Innovative and Proprietary New Golf Ball Technology that Improves Driver Distance on Off-Center Hits

CARLSBAD, Calif. (December 6, 2007) – TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company has introduced its new 2008 line of TaylorMade® golf balls, all featuring proprietary new aerodynamics called Low-Drag Performance (LDP) that promote improved distance on the most common types of off-center driver hits. The LDP technology enhances the performance of TaylorMade’s new TP Redâ„¢ and TP Blackâ„¢, Burner® TP and Burner® golf balls.

“We used the TaylorMade MATT (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade) System to study the driver impact patterns of more than 80,000 players of differing levels,” said Dean Snell, TaylorMade’s senior director of golf ball research. “We found that the great majority of off-center hits occur on the upper part of the clubface, above the clubhead’s center of gravity (“CG”). We compared the effects of these types of mis-hits on a variety of balls, including our own. The result was always the same: spin-rate dropped by a large percentage, typically from 500 rpm to 1,200 rpm. Spin rates became so low that the balls couldn’t sustain lift. When that occurs, drag slows the shot down and the ball drops from the sky, seriously cutting carry and distance. With some models, the loss in yardage was exceptionally severe – up to 18 yards.”

Snell and his team postulated that there might be a way to improve a ball’s aerodynamics in order to maintain lower drag while maintaining lift on mis-hits above the CG. In turn that would keep the ball in the air longer and equal further carry and more distance. The ball would “forgive” the most common mis-hits.

With that goal in mind they began experimenting with every element that makes up the ball’s surface: the size and depth of the dimples, the angles of their edges and the symmetry in which they’re laid out. The combination of those components makes up the LDP technology, which is now incorporated into all TaylorMade golf balls. TaylorMade testing indicates a clear difference in distance on mis-hits above the CG, as well as on mis-hits level with the CG toward the toe and heel, between balls with LDP and balls without it.

TaylorMade testing also indicates that LDP works best for players whose average driver spin ranges between 1,600 and 3,000 rpm. Therefore, players are able to widen the optimal range to be fit, increasing from today’s range of 2,500 to 2,700 rpm. A mis-hit high on the clubface against today’s criteria can reduce spin-rate to 1,600 rpm and, as noted above, results in a significant loss of distance.

The driver-spin rate of most tour professionals ranges from 2,000 to 2,700 rpm. TaylorMade’s research found that tour professionals miss the center of the driver face approximately 30 to 40 percent of the time, and that their usual miss is high on the clubface, above the CG.

“LDP technology offers a lot of benefit to tour pros, but recreational players will see the greatest rewards because they mis-hit their drivers more often,” says Snell. “Players that use TaylorMade balls with LDP should see their average driving distance increase, because the shots that they mis-hit high on the clubface should go significantly farther.”

I look forward to checking these balls out in the spring. Perhaps I can get my hands on a few to review in the spring time. Though, I still have a couple boxes of TM TP Red balls in my golf closet! At around $25-$30 a dozen, they are quite a steal.

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