2001: TaylorMade retools lineup

TaylorMade, a company known primarily for its golf clubs and its aggressive campaign to make its drivers the No. 1 choice on the PGA Tour, has introduced two brands of golf balls that will replace its InerGel line.

“We didn’t make a lot of noise about it,” said Dean Snell, director of research and development, golf balls. “We just did it. In the last two years, we have basically rebuilt our entire ball plant (in Pontoc, Miss.). We are really excited, because among other things we have created a whole new core manufacturing process.”

Each of the two new TaylorMade balls – the three-piece TP Tour and two-piece Distance Plus – has a huge solid core. “Basically the core has a faster velocity,” Snell said. “These balls are long, but they also offer outstanding control.”

Control is an important word for Snell. He is adamant that these balls will not produce inconsistent results with the long irons and wedges. Some modern balls have the reputation of producing “jumpers” that fly farther than expected with certain iron shots.

Gary McCord has been playing the TP Tour on the Senior PGA Tour and was instrumental in its development.

“What you will gain is more control off the tee,” he said, “plus they are better around the green as well. I think the recreational player will really benefit.”

Ordinary golfers will find that the TP Tour spins more on wedge and short-iron shots because it contains a mantle, or boundary layer, inside the cover. The Distance Plus, without this mantle, is slightly longer off the tee (6 to 8 yards for many players).

The cover for both balls is made of a material that TaylorMade calls trithane, which Snell said offers durability and distance. Whereas the thermoset polyurethane cover found on the Titleist Pro V1 and the Callaway HX and CTU 30 is about 30 thousandths of an inch thick, TaylorMade’s trithane cover is made slightly thicker – it measures about 50 thousandths in the TP Tour.

“These are the most consistent golf balls I have ever seen,” Snell said. “The cover is a big part of that consistency.”

It is interesting that the extra large core is an increasingly common feature, most notably one that Titleist is promoting in its new line of NXT golf balls. Taylor Made’s InerGel line has been discontinued as the company moves into the TP Tour (with a suggested retail price of $34.99) and Distance Plus ($27.99). TaylorMade says the new balls will be available immediately.

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