The Ghost Spider ($179) is essentially a union of two putters: the original Monza Spider mallet first introduced in 2008 and the newer white Ghost line. In other words, it is a Spider draped in white.
So is this a match made in heaven, or a marriage doomed from the start? Following is PutterZone.com’s TaylorMade Ghost Spider putter review.
Time sure flies. It seems like just yesterday that the original Monza Spider mallet crept onto the scene, making headlines with its unusual design and its immediate PGA Tour success.
The Spider concept was advanced by the subsequent release of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, which was essentially a miniaturized version of the original. But the later Spider putters, such as the Spider Balero and Spider Vicino, failed to maintain the momentum and, some would say, veered off the tracks.
Then along came the white Ghost line, starting with the Corza Ghost mallet, and followed by the Tour Ghost putters—and suddenly TaylorMade had another headline-making, tournament-winning hit on its hands.
After more than a year of hibernation, it looked like the Spider might have (pardon the pun) given up the ghost. But then an exotic creature was spotted on the professional circuits this spring—an original Spider boasting the Ghost line’s all-white finish.
According to TaylorMade, several staff professionals maintained a fondness for the old Spider, but also an appreciation of the Ghost’s alignment-enhancing finish, so they requested a hybrid of the two, and thus the Ghost Spider was born.
The Ghost Spider is billed as a perfect merging of the top selling points for each putter: the high MOI (moment of inertia) and corresponding forgiveness of the original Spider with the high-contrast alignment benefits of the Ghost. With high MOI, the putter is more resistant to twisting and turning on miss-hits. With the white finish and contrasting black sightlines, the golfer can more easily stay square to the line.
The Ghost Spider features TaylorMade’s new Pure Roll grooved surlyn insert, which replaces the AGSI+ titallium insert. The Ghost Spider is face-balanced, and comes in two available shaft configurations: straight with no offset and single bend with half-shaft offset. The stock head weight is 360 grams, the loft is 2.5 degrees and the lie angle is 70 degrees. With TaylorMade’s optional Moveable Weight Technology kit, you can also customize the head weight.
In this era of seemingly disposable putter models, it’s cool to see a putter like the original Spider thriving more than three years after being introduced to the market.
To TaylorMade’s credit, they didn’t mess with the distinctive shape or alignment markings of the original—this is truly the same Spider that you’ve always known and loved (or not), but with a slightly different insert and a new white finish. In other words, it’s an update, not a reworking. And with dimensions measuring roughly four by four inches, the Spider remains one of the more imposing mallets on the market.
So the first question is: What happens when you paint a Spider white? In my estimation, you get a better Spider.
In my review of the original Spider, I remarked, “Personally, I find the Spider to be a bit noisy in the visuals department.” The Ghost Spider isn’t what I would call quiet, but the volume has happily been turned down. It’s still not going to charm the average traditionalist, but it’s easier on the eyes compared to its predecessor.
With the Ghost putters, I’ve always appreciated how the leading edge of the face pops against the green of the grass. It’s sort of like seeing your putter’s face angle in high definition. Setting your putter square to the line is easier said than done. Many golfers set their putters closed or open without even noticing, and the white finish can prove to be a helpful remedy.
The Spider’s alignment markings are a tad busy for my tastes, but as stated earlier, I can appreciate the fact that TaylorMade is staying true to the original. I’m not sure why TaylorMade used the color black for the bands that join the rear wings to the chassis (see above photo), as they seem to visually compete with the black alignment markings. Why add another contrasting bit of black unless it adds something to the alignment equation? The average golfer may not notice or care, but it’s still a head scratcher for me.
The feel of the Ghost Spider is a bit tinny, but such is the price you pay for the aluminum core and open chassis that enable TaylorMade to stuff the putter with high MOI. In other words, you’re trading feel for forgiveness, and for many that’s a trade worth making.
Indeed, the Ghost Spider swings like it’s locked into the path of your stroke, and miss-hits seem to be met with considerable generosity. With its beefy profile, high-contrast leading edge and forgiving nature, the Ghost Spider inspires confidence that is particularly handy near the hole.
The Ghost Spider putter is also tastefully appointed with a sturdy magnetic-closure head cover and a Winn grip that features a spooky spider graphic along the front. TaylorMade has also remedied an annoyance found on the Tour Ghost putters by eliminating all markings below the spot where the lower thumb rests on the grip, adding quietude to visuals at setup.
The Bottom Line
The Ghost Spider is essentially the same as the original Monza Spider, only better. The high-contrast white finish reduces the visual noise of the original while offering added alignment benefits. As expected, the Ghost Spider putter also excels in matters of forgiveness. If you don’t mind your putter being a bit of a beast, you will find that the Ghost Spider has a nose for the hole.