TaylorMade Spider EX | What You Need to Know
If you’ve read my article on Blade vs. Mallet putters, you’ll already know that mallet putters offer easy alignment and are supremely forgiving for the mid to high handicap golfer. By using the right putter, you’ll be able to up your consistency.
Do you know what more consistency means?
Fewer strokes on the course.
We all feel great when we crush a golf ball 280 yards down the middle. But do you know what makes me feel really great? Knocking a stroke off a third of the holes as I sink putt after putt.
When I saw this putter, I was maybe a little skeptical. I mean, the original came out years ago, and if it landed in your back yard you’d probably call the cops… Or maybe Mulder and Scully (that’s an X-files reference, by the way, Hey! We could call this putter review the TaylorMade Spider X Files? Or not?)
Where was I? Oh yeah, the TaylorMade Spider EX putter…
The TaylorMade Spider EX is bold, big, and bright. Taylormade say that the Spider EX will give you “confidence that you can feel”… A bold claim.
But it sounds pretty good, right?
The Spider EX putter falls under the general umbrella of the TaylorMade spider range of putters (and is sold, rather confusingly, alongside the similarly named Spider X). While it shares some common traits with the Spider X, the Taylormade Spider EX does have a few small differences.
In short, in creating the Spider EX putter, TaylorMade has given us something that offers excellent feel, easy alignment, and is really stable during your putts. It’s a brand-new model developed to give massive amounts of forgiveness and make putting easy and could be considered an upgrade from the previous model.
️ - Why is the TaylorMade Spider so Good?
I’m going to go through all of the technology with you in a moment. If you’ve seen the Taylormade Spider X putter, it is pretty similar.
In short, when they created the spider, Taylormade designed what could be considered the gold standard in mallet putters and a real alternative to blade putters. Even in the previous spider, you could get easy alignment, excellent feel, and optimum forgiveness. These are all things that have only been improved in the TaylorMade Spider EX.
️ - What is the Best TaylorMade Putter?
Well, if you were to head on over to their online store, you’ll see that the new spider putter has now come to dominate their line-up. You could opt for ultra-expensive technology in the MySpider X series, where you can customize and alter the putter until it is uniquely yours. But you can get something that’s practically identical in the TaylorMade Spider EX.
Let’s have a deep dive into the spider EX features, take a look at its technology under the hood, and see whether the putter and its performance are as good as its looks in our review.
The TaylorMade Spider EX | Review and Features
TaylorMade Spider EX | Better than the TaylorMade Spider X?
The new spider putter is a slightly more upgraded version of the previous Spider X. You’ll find a slightly increased face. It isn’t much, only 3.5mm loner when compared to the Spider X. Although this isn’t a massive difference speaking pragmatically, it does give you a greater margin for error with a greater toe hang.
The putter head is pretty large and foreboding overall. A key feature of the TaylorMade Spider is the substantial area extending to the putter head’s rear. The putter design is made with lightweight aluminum. By keeping the basic structure of the head relatively light, TaylorMade has been able to distribute the weight elsewhere to give optimum results.
The end result is a face balanced putter head that offers a great degree of control and forgiveness. By adding tungsten to the putter’s rear and perimeter, combined with heavier steel, the putter face has a high MOI, meaning the face stays square and true even with off-center hits.
Using the Alignment Aid
This is one area where the Spider EX shines. I love how easy it is to align. With a blade, you are lucky if you get a single thin black line to straighten your putts.
This is the polar opposite.
Extending back from the center of the face, you’ll find three things that will make straighter putts a breeze. These are all combined into what TaylorMade calls ‘True Path Alignment’. This is worth digging into…
The True Path Alignment system is white. According to TaylorMade, this white color is the easiest for the human eye to detect. This contrast makes it easier for golfers to aim and straighten their shots.
Twinned with the white, you’ll find two parallel rails extending all the way to the rear of the putter. This allows you to ‘frame’ the ball giving a consistent setup.
In between the parallel rails, you’ll see three dots. These allow you to aim more effectively, drawing a line from the hole through your ball and along the putter head.
It’s actually a pretty neat system, there is little chance of making an error, and it ensures the ball rolls on a true path… In my case, the true path didn’t always appear to be pointed at the hole… But hey, it went where the club was aiming!
Pure Roll Insert
All the alignment in the world isn’t going to help you if the ball skitters and skids with no consistency. Thankfully, both the TaylorMade Spider x putter and the Spider EX have a great feature to ensure dependable behavior.
The pure roll insert features eight co-molded (and pretty aggressive) grooves. This white TPU urethane insert has aluminum beams at a 45° angle. This is designed to ensure that the golf ball is subject to topspin, giving a great roll with every putter stroke.
The shaft is an often overlooked area in putters. But it is the only thing transmitting feel back to your hands. Fortunately, TaylorMade has recognized this and introduced some really smart technology.
About 5 inches from the ship of the shaft, they have included a fluted feel shaft. This is a softer section that gives a decent amount of feel on striking the golfball without compromising putter head stability.
Putter Neck Options
One of the downsides to mallets is that they tend to favor a straight-back putting stroke. However, TaylorMade has been kind enough to give offer three different hosel neck options. You’ll find a flow neck, a single bend, and a short slant neck available as part of the range.
The upshot of this is that regardless of your stroke style, by choosing one of these spider putters and neck options, you’ll still be able to get all the benefits. My preference was the single bend.
Overall Performance | Is it Better than the TaylorMade Spider X Putter?
Well, what can I say? TaylorMade was telling the truth. I can see why these have become one of the best-selling putters around the world.
I’ve often found a mallet putter to be a little bit of a blunt instrument, especially when compared to blade putters. The face insert certainly makes a massive difference to what I was expecting. When this is combined with TaylorMade’s clever alignment system and an excellent sense of feel brought about by the fluted feel shaft, I can’t fault it.
Did I sink more putts using the TaylorMade Spider EX? Yes, that’s my simple answer. You get a real sense of confidence. It did feel like the golf ball was following a true path, based on where I’d aligned my shot.
Overall, I like this. A lot. In creating this putter, TaylorMade has given the competition something to aim for.
Pros and Cons
— PROS —
— CONS —
Buying Guide and Common Questions
When buying a new putter, there is a lot to think about. And like I said at the start, it is important if you want your golf to improve. Here are a few things that I think are worthy of consideration before making a choice: –
This is the first thing I think of when choosing a putter. Putting is 50% a mental game, and how the putter looks has a strong bearing on that.
If you aren’t convinced that you will be filled with confidence when you stand over that golf ball, then it is time to reconsider. One thing I loved about the TaylorMade Spider EX was that the head is pretty huge. It makes the ball look unmissable.
Ideally, you want to be able to make a putt, and without looking where the ball has gone, tell where it has ended up.
This is what is known as ‘feel’.
The best putters will allow this tactile feedback to be transmitted directly to your hands. Look out for features designed to promote this. It could be technology in the hosel or shaft, and face inserts go a long way to help your golf game too!
Let us be honest, we all ‘duff’ the odd shot (and bury our putter into the green… or is that just me?)
Any putter that has a large hittable area and will give the ball a pure roll, even with the occasional mishit, is worthy of note. Look for features that will prevent the head from deviating and hitting the ball in a different direction with an off-center strike. You’ll often hear terms such as MOI. As a general rule, the higher the MOI, the more forgiving the putter will be.
There are two elements to making a great putt, choosing the right length and choosing the right line.
Length is kind of all up to you, but if you have something that can help you aim easily, at least half the battle is won. Look for features that offer a ‘belt and braces’ approach to alignment. Easily visible and extensive lines are a great help.
️ Frequently Asked Questions ️
In a word?
There’s a reason why spider putters feature heavily on the PGA tour. You’ll have seen a version of the spider on tour in the hands of various players, including Dustin Johnson and Jason Day!
The best putter for an average golfer is one that allows them to make more putts! If you look for features that offer maximum forgiveness and easy lining up for each stroke, these all go some way to promoting this.
Aside from the TaylorMade Spider X putter, you’ll find others that offer similar. A great alternative could be the Odyssey white-hot series [LINK?], as they feature similar technology.
I find the most forgiving putters are those that keep a square face when the ball is struck. Yes, this includes off-center strikes. With mallet putters having a particularly high MOI, combined with increased feel compared to previous models, there is no reason not to give one a try.
The TaylorMade Spider EX putter is pretty great. It offers a great degree of forgiveness, feel and is easy to line up. It might not be for everyone, but I’d advise even the most die-hard blade purist to give it a go. It offers all the things that anyone looking to improve their golf game could need. Hopefully, I’ll see you on the practice green soon? Good luck, and thanks for reading!