In the world of putters there are very few that can claim iconic status. They are known by their model name and not the manufacturer, but very few achieve this prominence.
If there was hall of fame for putters these would be the ones at the top of the list: Anser, Bulls Eye, Zebra, Two-Ball, Newport and Spider.
Like all clubs, things have evolved over time. In the 1960s people were blown away by the ‘space age’ design of the PING Anser with its heel to toe weighting – what we now consider a traditional design.
As manufacturers pushed the research and development boundaries for increased stability and forgiveness we started to see some weird and wonderful shapes; these two elements were the foundation of TaylorMade’s Spider putter.
The original was launched in 2008 and it’s weird design certainly got people talking. TaylorMade forecast to sell 30,000 of the Monza Spider but once players on the PGA TOUR started putting it in their bags and winning, the actual sales by the end of the year had exceeded 200,000!
Over the next 15 years the instantly recognisable Spider has continued to evolve and focus on the formula that made the model so successful; it has stability and forgiveness.
With the launch of their new Tour Series models earlier this month we were intrigued to see how they have tweaked this well-known recipe to help weekend warriors like myself hole more putts.
The latest lineup includes various models: Spider Tour X, Spider Tour Z, Spider Tour V, and a Spider Tour without the True Path alignment feature, each designed with different CG locations and toe-hang options to cater to different preferences.
First impressions are a huge yes. I just think the black finish with the white crown and alignment line instantly helps you visualise the path.
Off the face it feels softer and the sound is consistent regardless of strike pattern. I’m not a great putter and tend to miss more towards the heel, which feels awful. Feel is one thing, but a heel strike normally sees my putts come up short. With the Spider Tour the drop off in distance from 10 feet was inches.
This was on a fitting mat, not out on course, so it will be interesting to see if it translates. Out of ten recorded putts they all started on their intended line, so if you’ve ever seen me putt, you know that regardless of TaylorMade’s marketing jargon, their stability technology certainly works.