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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