When some companies launch a new product, there’s a near total media blackout right up until the embargo date. In recent years, however, launch strategies have evolved. Brands like to tease us a bit, and that’s been TaylorMade’s MO of late. Go ahead, build some suspense, we understand.
TaylorMade’s new Spider X putter, that has been seen out on tour since the beginning of the year. The later-than-the-rest launch; we think they were just trying to give themselves some breathing room to not lose the putter among the woods, irons, and ball launches.
So what’s different about the Spider X?
In its ten years of shelf time, the basic Spider design hasn’t changed significantly. We’ve had white, silver, black, and more recently red Spider putters, but the fundamental shape has not evolved. That’s smart business. The Spider has become one of the most recognizable shapes and golf and is arguably the only model in the lineup that is distinctly TaylorMade.
While not radically overhauled, the Spider X does bring a new design along with a new dual paint option. Copper or navy blue. The latter distinct; the former perhaps an answer to Callaway’s Rose Gold.
One of the most distinctive features of the Spider design over the years has been the large, MOI-boosting rear wings. Not everyone loves big, however, and the Spider has traditionally been a big putter. The new Spider X is slightly smaller at address, and the wings are much less prominent than they’ve been with previous models. Tour players, Rory McIlroy in particular, wanted smaller, but TaylorMade was only willing to make changes if it could match the performance of the original model.
The new putter is 5% smaller than the OG Spider but retains the same MOI. How? A composite core. Weighing just 15grams, the core allows TaylorMade to pull mass out of the middle of the club and move it to the perimeter of the putter. 36% of the total weight is on the perimeter, compared to 30% on the older Spider putters. And while the wings are smaller, they now feature adjustable weights, with 2 gram, 6 gram, and 12-gram options available to fine tune the feel.
TaylorMade continues to update its face insert. The company was one of the early adopters of grove technology in putters. The new surlyn white insert is 5mm deep and has been designed for a significantly softer feel. Again, TaylorMade says the change was driven by tour preference.
Alignment-wise, the Spider X offers what TaylorMade calls True Path Alignment. TaylorMade testing showed that 66% of putts over 12ft were struck towards the toe due to the parallax effect. With the Spider X, everything focuses the eyes on aligning the putter correctly. Most obvious is a single black alignment line that runs from the leading edge to the rear. That line is positioned within a larger white alignment area that flares towards the rear of the putter. TaylorMade says the angles help move your eyes forward to just behind the ball. For those who don’t want/need the extra alignment help, TaylorMade is also offering the Spider with just the single black alignment line.
With the neck, TaylorMade has made the odd choice of only offering a face-balanced version of the Copper/White model. Every other model is available in the slant neck option. While slant neck mallets have been more popular, we don’t see them overtaking face balanced mallets anytime soon (even if putter fitting data suggests they should).
Finally, while Breakthrough Golf Technology and Odyssey have both done interesting things with graphite putter shafts, TaylorMade has worked with KBS to introduce the CT Tour putter shaft into the new Spider X models. The 120g shaft features internal stabilizers and is the shaft is the stiffest, most stable steel putter shaft KBS has ever produced. With modern putter heads getting bigger and heavier, a more stable shaft helps reduce excess twisting for more consistent putts.
There will be players who buy into the tech, and it definitely appears to be more than a wall hanger, but for us, while it is the biggest change to the Spider yet, it is still an evolution rather than a true revolution. Such is the nature of putter game, however. It’s not much different from the recent run of iPhones, some of which, coincidentally enough, also share the X moniker.
Pricing and Availability
Retail price for the TaylorMade Spider X Putter is$349.99. That includes the new black KBS C-Taper shaft. Retail availability begins February 15th, 2019.
For more information, visit TaylorMadeGolf.com.
Thomas Spears4 years ago
Great write-up. The streamlined weighting and options of additional 2-12g weights is a great move IMO visually and technically. Also the true path alignment – looks great, as one who struggles with that, I think it would be beneficial for me.
Thom4 years ago
I have a slight arc in my putter stroke as well. However, my swing coach (tour player for 15 years) told me to still get a face-balanced putter after working with me for several lessons on putting. My coach said that while some data shows toe-hang putters are better suited for putters who have an arc in their stroke, the issue is consistent repeatability in the stroke. I was told that since most amateur golfers are unable to accurately repeat their putting stroke they will benefit more from the more likely squared and level putter at contact a face-balanced putter will deliver. When I asked when will I know for sure that my putting stroke is consistent enough to benefit from a toe-hang putter as opposed to the assistance for squaring and leveling my putter face at impact a face-balanced putter provides…I was told with a soft smile on my coaches face, “…when your handicap can be counted on one hand.” Moral of the story, a face-balanced putter may be exactly what is needed on the course greens despite what computer simulations reflect in the database. Hence, as someone who employs a putter stroke that arcs, I have cut my putts by 14% with this new Spider X in a face-balanced model! Amazing!
ole gray4 years ago
I rolled one of these yesterday and it felt smooth as hawt butter on a blueberry muffin. I LOVE the blue/white color scheme and IMO it’s one great looking putter! Now if it performs as well as it looks, my Bettinardi might be heading to the bench for a rest.
Scott4 years ago
A golfing buddy has one and I loved the feel and rolls great . Odyssey had a great putter call Saber Tooth that felt great and even better. Moral to the story is when they do make the perfect putter they have to change it and change it again until it loses it feel. because you can sell the same putt year in year out and stay in business
Andrew4 years ago
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but will changing the weights on a putter alter toe-hang?
mackdaddy4 years ago
They really are ugly
HDTVMAN4 years ago
I like the copper with the True Path Alignment…so sick of red, especially Odyssey’s as they look and feel cheap with that Winn grip. But I prefer the natural satin steel look and plan on ordering an Evnroll ER2.2 with the Gravity Grip. I like the look, feel, and technology.
gunmetal4 years ago
Now I get what Rose meant when he referenced having to use TM putters. Ugh.
Randy Kitts4 years ago
Looks like the copper color revisited from the late 90’s Burner Bubble drivers and fairways, what goes around comes around again.
Aesop4 years ago
What data shows that slant neck mallets are better than face balanced mallets?
Corbin4 years ago
The data that almost everyone has some sort of arc in their putter stroke. MGS did a video about it. Most people should have some sort of toe hand in their putter because they have an arc in their stroke. Everyone wants to believe they have a straight back straight through stroke but that is a minority of golfers who do.
I wish MGS did buying guides for putters based on type of putter stroke.
Evan4 years ago
Agree on the buying guide. Had the opportunity to get custom fit and ended up in the Spider Tour because of the toe-hang because I couldn’t get an Evnroll with enough toe-hang at the time. And if anything I’m on the far end of the spectrum and wouldn’t mind a mallet with a bit more hang than the Spider even.
steve4 years ago
Interesting concepts but I can’t imagine those two color schemes will appeal to most golfers. I expect black, silver and red models within six months. Right or wrong, traditional appeal is the majority rule in golf and others want the putter colors to flow with the rest of the set and bag.
Waazzupppp4 years ago
so, my personal favorite of the Spider lineup was the black – no sight line model. I’m really bummed to not see that as an option for the newer models. The color choices are pretty terrible – baby poop brown-copper and not quite black-blue – just don’t do it for me. I’m sure many will love them – and many will buy them – but I just got a steal on the Spider Tour Platinum and couldn’t be happier with the feel of it.
I think a new putter is the best investment one can make in their bag simply due to the fact that it makes us want to putt more, which leads to more practicing. That said, I’m not sure if I’d consider these at the $350 mark when there are so many great deals on last year’s colors/styles and even more customized options at that price point.
One of these days, people are going to put their feet down and refuse to pay $400 for a putter and $600 for a driver when something 1/4 to 1/3 the price does the job just as well. Maybe that’s just me hoping that MGS continues to get the message out that “marketing doesn’t equal performance” in every situation.
Ron4 years ago
You also probably believe in the tooth fairy if you believe there will be a backlash over the pricing of equipment. Major golf manufacturers are recording record profits so there is no incentive to roll back pricing.
Mike4 years ago
I agree 100%. No sight line in black is the best. I own it and so far it beat out every putter I had. Evnroll is my second place and I love it, but the feel and MOI of Spider tour black is the best.
Cecil4 years ago
Consumers will vote with their feet……
10shot4 years ago
Ron, Can you point me to the reports showing the record profits you speak of? I’m always investing and I would like to see these numbers
Evan4 years ago
The Spider Tour Black had the better insert feel to me but the pop of the red with a sightline (before they droped the T-Line with the black) was my favorite when I got fit.
Robert Hargrove4 years ago
The Spider Jason day made famous had a garbage shaft in a good head. Thats the major difference. However its a choice.
D.A.4 years ago
Berniez404 years ago
Nice article, well written, and spot on with evolution vs. revolution. I used to game Spiders off and on since they first came out. Unfortunately, I am one of the odd ball putters that was won over by the 38″ Counter-balanced putter craze. Once TM stopped making 38″ putters though, I stopped gaming them altogether. I see no mention of available lengths, but suspect once again, TaylorMade is not offering a 38″ model. I’m glad I resurrected my old Carbite last year and retro-fitted her accordingly. I guess that antique is going to have to carry me through till someone finally offers another 38″ putter that can shoot the eyes out of my relic from the 90’s. The Odyssey’s aren’t bad, but the choices are few, and there’s a lot to be said for the original build quality of those old Carbites.
Dave G4 years ago
Having worked for Carbite for 6 years, it’s great to see someone recognize the multi metal and high MOI designs prevalent in many of today’s putters started there.
Berniez404 years ago
Thanks Dave! Yes I had a Carbite B8 35″ model at the turn of this last century. Unfortunately I bought into all the hype about more forgiveness on this and that latest model, and better roll from this and that face insert, etc….After my last little venture with yet another high dollar, under performing ( on a dollar spent per strokes saved basis) puttter by another “Famous Maker”, I hawked it on e-bay, took my putter fitting specs to heart, and resurrected my old Carbite by adding a 3 ” insert, weighing the proper grip, adjusting the lie etc.
I have a real winner on my hands. She is admitedly slightly obsolescent by today’s tech standards, but then again, I’d match my old GTO Hot Rod from back in the day against anyone of today’s high tech Honda Fart Cans in a heart beat. Carbite did build one hell of a good product, and I regret that they are no longer with us.
They were very far ahead of their time, and might still be teaching these other companies a thing or two. I hope their golf ball patents got them something for their troubles. Lord knows how sue happy all of today’s current ball makers are.
Waazzupppp4 years ago
Or perhaps you could just take a 35″ model and install a 3″ extension and counterweight to it? Or maybe go with a custom build on the putter you like from a fitter?
There are just way too many great options out there that can be fit to any golfer with a few simple tweaks.
Sean Frazier4 years ago
Why did they put a C taper shaft in the putter?
Josh4 years ago
They want a stiffer shaft to reduce twisting at impact.