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TaylorMade Ghost Spider: Scary good

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Occasionally, the best new ideas are those in front of you. You forget about lengthy research and development processes and simply combine performance attributes from products that already exist to create something new, different and, if at all possible, better.

In many ways, that’s how the very stable, easy-to-align Ghost Spider putter came to be. The folks at TaylorMade took some of the technological features of its popular Monza Spider putter, which the Carlsbad, Calif., company launched in 2008, and melded them with the best aspects of the Corza Ghost series, which only came out last year.

Recently released to the public, the Ghost Spider has been making noise on Tour all year.

TaylorMade staffer Jason Day, for example, put it into play for the first time at this year’s Masters and secured a T-2 finish. He also wielded the Ghost Spider with great dexterity at the 2011 U.S. Open, where he once again came in second.

The hope at TaylorMade, of course, is that recreational golfers will find it just as impressive.

In creating the Ghost Spider, TaylorMade engineers turned to the uniquely shaped Monza Spider, a high MOI (moment of inertia) putter that incorporates a steel, wire-frame construction, concentrating most of the club’s weight in the perimeter. That’s what made the putter so resistant to twisting on off-center hits. It is also what made the original Spider so popular among touring professionals, who have used it to record 22 tour wins to date, and with everyday duffers, who have made it the best-selling putter in company history.

At the same time, the people in R&D borrowed from the Corza Ghost series, which employs a stark, all-white putter head to help golfers better line up their putts. Theoretically, the contrast between the green turf and the white putter makes it easier to determine where the clubface is aimed. And that advance leads to more accurate – and therefore more successful – putting.

While TaylorMade officials are quick to focus on the combination of those features as they tout the Ghost Spider, they say there are other things that set the new putter apart. One is that the club shares the Movable Weight Technology that was standard issue on the Monza Spider, allowing golfers to customize the feel of their putters by making the heads lighter or heavier. And it is equipped with the company’s patented Pure Roll insert, which is made of Surlyn and designed to promote forward spin and produce a smooth, precise and accurate roll.