A friend, who handles publicity for several golf equipment companies, called to say he had just taken on a new putter company and would like me to test their product.
My first reaction was, “Oh goodie, another putter.”
I have lost track of the number of putters I have tried over the years, many of which, never made it into a column, since I believe what my mother always told me,
“If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.”
I agreed to include the MLA Golf Tour XDream in the rota of clubs for the “Ten Rounds with…” series, and I’m glad I did.
First, the putter’s most obvious feature separates it from the rather crowded field of flat sticks, namely the alignment aid on the top of the putter head. This large white flattened horseshoe is distinctive in shape, prominent in appearance, visually striking and meant to aid a golfer’s brain to correctly perceive the proper line of a putt.
Who knew Golfer’s even had a BRAIN!
According to the company, based in Switzerland, MLA stands for Multiple Line-Detector Activation and the clubhead pattern is the result of working with Dr. Lennart Högman, Ph.D, who has studied the brain’s perceptual process for over 20 years. There’s a much longer and more technical explanation of why the white horseshoe works, but the proof is in the putting.
I used the Tour XDream for ten rounds on greens from Florida to Alabama and it did help correctly line up putts, particularly left to righters, which for a right-handed player are the most trying. Feel was excellent and distance control was never a problem, even on very fast surfaces. The milled 375-gram head has two changeable weights in the sole and three additional weights are included with purchase. Putting a 5-gram weight in both the heel and toe positions added balance.
The stock grip is a Forward brand designed with extra thickness under the flat top of the grip, where the left palm sits in a normal placement of the hands. As a result, the wrists arch slightly, which facilitates the modern shoulder, big muscle stroke.
The flattened horseshoe alignment aid took time getting accustomed to and several players, who tried the Tour XDream felt a smaller, blade style head would work better. MLA does make several blade models, which we did not test. Also at 375 grams the Tour XDream is at the upper end of what might be considered ideal weight range for typical green speeds.
The MLA Tour XDream is a solid, efficient putter and if you like the looks of the unique crown alignment aid it could be a very good choice. The price is $299 at their site MLA.golf if you want to purchase or for complete technical details.