When we think about TaylorMade putters, we automatically go to Spider. With the Spider family, TaylorMade have proved that they really do know how to make great putters, year after year.
But now after 15 years, TaylorMade has decided it’s time to fill the gap in their putter line-up with the new TP Reserve premium putter range, and in doing so, have put themselves right up against the big boys - Scotty Cameron.
In this review I'll be focusing on the classic-looking B13 blade model to see how it stacks up to what most golfers consider to be the best.'
All putters in the TP Reserve range are fine milled to create precise detail and character across the clubs. The clubface grooves are machine milled to reduce the surface area impacting the ball, with TaylorMade promising this will give us a crisp sound and soft feel at impact.
Across the TP Reserve range we see 3 classic blades and 3 refined mallets, each with refined top lines and profiles to produce a collection of ‘Tour-inspired’ putters with premium styling.
As well as the various putter head options, we also see four refined hosel combinations to fit the individual player on preferred toe hang and alignment. The B13 model comes with a small slant hosel allowing for the most toe hang seen throughout the range at 57 degrees.
The clubs are designed and machined with soft 303 stainless steel to enhance sound and feel. Each putter is matched up on length and swingweight, by finetuning using sole weights for optimum stability and performance.
To further enhance the premium feel of these putters, each comes finished with a KBS 120 Chrome stepless shaft and Black Lamkin Deep Etched Pistol grip.
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TaylorMade TP Reserve B13 Putter Review
Looks and Feel
The TP Reserve putters come with a very premium leather headcover, with a very minimalist design and soft-to-the-touch feel. Straight away I was really impressed by the quality and details on the headcover, this positive first impression really helped to add to the premium feel of the clubs overall.
Now let’s preface this by saying, the B13 putter couldn’t be much further from my current one – a dark finished mallet... (which ironically in this instance also happens to be a Scott Cameron). I wasn’t really expecting to like the visuals of this putter at address with it being so different, but after a few putts with it I was already starting to feel comfortable with it in hand.
At address it looks very clean with sharp and clear lines, and there isn’t anything distracting you or pulling your attention away from the putt itself - a lot of purists will no doubt like this like.
Something that caught my eye however on visuals is that the alignment aid (thin black line across the top) doesn’t go all the way across to the putter face. I found this a little frustrating as it meant there was a gap on the putter head between the line on your ball and the line on the club. Of course, this is very much a personal preference and would only come into consideration if you’re the type of player who uses a line on the ball and wants that continuously across the top of the putter.
In terms of feel, I wasn’t as convinced as I was with the looks of the putter. At impact, you certainly get a nice soft feel with the B13, however I was struggling to get control and consistency. This was probably a combination of playing a mallet for years and the B13 not having that much forgiveness, but I was certainly finding it hard to consistently hit the sweet spot during testing.
For me, the lack of forgiveness only really became a problem on the longer putts. In the 30-40 foot range I noticed a bit more variation in distance and direction in comparison to the M47 mid-mallet model. I felt as though I was having make my stroke a little firmer with the blade putter, which meant there was more scope for being slightly off in terms of rhythm and positions at impact.
With that said, I really liked using the B13 for shorter range putts. From around 10 ft and in, I felt surprisingly in control of the ball, with the B13 giving a very satisfying soft feel and crisp sound.
I also found myself favouring the blade model for quicker, breaking, downhill putts as the club has a very gentle feel to it therefore giving me that extra control. This was great for confidence stood over those awkward slanting 3 footers but made things tricky from further out as I felt like I had to put a lot into it to get the ball to the hole.
TaylorMade TP Reserve B13 Putter Verdict
I really liked the look of this putter at address and the feel you get on the shorter putts. For me however, I was struggling for anything outside of around 20 feet as I felt as though I really had to hit into the ball to get it travelling far enough.
All of the putters in the TP Reserve range come in at very steep (but expected given the marketplace) £379 RRP. As These putters are designed to compete with the likes of Scotty Cameron, Evnroll and Bettinardi, while hitting a price point slightly below what we’d expect to pay for these.
I would absolutely say I got the feel of a premium putter when first unboxing the B13 and hitting those shorter putts, but for me there were a few places the putter fell slightly short...
Firstly, the main issue for me was the control and forgiveness on longer putts. Playing primarily links golf, I find myself putting from off the greens more often than chipping, so confidence in this part of my game is key. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be able to develop that with the B13 overtime, but initially, that just wasn’t there.
Finally, if I'm being picky with the overall branding and design which, we really need to be given the tough market the TP Reserves are trying to crack – the logo of the ‘Reserve’ found on the sole of the putters just didn't really suit my eye. This might not resonate with many players, but to me, it reminds me of the clubs I had when I was younger, the Ping women’s ‘Rhapsody’ clubs - the colour scheme, the font, and just the wording itself 'Reserve' I don't foresee appealing to the sort of players that would spend £400+ on a Scotty Cameron.
This comes down to personal opinion and the associations that I have with the italic ‘R’ logo, that I’m sure the majority of players won’t have. But unfortunately for me, it just slightly takes away from the TP Reserve brand.
Would I Use It?
No - the bladed design wasn’t the right fit for me, needing a bit more control and stability over longer putts. That said, luckily TaylorMade has various different designs and fitting options across the TP Reserve range that meant I had other options to explore within the putter line-up.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The B13 is designed for a golfer who wants the look and feel of a premium bladed putter, coming in at a slightly lower price point than your standard Scotty Cameron, Evnroll, Bettinardi etc.
TaylorMade TP Reserve B13 Putter Pros & Cons
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