According to Dean Snell, TaylorMade’s vice president of research and development for golf balls, the first time Justin Rose tried the prototype that became the company’s new Lethal ball, it only took nine practice holes for him to decide that he wanted to put it into play that week at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The Lethal will replace the Penta TP5 as Taylormade’s top-of-the-line ball. Like the Penta TP5, the Lethal is a five-piece ball with a urethane cover that is designed to deliver lower spin off the tee to maximize distance and lots of spin around the greens to maximize control. It will retail for $45.99 per dozen when it arrives in pro shops in early February.
“Aerodynamics play a role in the golf ball’s performance from the driver through the 5-iron,” Snell says. “When you get to the 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-irons, the spin and the launch angle kind of control the distance a little more than aerodynamics. So on the driver, the 3-wood, and with your 3- and 4-iron, where the spin rates are low, the aerodynamics need to be there to keep the ball in the air and to ensure that drag doesn’t make the ball fall out of the sky. So we have to be able to balance both.”