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Rose breaks through with a counter-balanced putter

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To the untrained eye, the putter Justin Rose used to win the 2013 U.S. Open looked much like the black-and-white blade putters he’s used in the past. But even though it looked almost the same, it was the most distinct putter he has ever used.

Rose used a TaylorMade Spider Blade putter to win his first major championship at Merion Golf Club, TaylorMade’s newest putter that has a heavier head and heavier grip to give the putter more stability than the company’s standard putters.

According to Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s product creation manager, Rose loves the look and the feel of the Spider Blade. But what he likes more is the ease with which he can “release,” or square up the putter at impact.

To fine tune the release, Rose had the putter made to 37 5/8 inches. But Rose doesn’t play the putter at that length. He does what he likely did the first time he ever picked up a putter as a child; he chokes up.

spider blade

According to Bazzel, choking up on a counter-balanced putter gives the putter more stability, as the added weight of the grip and shaft above the hands raises the putter’s balance point. Since Rose prefers standard putters that measure 34.5 inches, he chokes down about three inches, which makes the putter feel normal to him.

The last thing Rose needed to do before putting the Spider Blade in play was deciding on a neck for the putter. TaylorMade offers two different necks for the Spider Blade — an “L,” or “plumber’s neck,” which is better for straighter strokes, and a “short slant” neck that is better for strokes with more face rotation. Rose’s putting coach, David Orr, said that Rose needs the added rotation that the short slant neck provides because it improves the consistency of his release.

justin rose putter

Rose feels more confident with the Spider Blade than his other putters, Orr said, because instead of trying to release the toe of the putter during the stroke, he feels like he can “release the entire putter.”

“We’re really pleased with the putter,” Orr said. “It made his posture better, so he can see his line better. And it lets his stroke flow a little better.”

According to Bazzel, Rose’s U.S. Open-winning Spider Blade is the most off-the-rack putter that Rose has used in his career. It features the same PureRoll Suryln insert available on the retail Spider Blade,  and aside from a slightly different graphics scheme, the same 15-inch, 130-gram grip.

For golfers seeking even more stability than the Spider Blade can provide, TaylorMade offers its Daddy Long Legs putter (Click here for our full review). The Daddy Long Legs is larger, and has a heavier head than the Spider Blade. It is not available with a short slant neck, however, meaning it is best for straighter strokes. Both putters cost $199, and are available in 35- and 38-inch lengths.

Rose’s Spider Blade Putter Specs:

  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie: 70.5 degrees
  • Head weight: 358 grams (3 grams heavier than retail)
  • Shaft: 122 grams (TaylorMade tour-only matte black shaft finish)
  • Grip: 130 grams
  • Total Weight: 610 grams

Click here to see the specs of all the clubs in Rose’s bag.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. PuttingDoctor

    Jun 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Glad to see so many now jumping on what I’ve been doing for the past six years. I use a 32.5″ putter but due to a need to let folks putt with my stick I left it at 34″. I have had a 75G counterweight in it for about five years.

    As great as the putter is in and of itself Justin made some stroke changes to accommodate the David Orr tells me.

    We’ll look for more success from Justin as he and David tweak this setup for even better results as they test and train on their SAM PuttLabs.

    It really is about the #1 club in the bag….the putter!

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      Jun 28, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      @Gulpeg and PuttingDoctor

      Not only did I invent counter-balancing in the 20’s, I invented the first version of golf to the native Americans before vacationing in Scotland and explaining it to them. Of course, before all of this I created energy and then made it blow up causing all the matter in the universe to randomly configure itself into the world you all enjoy today. So, I guess you are all very very welcome and no thanks is needed. The journey was the reward.

  2. Hootiecrash

    Jun 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    it appears in the article that the putter grip itself and his gripping down is what causes the counterbalance. is Rose using a backweighted putter grip? if so, how much weight is being added in the grip?

  3. gulpeg

    Jun 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    oh, the new revelation of a counter weighted grip. sorry, been doin’it for almost 8 years already. i guess some of the personal custom fitters are way ahead of the big boys. but it works

  4. Juan

    Jun 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    So how is this different from the Heavy-putter series?

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      Jun 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Oh, didn’t you get the memo? It’s got DragonBall-Z graphics that your kid will enjoy! AND its fortified with Vitamins A,B and C! Yay!

      …that was sarcasm. Its not different. It just won the US Open though so maybe the only good clubs are those that win majors.

  5. Dave

    Jun 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    How much is TM paying all of these golf blogs/websites?! Every single one has an article about this new putter. It’s as if Justin Rose, the #5 ranked player in the world, just came out of no where to win the US Open b/c he switched putters. He also hit a ton of fairways (4th in FIW) and his ballstriking was suburb (9th). His putting was actually only ranked 16th so you could argue it was the least important of these stats (esp at Merion where a missed FW accounted for approx .6 of a stroke lost (the highest of the last 5 US Opens). But for some reason (hmmm) we’re all talking about this putter… the TM PR machine is running at full steam apparenently…

  6. Blanco

    Jun 19, 2013 at 2:34 am

    what makes this works is despite the counterbalancing, neither side of the club is overly heavy… plus the stepped shaft is extremely soft to flex for a putter shaft.

  7. Joe Golfer

    Jun 19, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Sounds like a great putter. Thanks, GolfWRX for the new info on this little beauty.
    I like that it is counterbalanced.
    I’ve tried a counterbalanced driver shaft and a slightly heavier grip, and I like the results. Makes it easier to control the head.
    I think this idea will catch on with a lot of other companies also.

  8. Sean

    Jun 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve been using one for five weeks. Great balance, weight, and feel. It almost putts itself. Nothing is forced.

  9. Harrison

    Jun 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I just got the putter – switched from a custom shop scotty – I took most of the loft off and made it more upright. It sets up extremely flat, however, all in all sweet putter!

  10. Tate

    Jun 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Bet those 3 extra grams of headweight made all the difference.

  11. DenverB

    Jun 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Please tell me TM is going to release a “JR” version of this putter, with the black shaft and red/yellow grip!

  12. Chuck

    Jun 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

    He is not anchoring this putter.

  13. Liz | Breaking Eighty

    Jun 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Was curious about this myself, if the counter weighted putter is something that will be deemed illegal down the road.

  14. Brockohol

    Jun 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Yes he was…at least to my interpretation of the new stupid rules.

    This thing will fly off the shelves this summer just like the 2 Ball, Ghost, etc…Its a weird feel but I have tried the longer ones and they do feel great choked down like Rose does. Almost impossible not to have a smooth pendulum motion. Now we just need a putter that reads the break and how hard to hit it.

    • cnitty

      Jun 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Wait… how was he “anchoring” it?

      • Brockohol

        Jun 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

        I meant yes, he was using in accordance to new rules.

  15. Mat

    Jun 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Just for clarity, was he using it in a 2016-legal way?

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

5095fce33e880406a172796becbc64f8 6900daf1b0d2a2751ffa5557ac3865f7 2340677acd0b3c6d0f53ae8fa46c2024 80f602716821fd9518f148951913c9c0 4df372aac347ad61f031f519a1fd1edb 48039d9dfced6272ba047b51e6265d03 6fecf1d551cb1559587f1f17392ba7c8 0519679f5fdaaae2ffbaf2d97c0def72 5445ea5d9987cddfda04efba5d2f1efd

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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