In most ways, amateurs need their golf balls to perform like the premium balls used by professional golfers.

With the driver, for example, most amateurs prefer the low-spin performance that is typical of a multi-piece tour ball because it allows them to hit longer drives. And on short shots, amateurs will benefit from the high-spin performance that is characteristic of a tour ball’s thin, urethane cover.

TaylorMade’s new Project (a) golf balls are designed specifically for amateurs, and use the company’s “React Core” to create low-spinning drives and “Soft Tech” cast urethane cover to drive higher-spinning short shots. The three-piece Project (a) balls also have a “Spin Mantle” layer in the middle, which helps regulate spin on the shots in between. Where they’re different from TaylorMade’s new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X tour balls, however, is where their high spin kicks in.

According to Dean Snell, vice president of golf ball R&D for TaylorMade, amateurs with handicaps in 10-to-24 range miss the green from 150 yards by an average of 35 yards. They certainly don’t need the extra spin a tour ball would provide on those shots, because it would cause them to miss the target by an even greater margin. But where they do need spin is from 80 yards and in, where Snell said they record 80 percent of their shots during a round.

“The tour guys, they average about 10,000 rpm of spin with their wedges,” Snell said. “It takes about 9000 rpm for a ball to spin and come back [on the green]. But amateurs only average about 5000 rpm of spin.”

To close the gap between amateurs and professionals, the Project (a) golf balls are designed to have maximum spin with a golfer’s short clubs, from the 9 iron and in for most golfers. Every extra 1000 rpm amateurs can generate with those clubs will stop the ball 5 feet closer to its landing point, Snell said.

The Project (a) golf balls are available in stores now for $31.99 per dozen.

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Zak is the Editor of GolfWRX.com.

He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

Zak also developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers who want to improve their skills and allows established golf professionals to communicate directly with readers.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond, and competes in tournaments as a professional.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Love these, on my 5th dozen. Straight drives great spin on short shots and great durability no scuffs off my rotax wedges ,and excellent feel all around. Ive been searching for a ball to call my own for 2yrs and now ive got one. Was playing bridge rxs before . These are much straighter of the tee.

  2. Sounds like this ball is very much worth a try, probably a somewhat updated Rocketballz Urethane. Does this ball have a seamless cover?

  3. If they spin that much, I hope the covers don’t get chewed up on wedge shots, especially with so many of the latest wedges having the extra laser etched grooving on the faces.

  4. many optic tests have proven that yellow is easier to see…why do you think tennis balls are yellow now? they are also easier to spot in the early morning and dusk…the white ball is easier to see IF it is early morning, there is dew on the grass and the sun is bright..

    I like yellow because I know which ball is mine when we get out in the fairway.

  5. Any data to back-up the claim it takes 9000 RPM to back a golf ball up on the green? If that is the case, I’m hitting the 9k mark with a 6 iron and just shy of that on my 4 iron.

    • A lot of factors at play here, J: angle of descent, firmness of greens, moisture content, etc. But you bring up a good point. This is something I’d like for us to drill into in the future.

  6. I got some of these at the PGA Show, the spin rate increase was crazy! I generated 9800 with the NXT Tour, 11000 with Project A. Took it to the course the next day, backed both shots I hit with it back at minimal 20ft. The Rocketballz Urethane, could not do what this ball will do. Saw my dad do their test, went from 5000 to 6500. Same test with NXT Tour. This ball will spin!

  7. Sounds like a rebranding of the the RBZ Urethane from last year – not that that’s a bad thing. Hopefully TM will learn about keeping the name of their golf balls consistent going forward too.

    • Those balls surprised me by how good they were. our shop sold out of them because they were so cheap, and good quality combined. hopefully they improved upon that same idea. I’ll have to give these a try.

      • Same here, we couldn’t keep them on the shelves..I never did try them but I might have to give these a go

        • I agree, they were really good balls, and I gamed them for a little bit in my college matches. They may have spun a tad much on the mid irons, but that may be because I still used the old TP/Black balls from forever ago (itself a mid spin design).

  8. The reason most amateurs average around 5,000 RPM’s of spin is not just the golf ball, but the way they strike it. Hard to generate spin when they pick it off the turf or if they are hitting an approach from the rough, too.

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