SOUTHPORT, England — There were plenty of fireworks in John Daly’s press conference Wednesday at the British Open, but one tidbit was especially interesting from an equipment standpoint.
When Daly was asked about his putting, he said, "I’m still one of those guys that’s not scared to knock it three feet past the hole. If find that if I start lagging putts, it gets worse. But I’m going to try the new TaylorMade Spider, the small Spider putter, this week. I was working with the guys from adidas TaylorMade yesterday, just something totally different that I’m not accustomed to. I’m not used to seeing anything that big behind the putter face. But it’s something different, and maybe it’s time I look at something different."
The putter Daly is referring to is the TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider, a smaller version of TaylorMade’s Rossa Monza Spider, which was released earlier this season.
According to Matt Blackey, a TaylorMade Golf representative, whether you strike the ball in the center of the face or near the heel or toe areas of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, the club transfers the same amount of energy into the putt. This means that off-center hits roll as far as well-struck putts for better distance control.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider is 30 percent smaller than the original Spider, and the interchangeable weight ports are inside the face line of the Itsy Bitsy instead of outside the face line as they are on the original Spider. (Maybe they should call the bigger putter the Tarantula?) Justin Rose was the first player to start using the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Sean O’Hair has put it in the bag this week at Royal Birkdale. According to Shawn Mullin, a TaylorMade Tour representitive, the Itsy Bitsy Spider will be available this fall.