March 25, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
- A detailed look at Justin Rose's custom TaylorMade Spider putter. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)
AUSTIN, Texas -- With the aim to get new TaylorMade putters in the hands of the top PGA TOUR players for the Masters, TaylorMade’s Director of Global Tours Chris Trott says he’s been eyeing the 2019 World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas, to intrigue players with new designs. Trott says he’s been working for at least eight weeks going back-and-forth on new custom putters with Kia Ma and team, and some of the PGA TOUR players in question.
“It takes me a few weeks, hence why it’s been a long process that started weeks and weeks ago,” Trott said. “I knew this week is where I was aiming, and I had to make it possible to get to here.”
PGATOUR.com spotted new custom designs for many PGA TOUR players – some already using older versions of TaylorMade putters, and some using putters from other companies – including Jason Day, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka.
Photos of the custom putters are below, with brief explanations thanks to Trott himself.
Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka
Most recently, Matsuyama – who changes putters often -- played a custom TaylorMade putter with an aluminum insert, while Brooks Koepka has been using the same custom Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport putter for quite some time.
Trott says the TP putters made this week for Matsuayma and Koepka were made “in the same batch” as Tiger Woods’ custom TP Juno putter from 2018, although Matsuyama’s and Koepka’s putters have less face height and were made using a different mold.
Matsuyama prefers a louder “click” at impact than the aluminum face of the previous TaylorMade putter he was using, so Trott built these custom TP putters with steel inserts that have plates behind them for a louder noise.
While the custom Juno putters have “perfect” swing weights, the custom Mullen mallets are a bit heavy, according to Trott. He says, “I don’t have time to get more of them milled up and machined. I’m just going with it. So we’ll figure it out.”
Koepka, on the other hand, had not seen his custom TP Juno putter as of Monday morning at the Match Play. We’ll update this story with more information as it becomes available.
Dechambeau has been using a SIK armlock prototype putter for quite some time, but Trott is going to take a shot at getting a TaylorMade Spider prototype into his bag.
Trott says that the custom putter made for Dechambeau is “a complete shot in the dark.” Trott continues, “He hasn’t seen it, he hasn’t asked for it. I’m just waiting for the right time to get in there.”
The putter is made with added loft and is equipped with an Armlock-style SuperStroke Flatso 17 grip.
Jon Rahm and Jason Day
Rahm and Day are each using the older TaylorMade Tour Red Spider putters. These new custom putters are Spider Tour prototypes that are made all-copper, without the white line down the center as with the retail Spider X versions. They have “five-mill” inserts, rather than “three-mill” inserts, according to Trott.
Rose has been using a custom Axis1 putter equipped with a Lamkin Flat Cat grip. Recently, however, someone from Rose’s camp got in touch with Trott via Instagram requesting a custom TaylorMade Spider. Trott made at least two putters for Rose, including one that has a backstryke-style hosel. It’s also equipped with Rose’s gamer grip.
“And then there are obviously about 165 Dustin Johnson putters,” Trott said. “And there’s another 125 underneath the truck in a box. I mean, if he doesn’t change putters now … so we’ll see.”
Trott was exaggerating … kind of. Johnson changes putters often, and tests about 5+ putters weekly during practice rounds. The most notable is a Tour-prototype, sans white line, like the putters made for Day and Rahm. The face insert of Johnson’s is silver, rather than black, however.