TaylorMade’s Penta TP Five-Piece Golf Ball
Finally! The ball that TaylorMade has been working on for 3 years is finally starting to show up on tour. Players like Sergio Garcia and Ratief Goosen will be gaming the new TaylorMade Penta TP during next weeks PGA Championship at Hazeltine. The Penta was just added to the USGA's conforming ball list last Wednesday. Unfortunately, it will not become available to the public until December 1st, but I'm sure we'll end up seeing numerous black market sales as a result of early caddy kick downs.
The main goal of the Penta is to optimize performance in driving, long irons, middle irons, short irons, and wedge shots. Funny, they were gutsy enough to claim performance increases in just about every area, why not throw in a lie about putting performance?
TaylorMade expects the Penta to be the new "be all and end all" to their golf ball lineup. Their auspicious marketing and design departments claim that it is perfect for all types of golfers, due to the fact that it utilizes 5 layers in a consecutive order, based on swing speeds. At a first glance this seems like a good idea; however, once we read the descriptions for each individual layer, we began to realize that it will most likely just be another good ball that good players will experience the best results from. Each layer is designed to work with specific clubs, but the swing speed required to activate the layers that correlate to those clubs, is based on tour swing speeds. And while it is true that players with slower swing speeds will activate the outer layers, they will not receive its initially intended performance results based on the situations they are in. So it's probably not worth the extra money for the slower swinging player, but definitely worth the extra buck for players that can utilize all of its layers.
The 5 Layers
The cover is a soft urethane material(beware of cart paths and flop shots, this cover is as strong as Phil Mickelson after a yoga routine) similar to the one on the Pro V1, which is great for feel, just doesn't last long. It's used to promote a high spin rate with low trajectory on wedge shots and pitches for more control.
The outer mantel layer under the white cover is the most compressible and was designed to create optimal spin and flight when the ball speed is below 120mph (short irons for pros).
The middle layer has a medium firmness which was designed to be compressed on shots with a ball speed between 120 and 140 mph (mid-irons).
The next inner layer was created for high-luanching, low spinning shots for a ball speed between 140 and 160 mph (long irons).
The center of the ball is the core which is made from a low compression substance that only fast swingers will be able to activate. According to TaylorMade, those who do reach high enough swing speeds to activate the center will see more ball speed and less spin on drives for increased distance.