Scottie Scheffler looks set to give TaylorMade prototype putter a shot at FedEx
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As much as Scottie Scheffler doesn’t want to talk about the putter, he knows it’s a topic of discussion these days. The 27-year-old has put on a ball-striking clinic most weeks that’s produced two wins and 15 top-10 finishes in 20 starts. It’s the kind of season most pros would love to experience just once in their career.
The season looks even more incredible when you realize Scheffler currently ranks 140th in SG: Putting — and still leads the Tour in combined Strokes Gained.
Look back at Scheffler’s equipment history and you’ll find little in the way of tinkering, particularly with the putter. Prior to 2022, Scheffler enjoyed regular success with a Scotty Cameron Tour Rat 1 blade before switching to a Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS Prototype ahead of his 2022 Masters victory. But the mojo didn’t last.
He eventually sought putting advice from Steve Stricker, briefly tried out a Scotty Cameron T5.5 mallet at the CJ Cup, went to a Newport 2 with a flatter lie angle, and wielded a wide-body Newport 2 Plus at the U.S. Open. Nothing seemed to stick for very long.
After nearly a full year of searching, Scheffler’s hoping the latest putter in the bag provides the consistency he’s been craving on the greens. For the first time since he signed a TaylorMade staff deal last year, Scheffler is strongly considering the idea of using one of the company’s Spider Prototype mallets at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
On Tuesday, Scheffler was spotted conducting testing with three Spider putters with different shafts — two steel shafts and one with LA Golf graphite — along with his old Scotty Cameron Tour Rat 1 gamer. By the time he left to play a practice round with Jon Rahm, Keith Mitchell and Sam Burns, only the steel-shafted Spiders and Cameron remained.
By Wednesday’s pro-am, Scheffler had pared it down to a single steel-shafted Spider, a signal TaylorMade’s most popular mallet is likely to get the call at TPC Southwind.
According to Scheffler, he’s worked with TaylorMade’s Tour team in the past on Spider, but nothing ever truly felt just right until the version he started testing this week.
“The guys at TaylorMade have done a lot of work for me with the putter,” he said. “I’ve always liked the visual of that Spider putter, but I really just did not like the feel. That’s something we discussed, kind of the feel.”
Unlike the previous versions of TaylorMade’s Spider that featured a Pure Roll insert, Scheffler’s appears to be a milled product with four screws positioned around the edge of the face. Scheffler noted the addition of more weight closer to the face made it easier to get the ball to the hole on a consistent basis, something he’s struggled with at times this season.
“I’ve always struggled with putters that have a lot of weight in the back side of it, and this one is a bit different than a lot of the Spiders that they’ve made, and the weight is more in the front so it has the feel of a blade putter that I like but it also has a lot of that visual on the top where it’s easier for me to line up,” he said. “It feels like at times this year I’ve hit a lot of good putts that have gone right up to the edge and not gone in. Maybe it could be my alignment. If your alignment is a half inch off, the ball lips out instead of going in the middle or lips out instead of lips in. The margins in this game are so close, so it’s something that I feel really comfortable with where the balance point is on this putter. I’m excited to try it out this week.”
It’s also possible the screws secure the face to the body — a design TaylorMade has tried in the past with the removable face plate on the xFT wedge — or they could be there to simply place more weight up front. (Take a look at the sole and you’ll also notice the usual heel-toe back weights have been removed to get mass out of the rear portion of the head.)
Scheffler won’t make the switch official until Thursday, but all signs point to him putting the Spider Prototype in play as he looks to jumpstart a key club in the bag and chase the season-long title.
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