One reason golfers miss putts is because they can't keep their putter completely steady and on line throughout their stroke. One way TaylorMade is trying to solve that problem is by counterbalancing – adding weight to the grip end to counter the weight of the clubhead.
"We started researching ways to keep the head from wavering from the intended swing path during the stroke," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's product category director for putters and wedges. "We recognized that if we could make it easier to swing the putterhead on-path, we could help players roll the ball down their intended line. Counterbalance helps solve that problem."
As a result, both the new Daddy Long Legs mallet and the forthcoming Spider Blade are counterbalanced.
Adding weight to the grip end changes how the putter behaves when the golfer swings it. The grip on these new putters weighs in at 130 grams, more twice the normal weight of a grip. And properly adding that weight increases the Moment of Inertia (MOI, essentially a measure of stability) of the entire club, which makes it easier to keep the head on path during the stroke.
In fact, says TaylorMade, counterbalancing these putters makes them 60 percent more stable than a putter that isn't counterbalanced.
To get the most out of counterbalancing, you should keep about three inches of the top end of the grip above your top hand when you assume your normal stance, posture and grip, says TaylorMade. To make that possible, both the Daddy Long Legs and the Spider Blade come in two lengths: 38 inches (for players who favor a 35-inch length) and 35 inches (for players who favor a 33-inch length). Players who favor a 34-inch length putter could select either longer length, the company says.
Speaking of MOI, the Daddy Long Legs features the highest MOI of any putter TaylorMade has ever made, measuring in at 8500+ MOI. By contrast, the original TaylorMade Spider and Ghost Spider boast an MOI measurement of 6800, with the Ghost Spider S coming in at 6038 and the Itsy Bitsy Spider measuring 5375 MOI.
Blade putters, because of their rectangular design, have a lower MOI, but counterbalancing can help increase their stability as well. The Spider Blade has a 5200 MOI measurement, says TaylorMade.
"The higher the head's MOI, the more resistant it is to twisting on off-center hits, helping you roll the ball your desired distance, and on your desired line, on mis-hits," said Bazzel. "The exceptionally high MOI of the Daddy Long Legs and Spider Blade heads makes them a terrific choice for golfers seeking forgiveness in a putter."
To elevate the MOI, the head of the Daddy Long Legs consists of 16 different pieces made of eight different materials – stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, titanium, tungsten, polycarbonate, Surlyn and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The Surlyn is included in the PureRoll face insert, which is designed for enhanced feel. In addition, the Daddy Long Legs features a white leading edge and a single black alignment line running perpendicular to the face to make aiming easier, along with a heel-mounted, one-bend steel shaft.
It is available at retail now, with a suggested retail price of $199.
The Spider Blade's head construction consists of 11 parts made of eight materials – 304 stainless steel, 17-4 stainless steel, aluminum, 3M Foam, tungsten, polycarbonate, Surlyn and TPU. It will be available at retail on June 1, also with a suggested retail price of $199.