Sometimes in life you get told that bigger is better. Usually in golf club design, bigger means more forgiving and that is the philosophy behind the TaylorMade OS range of putters.
By making the head larger they can increase the stability at impact which means that if you hit your putt away from the centre of the clubface, it will not lose as much speed or deviate as much from the intended line and therefore you are more likely to hole it.
This of course works in tandem with the larger head moving more weight to the perimeter of the club and to this end the OS putters feature a cavity that is filled with lightweight thermoplastic foam and sealed with the red bar you can see at the back of the head.
TaylorMade has applied this principle to three of their most popular heads and for example, the Daytona is 7% or 0.3 inches longer than the standard model.
Without having the standard model around, when you put it down at address you hardly notice the extra size as it just looks like a normal heel/toe putter.
You will notice the distinctive red and white alignment line on the rear of the head that not only ties in with the colour scheme but is raised up from the sole to stand out more and I think it does this very well.
The other two models are the Monte Carlo and the Spider, both of which have had a facelift and look a lot bulkier than before. This is because the foam enables TaylorMade to make the head larger to increase the MOI to help with mis-hits.
If the Monte Carlo head was solid metal it would weigh 649g, but the foam allows it to stay the same shape and weigh just 350g, which is the same weight for all the OS heads.
Whilst the Monte Carlo looks quite chunky, I do quite like the styling of the OS Spider as it looks like a retro design from a 1960s sci-fi series.
Thankfully TaylorMade has opted for the 6061 aluminium face insert used in the Ghost Tour Black putters as this gives much better feel and sound than the surlyn based insert they have also used in the past.
It features a vertical rather than horizontal milling pattern to roughen up the face and grip the ball and TaylorMade say that the change in orientation reduces backspin by 10% at impact.
Certainly the TaylorMade OS putters were very easy to roll. The larger head size was not really that noticeable and they were very easy to align thanks to the red and white alignment line.
Being larger and filled with a foam that will dampen down vibrations gives the OS a little bit of a hollow sound at impact, but the feel was still pretty good.
Usually whenever I play against someone with a TaylorMade Spider, they hardly ever miss from short range as the head is very stable and with the OS version you felt it was harder to miss than make on those twitchy ones.
At the launch I was talking to designer Clay Long and he was saying that from 15 feet, if you missed the sweet spot by half an inch (1.25cm) then you would gain an extra 3 to 4 inches of roll than you would normally expect. That's a lot of roll, but it is also quite a big miss, so if you are someone who struggles getting a consistent strike point on the face your putter then the OS could be a good option.
The MOI of the OS heads is high and varies according to the shape with the Monte Carlo at 4396 g/cm², the Daytona at 4961 g/cm² and the Spider at 5632g/cm².
If you are pretty accurate with your strikes then deciding on the TaylorMade OS is more likely to come down to a look and feel decision. However if you do need assistance then with a TaylorMade branded SuperStroke grip as standard, you should have everything you need to go large on the putter and small on the putts.
TaylorMade OS CB Putter Review
If you need to give yourself even more margin for error then the CB versions of the same three OS heads could fit the bill. The OS CB heads are around another 0.3 inches larger than the OS making them just over 13% bigger than the standard models.
They come in a darker black finish to emphasise their bigger footprint and the heads are slightly heavier at 395g each.
If the Monte Carlo OS CB was made of solid steel it would weigh 710g, so you can see the gain in size over the standard version.
Compared to the OS versions the OS CB versions did look big behind the ball and the Spider and the Daytona were the ones that carried it off the best.
The feel and sound of the OS CB was a little more hollow than the OS models as you might expect from the larger heads, so as with all putters it is going to come down to personal preference on both fronts and maybe for some, bigger will be better.