During the second half of the PGA Tour season, Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 ranked player, grew frustrated with his poor putting and, on several occasions, decided to use a prototype TaylorMade putter instead of his old heel-toe weighted blade. From outside the ropes, the putter looked very similar to Rory McIlroy’s Spider Tour X putter, but the club Scheffler used was very different, and now TaylorMade has decided to make that putter, the Spider Tour X Proto, available as a limited-edition model.
The Spider Tour X Proto has the same mid-size mallet shape as the standard Tour X, and it will be available as a 34-inch club with 3 degrees of loft and a 70-degree lie angle, which are fairly standard. The L-Neck hosel creates a balance point that results in just under 30 degrees of toe hang, so golfers who have a slightly-arced putting stroke should find it matches their style well. It even has the white True Path Alignment system on the top, like the other recently-released Spider Tour putters.
What sets the Spider Tour X Proto apart from the standard Spider Tour and Spider Tour X is its face and center of gravity (CG) location.
The new Spider Tour putters all have TaylorMade’s white TPU Pure Roll insert that features a series of grooves that point downward at a 45-degree angle to encourage the ball to roll instead of skid. The Spider Tour X Proto has a milled metal face that is attached to the body by four screws. Looking closely, you can see the milled marks on the face.
The milled face in the Spider Tour X Proto should create a firmer feel than the standard Spider Tour, and make it sound like a solid, one-piece putter instead of a multilateral mallet. With sound and feel being so interrelated in putting, the Spider Tour X Proto should perform more like a milled blade putter than any other previously offered Spider.
And then there is the weighting. The Spider Tour and Spider Tour X have weights in the back of the chassis that pull the CG location back and toward the perimeter of the head, which helps boost the moment of inertia (MOI) and increase forgiveness. The CG location in the Spider Tour X Proto has been shifted forward by 13 millimeters, which encourages the face to rotate more on the downswing and produce a blade-like swing. However, because of its size, the club still has more stability than a blade-style putter.