By Dave Wolfe
What’s in a Name?
The Futura X is made by Titleist/Scotty Cameron, and for many of you, that’s a problem. No other name in the putter industry, maybe even in the golf industry, evokes such polarizing passions. Golfers either seem to embrace all that is Club Cameron, or immediately denounce his works, typically because of emotionally-based reasons. This polarization represents a problem.
The problem is that whenever a new Cameron putter rolls into the market, some golfers will instantly love it, while others will instantly hate it; with neither one of the camps actually taking time to roll it before making a decision. When we were young, we all learned to take a bite of a new food before we made our decision about liking it, and yet, we still occasionally let that toddler brain out to make uneducated decisions about golf equipment. “Try it, you may like it (or not like it” is advice that our parents gave us early, and it’s advice we should probably remember now and again.
In the case of the Scotty Cameron Futura X, if you are one who immediately denounces and dismisses all Cameron putters, rather than tasting them for yourself, you are going to miss out on rolling a pretty special mallet.
Specifications: Scotty Cameron Futura X Mallet
- Loft: 3.5º
- Lie: 70º
- Length 33”, 34”, 35”
- Head Material: 6061 T6 Aluminum
- Finish: Frozen Titanium
- Offset: One Shaft
- Custom Lh Lengths: 33”,34”, 35”
- Custom Lie: +/-2”
- Also available in a new Dual Balance, 38″ counterweighted version.
The Scotty Cameron Futura X is a wild looking putter. I think that it definitely carries on the Futura pedigree in terms of visual uniqueness. That original Futura was quite an out there design at the time, and yet, multiple tour pros stroked that odd-looking Futura to large dollar wins. Overall, it’s easy to see that the design of the Futura X centers around getting the weight to the corners of the putter, and those top weights are probably the main point of discussion, and dissension, with this putter’s looks.
If you start at the face and move to the right along the putter, you may initially think “Well this looks like a classic Cameron mallet, like the Kombi or Big Sur.” Once you hit the weights at the trailing end any thoughts about the “conventional looks” of the Futura X leave the table. The curved piece of metal and the two 20g weights that it supports are not typical putter-at-address visual elements.
Do the weights make you think that the putter looks like Mickey Mouse? Hello Kitty lovers chimed in that it looked like frog Keroppi (I’ll take your word on that one). On Twitter, one of you replied that the Futura X looks like the Frankly Frog Putter. I see a similarity there, but there is a whole lot more going on with the Futura X visually.
The simple truth is that Scotty Cameron has taken a visual risk with the Futura X because it doesn’t look like a typical mallet.
What it really comes down to is the simple question of are the weights distracting at address? Having played quite a bit of golf recently with the Futura X (spoiler alert?), I can definitely attest that I no longer even really notice the perimeter weights at address. Most of the time, my eye is drawn to the thick top line of the putter and the trailing alignment aids in the central region of the putter. My eye just never migrates back to the weights, even though they are bright red. The weights look like they should be distracting, but once you roll it for a while, they really become unobtrusive. When I look at the photo below, it’s hard to believe that could be the case, but it’s true.
On a more cosmetic side, the Frozen Titanium finish and black alignment paintfill is a HUGE improvement over the black on black scheme found in the Cameron Select line. The Frozen Titanium may be my favorite Cameron finish to date, perhaps falling in just behind the long retired Studio Design’s Black Pearl finish.
Contrast between the finish and the black paint is excellent, as is the contrast between the putter head and the grass. The finish is much brighter in person than it appears on the Cameron product page. Durability, so far, is excellent as well, although there is a spot on the topline, near the toe, that keeps picking up a black smudge. Maybe there is something in the headcover.
This is the second time that an aluminum putter has snuck up on me. The first time was with the FATSO mallet putter that Bruce Sizemore made for Super Stroke. I had to email Bruce to double check that the putter was not made of carbon steel. Had I not already experienced this sneaky carbon-like aluminum, I would have sent a similar email to Mr. Cameron.
“Scotty, are you sure that the Futura X is made of aluminum?”
The Futura X feels like a carbon steel putter. It feels like a heavier, non-aluminum head when you swing it, and it feels buttery carbon-soft at impact. Yes, I know it has weights, in fact there are four of them, but its heft surprised me when I hit it for the first time, and I wasn’t alone. Nearly every tester who took a turn with the Futura X commented about how solid swinging the Futura X was. Then the soft feel also surprised them. When they rolled it, I didn’t instruct them to pay attention to the feel. Instead, I just sat back and watched the surprise settle into their faces time after time. Tester feedback about feel was unanimously positive, if not glowing.
My only real gripe with the feel of the Futura X is the stock Cameron Pistolero grip. I know that this has been the stock Cameron grip for the past few product lines, and it’s not that I don’t like the grip. For this putter though, I think that the grip needs to be a bit larger to truly maximize the comfort, and possibly the performance of this mallet. In my opinion, the Futura X should come stock with a midsized grip, like the Dancing Cameron Baby T Midsized that you can pick up in the Cameron Custom Shop store. An option like that would keep a bunch of people from slapping a non-Cameron (i.e. SuperStroke) grip on the Futura X.
As I mentioned before, the top weights, that I thought would be distracting at address, really become a non-issue once you roll a few balls with the Futura X. The alignment aids on the Futura X really have a little bit of something-for-everyone in their design. Are you a cavity line aimer? The Scotty Cameron Futura X has two of those for you to use. Do you square the face to aim? In this case, the leading edge of the face is broad and visually clean. In addition, there is a face-parallel paint filled line at back edge of the face that also serves as a nice squaring tool.
Should you prefer a “T” alignment system, just combine the cavity lines and the face line. The other, more subtle alignment scheme comes from the large cut out circle in the head. It’s not quite a 2-Ball system, but I did have one tester comment about using the circle in the putter to align with, and then strike the ball.
While the black does pop visually against the Frozen Titanium finish, I do wonder if an individual could gain some alignment improvement by swapping out the black for another color. I think that the Frozen Titanium would also work with white or other colors. If you really rely on lines to aim, bright colors could be a bit of an improvement. Removing the paint may be another option for the alignment minimalists.
I may have lost some of you a few paragraphs back when I was praising the looks of the Futura X. You didn’t agree with my liking of the looks, and that, so far, soured the whole reading experience for you. I did like how it looked when I took it out of the box, but to be fair, I think that my current visual affinity for the Futura X is probably biased by my on-course performance with the Futura X. I love putting with this putter. On the course, on the practice green, and on the green in my garage. The Scotty Cameron Futura X is just a fun putter to hit balls with.
At MyGolfSpy though, we don’t base our putter performance scores on the opinion of one guy though. We base it upon data. Here is how the Scotty Cameron Futura X scored:
If we are to compare the Futura X to the other mallets tested in the 2013 Most Wanted Mallet Competition, it would have placed 3rd overall. Perhaps that is not a totally fair ranking, since it was not tested at the same time as the others. However I have no qualms about saying that the Scotty Cameron Futura X is one of the most accurate mallets of 2013.
Where the Futura X really shines is distance control. I expected that the perimeter weighting and how that weighting keeps the ball on line to be the talking point. The weights do their job, but the ease of distance control with the Futura X was the true surprise. The misses by the testers came by being a bit off line rather than by being long, or short (though they were never really that far off line either). One tester missed his fifteen putts by a combined distance of 61″. That’s 175 feet of putts missed by 61 inches total, or about 5 inches per putt.
–anonymous putter tester
I guess that it should come as no real surprise that the Scotty Cameron Futura X is an accurate putter. I hear that Adam Scott made a little money this year rolling his long version of the Futura X. It impresses me that this standard length (34″ as tested) version can retain long putter accuracy. No, I’m not claiming to be Adam Scott on the course. I don’t even claim to be Adam West on the golf course, and yet the Futura X has something in its design that helps even us amateur golfers get the ball closer to the hole. It doesn’t swing itself, but it comes very close to swinging itself.
Futura X Dual Balance
Did you notice back in the Specs listing that there is a new Dual Balance version of the Futura X? Bringing up Adam Scott’s long Futura X of course brings up the conversation about the upcoming anchoring ban. A couple of weeks back, we published an article about the new wave of counterbalanced putters that made the gold scene in 2013. Now we can add the 38″ Futura X Dual Balance to that growing list. I have not seen one yet, but after rolling this version of the Futura X, I am very curious about the counterweighted version. The counterbalancing, and the seemingly larger stock grip may make this already impressive putter truly game changing. Hopefully Titleist/Scotty Cameron will enter the Futura X Dual Balance in the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Competition…
FIT FOR STROKE™
Don’t change your stroke. Change your putter.
The (FIT FOR STROKE™) concept was developed by PING, yet another genius fitting system they have developed for golfers. It works hand-in-hand with the iPING Putter App which is highly suggest everyone getting (IT’S FREE!). You might be surprised to find out that the stroke you think you have isn’t the stroke you actually have.
This addition to the MGS reviews will allow you to become a more consistent putter by matching you with models that better fit your stroke type. They will be broken down into three categories: (1) Straight – for face balance putters (2) Slight Arc – for mid toe hang putters (3) Strong Arc – for toe down putters
“Results from hundreds of player and robot tests at PING offer overwhelming scientific support for the effectiveness of fitting for stroke. In recent years more diagnostic tools and testing equipment have become available, and the results prove that a golfer’s consistency improves when their putter balance matches their stroke type. It was interesting to observe that golfers putt more consistently with stroke-appropriate models, but they also show a personal preference for these models, too. Prior to putting with them, golfers are drawn to models that fit their eye, even before they fit their stroke.” says PING.
The Scotty Cameron Futura X Putter is a: Straight
You’re Not Just Buying the Cameron Name, or maybe you are
Haters gonna hate. Isn’t that the saying? Some of you are going to gloss Scotty Cameron putters as “overrated”, “expensive”, or “over-hyped”. I can already read the comment below where you tell the world that the Scotty Cameron Futura X only costs $350 because it say Scotty Cameron on it, implying that golfers have to pay extra for the Cameron name.
I actually do think that you need to pay a little extra for the Cameron name, but not for the reason that you are thinking of. Do some golfers bag Scotty Cameron putters because they want the name recognition prestige of having a Cameron putter in their bag? Of course they do. But would such vanity purchases alone drive Scotty Cameron Putters to their current lofty position in today’s golf market? Of course not. Golfers bag Cameron putters, becasue the Cameron name brings a promise of quality, and because they putt well with them.
When you buy a Scotty Cameron putter, you are paying for the name. But in paying for the name, you get the quality and performance that the name represents. Have all of Mr. Cameron’s creations been market or tour winners? No, of course not. You probably have models that immediately come to mind as Cameron’s misses. I wasn’t a fan of his Detour putters, and I was more recently disappointed with the GoLo. While neither one of those was a winner for me, I will stand and applaud the fact that they came to the golf market. It means that Scotty is still taking some new idea risks.
Some of those risks will fall flat, but others, like the Futura X will truly shine. The Scotty Cameron Futura X may not look like what you are used to rolling, but you should roll it.
In many ways, Scotty Cameron has become the Howard Stern of golf. Not in who they are as men, but in how the public reacts to them. There is a scene in Stern’s autobiographical movie Private Parts that I think applies to Cameron as well.
Researcher: The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for – are you ready for this? – an hour and twenty minutes.
Pig Vomit: How can that be?
Researcher: Answer most commonly given? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”
Pig Vomit: Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?
Researcher: Good point. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.
Pig Vomit: But… if they hate him, why do they listen?
Researcher: Most common answer? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”
*Reprinted from IMDB
I believe that the Cameron Select line is due to be replaced in 2014, and I definitely can’t wait to see what Scotty will make next.