When J.B. Holmes defeated Phil Mickelson to win the 2008 FBR Open in a playoff, he sank crucial putts using an odd-looking belly putter. The TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider didn't look like anything else out there. Its extreme perimeter weighting greatly enhanced its moment of inertia (MOI), so slightly mishit putts still rolled nearly as far as putts struck in the sweet spot.
By the end of the season, the Spider and its smaller sibling, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, were common sites on professional tours and recreational courses.
This year at TPC Scottsdale, Holmes broke out another odd-looking, yet-to-be released belly putter — the TaylorMade Spider Balero.
The first thing you'll notice when you look at the Spider Balero is its unique alignment system. The white-ringed circular cut out in the back of the putter has the same diameter as a golf ball (1.68 inches); the white, semi-circular line is 4.25 inches across, the same diameter as a golf hole.
If you draw a line on your golf ball, and then set the Spider Balero down in the address position behind it, you will know the face is square to your target when the line on the ball and putter each go straight into the ball-shaped cut out and hole of the alignment system. (Click on either photo for a close-up look at the Spider Balero.)
The center of gravity in the Spider Balero is 10 percent lower than the original Spider's, which should help to create a smoother initial roll. The grooved, red AGSI face insert featured on the original Spider is also on the Spider Balero, but the movable weight system is gone, replaced by cleaner-looking wings.
The retail price and release date for the Spider Balero has not yet been announced.