Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The TaylorMade Spider Review
I will preface this golf club review with the following statement -- when it comes to golf clubs, I'm a traditionalist. I love blades, pear-shaped drivers and Ping Anser-style putters. It isn't any knock to the new technology, I would just rather look down at a round driver than something that resembles a holiday card.
With that said, I will review a putter I'm enjoying at the moment -- the TaylorMade Spider putter. Paul Goydos uses it, so I trusted that anyone as witty as Goydos would be using something I could sink my teeth into.
I received the Spider in the mail, and was excited for a number of reasons. First, I had spent countless hours at the PGA Tour Superstore in North Scottsdale fiddling around with the Spider. For some reason, it just seemed to stroke the ball the same on every putt. (I also am not a sucker, and realize that those putting greens at golf shops may as well be the final hole at a putt-putt place, with a sinkhole to snag your ball so people don't run away with the stolen dimples.)
Another reason I was excited falls mainly with my own game -- if any part of it has been a struggle lately, it's the putting. I have used the same Scotty Cameron for nearly seven years, and lately haven't been able to get the ball in the hole as consistently as I've wanted. Like Lee Trevino famously said, "It ain't the arrows, it's the Indian," but I'm a believer in switching it up to change your feel (and add the excitement that comes with new equipment).
The first full committed round with the Spider came on Monday. It was a sunny day in Phoenix (read: hot as hell), and my buddy and I drove down to Superstition Springs to try our hands at the little gem in East Mesa. Teeing off at 11:22 AM, we had nobody around us but the lizards frying on the rocks.
The Spider is a unique putter in more ways than how it looks. Sure, it is boxy and not the most aesthetically pleasing club in the game, but the weights in the back of the putter keep it aligned properly, something lost with my smaller blade.
I feel that with longer putts, I can get the ball on line quicker. It is more of a "line it up and smash it" type of style on the greens, something my cautious personality could probably use. How did the Spider perform? I finished the day with zero three-putts, 27 total putts and my first bogey-free round in as long as I can remember.
The thing I noticed the most with the Spider was how it performed on the 6-8 foot par saves. I didn't feel that I could miss them, and the strokes felt more solid and never got offline. If I could putt like I did on Monday consistently, the game would be a helluva lot more fun.
Will I keep the TaylorMade Spider in my bag? Absolutely. You don't break up with a girlfriend when it's all kisses and hugs. For now, the Spider is my putter, and I'm happy with it. I'd say that if you're putter is your problem, swing out to the nearest golf shop and try one out. You might just be pleasantly surprised. Me and Mr. Goydos sure are.