ClubTest First Look: TaylorMade’s Spider EX, Spider X Hydro Blast, Spider S and Spider SR putters
The expansion of TaylorMade’s popular Spider line brings some new head shapes into the picture for 2021. The distinct profile of each Spider putter is the first thing that grabs your attention, along with four unique True Path alignment systems that were specifically designed for each putter’s shape.
The True Path alignment system found on TaylorMade’s Spider EX, Spider X Hydro Blast, Spider S and Spider SR was initially introduced in 2019 with the original Spider X. The wider white sightline running down the center of the head was designed to improve focus while increasing the potential for more putts to catch the center of the face.
“A lot goes into hitting a solid putt,” said Bill Price, TaylorMade’s head of product creation for putters and wedges. “With this new class of Spider putters, we focused on removing two of those variables: aim and alignment. Each model features its ownTrue Path that simplifies the aiming process and helps golfers set up to the ball the same way time after time.”
The multi-material Spider EX is slightly larger (plus-3.5mm heel-toe and plus-2.7mm front-back) than the Spider X and features softer curves and a more rounded back. The lightweight aluminum frame and carbon center section are paired with two 28-gram steel heel-toe weights and a rear tungsten weight — the amount of tungsten varies depending on swing weight — reducing unwanted twisting during the stroke.
The True Path system on the crown consists of a “reflective white,” also known as the focal point, that runs along the topline, allowing “golfers to use the face for alignment.” Three dots positioned near the face help center the ball and promote a consistent address position. A new multi-material, co-molded PureRoll2 insert is comprised of white TPU urethane and eight silver aluminum beams creating 45-degree grooves to generate a consistent roll with an improved feel.
The final piece of the putter is a new Fluted Feel shaft developed in conjunction with KBS for Spider EX, Spider S and Spider SR. The shaft features a softer tip section that’s designed to enhance feel and stability while tightening dispersion at the same time. Multiple versions of the shaft were tested during the collaboration process before the final iteration was selected.
“With existing shaft options, many players told us they couldn’t feel the full weight of the putter head or feel the toe release,” Price said. “We didn’t want to just make the shaft softer (add flex) to improve feel at the sacrifice of stability. That inspired us to go this journey with KBS and develop a shaft that delivers on both fronts.”
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Spider X Hydro Blast is built on the popular Spider X platform and includes a new silver colorway created with the help of a high-pressure water application that smoothes out the finish while adding an extra layer of durability at the same time. According to TaylorMade, the absence of paint greatly reduces scratching and the opportunity for surface blemishes related to chipping.
The True Path alignment system and TPU Pure Roll insert — the white surlyn was increased to 5 millimeters to improve the insert’s sound, feel and roll characteristics — are a carryover from the first Spider X. So, too, is the combination of aluminum (2 grams), steel (6 grams) and tungsten (12 grams) that optimizes forgiveness and stability. A traditional KBS Chrome C-Taper Stepless shaft is attached to the head.
The True Path alignment found on the Spider S, first introduced last year, received a slight makeover. A new “arrow-shaped” True Path — inspired by “archery’s pinpoint precision” — makes it easier to aim the head with a clear focal point that’s the exact width of a golf ball.
Made from machine-milled aluminum, the square frame is equipped with two 42-gram tungsten heel-toe sole weights to stabilize the head. Tungsten was added to the backbar — ranging from 40 to 70 grams — to dial in swing weight depending on shaft length, performance and feel. With an MOI over 6,000, Spider S is touted as the most forgiving putter in TaylorMade’s current lineup.
With a smaller footprint (5mm shorter front-back), the multi-material Spider SR (Stability Refined) offers a different look with tour-inspired weighted wings. Two back weights — 10 grams (steel), 15 grams (tungsten) and 20 grams (tungsten) — can be added to the head to optimize swing weight.
In addition to having a smaller profile and shape, the SR’s arrow-inspired True Path design is positioned in the recessed cavity to promote a consistent ball position at address.
All four Spider putters will be available on March 12 in three lengths (33, 34 and 35 inches). The Spider EX (Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip) has a $350 price tag, while the Spider X Hydro Blast, Spider S and Spider SR (Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip) retails for $280.
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