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.
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.