Four club golfers get to test the putter that helped Rory McIlroy to a storming 2019, TaylorMade's Spider X.
When the first TaylorMade Spider putter hit the market 10 years ago, 75 per cent of Tour pros used narrow-headed blade-style putters. A decade later, and thanks in part to the Spider, 60 per cent of Tour pros now use mallet and MOI style putters.
The switch is primarily down to the extra stability and forgiveness on offer, along with how short-slant putter hosels open up mallet and MOI models to golfers with arcing strokes. We asked four TG readers to put TaylorMade’s new Spider X putter to the test, to see if they’d join the compact MOI putter revolution.
Spider X has a number of different colour, sightline and hosel options. What was your first impression?
SF: I’ve really grown into the copper colour. Feel is a little softer than my usual Scotty Cameron, but it’s a real positive “click” at impact, which I really like.
LM: I loved the navy short slant hosel model with white True Path alignment stripe and black sightline. It sits really nicely, with no tendency to open or close, which isn’t always the case with putters.
MP: The copper and navy colours really stand out. Roll and feel are great and I’m convinced the alignment system helped me set the putter up square to the target, which boosted my confidence.
NP: I really liked the copper colour, for me along with the black sightline on a white background it’s super easy to line up. I feel the colour also helped me focus against the colour of the green.
Spider X is all about delivering a high MOI forgiving design in a smaller sized head. Does it deliver?
SF: I think the smaller head is the way to go nowadays. I always felt massive headed MOI putters highlighted something was wrong with your stroke. Spider X has loads of forgiveness, but rolled into a lovely compact bundle.
LM: I usually play an Odyssey #7 putter. With the two heads being similar in size, it’s great the Spider X offers extra forgiveness. For me, the X looks brilliant; it’s great how it rolls forgiveness into a very neat and tidy head shape and size.
MP: If by “deliver” you mean “does it improve confidence?” then it’s a thumbs up. Carbon-fibre is regularly used in drivers to improve stability, so I completely understand how it helps improve forgiveness in the Spider X. The smaller size is a great look, too.
NP: Carbon-fibre is everywhere nowadays so it’s not surprising it can play a roll in making my putter more forgiving, just like it does my driver. Extra stability from a smaller head is genius in my book.
The product: TaylorMade Spider X putter £299
Any particular likes or dislikes?
SF: I’d go with a slightly larger grip, but that’s because it’s what I’m used to using and like – it’s also very easily rectified. I like the roll and how mishits still seem to get hole high (that’s where the extra forgiveness comes in). I love feeling like I can hole everything I stand over, hopefully it will be some time before that disappears.
LM: Weirdly, I’m usually drawn to face-balanced putters, but I seemed to get along really nicely with the short slant hosel model which has toe hang. To me, that says that short slant hosel models can suit more than just arcing strokes.
MP: I really liked the 34-inch length. I’ve always struggled with confidence when putting, but at this length and lie it feels like my arms hang perfectly. Seriously it’s boosted my confidence on the greens, 100 per cent.
NP: I really liked the impact sound and how it felt bright and positive, as opposed to dull and muted. To me it feels like you get out of the putt what you put in, which is all you can ask.
With all its tech, would you pay £299 for it? Will it stay in your bag and would you recommend it to others?
SF: I appreciate there’s a ton of research and development wrapped up in the design, but if I bought one I’d have to hide the receipt from the girlfriend! But it’s staying in my bag and I’d recommend it to golfers looking for a new putter who can afford to spare a few quid.
LM: £299 is a chunk of cash for a putter, but it looks and feels great. As long as it keeps holing putts I’d consider paying it. It’s staying in my bag until it misbehaves!
MP: The putter is the most important club in the bag, so £299 is fair – you can easily pay more than £400 for a driver which won’t lower your handicap. Spider X is already a vital part of my game, it’s going nowhere, my brother’s already bought one after trying mine.
NP: I spent nearly £500 on a driver which I use 10 times around, so £299 for a Spider X – which I hopefully won’t use more than 36 times a round – seems like reasonable value. You’ll have to wrestle it out of my hands if you want it back.