January 04, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy interview after Round 1 of Sentry
Rory McIlroy – who put a new TaylorMade M5 driver (Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White shaft) in play at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions – also has a new TaylorMade Spider copper-colored prototype putter in the bag this week.
Throughout his career on the PGA TOUR, McIlroy has mostly played with Anser-style putters – most recently a TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto. But over the last few years, he’s also been off-and-on with mallets and mid-mallet designs. He used a TaylorMade TP Mullen prototype in 2017, and he briefly used a TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter at the 2017 U.S. Open.
At the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he shot a 4-under 68 in the first round, McIlroy was using a TaylorMade Spider prototype putter with a different look than the popular TaylorMade Spider Tour putters of the last few years. McIlroy’s copper prototype putter has a thick white line down the center of the crown, which he says is helping him with alignment.
“One of the things at the end of the year I was struggling with a little bit was just alignment,” McIlroy said following his first round. “And with the Spider I just feel like I aim it a little bit better, so that’s the reason for (the change). I messed around with it, it’s not as if it went in the bag yesterday.”
The prototype Spider design also seems to have black weights added on the very back portion of the sole, out on the wings. McIlroy made a tweak to those weights for this week, going a bit heavier.
“I got a couple of heavier weights for it this week because the greens are pretty slow, especially intro the grain, so I needed to swing a little bit more and it’s felt good.”
Unfortunately for equipment fans, McIlroy did not provide further technology designs, a launch date or pricing for this Spider prototype. We’ll keep you informed when and if TaylorMade speaks on the new Spider designs.