What we say...
TaylorMade's new Spider X putter is optimised from every angle with a smaller head, thicker insert and Y-shaped sightline
TaylorMade introduced the first Spider putter 10 years ago. At the time, they gave little thought to how the model looked, as analysis technology wasn’t at the point where they could prove it performed better than the competition (with drivers and irons they showed gains on launch monitors).
Spider trickled out and the company tied pro’s to 10 or 11 club contracts, not including a putter. That trickle though became a full on deluge when Jason Day shot to world #1 in 2016 using a Spider, painted red at his request. It say TaylorMade catapulted the model to being the most played putter at stacks of PGA Tour events over the last two years. After such success and with more pros playing Spider putters than ever before, the brand reckon the time is right to introduce a brand new Spider X.
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This time they’ve done their homework and analysed 10,500 impacts on a launch monitor and optimised Spider X to push the limits of stability and alignment. TaylorMade reckon even the likes of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy regularly hit putts as much as 3mm off centre (and usually towards the toe), so they insist extra stability is an absolute must for improving putting performance, irrespective of ability.
“When we first introduced the original Spider putter in 2008, we never could have anticipated the global phenomenon it has become. With widespread adoption on tours around the world, not only has it become one of the company’s top-selling putters of all time, it has truly shifted the paradigm of putter design toward high-MOI mallets. I’m proud to have played a role in the evolution of Spider and what it has become today.” — Bill Price, Senior Director, Product Creation, Putters & Wedges.
The new models are optimised from every angle. The head is 5% smaller for a more pleasing look, while a carbon core (which weighs 15g, instead of 79g in the old model) frees up weight to increase the heads stability frame from 247g to 320g.
Their research showed golfers with +5 – 5 handicaps hit putts from a 29mm window across the face, supporting how critical stability really is (the gap rises to 39mm amongst higher handicaps) when it comes to holing more putts.
Back when Spider first launched blade putters were used by 75% of tour pro’s. TaylorMade now reckon thanks in part to their persistence and dedication to proving the worth of MOI designs and in particular Spider, 60% of tour pro’s now use a mallet or MOI design.
There’s a new thicker 80/20 surlyn insert (2mm thicker and a mix of 80% surlyn and 20% aluminium flake) which TaylorMade say gives the feel their tour pros insist upon. And the changes haven’t ended there.
TaylorMade’s boffins have worked with optical specialists at Indiana University to create a new ‘Y’ shaped sightline which is half the width of a golf ball above the impact area and the same size as a ball at the rear. They say it gives a high contrast alignment aid and improves the flow of how the sightline shows the path towards the hole.
There’s also a new stiffer KBS C-Taper shaft to give a clean, crisp feel.
TaylorMade Spider X putter verdict:
The Spider X has big boots to fill as TaylorMade’s previous Spider was a huge hit on Tour. It was also TaylorMade’s biggest selling putter ever. But we love how the X’s 5% smaller head has more weight positioned around the perimeter, thanks to a new 64g lighter carbon core.
Admittedly, the copper or blue colour choices won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re sure TaylorMade won’t leave it too long before introducing more colours. When the first Spider appeared 10 years ago 75% of tour pros used blades – today, 60% are using mallets and MOI models. Part of the switch is down to the Spider’s short slant hosel and moderate toe hang, which opens up this style of mallet to golfers with arcing strokes.
For us, Spider X is a less fussy shape than the previous model, and we’re big fans of the Y-shaped white alignment stripe and single sight line. It not only highlights set up and alignment, but also shows the path away from the ball brilliantly, too.
Spider X Putters: Key Features
The X Philosophy – True Path Alignment System
The genesis of the Spider X philosophy lies in research derived from more than ten thousand putts from a distance of twelve feet, with results illustrating that golfers strike the ball toward the toe of the putter 66% of the time – this is the result of a parallax effect. As a result, engineers strove to re-engineer the mass properties of the putter head while simultaneously introducing a new alignment system – True Path – for easier alignment enhanced focus, leading to more putts struck on the center of the face and thus eliminating the parallax effect.
The X Design
The new Spider X features an optically engineered vision system designed for improved path, clearer vision and enhanced visual perception through colour sensitivity.
The design of the Spider X features a more streamlined design than both the Spider Tour and Spider Mini putters that came before it. The more stable head shape provides more weight on the outside of the frame (36% on both perimeters v. 30%). The head design of the Spider X is more stable than ever, with a deeper center of gravity (37mm), which is three times deeper than a traditional blade putter.
For the first time in 10 years, the new frame of the Spider X incorporates a modern, seamless and dedicated weight design featuring three new weights: aluminium (2 grams), steel (6 grams) and tungsten (12 grams) to allow for optimised weight preference.
Additionally, the Spider X features a composite core weighing a mere 15 grams. The putter’s new head design was created using multi-material construction, delivering a slightly smaller head shape compared to the Spider Tour. Engineers reduced the size of the Spider X by 5% but were able to maintain the same MOI as Spider Tour within its new construction.
Re-Engineered Pure Roll™ Insert
There’s a new thicker 80/20 surlyn insert (2mm thicker and a mix of 80% surlyn and 20% aluminium flake) which TaylorMade say gives the feel their tour pros insist upon
TaylorMade say this new 5mm Pure Roll white surlyn insert improves sound, feel and roll characteristics, while the 12-grooves promote forward spin for smoother roll, greater accuracy and better distance control.
The composition and construction of the new Pure Roll insert is specially engineered to bring the grooves into direct and active contact with the ball during impact, even on short putts. The grooves in the face — just .5mm deep — also serve in part to strategically soften the insert’s structure. Together, these factors are designed to make the insert deform at impact, putting the grooves into direct contact with the cover of the ball.
Pure Roll inserts are played on the PGA TOUR by TaylorMade staffers Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, among many others.
TaylorMade Spider X putter
Models: Single Bend shaft (face balanced), Small slant neck (Moderate toe hang)
Finish options: Copper, Copper / White, Midnight Blue, Midnight Blue / White
Grip: Superstroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.
Lengths: 33", 34" & 35" lengths
Available at Retail: February 15th