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.
|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.
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..
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??”
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..
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.
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.