Review: Penta TP Golf Ball

PentaToday I had the chance to play the Penta TP.  I bought two sleeves and headed out to meet some friends at Great River Golf Club in Milford, CT.

The Penta has 5 layers (thus the name), and each layer is supposed to make the ball react properly.

Layer 1: Feel

This layer is the urethane cover for high spin from shots of 100 and in.

Layer 2: Spin

The outer mantle layer is for delivering high spin with the short irons.

Layer 3: Control

Middle mantle layer prevents balooning for greater distance control between 140 and 170 yards.

Layer 4: Launch

Soft feel and high launch, low spin, provide ideal ideal conditions for long iron and hybrids to get the ball up in the air, land it with a steep descent angle requiring less spin to stop the ball.

Layer 5: Distance

Core is supposed to provide high launch low spin with the driver.

Putting Penta in play

I brought out the first two Pentas to putt with on the practice green.  Right away I knew I was going to like this ball for putting.  Feels great off the putter.  Not hard or clicky, and soft enough, but not too soft. It felt just right and all day I was controlling my putts well.

Throughout my round I also found the the spin layer to be very effective.  Shots from around 100 yards and in were stopping beautifully on the greens.  Partial wedges were easy to hit accurately and the feel was butter soft.

The control layer for mid irons was also really good.  I really did feel like I had good distance control in those critical distances from 140 to 170 and the ball also stopped nicely on the green with those mid irons.

The fourth layer, launch, was pretty good as well.  I did feel the launch was a bit high with the hybrid and long irons but then again I’m also dealing with softer shafts that tend to balloon the ball for me.  I’m not yet totally sold on this layer yet, but I’m willing to continue experimenting with Penta.

Layer 5, Distance.  This was actually the most disappointing layer for me.  I did feel like I lost some distance compared to other balls I’ve played with the driver.  However the other layers more than made up for this loss of distance.  I’m going to say that it was probably more a swing issue than the ball, but I’ll keep my eye on this and see if my distance with Penta improves.

If you’ve been reading this blog, than you know that I was recently fit by Bridgestone using their Ball Fitting Challenge.  They fit me into the B330.  While I liked the distance I got from the B330, the control was not like the Penta.  On all shots from 170 yards and in the Penta is my go to ball.  It performs so well in those areas that I can live with a shorter drive (but again that may be more a swing issue than the Penta).  Well done TaylorMade. This is an excellent ball.

Review: Project X Graphite Driver Shaft

PXgraphiteThe Project X Graphite shaft is designed to provide lower spin, longer carry and a laser guided trajectory.

I got a chance to review this because I won a Project X shaft in a twitter contest that the company had.  Once I won the contest, I needed to pick out which version I wanted sent to me.

I talked to a few friends in golf, asked their opinions, than headed out to the driving range at Sterling Farms Golf Course.  They have a beautiful trackman setup in their Callaway Fitting center.  I would highly recommend going there if you are near Stamford, CT.

I tried the 6.5 shaft in a number of heads and noticed a few things.

The trajectory at which the ball was being launched was perfect.  There was no ballooning, and the picture on the trackman was beautiful to look at.  I feel like I could go after it without worrying about big hooks.  Although it was at a 6.5 frequency, I didn’t feel boardy.  It was smooth, and it is a very stable shaft.  For higher swing speed players this is a great shaft that will kill spin, and result in better rollout and longer distance overall if fitted properly.  The better a swing I put on it, the better the shaft performed.

You don’t need to reshaft to lower your spin rate

So an interesting thing happened the other day.  I popped into my local club builder because I had been thinking of switching out a shaft in a driver and I needed to a pick up a three wood that was going to go into Adams for repair.

We started talking about why I wanted to change the shaft in the driver and before I knew it I was on the launch monitor hitting some balls.

He looks at my swing and starts making some suggestions about releasing the club.  Lo and behold my spin rate drops from a high of 5000 (the average was closer to mid 3k), down to an all time low for me of 1758.  Same club and same shaft.   Wow!

On the launch monitor that equated to a baby draw (from a fade) and about 60 yards more distance.

I’ve started to practice this and I’ve finally figured out how to release the club.  The results from my home simulator are that my club head is coming into the ball much more square or even a degree or two closed, path from the inside, and club head speed is going up.  And it all results in some nice draws or pretty much dead straight shots.  Pretty good results so far.  I can’t wait to see how they translate on the course.

I was having trouble releasing because my left elbow wasn’t folding easily after impact.  Once I isolated that and concentrating on having that happen the release happened naturally.  It seems to really be giving me some nice pop.