TaylorMade Spider Tour Review
There’s no question that the Spider Tour was the biggest name in putters in the last two years. With major winners Jason Day and Dustin Johnson stacking wins with it, you’d have to live in a cave to not have heard of these.
But does the performance stack up to the marketing hype?
High MOI Design
The Spider Tour is a mallet-style putter with sleek contours and a set of rear ‘jet engines’ to move the weight. The 2018 Spider Tour models come stock with 3° of loft and a 70° lie angle. They’re constructed using a 304 stainless steel frame with an aluminum body, weighing in a typical 350g. The design enabled the weight to be distributed around the perimeter to increase its Moment of Inertia, which is the resistance to rotation when striking a ball. The higher the MOI, the more forgiving the club.
The balance of the Spider Tour is face, which means the face rests pointing directly up when you balance it on your finger. This is optimal for golfers with a straight back-and-through putting stroke. For those with a bit of an arc, they also offer models with 21 and 32 degrees of toe hang.
The putter face has a milled aluminum insert they call “Pure Roll” to help get the ball rolling forward quickly (avoiding speed unpredictability of a bit of backspin or bite in the green). Pure Roll is simply a set of grooves engineered to a specific angle and width to optimize the topspin put on the ball at impact.
Physics Nerd Alert: if you really want to know how the Pure Roll works, see this:
Sound and Feel
TaylorMade engineers use a foam padding between the body and the frame to allow for energy absorption that creates a good sound at impact. This is one of the most common comments golfers make about the Spider models.
There’s generally not many user-adjustments to be made in putters. The Spider uses “Moveable Weight Technology”, which will shock you to know that it allows for the player to adjust the weight distribution. Most players stick with the stock weights.
Putting it in Play
The Spider Tour is a very nice looking putter in a world of ugly mallets. Mallet design can be distracting and hard to align to your target line, but not with the Spider. The geometry of the body helps keep your alignment without feeling like you’re putting with a block, as some mallets do.
The ball rolls very well off the face, and the vibration feedback gives it a nice, solid, feel to it. Golfers with inconsistency in their stroke will appreciate the forgiveness on mishits, and you might even make a few poorly struck lag putts!
The Spider Tour Model Lineup:
- #1 L-Neck: full sightline, 21° toe hang, full shaft offset (RH/LH)
- #3 Small Slant: no sightline, 32° toe hang, half shaft offset (RH only)
- #3 Small Slant: full sightline, 32° toe hang, half shaft offset (RH/LH)
- #7 Double Bend: full sightline, face-balanced, half shaft offset (RH/LH)
- #7 Center: full sightline, face-balanced, center-shaft (RH only)
The TaylorMade Spider Tour 2018 model is a solid choice if you’re considering a popular mallet. It wins on Tour, has enough forgiveness for weekend duffers to score with, and looks pretty good, too. The changes from the previous model aren’t huge and they both roll it well, so pick up the new version if you’re in the market for the latest and greatest, or grab a deal on last year’s models while they’re available.
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