If you follow the world of golf equipment then you will probably know that TaylorMade, arguably the biggest name in the industry, are not afraid to go bold with their products and marketing of them.
So it didn't come as a great surprise to see earlier this year that they were introducing the Spider S, a high-MOI putter with a very eye-catching design and some big claims around the stability and forgiveness it provides.
Whilst they are probably best-known for their metal woods, their putter range has continued to expand throughout 2020 with the release of the Truss range, to go with the already very popular Spider range.
So is there room for another model in the lineup? Let's find out...
What's It All About?
The Spider S is said to feature a number of key technologies which help to deliver maximum stability and forgiveness.
The putter is manufactured with a high-grade 6061 aluminium, which is 100 percent machine milled for precision shaping. The frame is supported with two 48g tungsten sole weights on the toe and heel, which add stability whilst also optimising the CG location.
These materials and shaping help to increase the MOI of the putter, which adds forgiveness, and the stability produces a more consistent roll regardless of the strike location on the face. With an MOI rating of over 6,000 the Spider S is the most forgiving model of the Spider range.
There’s also a heavy tungsten bar on the back of the putter head, which is a different weight from 55 to 80 grams depending on the putter length. This helps to maintain a nice, balanced weight across the head.
On the face, TaylorMade has stuck with their well-regarded Pure Roll insert, which is used by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jon Rahm on their Spider putters.
For the Spider S, this inserted has been thickened by around 5mm to encourage better forward roll along with improved sound and feel.
“With Spider S, we utilise advanced materials and machine milling to create the highest MOI and most forgiving model in our Spider lineup. The beauty and performance of this putter is in all of the tungsten. We use more than 150g in each head to deliver precision weighting and optimal performance.”
Bill Price, TaylorMade Senior Director of Product Creation, Putters and Wedges
TaylorMade Spider S Putter Review
First off, I'd say that unless you have been using a similar-shaped putter, anyone who makes a switch to this kind of model will need to take a little bit of time getting used to the different size and weight compared to more traditional shapes.
If you send your first couple of mid-range putts whizzing past the hole, don't worry too much as you will start to adjust the more you use it. I don't think this is the type of putter that you can pick up in the pro shop, have a couple of practice strokes with and be ready to buy. You should always try and test any product thoroughly before putting it into your bag, and this is no different.
I was impressed by the soft feel provided by the Pure Roll insert, which has been around in TaylorMade putters for a few years now and I can see why it is popular among amateurs and tour pros alike.
The putter also seemed to perform well on mishits especially. I have a tendency to catch putts from the toe but you could really feel that the head was stable across the whole face, meaning that you don't get those really noticeable drop-offs when you don't strike it well.
Looks wise, I have to admit that I wasn't really a fan to begin with. However once I got out on the course it did start to grow on me a little as it is certainly a nice friendly head size, and it was pretty easy to line up.
It may carry the Spider name but I'm not sure you'd instantly recognise it as being a part of that range. Perhaps the reason to keep it within that line is because it is so popular, and therefore easier to market this as the latest model rather than having to attract people to a whole new name and idea.
The extra weight may take a little bit of getting used to, especially on the longer putts. But this does pair well with the softer feel from the face, so that you still feel like you're 'stroking' the ball rather than 'hitting' it towards the target.
I enjoyed using this putter on the shorter putts too, because it was easy to align and the added forgiveness across the face also helped a little too. On these putts just the smallest degree of error can be the difference between holing a putt and missing it, so if the technology can make the face a little more stable at impact then I'm all for it.
Another nice bonus feature is the fact that you can scoop the ball up by just pressing down on it using the hollow cavity on the middle of the putter face, which can save your back if your playing partners are kind enough to concede putts for you.
This putter was reviewed just after golf courses reopened following the Covid-19 lockdown so the feature also came in useful as I meant that I could keep my hands away from the holes when collecting my ball.
TaylorMade Spider S Putter Verdict
All in all, this putter is one that I think both mallet fans and TaylorMade fans in general will like. It has the hallmarks of a Spider model, including the higher MOI and Pure Roll insert, with a slightly different design.
This putter is priced at £299 which may be at the top end of most golfers' budgets, but you also get a good quality headcover and a Super Stroke grip included, which perhaps goes some way to explaining it.
Its still a lot of money, however, and you're not going to get instant miracles as a result. But it feels great, performs really consistently, and over the course of the season you might find that the added forgiveness helps with your confidence once you get onto the greens.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
TaylorMade Truss Putters Review
TaylorMade Spider Tour Putter Review