One of the most popular putters in professional golf looks to have received a makeover after Rory McIlroy and Jason Day were both spotted working with a prototype version of TaylorMade’s Spider putter during practice rounds at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The prototype McIlroy was seen using has a copper finish, slant neck and what looks to be two weight ports positioned in the main portion of the body. The previous version of Spider only had two ports located in back in the heel and toe position. The heel and toe ports appear to have been redesigned as well and look similar to what’s currently found on the scaled down Spider Mini.
McIlroy hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll use the new Spider this week — Day noted he was still testing at the moment as well — but did say he’s found a comfort level with the mallet.
“I’ve been messing around with the putter and we’ll see where that goes,” McIlroy told GOLF.com, “what I’ve been feeling with it I’ve felt pretty comfortable.”
McIlroy used the previous version of Spider briefly during the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills but has rotated between smaller profile mallets and Anser-style blades ever since. A TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto (with a plumbers neck) and the Spider prototype were both in the bag during Tuesday’s practice round.
McIlroy ranked 97th on Tour in strokes gained: putting last season and struggled at times to find a putter than provided a spark on the putting green.
For Day, switching to a tweaked Spider wouldn’t constitute as a life-changing switch. Day put the current version of Spider on the map when he switched to the red version in 2016 at RBC Heritage. He’s used the putter ever since and likely knows the ins and outs of the design better than almost any player on Tour.
Evin Priest contributed to this report.