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.