There is a lot to like about the TaylorMade Spider GT Max putter. The clever and intuitive weight system offers fine tuning of CG placement and toe hang. The resulting variations to the head performance are quite subtle and it would be good to see these enhanced to create a wider variation for more options.
Adjustable weights easy to use and subtle
Full flexibility in weight positions
Great feel from insert
When weights at back the head tends to sit on its tail
Weight movement could have greater effect on toe hang
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The TaylorMade Spider GT Max putter takes adjustability to the maximum. Others have done this before, but the ease of use of the GT Max system makes this stand out. The Spider GT Max is a familiar mallet putter shape at address with two steel wings protruding from the rear of the head is a similar style to the TaylorMade Spider GT putter.
The face uses the same Pure Roll 2 insert featuring aluminium bars at 45° in the grooves to create a better roll and sound. Ever since TaylorMade putters started using this insert the feel and sound from the Spider putters has been much better and it is good to see it continuing in the Spider GT Max.
Turn the GT Max over and you see the adjustability options. As well as a single 2.5g screw in the centre there are two weight tracks under each bar that house two 40g tungsten weights.
There are three numbered positions that can move the CG position from 29mm behind the face at the #3 front position to 41mm behind when both the weights are at the back #1 position. You can tighten the weights anywhere in between too so that you get the right balance for your stroke.
However feel and sound are not the reason for moving this, as TaylorMade claim that face angle at impact is responsible for 90% of the result of your putt. The face of the putter at impact in turn depends on the hosel and the CG position of the head, which of course you can now vary with the Spider GT Max putter. This in effect changes the toe hang of the putter, but it is quite subtle as moving the weights from the back to the front only increases it by 6° from 17° to 23°.
Ideally you would want to use a putter launch monitor to find out the best setting for you, but a simple drill trying to hole 5 putts from 5 feet with different settings should give you a clear idea. Remember to also try some long-range drills for getting the pace of the putt right.
The weights can also be at different positions to each other to give you even more flexibility which is good to see. Having the heel weight further forward than the toe one should encourage more face rotation and vice versa for less. This is even more subtle and if do this then you will only see one at address, which may not appeal to all.
There are two types of hosel, so whether you go for the single bend for face balanced or the short slant for a toe hang putt, moving the weights will not change one type of toe hang for another. It will just fine tune it and give it a different feel. TaylorMade has models to cover CG positions 1, 2 and 3, so you could save some money if they suit your stroke. If you struggle to find the right balance in a standard putter like the TaylorMade Spider GTX, then the GT Max might be the answer and I could also see it having uses for professionals for training lessons and custom fitting too.
I personally preferred the feel of the weights at the front, which also had the added benefit of hiding the weight ‘wings’ under crown at address. If you have the weights further back then they show subtly and you will also need to keep your hands in the right position as the extra mass tends to make the Spider GT Max sit back a little. This level of customization earns this putter a place in our 2023 Editor's Choice.
Overall the TaylorMade Spider GT Max putter is one of the best adjustable putters on the market even if it is one of the priciest with an RRP of £379. It is a very clever design and the weight system is intuitive and has a lot of potential, but I may have to give it some tough love.
The weights could have more of an impact on the toe hang than 6°, as evidenced by the fact there are still two types of hosel for this head to create a face balanced and toe hang putter. Maybe the track or head needs to be lighter and the weights heavier so that a single hosel putter could offer a greater variety of possible toe hangs. Or maybe allow both weights to fit in the same track to get the maximum out of the moveable 80g.
There’s probably a very valid reason why this not possible at this stage, but for this extra investment over the Spider GTX there could be a greater performance variation and I look forward to seeing where TaylorMade take the Spider GT Max putter in the future as it is definitely on the right track.
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Martin Hopley is one of the foremost UK equipment reviewers with over 20 years' experience. As the former founder of Golfalot.com he was an early pioneer of online reviews and has also been a regular contributor to other titles. He is renowned for his technical knowledge and in-depth analysis, which he now brings to Golf Monthly.
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