Review: TaylorMade Penta TP Golf Ball

New Groove Rule: Forgetaboutit
The USGA has decided that wedges and irons spin the ball too much.  They say that the super-aggressive grooves are the problem with the game of golf.  Thus, in three weeks they will be “no more” for the pros and sometime in the future will be “no more” for the amateurs.  The truths is, we don’t care, we want the ball to hop and stop or even zip back a little on those delicate pitches or those high irons zeroed in on the pin.   But the fact of the matter is that many will be forced to play with lesser grooves making the future of spin in jeopardy.  

Taylormade decided to design a ball to deal with the new groove rules, The Penta TP. They came in a promo pack that was really cool; a pentagon shaped box, 5 golf balls, and all with the number 5 on them.  It would be impossible to miss the point that these golf balls have 5 layers.  Each layer is designed to help and improve an aspect of your game.

I put these in play with a set of irons having conforming grooves.  My Mizuno MP-68s with 2010 legal grooves served as my test clubs for these golf balls.  Unfortunately I don’t have any 2010 conforming wedges.  But I think I got a fair test in on the green-side spin with these golf balls, at least comparing them to the other premium balls on the market.  I found them to compare in spin numbers as high as anything on the market.  I have played the Nike Tours, ProV1, Callaway I, Srixon Z-Stars and even previous Taylormade models.  These spin as much or more than any of these balls.  I was really impressed with irons spin; I even got great hold on 5-iron shots.  That spin and hold didn’t cost me any distance either.  I expected that the added spin might negatively impact distance, but it didn’t.  Every club was still exactly the same as before.  I think this ball will be a pro favorite with the introduction of the new groove rule.

The surprise came off the tee.  I figured that they can make a spinner off the irons, but a spinner off the driver is no good.  But this ball was not a spinner off the big stick; it was actually on the low spin side with a great launch.  It seemed to have a higher launch angle, but with low spin and great carry.  I found this ball to be as long as anything on the market.  I had some of my longest drives of the fall with this golf ball.

Another layer of this ball is designed to keep it soft off the putter.  I have read numerous articles about the softness of a ball off the putter has much to do with sound, more than real feel.  If that is true, than this ball sounds soft, or actually plays soft, I’m not sure which one, but either way, it is very soft.  I liked that feeling, while others might think it was a bit mushy, I like that mellow soft feel off the crisp, cold stainless steel during my fall rounds.  If you play a soft insert putter already, this ball might be too soft.

A golf ball is only as good as it lasts.  The cover on these was also impressive.  I even used some super aggressive grooves on these and only had moderate damage.  They are not indestructible, but the new grooves will be much kinder on these than my soon to be illegal grooves were.  18 holes is not a problem with one of these.  I played 33 holes with one ball without feeling the need to replace it, eventually the forest did that for me.  

I can’t tell you what each of the five layers does, but I can tell you that this 5-layer ball is really good.  It might not serve the slow swing speed player’s needs, I’m not sure they’ll be able to compress the core enough to see all the benefits, but if you bring the heat and need the wedge spin without loosing driver distance, look no further.

Is this the best ball ever?  I kept yelling that with the great results I had, but honestly it isn’t a magic golf ball, you still need to make solid contact and good swings.  That being said, the other companies better have their R&D teams working overtime right now, because this ball is going to be a winner.  As for TM’s take on the new USGA groove rules, forgetaboutit.

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