TaylorMade were a sleeper in the putter market until the release of the Spider in 2009 and more recently when Jason Day rose to world number one using his custom made Itsy Bitsy Spider.
In 2017 Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia had great success on tour using a Spider and suddenly it was a must-try amongst tour professionals as well as amateurs. The style is as common as a two ball or fang shape with many other companies starting to copy its forgiving shape.
Recently there seems to be a real shift to high MOI and mallet shape putters in the professional game and therefore this filters down to the club golfer. This year’s TaylorMade offerings are the Spider SR and Spider EX with a few new improvements on the previous models.
What's It All About?
These putters are technology packed.
Pure Roll 2 - Tour proven insert which provides a soft feel and has eight 45 degree co-moulded grooves to increase feel and roll compared to a solid face insert.
True Path Alignment - The EX comes available in true line and three dot alignment, the white colour reflects and therefore is supposed to help your eyes see the path - there are two rails and three dots to give the best alignment aid for holing more putts.
Fluted Feel Shaft – This is similar to what we have seen from Callaway with their Stroke Lab in the last couple of years. It is supposed to increase stability in the stroke and strike.
New Multi-Material Design - Heavy tungsten in the back weights are used increase MOI, whilst a lightweight aluminium on the head and a heavy steel frame to optimise stability through the stroke and impact.
Both putter models also feature a Super Stroke Pistol grip (GTR 1.0). The EX has three hosel shapes to pick from and the SR has two. Both heads are available in 33, 34 and 35 shafts whist the SR has changeable weights.
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TaylorMade Spider EX Putter Review
The most noticeable feature in the looks department is the True Path Alignment which sits across the top of the putter head. Massively aiding alignment and a stand out when you look down at the putter. The True Path is white in colour with two navy thin lines running horizontally across the head (as you look down at the ball) from front to back.
Inside these lines are three shiny dots which sit directly in the centre of the head behind the club face. The shape of the spider is the same but there is cut outs in the head to save weight and therefore distribute it at the back in the heel and toe of the putter.
I really like the dark navy colour and the bright white as the white stands out in a shape of a ‘T’. I found it helped a lot with my alignment.
At the very back of the putter is the TaylorMade logo which is just there as clever marketing as it will be seen from behind on the tour TV coverage.
The Pure Roll 2 face insert is very dull and not high pitched in terms of sound and impact. The grooves make the ball feel like its hugging the face a little and then the ground as it rolls towards the hole.
I like the feel of this putter - it sounded a lot quieter than the SR model.
This putter is just so easy to line up due to that True Path Alignment, even if you do not use a line on your golf ball. The framing of the ball in the centre of the face and the squaring of the face to target is a lot easier with this putter than a blade or a regular putter. It helps you with lining up and starting the ball in the middle of the face.
I tested out the alignment aid from a short distance and made everything. It’s just so easy to align and roll to your target so I had so much confidence, even when I had lots of break. I hit 6 putts from 6 feet and didn’t miss any.
TaylorMade Spider SR Putter Review
The putter head is silver in colour with black accents. I wouldn’t call this a traditional Spider shape head as it is more of a Fang shape like an Odyssey Stroke Lab no.7.
Due to TaylorMade needing to put the weights as far away from each other, and the face, as possible to increase MOI it’s 5mm shorter front to back than the Spider S, the Spider SR therefore has a lower MOI.
When it comes to True Path, the key differentiator is that it's positioned within the cavity behind the putter face and not on the top line. This will appeal to the golfer who prefers to use the face/top line as the primary tool to aim.
Also drawing inspiration from archery, the arrow-shaped design allows golfers to focus on a singular point as an easy-to-aim alignment tool. The True Path structure is the same size as a golf ball at its widest point, to really help position the ball in the centre at address.
The SR model has a much stronger hit, roll and connecting feeling than the EX, which certainly helped when I miss hit my putts.
I felt more positive with this model, as I could feel the face opening and closing in my swing. It does sound a touch louder than I am used to but overall didn’t feel quite as good as the EX for me.
SR stands for stability refined so I was expecting the massive MOI to really help my stroke and reduce the manipulation of the face during my stroke. The putter looked huge, forgiving and spaceship-like to me.
Did I think the Fluted Feel shafted worked? Well, the head was so stable, it really helped on the long putts that you felt needed hitting hard. The head just refused to twist and so my long-range putting was excellent. The shaft and Super Stroke grip all aided the feelings of stability and helped when I hit the ball out of the middle of the face. From short range I wasn’t quite as good, it wasn’t as easy to line up and I found myself hitting through the break often.
TaylorMade Spider EX & SR Putter Verdict
I think a lot of golfers wanted the Spider which Jason Day used, it looked class in red and he made a ton of putts. The trouble is he is very good at putting, the blank canvas on the top of the head wasn’t going to help the majority of golfers with alignment. It was a putter that was so hard to line up, so the Spider EX with its True Path Alignment makes life so much easier. You can now play the Spider and it can work.
The SR was good but I didn’t like it as much as the EX. Again it was easy to line up at address and provides a feel off the face. It’s a great option from long range and on straight putts. I did struggle on slipping short putts by the hole as I hit the ball through the break. It’s also a little bit bulky for me and I’m not a massive fang shape fan - however I know a lot of people are…
Who should use them?
EX is the better players putter but can be used by all levels of golfer too. It does have a lot going on and if you like a clean looking head this won’t be for you. The SR doesn’t have the feel running through your hands when you hit the ball, it’s all about taking feel away from you and becoming as stable as possible – it’s aimed at somebody who doesn’t putt well and doesn’t get the ball to the hole enough, so in fairness it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Would I use it?
I’m not a Spider lover, I don’t like how flat they sit on the ground. It’s similar to how other high-MOI putters sit like the Odyssey 2-Ball Ten. I did like the colour and the alignment aid though, it makes life so easy for you, but this won’t be going into my bag due to shape of the head and hosel.
EX Putter Pros
- Love the navy
- Alignment aid will help golfers
- Pure Roll 2 Insert is great
EX Putter Cons
- Very busy when looking down on it
SR Putter Pros
- Very stable
- Strong, firm roll of the face
- Loud sound off the face
- Too bulky-looking for me
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