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Rose breaks through with a counter-balanced putter
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.
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.
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