Can the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter help you sink more of your putts? Keep reading to see what I think.
I’m not sure if the company needs someone new in their club-naming department or what, but this putter has a name that’s a real mouthful. And it’s not the only recent TaylorMade putter with a name problem - the name of the TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost putter (reviewed on another page of our site) doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But this one takes the cake, at least so far ….
The head of the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter is large and very distinctive. There’s a lot going on visually, but somehow its lines manage to look clean and elegant, far from busy. And despite its size, swooping curves and flaring wings, I really liked its shape - it gave me confidence while I was standing over my putts. I firmly believe golf is a game of confidence, and nowhere is that more true than when you’re on the greens.
What’s more, it turns out that everything about its unusual shape is intended to help you putt better. According to the company, the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter combines the forgiveness of the popular Monza Spider with a unique head shape that makes proper alignment simpler and easier. It’s a large, high-MOI mallet putter with lots of visually interesting design features, and most of them are meant to make lining up your putts a lot easier than you might believe.
For starters, a ball-sized cutout (TaylorMade calls it the “ball-in-cup” feature) at the rear of the head is intended to make visualizing the putting line easy, and then help you line up your putt properly. The company says the ball-in-cup feature also serves another purpose: supposedly, seeing it encourages a firm, accelerating putting stroke (and discourages deceleration) by helping you visualize your ball ending up at the middle of the back edge of the cup. Most golfers know decelerating is the “kiss of death” – the putter head should be accelerating at impact, not slowing down.
The large head, low center of gravity and overall shape of the putter also make it very stable and forgiving on mis-hits. Being able to benefit from this type of stability and forgiveness is one of the main reasons people use mallet putters. The body is stainless steel, but thanks to a soft face insert that uses TaylorMade’s AGSI (Anti-Skid Groove System Insert) Technology, the Spider Balero delivers a soft feel at impact and puts a smooth, true roll on the ball.
The TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter is face-balanced, which means it works best for golfers with a specific type of putting stroke. Most golfers use one of two types of putting strokes: an arcing stroke or a pendulum stroke (also called the straight-back-and-straight-through stroke).
Golfers with arcing, inside-to-inside strokes should avoid face-balanced putters and concentrate on finding a toe-balanced model they like. But face-balanced putters like the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter are ideal for straight-back-and-through golfers because they’re designed to open less on the backstroke and close less on the forward stroke. In other words, they promote a neutral face throughout the entire putting stroke, which is exactly what “pendulum players” are trying to achieve. So, a TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter could be just the trick for a straight-back-and-straight-through golfer.
I tested a center-shafted 34-inch TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter, but you can also get one that’s heel-shafted or one with a 35-inch shaft. Right-handed and left-handed versions are available.
My demo TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter excelled on the greens. Normally I need 15 or 20 minutes of practice to get used to the way a new putter looks, swings and feels, but that wasn’t true with the Spider Balero. I picked it up, liked its looks right away, took a few “air strokes,” and then felt like I was good to go. Not the smartest way to go about it, but I was eager to play a round and see if all these design features really worked!
The Bottom Line: Despite all the visual effects going on, the putter set up to the ball very cleanly, and it truly did make lining up my putts easy. I’d rate its distance control and accuracy as very good to excellent. The sound and feel were solid. The TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Balero putter also put a smooth roll on the ball, and I didn’t see any hops or skips even on my long-distance putts. Although I think TaylorMade should make the name shorter and easier to remember, all in all, I give the Spider Balero two thumbs up in the mallet putter category!
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