TaylorMade has never been one for offering up boring product designs. The Rossa Monza Spider’s radical new shape and eye catching paint job continue this tradition. Marry the stunning looks with extreme MOI and AGSI+ and TaylorMade has another winner on their hands. Today we’ll have a look at this technologically advanced putter which has been tearing up the PGA tour.
TaylorMade engineers focused on giving the Monza Spider increased stability and forgiveness because poor impact quality is so frequently the cause of poor putting among all levels of golfers. Even tour professionals frequently miss putts because they fail to hit the ball with the center of the clubface. With most putters, when impact is made toward the toe or heel, the head twists and the ball rolls off-line and finishes short of the target. Off-center hits also impart different types of spin compared to center-hits, contributing to inconsistent distance and direction.
To increase Monza Spiderâ€™s forgiveness, TaylorMade engineers had to increase its moment of inertia (MOI). They found three key ways to accomplish that:
- A steel wire-frame head construction similar to that used in the Monza Corzaâ„¢, which allows them to position increased weight at the perimeter, adding stability on mis-hits that helps the putterhead resist twisting when impact is made toward the heel or toe.
- A light and strong aluminum core that allows more weight to be positioned on the perimeter, increasing MOI.
- Monza Spiderâ€™s â€œwings,â€ into which Movable Weight Technologyâ„¢ (MWTÂ®) cartridges are inserted, allow substantial weight to be concentrated in areas far from the face, helping to move the center of gravity (CG) rearward, which increases MOI and stability. Of course, another benefit of the Monza Spiderâ€™s MWT is that it also gives players the option to customize its feel by changing the weights to make the putterhead heavier or lighter and/or to change the putterâ€™s balance.
As for great roll, Monza Spider has the advantage of Rossaâ€™s renowned and tour-proven AGSIÂ®+ (Anti-skid Groove System Insert) Technology. AGSI+ features 14 polymer-filled grooves in the face that â€œholdâ€ the ball briefly at impact to promote forwardspin for a smoother roll and more accurate results. The AGSI+ insert, in concert with the putterheadâ€™s extremely high MOI, also delivers superior consistency in forward roll on off-center hits, something not shown in tests of other popular putters.
Look and Feel
So, putters are generally fall into the love/hate type of relationship. Some players find a putter they love and stick with it for ever (See Tiger Woods). Some players seem to change putters as often as they change golf balls (See Mark Calcavecchia). One thing most everyone will agree with is, the putter needs to first fit your eye then feel right in your hands. You certainly do not want to be making your most important strokes on the course using a club with which you do not feel completely at ease.
In steps the Spider. I will be the first to admit, when I first saw pictures of this putter, I thought wow, how could anyone putt with that thing. Then I saw it in person, and the look grew on me in a heart beat. The putter is quite large, this is true, however, you do not have the overall impression that you are putting with anything larger than a normal mallet style putter. The TaylorMade engineers have done a wonderful job hiding some of this detail from you at address. I am not sure what it is, but I find myself focusing more on the sleek metal part of the putter extending from the front of the blade, rather than the ‘abdomen’ of the spider. It has a very nice…yes…sleek…look to it.
If you have hit an AGSI/AGSI+ putter in the past, you probably have a good understanding of the feel off the actual insert. Similar to other grooved insert putters, you get a little bit of a momentary grip to the clubface feel. Hard to explain, but, putt with it enough, and you’ll notice it. The rest of the feel is quite solid and the putter feels very well balanced in your hands. Given the size of the putter, I was surprised to note that the club felt rather light. I also have a TaylorMade Rossa Monza Corza putter, and that feels noticeably heavier in my hands. I do not have an actual weight of the Spider off hand, but overall, it just felt a little lighter, could be the balance of the club.
Overall, I was very impressed with the look and feel of the Spider. Putts off the center of the face felt solid and provided very pleasant feedback. Putts slightly off center toward the toe/heel also felt reasonable as well. You knew you did not ‘pure’ the putt, but, you felt as if the putt still had a chance.
Off center performance of this putter is absolutely remarkable. I hit countless putts off the toe and heel, and was continually amazed at the result. Loss of distance is minimal and the putts still held their line. The putter head really does resist twisting and can make up for a pretty poor stroke from time to time. It is tough to say there are any quick fixes out there, especially in the putting game…but I cannot see how this club wouldn’t at least help a few of your poor strokes on the green.
The alignment aid on the Spider is rather interesting. I generally line up my putt by using the alignment aid on the ball, line that up with a spot or the actual hole. Then I will use the putter’s alignment aid (the little nick line or whatever on a traditional putter) to the line on the ball. Make sure I’m square to the target line, then trust the alignment. The Spider has that big line down the middle that makes that pretty easy, but the little half moon lines are interesting as well. For me, it just helped reinforce my faith in my alignment. For someone who is accustomed to using a two-ball style putter, these little half moons would probably help ease the transition.
Distance off the face seemed very consistent. Once I was able to get the speed down, my confidence grew with this putter and I really thought I could sink a putt from anywhere. The really great thing is, you know you have a little margin for error there. Little off the toe, little off the heel…your putt will probably still go around the same distance. And with the AGSI+ insert, skid seemed to be greatly reduced on longer length putts, getting that ball rolling very quickly.
A lot of people will immediately dismiss this putter on looks alone. Fair enough, if you are a traditionalist, blade style putter, yes, this putter may not be for us. But I would suggest at least picking one up when they start showing up at local golf shops. Take a few swings, see for yourself how it works for your stroke. A piece of equipment is never a cure for all that may ail your swing, however, this one goes a long way toward making up for little sloppy mistakes.
In the end, it comes down to your putting stroke and a putter in your hands that you feel confident and comfortable with. Is this the one for you? I couldn’t tell you, soon enough you should be able to find them and give it a test drive for yourself. If you have simply fallen in love with the looks, the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider is available in retail stores for $199
You can also find some of these Spiders creeping their way onto eBay. As usual, check the seller’s feedback, there are a lot of shady sellers on the bay.