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It Must Be the Putter! – The US Open Winning TaylorMade Spider Blade Slant

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Justin Rose:  New Putter = Large Hardware

It must be the putter!

How many times does the average golfer switch putters when they run into a plague of three-putts?  Have you ever heard someone say that their putter is out of birdies or that the honeymoon has ended with a particular putter?  If your putting has progressed into terrible, blaming the stick is all too easy.  Guaranteed two-putts are just a debit card swipe away, right?

Rational you says, “No Dave, that is not right.”  OK rational you, I’ll listen and not get a new putter.  Objectively, we all know that a large portion of successful putting consists of marrying a proper swing to effective green reading.  The putter is a part of the equation, not the solution.  What did you say? Justin Rose just won the US Open after bagging a new putter?  Out the window goes rational.

If switching putters worked for Justin Rose, then switching will definitely work for me.

Here’s my card, swipe away!

Well, to be fair, I don’t play like Justin Rose, and neither do you.  Justin was a golf stud at an age when you were still figuring out how to stretch curfew by a half hour.  Justin takes swing lessons from Sean Foley, supplementing those with short game and putting lessons from David Orr, an AimPoint Certified instructor.

We know that it’s more than the stick, but Justin Rose has made a splash with a new putter before.  Justin earned a whole bunch of prize money gaming the TaylorMade Ghost Corza, and as a result, many of us picked up that putter to see if we could also harness its magic.

Although it would prove to be Ryder Cup fatal for Team USA, who out there wasn’t impressed when Justin slammed the door on Phil over the last couple of holes.  That putt on 17 was epic.  Even with that success, Justin still changed putters, and after he did, he won the 2013 US Open.  Was the putter what pushed him to the top?  If so, we need to take a look at that putter ASAP.  So, without further ado, I give you Justin Rose’s TaylorMade Spider Blade Slant.

Specifications:  TaylorMade Spider Blade Slant

  • 11 parts made of 8 materials including steel, tungsten, Surlyn, and more
  • 130g grip counterbalances the head boosts MOI and overall stability
  • 355g head
  • PureRoll Surlyn Insert
  • White leading edge and linear alignment aid

 

What Potentially Sets this Putter Apart?

There are a couple of features of the TaylorMade Spider Blade Slant that I think could translate into increased putting success.  The first is the black and white alignment system.  I’ll leave the TaylorMade vs. Callaway articles to Tony, but I think that the success of the Odyssey Versa putters on tour this year actually supports TaylorMade’s claim that the white leading edge  “make aiming easy”.  So using the Spider Blade Slant could have made it easier for Justin to aim.

Justin actually aiming where he thinks he is aimed, combined with David Orr’s teachings about where to aim at in the first place, sounds like a US Open winning recipe on the greens.  That, and carding no doubles for the tournament…

 

The second significant feature of the Spider Blade Slant is counterbalancing.  Counterbalancing will be the putter “thing” of 2013.  Odyssey has the Tank putters, Heavy Putter just released the EL putters, and TaylorMade also has the Daddy Long Legs counterweighted mallet to complement the Spider Blade.  With the anchoring ban coming into effect, players are looking for ways to keep the putter stable during the stroke, and that is what counterbalancing does by elevating the center of gravity, and in doing so, effectively boosting MOI.

Counterbalance – Counted on to Make More Putts
-TaylorMade website

 

We will talk a whole lot more about counterbalancing in a future article, but the initial story is that it can may give you a replacement for your anchoring stability, without actually anchoring.  The counterbalanced putter is still longer than standard, but you play it like your standard length one by choking down on the grip.  In other words, the putter is longer than what you usually play, but you should grip it at the same point as your normal putter.  Here is how TaylorMade explains the length fitting process:

Spider Blade is available in two lengths, 38 and 35”. The idea is to grip the club as you would a normal-length putter, with two or three inches of the butt-end of the grip extended above your hands, which gives you the maximum benefit of counterbalancing. Thus, if you normally play a 35” putter you should opt for the 38”; if you play a 33” putter should use the 35”; if you play a 34” putter you can experiment with both the 35 and 38” to find which you prefer.

 

Did you Say Potentially in That Last Title?

Why yes I did.  As you can see, I’m not giving you much play review information about this putter. This time, it worked out that I had Justin’s winning putter model in the garage, and I wanted to share some photos and info with you.

Why do I have it in my garage you ask?

Truth be told, there are lots of putters in my garage, but this one is there for a good reason.  You will get plenty of review information about this putter.  In fact, you will get quite a bit of information.  You see, I am in the process of putting together MyGolfSpy’s 2013 Most Wanted Blade competition, and the Spider Blade Slant is TaylorMade’s entry into the competition.  So take today’s photos as a sneak peek at the competition.  So far, this is the only entry with a major in its pedigree.

Tell Us What You Think About the Counterbalancing Trend

Do You Plan on Trying a Counterbalanced Putter?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Theoo June 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

I have tried both models of the spider blade and I like them a lot. Def makes it feel much more stable when putting

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mike hallee June 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

I too tried them both but felt like the daddy long legs had better balance then the blade putter.

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wdgolf June 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

I tried the blade version and absolutely hated it, but then again I hate most blade/anser style putters.

If I’m in the store I might give the daddy long legs a try, but I fear losing feeling of the head due to the counterbalancing.

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MG June 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

These are a great line of putters… but I just wish TM would offer a putter without the insert. Not everyone wants grooves on the putter face. If there average player needs it, so be, but there are others who just like a solid face.

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Drew June 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Another free ad for TM huh? Way to work it in,,,

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Golfspy Dave June 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

You figured me out Drew. At no point did I think “Hey, I have that putter in the garage and I bet people would like to see it.” I am only here to do free work for TM…

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mygolfspy June 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Yeah your right Drew, had nothing to do with the fact that it is actually timely, relevant and a new trend in putters.

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David W June 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

If you don’t trust these guys then why read their articles? Keep up the good work guys, I had actually never heard of counterbalanced putters so now I’m a little intrigued (although I LOVE my PING Scottsdale Wolverine center shafted putter (see how I did that Drew).

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Augustine June 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I counter balanced my own putter with 30g of weight at the shaft butt then then putting on the grip – the putter head was already 375g and with the 75g steel shaft, 50g grip and 30g of counter weight the overall weight is about 530g but feels lighter when swung. The combination of a very heavy overall weight and light swing weight really helped stablized my putting stroke and allow me to feel the pendulum swing better than with a standard weight putter head with no counter balancing.

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Mike B June 20, 2013 at 12:17 am

I used a Heavy Putter A3-M for about a year and a bit some time back to help cure me of the yips and it worked well. I have since gone back to regular weighted putters as the extra weight made speed control an issue. At 900+ grams that was overkill. The TMaG blade fits my eye extremely well and will have to investigate it. Just what I need… another putter!

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golfer4life June 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

Not a fan of the face so much. Am a big fan of the design and counter balancing. I believe you to be right on CBing to be the hot new issue.

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Adam June 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

Question: I really like the putter but also really like super stroke grips. Would buying the TM Spider Blade and putting a SuperStroke on there be defeating the purpose of the putter?

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Golfspy Dave June 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

You may need to add a weight system, like TourLock, to get the weight in the grip end up to the match what TM has designed into the stock grip.

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Ronniemac June 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm

superstroke makes a 21″ 145 g model and 85g 17″ model both non tapered. Shaft extensions are easy to come by and so are cheap butt plugs. Hireko sell them all.

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Micky Spider Fisher June 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Just make sure your putter face is clean. The soft faced grooves are a magnet for sand particles which send the ball off in all odd directions no matter how expensive your putter is

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Patrick June 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I have tried both the slant blade and the mallet counterbalanced Taylormade, and I prefer the slant blade. I plan to purchase one.

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Ronniemac June 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I have an Odyssey #7 sitting in my vice right now waiting on the new superstroke claw to come out. I extended it to 38″ and put in a 36 gram butt weight or I may use the superstroke belly grip at 145 grams.

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Larry Morris(the 1puttnmf) June 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Counter balancing goes back to, at least, the early ’70s when Jerry Barber had a putter line called “The Golden Touch”, which came out after he sank 3-4 “bombs” in the closing holes to win the PGA championship. Each of these putters had about a 2-3 ounce lead slug in the butt of the shaft. Nothing is ever totally new in golf. My “first team” putter is a Tommy Armour Ironmaster model 3852 which I traded one of my members a full set of woods, irons, putter and bag for in 1975. Tommy has a lead but plug in place of the old wooden dowel.

Everything old becomes new again – even the pyramids!

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Ronniemac June 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I used to have an old Tommy Armour ironmaster that I used for over 20 years and someone broke into my car and stole my clubs and that was the only one I missed. I have never putted well since.

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Chris June 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm

You’re getting me thinking. I sell a ton of Super Stroke 3.0 and 5.0 (Fatso) grips and they’re really light. Does that mean the putter is less stable? Always thought the Heavy Putter concept made sense, it was just that their earlier putters were too heavy. What does anybody think?

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Jeffrey C Daschel June 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I think added weight/stability in putters is a great trend. I’m sure it wont be long before superstroke starts adding optional weighting to their offerings, or somebody will. BTW- I love the alignment aid on the back of that Spider, it really pops.

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Kosko June 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Can anyone give me a hint as to the softness of the blade compared to the versa putter line from Odyssey? Thanks for any help!

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Phillip Jaffe June 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I would like to introduce the Palmbird Putter Grip. It offers a natural counterbalancing to any putter as the weight is 169 grams. The unique shape of the Palmbird allows for a palm and putter face marriage that enables the golfer to be stable and steady throughout the stroke.
It was designed by a PGA Member, is proudly made in the USA, and conforms to the USGA Rules. It can be found online at http://www.palmbirdputtergrips.com Plant one in your hands today and feel the difference!

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Gary Mc Caughey June 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Just bought the 38 inch model can’t wait to get using it, the felt perfect as soon as I picked it up.

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Scott123 June 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

If we all go to the old teachings, heavy putter for fast greens and light putter for slow greens…been around for a very long time except we put lead tape on our putters, now they put weights in the handle and call them counterbalanced…still heavy putters..

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Ronniemac June 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

I finally put my putter together. Odyssey Metal X #7 343g head stock shaft Winn 17″ belly grip 145g with a 35g butt plug playing at 37″ after adding an extension. I must have the wrong ratio maybe too butt heavy and too head light. I cannot even get it in the vicinity of the hole. I am very disappointed. I may just cut it off to 34″ right through the grip to get the extension and butt plug off. Of course this will not leave a butt cap on my grip but I can put a plug in that. I did not pay attention thinking this head was the weight of The Tank at 400g. I see no way to add 60g to the head.

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Kmax™ June 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Ive been gaming the Spider Blade slant for a few weeks now and I love it. Best putter Ive used in quite some time.

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jim August 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

I’ve been using counter balanced putters for many years now and find them the most stable out of all my putters. Highly recommend you give it a try.

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Jon September 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

I just got my spider mallet 38″ and love it however the 38″ is a lil bit long and I think a 37″ would be spot on, would cutting it down affect the balance in anyway???

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Ronniemac September 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

Choke down on it which is what you are supposed to do. It may have a butt plug if you cut it that could be heated removed and replaced. The grip may be hard to find also.

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Redvet July 23, 2014 at 2:24 am

I have been using Scotty Cameron Select GoLo for some time now after migrating from Odyssey # 1. I was able to borrow my friends TM Blade with the long hosel and got on great especially at distances around 4-6 feet which were my scary ones. I decided to purchase and by mistake bought the Blade Slant but now find I am performing even better with this model. Lovely putter, great lining aid, and the balance is perfect for me. I gamed a 34″ putter always and bought the 35 slant blade, no problem adjusting to the feel. Initially I was not too keen on the sound off the face but now its not a problem. I love this putter, best in years and practice putting has become very enjoyable.

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