50 Words or Less
The TaylorMade Spider Mini putter is a condensed version of the brand’s best known design. Huge forgiveness squeezed into a smaller footprint.
TaylorMade’s Spider has shattered the cliche that there are no successful new putter designs. In the hands of players like Jason Day, the Spider has won loads of money and trophies on Tour. The reason for its success is its tremendous levels of forgiveness. With the Spider Mini, TaylorMade seeks to pack that same kind of forgiveness into a smaller frame.
The biggest difference between the standard Spider and the Spider Mini is the absence of the “wings” at the corners of the flange. The Mini is also about 1/2″ shorter than the standard Spider and fractionally smaller from heel to toe. Overall, TaylorMade states that the Mini is 15% smaller than the original.
Forgetting the comparisons, the Spider Mini is every bit a modern mallet. It’s a large putter with an unorthodox shape. That said, I think TaylorMade did a good job refining the design to make it more appealing.
The Spider Mini is available in two finishes: Red and “Diamond” (silver). Both feature high contrast “T” alignment aids – white on the red finish, black on the silver finish.
Sound & Feel
The aluminum True Roll face of the Spider Mini produces a small “tink” when a putt is struck well. When you move away from the center of the face, the “tink” disappears and impact sounds dull.
Impact feels soft in the hands, particularly with a urethane-covered ball. You’ll need to listen carefully to impact, because your hands will have a hard time detecting mishits. This big, stable head gives virtually no feedback.
There’s only one big question about the Spider Mini putter: is it as forgiving as the original Spider? My answer is, “Yes.” While there may be a measurable difference in MOI between the two, my hands and eyes had a hard time telling the difference. I was hitting putts as far on the toe and heel as I could, and the ball was still holding a reasonable line and getting inside the leather.
The downside of the Spider Mini compared to the standard Spider is the lack of options. The Mini comes in only one neck style – double bend – and with only one alignment aid – the “T”. To my eye, the “T” is off-putting. I would prefer a standard line or nothing at all, both of which are options on the regular Spider. Similarly, I prefer some toe hang, which I can get in a standard Spider with a different neck. I would expect TaylorMade to roll out more choices if the Spider Mini proves as successful as its big brother.
If you’re turned off by the spaceship looks of the standard Spider putter but want to benefit from extreme forgiveness, check out the TaylorMade Spider Mini. It’s noticeably smaller and has a more appealing shape while still retaining much of the forgiveness that has made the Spider a lasting success.