TaylorMade have developed the new Truss putters for players who desire the stability and forgiveness of a mallet, but prefer a more traditional look at address. So they're saying you can have it both ways - which is the slogan for their new TaylorMade SIM Max irons too.
The brand says that it looks like nothing else, but it actually looks suspiciously similar to a Titleist putter made many years ago, so I'm not too sure about that claim to start with... You have to ask the question as to why it wasn't a success previously?
What's It All About?
There's certainly some method to the madness however, as a Truss is described as a framework usually used to support structures such as a roof or bridge. The idea is that adding a truss to a putter is going to increase stability.
This type of design is used on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or the Humber Bridge near my hometown in Hull. But on a putter? I can see why the R&D team at TaylorMade may have thought it was worth a try, but do these scientists actually play golf?
It's certainly going to get your playing partner's attention but if the design can help you to hole more putts, then who cares? TaylorMade state that 40% of golfers use a classic-style putter, and this new design can improve face rotation by over 50% in the heel-shafted models, and as much as 70% in the centre-shafted model. Wow, that is a big difference.
There are four different models available in the Truss putter range - the TB1 and TB2 are more traditional blade shapes, whereas the TM1 and TM2 are fang-shaped mallets. Both the TB2 and TM2 are centre-shafted putters which have hosel designs that stretch to the centre of the putter head for an even more standout look.
The 'truss' itself is a triangle shaped hosel which TaylorMade are referring to as a Stability Superstructure, designed to still look traditional from address, but provide much more stability when hitting a putt than a classical shape or hosel would.
The Truss has two different connection points on the putter head, meaning that the hosel covers 50% more of the topline than a normal heel-shafted model. The result of this is much less twisting of the head during the putting stroke and at impact, meaning that your consistency is expected to improve, particularly on off-centre strikes. Start the ball on the right line and it should go where you are hoping it to.
On the face, TaylorMade has included the successful Pure Roll insert which has been in their putters ever since the Spider range burst onto the scene, and is trusted by the likes of Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
Adjustable sole weights in the heel allow for a range of different swing weights and CG placements to be utilised depending on the golfer's own preferences, whilst the KBS CT Tour putter shaft is ridgeless to deliver even more stability and less deflection at impact.
It looks like nothing else, because it putts like nothing else. We go beyond the expected to deliver performance that beats your expectations. For years, golfers have asked us for the forgiveness of a mallet in a traditional package. Introducing Truss, the best of both worlds.
I took both the TM1 and TB1 Putters to Withington Golf Club to see whether the performance benefits were good enough to outweigh their questionable looks.
On typical British winter greens, although the greens I was testing on may not have been Augusta, we all know not every golfer has the benefits of playing on tour... However, they were slow and a little bobbly, meaning that the ball needed to be struck firmly and with confidence to get consistent results. Of course, with a longer swing the chance of hitting the putt off-centre increases, so the performance would really be under scrutiny.
I implemented a range of different tests, including short-length and long-distance putts, off-centre strikes, and head to head against my own putter. Let's see if Truss can live up to TaylorMade's claims.
TaylorMade Truss Putters Review
First things first, these putters do look strange, particularly as I have had a pretty traditional Anser-style putter for years. However I must concede that before long you do get used to it, and I think it looked much worse to watch somebody else putt with these than actually holding them yourself and trying to make putts.
You can see the thick angle of the truss meeting the head at address and the ball is framed a little differently on the face, as you cannot really see the heel area when the putter is down by the ball.
I focused my test on the two heel-shafted models and I have to say that they are much less offensive than the centre-shafted models. For many people, i think they will just be a non-starter because the looks really are different based on shelf appeal alone.
The light steel colour looks really smart, but I wasn't a massive fan of the blue touches, particularly in the insert. I also have a little bit of a issue with grooves like this because I always seem to get little bits of wet grass and sand caught in there which is a little annoying. The Pure Roll insert does produce a nice soft feel though.
One thing I did like was the Lamkin Sinkfit grip. It was the perfect thickness for me and felt very premium.
I suppose TaylorMade know that they've gone pretty bold with this design and the looks are pretty different. All putters need a certain shelf appeal so that golfers are tempted to pick it up and give it a go. This certainly has that, but I'm not sure if it's in a good way. I can imagine a common response will be 'wow, what's that?!' rather than 'wow, that looks great'. I suppose time will only tell...
The truss framework certainly helped face stability on the short and long putts, as it was harder to twist the toe than on a regular blade putter. In fact I felt I could only miss the putt right, so if you have trouble with closing the face then this will help you. If you struggle with missing putts to the right, it could make things worse!
When compared to my own putter, I didn’t feel that my strike improved in terms of distance control, although I did find that the overall direction was a little more accurate. I was consistently holing at least 2 out 3 five foot putts, and the long putts were acceptable too.
I conducted a 15 foot putting challenge with both Truss putters, and found that I holed more putts with the TB1 blade than with the TM1 mallet as the blade style better suits my stroke.
All in all, the results were a little underwhelming. There was no real noticeable improvement over my existing putter, so whilst they certainly weren't bad-performing, they weren't exactly the game-changers that TaylorMade were promising either.
TaylorMade Truss Putters Verdict
One of the reasons that golfers who use a classic shape putter do so, is because they want to feel the face, feel the strike and have control with their hands. It makes putting more of an art, but I can see TaylorMade taking this element away by introducing such a fixed structure on the head.
If you have a strong arc and you need the face to be able to twist slightly and consistently during the stroke, then this putter may well have a negative effect on your performance.
If you struggle with squaring up the face consistently, I would suggest that you need to use a thicker grip and considering going towards a mallet shape as the overall benefits in forgiveness will probably outweight the blade, of which TaylorMade have many great offerings in this department.
Would I Use It?
I wouldn’t use this putter as I didn't see enough of a benefit in performance and the feel of the putter was neutralised. If I started to struggle with club face stability and strike I would practice more and possibly look towards a Spider X putter, which is much better looking in my opinion, rather than go for the Truss.
TaylorMade's best players are using the Spider putters and I doubt they’ll be changing to a Truss, but we will see.
When I do these reviews I always try to consider who are these clubs aimed at, and with the Truss putters, I honestly don't know.
As a true traditional putter user, I wouldn’t use a Truss, and I don't think a mallet user would see any more benefit from their existing putter. Sometimes I think a company need to just stick to what they do well and not try and cater for golfers that just don’t exist.
- Promotes a more stable stroke
- Grip feels great
- Shaft felt very stable
- Looks are definitely 'out there'
- Your partners will forever be asking "what is that?"
- Grass tended to get stuck in the grooves