When TaylorMade launched the Ghost line of putters, it had a story. The offering was something totally different. With input from optical experts, as well as putter guru Dave Stockton, the company claimed its Ghost putters were scientifically proven to be easier to line up. The putters were white because of science. The new TP red putters are red because well, Jason Day said make me a red putter.
Forgive us if we sound a bit cynical, but the red putter trend and the layers of plagiarism upon plagiarism in the putter category are boring. Jason Day asked for a red putter because red is his favorite color, and so red putters became a thing.
Sergio finally won the Masters using a red Spider, one of approximately 212 different putters he has used this season, while Jon Rahm has also looked like a superstar holing putts for fun with his Spider.
Professional golfers are a funny bunch, and some equated Jason Day's success with his red Spider and borrowed inspiration from it. What everyone seems to forget is all the success Day had with his dinged-up Ghost White Spider (incidentally he’s recently been seen testing a new version of that one). Jason Day is one of the finest putters of his generation. The fact he was putting well with a red flatstick had nothing to do with it being red, but it was easy to spot, and golfers seemed to take to it, and so now we have an entirely paint-driven putter trend.
Putter innovation being what it is, Odyssey quickly launched its own range of Works Red putters, including their now ubiquitous #7 Fang model. Turnabout being proverbially fair play, TaylorMade has launched its own version of the Fang in - you guessed it, red. Perhaps uninspired, perhaps an overt middle finger pointed in Odyssey’s direction; it certainly feels like TaylorMade is copying the copier.
So what new technology has TaylorMade brought to the party? Diddly Squat, if we’re being honest. All of the new putters feature the 6061 Aluminum Pure Roll insert used in the TP Collection. It's a polymer filled groove design, not essentially different from what TaylorMade has been doing for the last ten years. Purportedly, the groove grips the ball to impart topspin and promote a faster time to roll. It feels soft and the roll is good, but with 3.5 degrees loft, there’s an argument to made that the company is a bit behind the curve for modern greens.
Each putter has movable/adjustable weights, which can be purchased separately, and come stock with a love it or hate it Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.
There are technically six new models in the new family. But really, there are a two and a half, with some variations.
TP Red Ardmore
First up is the Ardmore. A full mallet design, this is a classic shape, very much like an Odyssey V-Line. There is also an Ardmore CTR, a center-shafted design. While not generally a good fit for a majority of golfers, it’s good to see them in OEM lineups for those of you the design works for.
TP Red Ardmore 2
The Ardmore 2 pays homage to the Odyssey #7. Remove the center portion from the Ardmore, and voila you've got the Ardmore 2 - wings and all. Featuring a simple alignment aid; the Ardmore 2 is available in with a face-balanced, double-bend hosel and an Anser style L neck.
The Ardmore 3 features a single alignment line inside the cavity, and with the short heel hosel design most recently popularized by Jason Day, offers significantly more toe hang.
TP Red Chaska
Finally is the Chaska. We understand golf brands follow naming conventions, and those designs undergo iterations, but an Anser will always be an Anser. So, we can’t quite understand why the Corza, a design that has been knocking about since 2010 is now called a Chaska.
Bonus: TP Silver Collection
Outside of the new TP Red line, there are two updates to the TP Silver Collection. Again, we have the Corza, sorry Chaska. And we also have the Balboa. Now that is a punchy name. Often called a No.9 now, following Odyssey and Phil Mickelson re-popularizing the heel shafted small mallet design, the connoisseur will know it’s actually based on the old TPA XVIII design from the 80's that was originally a TaylorMade model.
These are by no measure, bad putters. In fact, the Ardmore models look particularly good at address. They’re just not particularly inspired. TaylorMade has been playing it safe for a long time with its putters, and frankly, we’d like to see them innovate beyond the paint can. With these likely being the last models of the TMAG era, perhaps the next putter release will offer more of a legitimate technology story.
Pricing and Availability
All putters retail for $219.99 with the Superstore grip, the TP Silver Chaska and Balboa are also available with a Lamkin grip for $199. Available now.