheaper MLA putter to see if the alignment aid is making me a better putter or the superb milled quality of the putter… MLA wouldn't be a name i would look at at the start but now i know better! I think if you give the putter a chance, you'll be surprised! It loses some points because you're not likely to bump against it in the local golfshop. And let's be honest, would you buy a putter of this price without feeling it in your own hands???

 

LOP Score: 17 out of 20.

 

Conclusion

I love the putter! It's a quality piece of golf equipment that made me a better putter! If it's only the putter or also the fact i have been on the putting green trainings area a lot more the last weeks and i do a proper pre-shot routine i don't know but hell i feel more confident and i make more putts and that's the thing that counts on the end of the day!

Total Score: 86 out of 100.

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Mygolfspy.jpg

 

I keep that picture in, i liked it and the testing will probably never finnish   ;)

 

Stage Three

The Five Questions

  1. Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?

 

This is by far the easiest question i can answer today. Yes is the only true answer. Why? Because it feels i'm a better putter with it! Hummm feels? Yes feels because i haven't had enough data to prove it like a scientist but tell me is it better to see the numbers ore better to have the confidence? It gives me the confidence that i can make the putt instead of doubt...

 

  1. To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?

 

To everyone who would benefit by using it! Hummm that's not a very clear answer either… Okay, i think that something as personal as a putter must be fitted if you're gonna spend $350,- on it. And as i don't know any shop in the Netherlands that sells MLA so you can personally feel and try it i'm not gonna recommend it just like yes buy it it's awesome! But if you CAN get it fitted in a shop i would think everybody have to reset their brand loving and try to look what's outside of these boxes couse the quality and craftsmanship is superb!

 

  1. How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of [brand]?

 

I didn't knew the brand at all, saw some reviews of the blade style putter here on Mygolfspy earlier but it didn't stick with me. When i was chosen for this review i wanted to be open en clear and gave the people of MLA a fair chance. The deliverance was late and after mailing if there was na import tax problem they assured me there wouldn't be a problem. But when after 2 weeks it was delivered i had to pay $70 for the import tax… I wasn't happy with that part so i mailed them back asking what went wrong. I got a quick response that it was their fault and the money would be send to me. I was delighted with the service and couldn't be happier. But that wasn't the end… Today at last after 6 weeks of emailing (when there account didn't bounce my mail) i received the money. They said it was because of the holliday's… Okay at least i got it AND the putter is performing marvelous. Let's call it ends well. all well!

 

So what i think of the Brand? They make a outstanding product.

About the company? There goes a lot wrong if items that are for european users are send from US and items for the US users are send from Suisse??? But in the end they fix it and that's a plus. It restored my confidence but it was too much of a ‘thing' to not tell...

 

  1. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?

 

I wouldn't change a lot to be honest i ‘grew' in love with the putter. I would love to see a better box than the plastic one to keep the extra weights in, that's a must do! I really think the way they send it now is too cheap and not worthy the product. I would love to see a black shaft in a ‘Black Edition' putter and i would love to see a SuperStroke grip that's more in there colors like black with green details. And keep it clean and (there the word comes again:) classy!

 

  1. What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?

 

The aiming line feels so good and the build quality is so sublime just keep evolving those!!!

If you have some golf equipment in your hands that people don't know it attracts attention (thank god i changed that sentence from ‘something' into ‘some golf equipment'). People don't know the brand and wanna try it out, at least my golf mates wanted too and it wasn't a surprise that everybody who tried the putter told me they loved the build quality and the feel of the MLA.

Especially for the purpose of trying i met up with MGS Manjagolf who tested the Vice Pro Soft ball's and was currious about the putter. When she was in my hometown for a day we met up and she tested it for a while. She holed out some puts and came pretty near but it was to early to call it the new love of her life. In her eye's it was quite bulky and heavy too. So maybe they need a slightly lighter one also to serve a bigger audience?

 

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Please MLA Keep building putters like this, and get it to the shops, the product deserves it!

 

 

And if after all i don't like it anymore it would make a perfect fancy golf ball picker  ;)

 

 

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At the end i met these 3 guy's who wanted to go on a picture with the only guy with a MLA putter on the course. Okay one short moment then… I asked their names and promised to place the pictures: Ruud Gullit (World football player of the year 1987 and 1989). Christian Karembeu (Football world champion with France 1998) and Ronald Waterreus (Dutch football keeper) So i did… Because they wanted it… Of Course... And i'm a nice guy ;)

 

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Thanx to the Mygolfspy community for the feedback, questions and attention! Thanx to MLA and Mygolfspy to let me do this test, i enjoyed it and loved to work on the process... I have my next testing product already waiting (a Dutch developer made contact) and hope to make more reviews on here in the future!

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Hello everyone! This is my first review for My Golf Spy and I would like to thank MLA and My Golf Spy for the amazing opportunity!

 

I will start by telling you a little bit about myself and my golfing journey. I am currently playing off of a 14.5 handicap and I have been playing golf since I was about 4 years old (9 years ago). I think my strengths are driving and chipping/pitching and the weakest part of my game is relatively my mid-long irons. This putter will be competing against my current putter (TaylorMade White Smoke MC-72) for the spot in my bag. 

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Why do I love the game? (I have asked myself this question going around the course many times). I love golf as it is a game of extreme precision and skill. It is painfully hard and frustrating but that only makes it feel better when you play it well. It is also a great way to de-stress after a week at school.

 

I got into the game at a young age with a set of plastic clubs as long as I could remember. I got my first “actual” set of junior clubs at 4 years old. My dad is a golf professional/instructor so I have had free lessons as well! I played golf on and off from then until the age of 11. I then grew out of my junior set and got a set of my dad's old clubs. I had for been practicing for about 2 years and upgrading my bag to the point it feels like my own. I joined up at a golf course in my area a couple of months ago and I have been watching my handicap get lower (from 33 to 14.5). I am now starting to play a few junior tournaments in my area as well as the club competitions.Cranbourne.jpg

 

My current bag:

Driver: Callaway XR 16 (10* Fujikura Speeder 565 S-flex)

3 wood: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 (16* Fujikura Speeder 665 S-flex)

Hybrid: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 (20* Fujikura Speeder 665 S-flex)

4-EW: Ben Hogan Apex 1997 (Apex shaft S-flex)

52*: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (12 Bounce)

56*: Cleveland 588 RTX (4 Bounce)

60*: Cleveland CG10 (8 Bounce)

Putter: TaylorMade White Smoke MC-72

Ball: TaylorMade TP5X or Srixon Soft Feel (Depending on the round and the amount of money am prepared to spend!)

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Every club in my bag (apart from irons) has been purchased without a “fitting', rather my dad and I trying different things until I find something I like. The irons have been handed down to me by my dad. If I find something I like it is hard to get it out of my hands.

 

I live and play golf in Australia.  My short game is generally pretty good with a few bad moments. My putting is the same. I am confident in 2 putting, or better, 95% of the time.

 

So that i my golfing journey so far. Stay tuned for the next stages that I will be posting in the next few weeks. 

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My stage 1 is up, y'all! I really thought it was longer than that when I was typing it up in docs. I will try and make up for it during stage 2. Enjoy. 

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My stage 1 is up, y'all! I really thought it was longer than that when I was typing it up in docs. I will try and make up for it during stage 2. Enjoy. 

Great start!  That putter looks sweet  :D

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My Stage 1 is posted!

(Warning: I seem to have gotten a bit chatty in the "About Me" section...!)

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Great write-up, CK. Put mine to shame lol.

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      Swiss putter manufacturer MLA was a surprise 2nd overall finisher in MyGolfSpy's 2015 Most Wanted Mallet Putter testing, and came in at #3 overall for all putters with an astounding 1.47 strokes gained. If you want to find the bottom of the hole more often, this one has to be on the short list.
       

       
      MLA is a 4-year old company, and the name stands for Multiple Line-detector Activation, a technology developed by Swedish PhD Lennart Hogman. Dr. Hogman spent 20 years researching the connection between perception and motor skills, and has applied that knowledge to putting.
       

       
      According to MLA, the human brain has over 100,000 line detectors, which help us determine what's straight. MLA's putters feature a patented alignment system that gets the left-brain and right-brain line detectors working together to help you get the ball rolling on the line you choose.
       
      As MLA says, “Trust Your Eyes.”
       
      After that, it's read it, roll it and hole it.
       
      Does This Stuff Really Work?
      Can neuro-science make you a better putter? Can a Swiss-made flatstick help you sink more putts and yodel for joy? MLA believes the science behind its putters, and the patented Multi Line-Detector Activation alignment technology can help improve your aim and roll. And they're willing to put it to the test and let you decide.
       
      MLA and MyGolfSpy are looking for 5 avid and curious golfers from around the planet to try out one of MLA's Tour Series or Pro Series putters and tell us what you think. Our testers will get to choose from 6 models, including MGS's #3 overall putter from 2015, the Tour Classic.
       

        How To Enter:
       Please tell us:
       
      - Your first name & home state
      - Your current putter
      - Which MLA Tour Series or Pro Series Putter you'd like to test
      - Your common miss: left, right or short
       
      This is one cool opportunity for you to try out a putter with one of the most unique alignment systems in golf. Can the science behind MLA help you hole more putts? Here's your chance to find out and let the rest of us know!
       
      This program is open to golfers all over the world.
       
      For more information:
      Visit the MLA website
      Follow MLS on Twitter
      Like MLA on Facebook
    • By GolfSpy Dave
      It's time to get the putter blood flowing. Over the next five days, I will be revealing the contestants for this year's Most Wanted Mallet Putter.
       
      We have 24 putters from some big name, and some small name companies. These putters truly come in all shapes and sizes.
       
      It's time to pick your favorites!
       

       
      Here are the first five:
       
      Bellum Winmore Midi Prototype Mallet

       
      Bettinardi BB32

       
      Bettinardi BB32-CB

       
      Bettinardi BB55

       
      Bettinardi BB55-CB

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