For 2022 TaylorMade has given the Spider range of putters a pretty big shake-up by introducing four new eye-catching models under the name - 'Spider GT'.
In this review I take the Splitback model for a spin at Prestbury Golf Club to see how it performs on course on a range of different putts and which type of golfer could benefit from having it in the bag.
To see our review of the headline model in the range - the Spider GT, head over to our YouTube channel, where Sophie Walker has had her say.
The Spider GT Splitback features, which may not come as a surprise, a stainless steel Splitback head design - what many golfers may refer to as a 'fang shape.' This head shape is all about enhanced perimeter weighting, something we see a lot of in modern-day mallet putters said to offer stability and consistent distance control.
This head shape design also features a standout white cavity to improve golfer's alignment - TaylorMade's True Path Alignment.
To improve the sound and feel, TaylorMade have taken inspiration from the hugely successful P790 irons by adding foam to the sole of the putter, which also enhances weight distribution. This is not just any foam however, it's ultralight urethane foam which is positioned along the sole.
A new Pure Roll2 insert (which features in every 2022 Spider GT putter) has been introduced for a firmer feel and improved topspin than previous spider models.
Like most TaylorMade putters from the last few years, the Splitback putter also features a Fluted Feel shaft. TaylorMade claim that it enhances feel and improves stability.
TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback Putter Review
Looks & Feel
I'm not usually a fan of the mallet putters in general but there was something about the Splitback that I liked - I think it was the alignment aids. The lines were clean and sharp helping to frame the ball at address nicely in this classic fang shape.
The bright white back cavity really helped to draw my eyes in to the golf ball and the start line of the putt, I also liked the contrast of the white against the gun metal black finish. White parts of golf clubs can usually look a little cheap but in the this instance it looked great - premium build quality.
With the Splitback you also get a premium looking leather, red Spider GT headcover that will look great in your bag. TaylorMade fans will love it.
Feel-wise, like Sophie and Dan, in reviews of the Spider GT and Spider GT Notchback I certainly noticed the firmness of the new Pure Roll2 insert. It's a hard insert to describe because I found in sound and initial feedback the insert is actually quite soft - you get more of a 'knock' than a 'click' sound at impact.
That being said I found the roll of the putts to be quite firm and fast off the face. if you've never used an insert like this before, it's certainly something to look out for. I'm not sure if you could describe a putter as hot, but in this instance I would.
I'm a big fan of this Pure Roll2 insert. Once I became accustomed to hitting the correct weight of putt, I felt it gave me a great roll on my putts - the sort of putts that try to hug the surface of the green and do their best for you - even on mishit putts.
I also found that with the insert being in the centre of the putter face, as opposed to the full width of the face like a Odyssey White Hot OG Putter, this helped once again with alignment and my ability to strike the ball out of the middle.
The TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback is available is in either a single bend to make it feel balanced or a short slant hosel for those with more arc in their stroke. The model I reviewed featured the short slant hosel and it meant that my hands needed to be pushed a little further forward at address than usual, but again, this is something I didn't mind. I'm a fan of feeling like I need to get my hands a little further forward to help me stop striking putts out of the toe and missing left.
Overall I enjoyed the performance of this putter. Even though I found the design a little busy compared to what I am used to in a blade putter - the benefits of using a mallet like this are there for all to see.
The weighting will help golfers who lack confidence in producing a consistent and stable stroke. The perimeter weighting means that your putting distribution will be improved - especially on longer putts. This is the area I felt the Splitback really excelled. On the those worrying long 30/40 foot plus putts I felt the solid nature of the putter really helped.
A lot of golfers will also feel the same on shorter putts as the overall larger footprint can boost confidence, once you get over the contemporary shaping. However, on those shorter putts I found the Super Stroke GT grip to be a little square and clunky which reduced feel.
Going back to the insert, I felt the aluminium bars inserted at 45 degree angle in the Pure Roll2 really did help improve overall roll. The roll from the face was very good on a number of different length putts.
TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback Putter Verdict
If you're not into the fang shape - then the chances are you're not even going to consider using the Splitback, however I do think a lot of golfers could improve areas of their putting using it.
It's very TaylorMade - designed with tech in mind and boasts a tonne of contemporary features to help your game out.
If it's forgiveness you're after in your putter this year then the Splitback, along with the Spider GT itself, needs to be on your testing list - it's a good putter for many reasons.
Though it's fairly pricey and may split the field in looks, it could also help many golfers lacking confidence to get their mojo back.
Who Is it Aimed At?
Golfers who enjoy a firm putter face and are used to loud, eye-catching putter shapes that are not afraid of getting their hands firmly in front of the ball and investing in their golf game.
Would I Use It?
Probably not. Although I enjoyed testing this putter, for me the shape is not something I want to look down on when hitting short putts.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
TaylorMade Notchback Putter Review
Odyssey White Hot OG Double Wide Putter