There's simply no denying the fact that the Taylormade Spider looks "unconventional". All those angles and hollow areas aren't there for their looks! This may well be the most futuristic of all putters!
The reason this putter is such an odd shape is that the designers had one objective in mind - achieving the highest possible MOI or "Moment of Inertia" which in layman's terms means that the putter will resist twisting as far as possible if struck off center.
This of course means that the look of the putter is strange and unlikely to appeal to you if you're a golfing purist, but if you like (or: can learn to like) the looks, this could be a great putter for you.
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on a Taylormade Spider...
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The feel of the contact you get between ball and putter head is not one of the strengths of the Taylormade
Rossa Spider. It's a tinny contact which seems hollow and could never be described as feeling "solid". This is caused by the fact that in designing the putter to give it the greatest possible MOI, large portions of the putter are hollow.
It's not all bad news on the feel front, though. The tinny sound is accompanied by an uncanny feeling that the head is going to swing on a straight-back-and-straight-through path no matter what
you do with your hands.
It is a feeling quite unlike any I have felt before when testing putters and left me feeling extremely impressed. It's almost as if the putter is on rails.
It goes without saying that this lack of face deviation would be disastrous if you subscribe to the belief that the putter should move on an distinct arc, with the face staying square to the arc, a la Tiger Woods.
... but if you're trying to produce a moderate arc or a straight-back-and-straight-through stroke, then this is exactly the kind of feeling that should fill you with joy.
The Taylormade Spider feels like it knows where the hole is and is moving unerringly towards it from the top of the backswing!
And that's something to get excited about.
How does the Taylormade Spider roll the ball?
That having been said, you won't find the Spider SO difficult to get used to that you shouldn't bother to try. Once you've used it for a short while, we think you'll be able to love this ugly but technologically brilliant child just the same as any other putter you've ever owned.
It's certainly not as ugly as some futuristic putters we've tested at Best-Putter.com (the Scotty Cameron Futura, as once used by Phil Mickelson, for example, is a truly hideous putter).
The Rossa Spider has a clever color scheme which disguises some of the more outrageous parts of the design. You'll find that your gaze is attracted primarily by the metallic part of the putter which consists of the
top of the leading edge of the putterface and the roughly V shaped part behind. This makes the shape seem much less outlandish.
The black parts of the putter provide a contrasting background for the cleverly-designed aimlines and the weights at the back of the putter
(where most of the high-tech elements of the putter are located) seem somehow to bypass
your attention. This, to my mind, is a good thing. The white aimlines stand out
nicely and overall the look breeds confidence.
In summary, then, the way the putter looks behind the ball is not half as bad as it might have been, considering its uncompromising shape.
How does it feel?
The roll of the ball from the face of the
Taylormade Spider was fine. It isn't the kind of putter you'd say produced a remarkable roll,
but it is perfectly acceptable.
Like most face balanced putters it propelled the ball forward without a huge amount of speed relative to your stroke, but players of all levels get used to this and you'd be just the same.
It's also not a heavy hitting putter and therefore excellent on extremely fast greens.
There's not doubt that the Taylormade Spider has something special about it.
All that technology, poured into producing the highest possible moment of inertia (MOI) has created a putter which you cannot fail to be impressed by. With so much of the putter's weight in the back corners of the head, it feels as if it's swinging on a pre-set path straight-back-and-straight-through towards the target.
If this is what you're looking for in a putter, great. When you pick up a Rossa Spider, however, you also have to accept that the designers at Taylormade have not compromised with their design. They don't appear to have made any concession to the feel that the putter gives you when it strikes the ball.
In other words, don't buy this putter if you're someone who is looking for a "feel machine".
If you're not that fussed about a soft, delicate sensation of the ball on the face, however, then sacrificing a bit feel for a high tech aid that will really help you to keep the face square through impact is proabably a deal worth striking.
Top players using the Taylormade Spider:
Jason Day winning the 2015 PGA championship with a Spider