Regular Guy Reviews: TaylorMade Spider Tour Black Putter
Our Regular Guy Reviews the TaylorMade Spider Tour Black Putter
The first time I saw this putter, I thought, was a few years ago. Then it was brought to my attention from watching the various golf programming that any golf-obsessed male in his 30's would consume that Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are actually using a modified version of a TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider mallet putter. I learned more about the differences in their putters from talking with our own Joe Pro and doing a little bit of research. What I learned is that this Spider Tour Black putter is different from the regular Itsy Bitsy Spider putters and has recently been made available at retail following its great achievements out on Tour.
If you think this is the putter for you, you can find the TaylorMade Spider Tour Black here.
Joey Pro got it right when he said the Spider Tour Black has somewhat of spaceship look to it. My day-to-day putter is simple Anser/Newport putter shape so getting used to looking down at a mallet like this is a bit of an adjustment from that perspective, however, if you take a quick cruise around a big box golf store these days you're going to see a lot of putters with crazy shapes to them. For as mechanical as the design may be, the matte black paint and silver face still give the putter a smoothness to it and still looks cool. I've read that a lot of people can't get used to the no sight line thing, but obviously that is going to come down to a personal preference.
I know I'm not surprising anyone when I say I don't hit every single putt near the center of the face. The black version of the Spider Tour has DJ's preferred 'firmer' face insert which gives off a little bit of a hollow sound when you mishit your putts. Hitting a putt on the sweet spot makes a nice clicking sound and feels fairly soft.
Putting is so subjective to each player, it's difficult to weigh in with the 'every man perspective' our faithful readers are looking for. I firmly believe that a putter either works for you or it doesn't. I do agree that certain putting styles are better fitted for different putter designs, but there are going to be variances within those areas. I struggled with this putter because I felt like there was a lot of surface area (aka the putter head is big) that I had to control. By way of Joe Pro's advice, I tried a version of the Spider with a doulbe bend shaft instead of the slant neck and had way more control of the putter. This doesn't mean a 28 handicap player would have issues with the Spider Tour and a 2 handicap wouldn't. It only means that one version worked better for me than the others.
As I got used to the Spider Tour Black, I did have some good results. I was able to control my speed and distance very well from all ranges on and just off the green. The only issues I had creep in on me were directional which relates to what I mentioned just above.
If you're looking for a cool putter with a cool story, the TaylorMade Spider Black Tour is pretty sweet. I would strongly encourage you to make sure you can putt with it first though. For $300, you're looking at a pretty serious investment to just look like Dustin out there. Of course, if you feel comfortable with it, pull the trigger and tell all your friends it's basically the same putter DJ's playing.
My Verdict: It's a cool putter, not necessarily perfect for everyone, others will love it. Very modern.