By Patrick Tuttle
on 9.3.09

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It’s not uncommon to see a stack of nondescript boxes littering the Gear Patrol mail room. Recently, found amidst said pile was a package from our good friends at Taylormade Golf containing the yet to be released Penta TP golf ball. To say that we did not dance the customary happy dance before bolting to the nearest golf course would be a lie.

More on the world’s first five piece golf ball and a round with the Penta TP after the jump.

Taylormade has taken a bold step in attempt to revolutionize the golf ball market by utilizing five, count ‘em, five layers in the new Penta TP. Each layer is specially designed and fine-tuned to individual aspects of your game. More specifically, the Penta TP has three mantles (or layers) that are designed to compress at increasing ball speeds. This means that as you work your way from short to middle to long irons, the Penta TP has just the right firmness to provide optimal launch angle and spin profiles.

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  1. A soft urethane cover helps promote better spin of wedges and touch shots around the green.
  2. The outer mantle is easily compressed to provide optimal launch conditions for short irons.
  3. A middle mantle design for mid-iron faster ball speeds.
  4. The inner mantle compresses at a mid-range ball speed (read: long irons) to help create low spin, high launch shots from long range.
  5. A super fast core provides bone crushing distance off the tee.

It’s not hard to see why we were so excited to get this ball on the course. We quickly discovered that we weren’t to be disappointed. The Penta TP exploded off the driver, but not in a rock hard ball kind of way. Instead we found that the distances were very close to our current ball crush (no pun intended), the Bridgestone B330-S or even that of a Pro-V1. That being said, the Penta offers a certain kinetic energy that just isn’t there with other balls. Maybe it’s just cleaver marketing or just that we were amped up to play an unreleased ball, but it felt like the ball was doing something more than usual. That’s fine by us. Knowing that you don’t have to swing hard to compress a golf ball is especially comforting when you are faced with a challenging shot. Instead of feeling tense, you can focus on your target and let the ball go to work.

It’s our opinion that this ball is a big step up from the earlier TP Red & Black lines. They were just too hard for our liking and never stood out enough to warrant much more than a cursory look. The Penta TP, on the other hand, is silky around the green. It’s soft, but with enough pop to run to the hole on putts. You might be especially impressed with the spin potential out of green side bunkers and on intermediate wedge shots. From longer ranges, the Penta TP came down to the green like a dart.

At the end of the day, it’s still a tough decision. Does this replace your current ball? A few more rounds like we experienced and it just might. In fact, the highest compliment we can pay the Penta TP is that it reminded us a lot of the Pro-V1, with the biggest difference being the spring like launch the Penta TP provides. It’s very similar to the Callaway ix in that regard, but without the uncontrollable distance factor. At the end of the day, you need to know how far a club will go and distance gives way to accuracy. The Penta TP let’s you swing freer and easier, while maintaining or increasing your usual distance.

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Editor’s Note: I would say that this is certainly a golf ball to pick up this winter and work into a few rounds. You won’t be disappointed. Look for the Penta TP to come out in early December. If you want a more in depth review, I really like what the guys at The Hackers Paradise did.