TaylorMade Penta TP Golf Ball Review

Back in August, I received word that TaylorMade was going to be releasing golf’s first five layer ball ever created called the TaylorMade Penta TP. It took them three years to develop this ball and the name Penta comes from the greek word pente, which means five.

According to TaylorMade, Penta TP is the first 5-layer Tour ball – and the only golf ball with no deficiencies. Each layer is engineered to deliver optimum performance in five key areas: feel, spin, control, launch and distance.

FEEL – Urethane Cover delivers a soft Tour feel plus a combination of higher spin-rate and lower launch angle on wedge shots.

SPIN – Outer Mantle promotes optimum spin off short-irons, as well as higher ball speed and increased distance.

CONTROL – Middle Mantle gives you more control with mid-irons, and prevents up-shooting, ballooning and falling short of the green.

LAUNCH – Inner Mantle delivers soft feel, high launch and low spin off the long-irons for exceptional distance plus a high, soft-landing flight.

DISTANCE – Core promotes high launch/low spin off the driver for maximum carry and distance, as well as more ball speed for long-hitters.

There’s a cool table on TaylorMade’s website that shows what layer affects which clubs and the added benefit for those clubs. I’m going to try and duplicate it here, but for the full effect you should check out the site.

Layer Club Benefit
1 Putter/Wedge Soft Feel
2 Short Iron/Wedge Soft Feel   Spin
3 Mid Iron Soft Feel   Spin   Control
4 Long Iron Soft Feel   Spin   Control   Launch
5 Driver Soft Feel   Spin   Control   Launch   Distance

After months of waiting and begging, I was finally able to get my hands on a couple of these balls to play and review, courtesy of the fine folks over at The Hackers Paradise. They hooked me up (no pun intended) five of the TaylorMade Penta Golf Balls.

To Date, I’ve taken these golf balls out to the range and played a full eighteen with them out at the Grand Cypress New Course. I broke the review down into four parts, Putting, Pitching/Chipping, Irons, Driver.

Putting

For putting, I compared my current ball the TopFlite Gamer to the TaylorMade Penta TP. The Gamer is a three-layer ball with a thin cover that is made of a soft ionomer. I’ve always considered it a soft ball, but compared to the Penta, it felt like I was hitting a rock. I was pretty amazed at the difference between the two, I expected the feel to be about the same or perhaps a slight difference, but the Penta was significantly softer. It’s too bad they don’t improve your putting stroke too… Else I would’ve probably saved myself an additional 18 strokes.. :)

Pitching/Chipping

I’m no professional golfer, hell, I’m not even a good golfer most days, but I was able to get some phenomenal spin with the Penta. We were the first group to tee off that morning so the greens were still wet, the ball would hit the green, skid a little, bounce twice and stop dead. This wasn’t just a one time thing either, I was able to do this constantly throughout the round. Typically, I’m able to do this, once or twice in a round and it’s usually one of those shots where you pretend it was intentional. :) Your playing partners are like “Man Dave, great shot!” to which I reply “Yeah, I was trying to do that, too bad it wasn’t closer” and secretly I’m thinking, “How did I do that??”

Irons

I notice two things when I was hitting the Penta with the irons, they were a bit longer and more accurate. My typical iron shot is a bit of a push that can turn into a slice. Being a lefty golfer, this means that the ball is always left of the target and sometimes too far left. I was still getting the push a lot of the time, but I noticed a lot less side spin. On one of the holes, I hit an eight iron that hit the pin about two inches above the hole, it was a great shot  until the ball struck the pin and careened off to the right, leaving me a 20ft putt…

Regarding distances, all my irons shots were between five to seven yards longer than they usually are, which really screwed me up on a couple of my approach shots, I found many of my shots rolling off the back of the green. I’m thinking the increased distance on the irons was primarily attributed to the decrease in side spin on the ball and no so much because I was hitting the core of the ball. Either way, I’m not going to complain.. :)

Driver

My driver performance with the TaylorMade Penta TP was similar to what I noticed with the irons. For the round I hit 85% FIR, which was double my FIR average. Now I need to throw in a disclaimer here, we played a straight up links course, so the fairways were vast which made it easier to hit, but I’d say about 90% of my drives were straight and long. Typical driver performance is straight off the tee with some crazy side spinning RPM’s turning an awesome drive into what I like to call my power fade (aka slice). The Penta does a good job of negating the side spin and like the irons, I was getting about five to ten more yards out of the drives.

I was playing with a scratch golfer who currently hits the TP Red and he played the round with the Penta and he didn’t notice a big increase in yardage but he said the Penta definitely flies higher than the Red off the tee.

Overall

I think it’s pretty obvious by the review that I noticed a huge increase in performance by switching to the Penta. I’m a 25 handi who shot an 89 which equates to I believe a 16.1 for the round. The ball is diverse enough that players of all skill levels will find some added benefit from using the ball and I think the better player you are, the more you’ll be able to get from it. I’ve hit many types of balls, from the Pro-V1 to the Srixon AD333 and none of them really had a huge impact on my game like the Penta TP did.

I’ll need a couple more rounds to solidify this statement, but I think that the TaylorMade Penta is going to overthrow the Titlelist Pro-V1 as the best ball on the market and I  highly encourage you to try them out. If a hacker like me can see so much improvement imagine what it could do for you.

  8 comments for “TaylorMade Penta TP Golf Ball Review

  1. at

    I am excited to try these balls although I am not sure if I need a 5 piece ball! You know that I am an equipment geek, and I am always looking for the best technology to help my game. My favorite ball right now is the Bridgestone 330-RX, but I am willing to give the Penta a try.

  2. at

    I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I’m making the switch as soon as they hit the stores, which stinks because the golf ball expense has now gone from $22 to $45.. Ah well..

  3. at

    Oooh the Penta sounds excellent… it will definitely be going on my Christmas list!! Its a bit expense but sounds worth it…

  4. at

    This is an excellent review. You’ve made me want to try this ball and I definitely will.

  5. Matt
    at

    I’ve tried the Pentra and it feels really nice. I Played a very narrow course this week and for the most part went where I wanted to. I’d say to someone that loses a lot of balls, stick to the TP Red (if you can still find them) the Pentra is pretty high priced ball for anyone that loses them in the water or bushes. Still, Great ball, and I’ll keep using them. Used only two Pentra balls the whole round. Very durable.

  6. Rob
    at

    In the past I have never been a big believer that a ball of similar type can have so much effect on your game between the different brands. I sort of thought a balata is a balata or a rock is a rock no matter who makes it. I used the Penta for 3rd time today. (1st time in a comp) I usually lose 1 or 2 balls per round but have not lost one yet. First 2 rounds were 90 and 89. I had an 83 today and I am a 24 handicapper! I am usually around 95-100 almost consistently. With the penta I immediately noticed the straightness of the flight. My drives usually tail slightly right at the end. I do hit a decent long ball which usually makes most people I play with think I am a burgular till they see me approach the green. I have no short game. I did find this ball stops well for me and it gave me confidence to be committed to my chip shots. My short game is improving dramatically and I can only put it down to this ball. I think (hope) I will not be in the 20′s for too long. Great ball, would recommend to any high handicapper.

  7. david
    at

    I tryed the taylormade tp penta ball for 2weeks. I am a 2 handicap with 155 mph ballspeed. i lost around 10 yards off my driver compared to titliest prov1x. these balls have a super soft feel and not quite the greenside spin that i”m used to from titliest balls, where they hit is where they stay on the green.

  8. Tim
    at

    The Penta has become the ball for me. Great all-around performance – distance, feel and spin. They are also very durable.

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