Equipment

Custom Fitting: TayorMade Golf Balls

Photo: Schecter Lee

TaylorMade TP Black

TaylorMade Golf's ball-fitting process has four basic steps. "We recommend that you take our models on the course and hit them from various yardages and conditions," says Dean Snell, Senior Director of Ball Research. "Our fittings focus on approaches, chipping and putting."

1. The player hits five to 10 full wedges to the green with each ball. He looks at flight and landing conditions.

2. He repeats this process with his wedge of choice for 60-yard shots and 30-yard shots.

3. He hits chips with the four models, in precisely varied order, from greenside lies.

4. He strokes putts with the balls, in precisely varied order, from the fringe and the putting surface.

George Donnell
Current ball: Multilayer, urethane cover
Age: 50 Handicap: 1
Height: 5'11" Weight: 195 lbs.
Occupation: Golf operations
Residence: Wakefield, R.I.
Fitting Site: Quidnessett CC , North Kingstown, R.I.
New ball: TaylorMade TP Black

Donnell: "The Burner came off the face too hot, consistently sending the ball over the green. TP Black and TP Red were much more responsive on full wedge shots. In fact, shots felt and looked similar. On short approaches (60 yards and in), I preferred the feel of TP Black and the way it reacted. It sat down dead almost immediately."

Dean Snell, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Ball Research:
"George noticed that Burner felt harder and didn't spin enough on approach shots. The TP Black is a good fit—it suits the low, boring flight that he prefers without sacrificing short-game feel or distance control."

Jeff Dupont
Current ball: Multilayer, urethane cover
Age: 37
Handicap: 16
Height: 5'5"
Weight: 160 lbs.
Occupation: Sales manager
Residence: Pawtucket, R.I.
Fitting Site: Quidnessett CC , North Kingstown, R.I.
New ball: TaylorMade Burner

Dupont: "The Burner felt softer than the others [TP Red, TP Black and Burner TP] on approach shots, and I seemed more in control. I liked it more and more as I got closer to the green. Each ball rolled nicely on putts. But the Burner was my favorite because it came off the putterface with no resistance, almost as if it were lighter than the others."

Dean Snell: "TP Red and TP Black are actually much softer than Burner. What Jeff's really describing is that Burner comes off the face more easily, due to its lower compression. This example shows that you should buy the ball that feels best, rather than the priciest one."

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