Fussell XCITOUR Putter Review

“High MOI” Mallets seem to be the trend in putters lately. When science and sports collide, you end up with some pretty interesting interpretations of classic designs. Golf is no stranger to funny looking inventions. When the 2-Ball arrived on the scene almost 10 years ago, it was seen as a funny-looking putter….until a 90-footer dropped on national TV, and the race was on to the sporting goods store to order Odyssey’s newest invention.

When I first saw the Fussell XCITOUR, I thought it was yet another ’2-ball’ knock-off…until I got it in my hands. This putter is so much more. The technology is very well thought-out, the craftsmanship is outstanding, and there are some very original design elements. The whole package was an evolution of a design…not the carbon-copy I was expecting.

Craftsmanship:
Often, mallet putters are somewhat of an afterthought to their bladed cousins. Not this one. The entire putter is made up of precision milled aluminum and 303 stainless pieces that construct a very attractive mallet. The high MOI design makes for a very forgiving putter that seems to laugh at mis-hit putts. Off the toe, or off the heel…the Fussell XCitour didn’t feel much different in my hands.

The grip is made by Karakal, and proved to be a little more resistant to dirt and wear than the WINN AVS series. Karakal ought to consider an advertising campaign that boasts this. The feel never got slippery…even on an 80-degree October day. (These 80-degree October days are odd enough as it is.)

Headcover:
Normally, I’m not a fan of magnetic headcovers because they tend to stick to a carbon steel putter. In the case of the Fussell XCITOUR, magnets don’t stick to Aluminum. I DID find that the material that it was made of to be a magnet for dust/grass clippings. That aside, I found it to give adequate protection, and quite easy to get on/off the putter. I also left it on 1-2 greens because I didn’t see it on the ground immediately. I’d say that was more a problem with absentmindedness than the color of the headcover. I have to imagine though, that I wouldn’t be the only person that’d leave a black headcover green-side at least once.

The Accessory kit is one of those things that you’ll leave in the bag. USGA rules don’t allow for changing the characteristics of a club after the round has started, so it’s best to get that part out of the way BEFORE you get to the first tee. If you have to adjust your putter during the round…it’s not the putter.

Material:
Aluminum is known to be a fairly soft material to machine a putter from. The trade-off is usually weight. This is why a majority of the mallets out there are made from aluminum. If you were to make an Anser style blade out of aluminum, it’s weigh about 200g…far lighter than the standard 330g that carbon steel heads weigh.

The Fussell XCITOUR is different in some regards because there is a weight kit that allows you to change the swing-weight of the putter from the standard F-5 all the way up to G-9 with the heaviest weights in place. The included kit has 3 tungston shaped weights that attach to the back of the putter. I was having issues using it with the heaviest weight in place. Your mileage may very. If I were to use the heavy weight, I may add about 8″ to the shaft and use it as a belly-putter. I could see a lot of people in that same boat, and I’m sure that Fussell would offer it in that length if you wish.

Address:
Standing over a ball, you’ll notice some cool design elements right away. The first two are intended…the third is a cool illusion.

Tracer Technology: The three disks give an outstanding optical reference for ball position. I found that when I taped the face, my ‘hit’ pattern for 10 putts was smaller than a dime.

Assured Address Position: There are two white lines that are in-set below the tracer disks. These help to ensure that you are at proper address while setting up. If you can’t see both…either your toe or heel are out of alignment.

The third is that the top of the putter appears to be at the same height as the top of the ball. This is an optical illusion, but had an interesting effect. The putter felt like it was ‘floating’ above the green. I’ll admit that the first few putts on the practice green felt strange, but by the 3rd hole, I was hooked on the whole package.

I’m not a scientist, so I can’t articulate the pros/cons of high MOI. I found this putter to get the ball rolling VERY quickly. (See the high-speed video linked below.) The loft was set at exactly 3.5-deg, so I know it wasn’t laid-down to 1-deg just for the cameras.

“Skip to the end” Overall:
There is no denying that the XCitour is a solid, well crafted putter. There are aircraft grade screws at every turn, precision milled components that scream quality, and an heir of robotic authoritativeness that you would expect in something “Robo-Cop” would have in his bag. In a phrase, this is a bad-ass putter.

Discuss Fussell putters in our Putter Community

High-Speed Video Clip:

Download this clip: fussell_xcitour.mov (Quicktime required)

Stats:
Company: Fussell Putters
URL: http://fussellputters.com/
MSRP: $399.00
Length: 34″
Loft: 3.5-deg
Lie: 71-deg
Head Weight: Adjustable
Swing Weight: D-7
Material: Aluminum
Grip: Custom
Head Cover: Custom
Manufacturing Type: 100% CNC Milled
Made In: USA

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