Rose breaks through with a counter-balanced putter

by   |   June 17, 2013
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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.

About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com. He and his team cover golf's most important stories. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz.


22 Comments

  1. PuttingDoctor

    June 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

      June 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.

      • Ric Flair

        March 19, 2014 at 4:29 pm

        That is absolutely hilarious. A+

  2. Hootiecrash

    June 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

    June 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

    June 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

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

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      June 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

    June 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

    June 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

    June 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

    June 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

    June 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

    June 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

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

  11. DenverB

    June 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

    June 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

    He is not anchoring this putter.

  13. Liz | Breaking Eighty

    June 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

    June 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

      June 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Wait… how was he “anchoring” it?

      • Brockohol

        June 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

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

  15. Mat

    June 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

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

    • G

      June 18, 2013 at 2:54 am

    • Jack

      June 18, 2013 at 4:52 am

      Why not? He wasn’t anchoring it I don’t see.

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