Gear: TaylorMade Spider X putter
Price: $349.99 with KBS C-Taper stepless black shaft
Specs: Carbon-composite and aluminum body with grooved Surlyn face insert. Aluminum, steel and tungsten weights.
Available: Feb. 15
To improve on the popular Spider Tour putter, TaylorMade gave the Spider X a slightly smaller and sleeker frame while maintaining the high stability available in the original mid-size mallets.
TaylorMade’s first Spider putters were released 10 years ago. They were massive, designed to be extraordinarily forgiving on off-center hits. Over the years the design was refined and the head shrank, but the goal remained the same: Help golfers get better results when they mis-hit putts.
Three years ago, with the help of Jason Day, TaylorMade designed the first Spider Tour putter. It was smaller, red and had a hosel and balance that were ideally suited for players with a slightly arced putting stroke. That putter, which later was used by Dustin Johnson (in black), Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and many other pros, started the toe-hang mallet putter trend. Today, TaylorMade is releasing the successor to the Spider Tour, the Spider X putter.
Five percent smaller than Spider Tour, Spider X is made with a 15-gram carbon-composite center section that is framed by a 320-gram aluminum body. This pushes more of the putter’s overall weight to the perimeter and boosts the moment of inertia, making it more stable on off-center hits.
Updated weights were designed into the back of the toe and heel in place of the wing-like extensions of the original Spider. Previously, TaylorMade had used weights that were designed for metalwoods, but the Spider X’s weights are smaller and more refined. They come in 2-, 6- and 12-gram versions, with shorter putters getting heavier weights and longer putters receiving lighter weights to keep the swing weight consistent.
The True Roll insert in Spider X is thicker than in previous models to help create a deeper, richer sound at impact, but the grooves in the Surlyn material still point down at a 45-degree angle to help grab the ball at impact, reduce skidding and get the ball rolling more quickly.
TaylorMade worked with researchers from Indiana University who specialize in sports vision to develop the white alignment guide on the top of each club. The company calls it the True Path Alignment System, and it is half the width of a golf ball and designed to help golfers focused more on the path established at address.
The Spider X putter is available in two colors, copper and navy, and both finishes stand out against the green of the putting surface.