When it comes to putting, I’ve tried it all. I’ve always considered putting to be my weakness, even if the numbers don’t support that. Turns out I’m a good putter for my handicap, so perhaps I’m being a little too hard on myself. It’s just that I expect to make more putts than I do, and I’m always looking for a putter that’ll help me do that. Maybe that’s why I have over 20 putters in the garage collecting dust…
The latest putter that’s helping me make more putts is from a small Swiss company called MLA Golf. They make very high quality, 100% milled putters that feel and perform great. The model I have been testing is called the Tour XDream Black Edition. It’s a special version of the regular Tour XDream with black paint fill instead of the usual green. With interchangeable weights and a very forgiving, high MOI head shape, this putter helps your slightly mis hit putts end up closer to the hole.
The almost perfect combination of weight, forgiveness and high quality materials makes the Tour XDream is one of the most solid feeling putters I’ve ever used. Rolling putts with the Tour XDream putter is a joy, with the kind of positive feedback you would expect from a solid hunk of metal hitting a golf ball. There is a small, recessed sight dot on the top edge near the face to help you tell where the sweet spot is, but what really sets MLA putters apart is their unique alignment system.
MLA stands for Multiple Line-detector Activation. Since I’m not qualified to describe what that means, I’ll let someone who is explain it for me:
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, as shown in the illustrations below (front and perspective views).
MLA is developed to activate the maximum number of coordinated detectors
for optimal aiming judgment.
In English Please…
Detectors? Perceptual process? What the heck does all that mean for the golfer? The bottom line is, this MLA alignment system is supposed to make it easier for golfers to line up the putter more accurately. I have no way to test this theory scientifically, but I have no reason to doubt the science behind the MLA alignment system. Personally, I tend to prefer putters with a lack of alignment lines so I was drawn to these immediately. My favorite putters tend to have a sight dot or nothing at all. This putter doesn’t have lines but is still easy to line up because of the MLA alignment and also because it has a mostly square shape with a wide face.
I found the best balance between high MOI (resistance to twisting on off center hits) and feel with the 5g weights. 10g and 15g weights are also included to customize the putter. Heavier weights add MOI but reduce feel, and lighter weights increase feel at the expense of MOI. Even with the lightest 5g weights installed, this is a heavy putter with pretty high MOI. You can miss hit it all over the face and still get good results.
It would be harder to find a higher quality piece of work than this MLA Tour XDream putter. The milling work is clean and precise. The finish is shiny on the bottom where it makes sense to polish it and has a nice matte black finish on the top side where glare could be an issue. I love a dark color putter with dark paint fill like this limited edition Black Series. The weights screw in to the weight slots with surgical precision. This is a very well built putting implement.
HEAD WEIGHT: 375g
LENGTH: 32”, 33”, 34”, 35”, 36”
WEIGHT KIT: 2x 5g, 2x 10g, 2x 15g included
GRIP: Midsize Forward Golf black
COLOR: Black PV
CUSTOM LOFT: -1° +1°
CUSTOM LIE: -2° +2°
GRIP: Jumbo Forward Golf black
For golfers with a square-to-square putting stroke or those that prefer a face-balanced mallet style, the MLA Tour XDream is a putter you should seriously consider. The Tour XDream is priced at $299 online and the Black Edition I have sells for $349. This puts them squarely in the high-end category along with the likes of Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi and other boutique putter craftsmen like Piretti and Evnroll and that’s right where MLA Golf belongs.