The TaylorMade Spider range of putters established themselves very quickly in the world of golf.
The first Spider model came along around 2008 and the famous shape and design has gone on to win many majors. I'd go as far to say that the name and shape is now up there alongside other iconic models like the Odyssey 2-Ball and Ping Anser.
The traditional Spider design is more suitable for a straighter arc swing but TaylorMade are looking to change that with the all-new FCG Spider and introduce the best of both worlds.
What's It All About?
“Looks like a Mallet, feels like a blade… forgiveness of a spider.” With this new flatstick, TaylorMade are suggesting you can have it all now. Here's how they have gone about doing so:
• Forward centre of gravity
Front loaded weight delivers the benefits of a high-MOI mallet to golfers who have an arced putting stroke.
• T-Sightline True Path Alignment
The new T-Sightline with True Path allows for perpendicular alignment, delivering optics that let the golfer aim with the front edge and/or the vertical line.
• Aged Copper Pure Roll Insert
A 25g Aged Copper Pure Roll insert adds to forward CG performance benefits. In addition, 45° grooves increase topspin and improve forward roll across varying surfaces – helping your ball start and stay on its intended line. This is the heaviest
insert ever constructed by TaylorMade.
• Heel and Toe Tungsten Weighting
Heavy tungsten sole weights positioned in the heel and toe are designed to optimise perimeter weighting for increased stability.
• Adjustable Sole Weights
Allows golfers to customise performance, feel and achieve precise swing weights at different putter lengths.
• KBS Stepless Stability Shaft
The new black CT Tour putter shaft is designed for less deflection. This putter is aimed at players who like the feel and release of a blade but the stability of a mallet, or as TaylorMade would say - a Spider.
First of all let me state that the putter design you use affects your stroke, so if you want a straighter arc then pick a face balanced mallet with a thick Super Stroke-style grip. If you prefer a stronger arc then pick a heel-toe putter and thinner grip.
Matching a putter shape and arc shape works both ways, which manufacturers often fail to mention, so always bear that in mind.
To see if the tweaks to the weight placement by TaylorMade have worked and suit me as I am a heel-toe fan with
a 15 degree arc, I hit a large amount of putts on the practice green and also took it out on the course at Stockport Golf Club.
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TaylorMade Spider FCG Putter Review
At address, you may think it looks busy with the three colours, but I actually like the bright white T on the black, I only seemed to focus on the white and the copper face wasn't an issue here either as obviously I couldn't see that at address. I found the white T line very easy to line up and when making the stroke I could only see the white, making things plain and simple.
The neck is vital for me in a putter, and the short slant would be my preferred. You can also get an L neck and single bend too. The head isn’t too big either for a mallet shape which is a bonus for me.
The looks of the FCG gave me more confidence than I thought I would have from the photos I had seen prior to the test. Also a special shout out for the headcover - it looks expensive and has a fur lining on the inside for your putter to be
cosy and hot ready for you to hole the world.
The feel was good, I really liked it in fact. I hit the first few putts past the hole, probably due to the firmer strike but as I have
stated on previous reviews, I personally like this.
The grip is Super Stroke but not a thick one that you would usually associate with the grip giant. This is a more traditional style which you would see on a blade putter for people who want the ultimate feel, as thinner grips are so important for releasing the putter head and I have always used them.
The weight was noticeably in the front of the head closer to the face - when holding a traditional Spider putter in comparison it was obvious to see as usually the weight is pushed right to the back for forgiveness. I have never got on with mallets and now I know why... I hadn’t noticed weight distribution in putters too much until today and as it turns out I am a massive fan of FCG. It allows the putter to work in more of a rotation around your centre.
The looks are truly deceiving here - it looks like a mallet, performs like a blade.
During my testing I found that the the FCG gave me a firm, positive roll and allowed for some face turn which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to putt.
If you are 'handsy' and have too much wrist arc, then this isn't ideal. This putter's consistency and forgiveness isn’t as good as a mallet and is far more blade-like in performance - I will have to leave it to you to decide which you prefer.
On The Course
This putter felt very good over all of the putters which I have to say surprised me. On both long and short putts it performed very similarly to my current blade putter but it offered slightly more stability on the poorer strikes.
After testing it, it left me feeling curious about how it would perform long-term as I thought I could easily give this putter a few more putts and rounds...
TaylorMade Spider FCG Putter Verdict
TaylorMade, I have to give it to you, they have proved that maybe golfers can have it both ways. You can have your cake and eat it too!
If I closed my eyes I would think I am using a blade and that is all down to the weight distribution. Then, when I open my eyes it looks like a mallet.
Would I Use It?
Having not used TaylorMade Spiders or even any other mallet putters too much throughout my playing career, due to my preference of and arced putting stroke and feeling, I would say this wasn't for me at first look - until I got it on the putting green and then hit some putts.
Who Should Use It?
If you are a player that has used blade putters for years but feel like your feel/bottle has gone and you feel the need to change to a mallet, but just can’t get on with one and miss everything to the right, then trying the FCG putter is well worth looking in to.
You can progress to that nice middle ground of blade and mallet, you just have to get over that this is a bigger head than you are used to, but the black and white alignment aid makes this easier on the eye.
Or on the flip side if you are improving your putting and want to use a blade but it may feel like too big of a jump, then this is ideal.
Grip size is nice and slender and gives good feedback
Alignment aid design is excellent
Perfect for players wanting the best of both worlds
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