Taylormade says the combination of a red putter, white alignment lines and a green background gives a positive contrast for improved alignment – hence the new TP Red Collection.
By Tony Dear
First-round putt total; putts made from inside six feet; average distance of putts made; longest putt made – these are just four of the 23 putting categories the PGA Tour measures for every player at every event. In 2016, Jason Day won two of the them, and finished in the top-ten in eight more. At the end of the season, his stats from all 23 categories saw him finish first in Total Putting, and first in the most important category of all – Strokes Gained Putting which showed he picked up an average of 1.13 putts per round on his competitors. In short, the man could putt.
The Aussie had putted throughout a similarly successful 2015 with a black prototype putter named the Itsy-Bitsy, and began the 2016 season with the same flatstick. In April though, the week following the Masters, he changed to a mostly red version whose color was modeled on that of the venomous Redback Spider, a relative of the Black Widow and found in Australia and Southeast Asia.
TaylorMade offered a limited edition of this red version as well as a part black/part red model, both of which featured the Pure Roll insert that promotes top-spin and less bouncing/skidding thanks to downward-facing (angled at 45 degrees) grooves. And just as with Day’s putter, neither had an alignment line.
“Jason says he prefers a putter with no alignment aid because it allows him to spend less time looking at the putter head and more time focusing on the hole and the speed of the putt,” says Bill Price, Director of Putter & Wedge at TaylorMade-adidas Golf. “He says he has no issue lining up a putt. He also says that in pro-ams he sees a lot of amateurs focusing on the line on the putter and the golf ball. This all adds up to more indecision and less time on speed, which is what most amateur players should be focusing on.”
As a result of Day’s success in 2016 (he fell to 39th in SG Putting this season), a number of fellow Tour players put the Spider in their bag this year. “Players were clamoring to try it,” says Price. “And this year, it was the number one model on Tour for nearly 16 weeks. It also won the most prize money. As a result of all the Spider success on Tour, it was an easy decision to launch the TP Red Collection.”
The TP Red Collection appeared last week, and is made up of six mallets all milled from 304 stainless steel, and featuring the grooved 6061 aluminum insert.
Each model – Chaska (face-balanced/single-bend shaft), Ardmore (face-balanced/center-shafted, and face-balanced/single-bend shaft versions), Ardmore 2 (27˚ toe-hang/L-neck hosel, and face-balanced/single-bend shaft versions), and Ardmore 3 (40˚ toe-hang/small slant hosel) has removable sole weights allowing you to customize the putter’s weight and feel. And the Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip comes standard.