For a golf company that’s most acclaimed for its drivers, TaylorMade is sure on a roll with its putters. While Sergio Garcia was making noise with his TaylorMade Rossa Corzina belly putter during last week’s British Open, Joe Ogilvie was concurrently wielding a Rossa LeMans putter for his first PGA Tour win at the U.S. Bank Championship.
TaylorMade’s Rossa putter line also underwent an extreme makeover earlier this year, with a striking new red-on-black color scheme and enhanced AGSI+ grooved insert technology. Is the result just another pretty face—or a putter to be reckoned with?
Following is PutterZone.com’s review of the Rossa Siena putter ($119), which belongs to the Rossa Classics family of traditionally shaped putters.
TaylorMade’s first Rossa putters were introduced in 2001, and the new generation of Rossa putters was released early this year. As one would expect with a name like “Rossa,” the line’s signature color is red, which is most recognizable in the red face inserts. Garcia’s putter literally screamed “Rossa” every time a television camera got near his putter during the British Open. From a branding standpoint, that’s quite an accomplishment.
The Rossa Siena model and other new Rossa putters feature AGSI+ technology, which stands for Anti-skid Groove System Insert. The “+” stands for improvements made to the original AGSI technology found on earlier Rossa putters.
PutterZone.com asked TaylorMade to explain the improvements, and here’s what they said: “What makes AGSI+ superior to the original is the addition of two grooves, which raises the total to 14 from 12, and which brings the grooves 22 percent closer together. That brings more grooves into contact with the ball more often, allowing AGSI+ to more efficiently negate backspin and promote forward spin at impact, generating smoother roll and helping the player make more putts.”
The insert’s grooves are also filled with a soft polymer material “that depresses at impact inside of the groove so that it exposes the edge of the groove, thus promoting forward spin.”
The Rossa Siena’s head is made from 304 stainless steel and the insert is made of Titallium, a lightweight composite alloy. The putter is heel-toe weighted for higher moment of inertia (MOI) and enhanced forgiveness.
The View from PutterZone.com
Like the previous generation of Rossa putters, the new generation is rather colorful—but now the effect is more sophisticated and integrated, resulting in a very stylish ensemble. The red insert is artfully harnessed in midnight black instead of hollering at us from a stainless steel finish, which was a jarring combination. A dash of yellow-gold flows through the face insert, cavity logo and grip, adding a sporty touch. This putter will get noticed—and for all the right reasons.
In functional terms, the Siena looks like a PING Anser that got a manicure in Milan. The edges are soft and elegant, flowing gracefully into a gooseneck hosel. The upper sole features two white sightlines that hug the core of the ball at address. These sightlines are quite assertive against the black of the putter head, providing strong visual synergy with the ball at address.
Another nice touch is the fact that the putter’s finish is glossy black on the face and sole for added aesthetic sizzle, but matte black on the crown and upper sole to minimize potential solar glare. Upon close inspection, the putter appears to be tightly constructed and precisely assembled.
In terms of truer roll, I can’t really testify to the efficacy of the AGSI+ groove technology, at least not without a robot and some slow-motion cameras. I can say that it doesn’t hurt, and that it likely helps, though in ways more subtle than startling. The feel and sound are surprisingly soft for a metallic insert (perhaps owing to the polymer groove filling), making the Siena a good choice for those who want added suppleness without the sponginess often associated with synthetic inserts.
Overall, the Rossa Siena putter performed quite well for me. No single thing blew my mind, but that’s really not the point of a sleek, classically shaped blade putter like the Siena. This is a putter that you play, not a putter that plays you. If you do your job, this putter will put the ball in the hole.
The Bottom Line
The Rossa Siena offers both brains and beauty, with nice playability and a stylish personality. The color scheme might not appeal to everyone, but it will attract many, especially those who prefer a traditional putter shape but have a yen for edgier aesthetics. TaylorMade went the extra mile with its new Rossa putters, offering considerable attention to detail at a relatively affordable price. If you want to look sharp and play well without breaking the bank, the Rossa Siena can’t be ignored.