I’m going to cut straight to the chase, even though it’s a bit of a mouthful: the TaylorMade Rossa Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider

has saved my putting life. It’s true! After scratching around turning

birdie opportunities into bogeys, this mid-sized mallet – released as a

smaller version of the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider – has actually made the painful process of five-footers more of a challenge than a chore.

Getting

things in perspective, there are two things I avoid doing at all costs:

one is shaving, the other is making an unwanted visit to the putting

green prior to a round. Aside from the fact I’m usually late (which in

part explains the lack of facial grooming), the thought of lining up a

series of tiddlers in the hope that it will make my scorecard more

appealing comes a distant second to drilling the driver down the range.

But

while I have never been one for putting (no pun) in the hard work,

there has never really been a weapon of choice to urge me to try

harder. In fact, with expletive-filled tantrums and the odd bit of club

throwing still part of my mental make-up, the countless putters I have

fallen out of love with have felt the full force of the Narey wrath.

But

a change of heart began some months ago during Golf Monthly’s annual

Advertisers’ Day at the Grove. Playing in a four-ball with TaylorMade’s

European Public Relations Manager, Nick Robbie, my attention turned to

the oversized Monza Spider mallet sitting in his bag. This

interest increased with every ten-footer Nick rolled in, each one

struck with nonchalant ease. Not a bad way to market your product.

On

the downside, I wasn’t blown away by the oversize looks. But with news

filtering through that a smaller version was on its way later in the

summer, I felt somewhat obliged to put one to test following its

arrival in the GM office.

Talking specifications here, the Itsy Bitsy’s

head is 20% smaller than its oversized cousin. At first glance

everything else looks the same. But its wings have been pulled inward

and the alignment aid is an abbreviated version. However, just like the

oversize, the Itsy Bitsy offers fantastic stability. I also found it

particularly solid on shorter putts.

If you are looking to

invest in a new putter this winter, then you could do a lot worse than

fork out the £139 at retail for this little gem. It has inspired

confidence to the extent that I may even take myself off to the putting

green before my next round. As for shaving, well, one thing at time…