TaylorMade's Spider range of putters has become one of the most popular lines of golf equipment on the market over the last decade, and the brand are understandably making the most of this by introducing more and more models to the collection.
Among the new 2022 range is the Spider GT Notchback, blending traditional looks with contemporary construction to provide 'stability from every angle'.
TaylorMade say that the GT Notchback is the most classical shape of the new Spider family, thanks to a shorter blade length and wider spacing from leading to trail edge.
The CG is positioned further forward in the Notchback than the other Spider GT putters, which is designed to make face rotation easier for those who do have a little movement in their stroke.
A lightweight 6061 aluminium body combines with heavy dual-tungsten weights on the heel and toe for greater stability, forgiveness and distance control.
Heavy tungsten stability bars, totalling 172g, have been added to the putter head for the first time. These strategically wrap around the back and side of the putter, again optimising forgiveness and stability.
The new Pure Roll2 insert is manufactured from a black TPU urethane with silver aluminium beams at a 45° angle, which is said to improve topspin across the face and gets the ball rolling more consistently more often.
TaylorMade's Fluted Feel shaft (perhaps an answer to Odyssey's Stroke Lab?) features a softer section located 5" from the tip, and is designed to enhance feel and stability while improving dispersion.
TaylorMade Spider GT Notchback Putter Review
When you picture a TaylorMade Spider, this putter probably isn't the first design that comes to mind. The model made famous by the likes of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day is the original Spider shape, but lately the name has come to be used for a variety of TaylorMade's different mallet heads.
The Notchback is more of a half-moon shape which is similar in profile to the Rollback (also of this range), albeit with a 'notch' cut out of the back which pushes a greater distribution of the weight to the edges of the putter head for more stability.
Down by the ball the putter has a friendly head size which is generous without being too big, and the notch shape helps to frame the ball up nicely in the middle of the face along with a clear black alignment line.
The silver finish looks pretty smart when coupled with the black tungsten sections and the red GT stamp on the sole, and should also help to ensure that your putter doesn't mark up or age as quickly as a black head would, if that is something that would bother you.
I am a fan of the Pure Roll insert, and whilst it does produce a bit of a click when you hit the ball it still feels relatively soft. I also like the fact that the insert is situated in the middle of the face as that helps to focus the mind on striking it out of the centre.
The weighting of the putter was really impressive, it felt nicely balanced despite the head size and this made it easy to make smooth strokes without worrying about the head being too heavy.
The Fluted Feel shaft didn't feel any different to a normal putter shaft in all honesty, but TaylorMade have persisted with it for a couple of years so perhaps it is doing something!
As someone who has used a blade putter for a number of years now, I always find that mallet putters are a little less effective for me on shorter putts because I find that the bigger (and often heavier) head can be harder to line up and harder to feel through the stroke compared to an Anser-style like the one I currently use.
Having said that the Notchback did seem to perform well as it kept the head nice and stable through the strike. The addition of the grooves of the Pure Roll2 insert, which are designed to improve the roll of the ball, did seem to work well too as I had no issues with bobbles or skidding.
From mid range, the putter again performed well although this particular mallet shape isn't necessarily my favourite, as I prefer to see straighter lines rather than curves on my putter head as well as an alignment line right on the leading edge.
The consistency of the putter was excellent and whilst I didn't always get the ball starting on line, that's me rather than the putter. If you're somebody who often finds themselves 3-putting from relatively short range because you just can't get the pace right, then the Notchback could be perfect for you.
As mentioned before the balance in the weighting of the putter made it really easy to put a decent stroke on it - you don't feel like you're having to work too hard but it's not too heavy that you lose feel.
To put it simply, the Notchback made pace control easy. I wouldn't say that I holed any more putts from long range, there's plenty of other variables at play once you get outside the 30ft range, but I definitely hit more to tap-in range which is a much more relaxing way to play golf!
The stability of the head was again excellent. I have a natural tendency to hit putts a little from the toe and this happened a couple of times when testing, yet my distance control hardly seemed to be affected at all which was very impressive.
TaylorMade Spider GT Notchback Putter Verdict
TaylorMade's Spider GT range keeps on expanding and it's going from strength to strength by introducing more and more options to appeal to a broader range of golfers.
The key thing for me with a putter is confidence. Of course the technology can help but you need to stand over the ball and feel like you're going to hole the putt, and this putter is a great way to boost your confidence because it feels good and is very forgiving.
Speaking of technology, the addition of the tungsten weighting on the perimeter of the putter head combined with the soft feel of the Pure Roll2 insert make this putter a great option for somebody wanting to improve their results on the greens with a little less stress.
Who Is It Aimed At?
Any golfer could use and benefit from this putter, particularly from long range where I feel like the Notchback really comes into its own.
Would I Use It?
I still love my Odyssey blade and can't see anything taking its place in my bag for the foreseeable future, but the Notchback certainly did impress me from range and compared to the likes of the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K or Ping PLD putters, it's much better value for money too.
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TaylorMade Spider GT Putter Review
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