How Top­spin Is Be­ing Spun


Evn­roll’s ER6 fea­tures grooves that get thin­ner to­wards the heel and toe, pro­gres­sively in­creas­ing en­ergy trans­fer to com­pen­sate for the loss of speed from the off-cen­tre strike. It also has a long weight car­tridge be­hind the head that pulls weight back from the face, in­creas­ing the MOI. Face-milling has also been shaped to cre­ate a sub­tle gear­ing ef­fect to bring heel and toe strikes back on line.

The clas­sic 2-Ball shape lets Odyssey cre­ate a rear-weighted put­ter, with the in­sert’s light­ness in­creas­ing the heel-toe bal­ance and head sta­bil­ity.

The weight­ing of Tay­lor­made’s Spi­der Tour sim­i­larly pulls the CG away from its face, although in this case the weights are placed wide – to the ex­treme toe and heel cour­tesy of two weight ports. While the alu­minium cen­tre is rel­a­tively light, a steel frame in­creases the put­ter’s pe­riph­eral weight­ing and MOI.

Our team hit 20ft putts from the cen­tre and a set dis­tance into the toe – the most com­mon mishit – with out­lier strikes dis­carded. This was where the Spi­der Tour showed its met­tle. Where the other two put­ters lost some dis­tance on toe strikes, the Tay­lor­made some­how man­aged to gain a few inches – per­haps through the ex­tra speed of the face’s ro­ta­tion on a put­ter that has the most toe flow. It was also joint top with the Evn­roll for the low­est width dis­per­sion, av­er­ag­ing 7in right of tar­get. The Odyssey was only marginally be­hind the other two, at 9in wide.

Although the Tay­lor­made edged this for­give­ness test, all put­ters per­formed strongly. Nine inches wide over 20ft is an im­pres­sive re­turn, and no put­ter lost more than a foot in dis­tance. The for­give­ness re­sults didn’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate th­ese three put­ters as es­tab­lish the su­pe­ri­or­ity of the mod­ern mal­let as a truly for­giv­ing im­ple­ment.

Dead aim

A ma­jor ben­e­fit of the larger mal­let shape is its ca­pac­ity for aim-en­hanc­ing sight lines. It’s Both Odyssey and Tay­lor­made re­fer to the cre­ation of ‘top­spin’ in their mar­ket­ing blurb, some­thing that failed to con­vince our test­ing team. A put­ter’s face is lofted, al­beit only by a few de­grees; strike any­thing with a lofted face and you will pro­duce back­spin. The pic­ture gets a lit­tle more com­pli­cated when you try to demon­strate end-over-end pure roll with a golf ball; it in­evitably ends up look­ing like top­spin, and the two terms start to co­a­lesce.

Our team agreed that per­haps a more use­ful way to con­sider the

‘The Tay­lor­made edged it for for­give­ness, but all per­formed strongly’

ef­fect of th­ese hi-tech put­ter­faces is not so much the cre­ation of top­spin but the pro­mo­tion of pure roll by lim­it­ing fric­tion and back­spin. Ul­ti­mately, the put­ter that pro­duces the most ground-hug­ging roll is most likely the right put­ter for your stroke.

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