Sep 1, 2009

Who Needs a Raylor? or TaylorMade Penta TP Ball?

By Sean Crogie   Posted at  9/01/2009 06:50:00 PM   No comments

It's always cool to get a press releases in my inbox but two in one day that I wan to blog about is pretty damn good. TaylorMade Golf tends to roll out a plethora of products over the golf year but two that are rather interesting in the near future are get this 5 piece ball and their new Raylor hybrid. I always like testing out new balls so I'm hopefully going to get some either through TM directly or possibly through the good folks at TheHackersParadise.com. As far as hybrids go I've been testing out a few lately and looking at eBay for a deal or two so getting TaylorMade Press release for the Raylor Hybrid has me thinking can I wait til the Sept. 2009 release day. This is one sexy hybrid.

Here's the press release for both the products.

TaylorMade introduces Raylor Hybrid

Engineered to be the Ultimate Weapon for Escaping the Rough


Carlsbad, Calif. (September 1, 2009)– Mention the name Raylor® to golfers of a certain age and you'll receive a smile and a nod of the head in return. Introduced in 1988, the TaylorMade Raylor club was one of the most popular and useful utility woods of all time, and especially proficient at getting wayward tee shots out of rough and close to, if not onto, the green. The Raylor club boasted a small, rounded steel head with an extremely low center of gravity (far lower than any persimmon utility wood) and two distinct rails on its sole, which were designed to help the head glide smoothly through tall grass while resisting twisting or stalling. Twenty-one years after the original was introduced, TaylorMade has launched a hybrid called Raylor, and this one is far superior to the first.

"Twenty-one years of making metalwoods has allowed us to engineer the new Raylor to hit the ball higher, longer and straighter from tall grass," said Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade senior director of metalwood creation. "It's the ultimate weapon for getting out of the rough."

The new Raylor comes in two lofts, 19° and 22°, and incorporates two key features that work in conjunction to make the new Raylor so effective from the rough. 1) A slightly sharp, slightly pointed leading edge that allows you to slide the face down through the grass and onto the back of the ball. 2) A "Raylor sole" shaped like ship's hull, sloping upward at the sides. The Raylor sole separates the blades of grass to allow the clubhead to glide cleanly through instead of slowing down or getting stuck. The Raylor sole and pointed leading edge together reduce by 23% the amount of area in the bottom part of the clubhead that would normally impede the head's progress as it moves through the rough.

The Raylor sole also helps you hit the ball solidly from sidehill lies because of its sole radius. Whereas the sole radius of a Burner® Rescue® hybrid presents an angle of about 10 degrees up from horizontal, the Raylor's angle is 17 degrees. That means that the Raylor hybrid boasts 70% more sole relief on the heel and toe side compared to a typical Rescue club, which makes it dramatically easier to make solid contact with the ball when the ball is above or below your feet.

The Raylor is equipped with a RE*AX® 65-gram shaft that's one inch longer than typical for TaylorMade Rescue clubs of equal lofts, to promote the added clubhead speed and leverage to help get the ball out of thick lies.

Combine the Raylor's pointed leading edge, Raylor sole, exceptionally low CG, compact size from heel to toe and longer shaft and you've got a hybrid born to get the ball out of the rough with extreme ease. Raylor also works nicely from good lies in the fairway as well, and is a great choice to play low, running chips from certain greenside lies, and is especially good for when the ball comes to rest awkwardly against the collar.

Tour-Tested and Tour-Proven
The new Raylor hybrid is tour-tested and tour-proven. Kenny Perry replaced his 3-iron with a 19-degree prototype Raylor to get out of the US Open rough this year at Bethpage Black. During one round, on the 10th hole, he put the ball on the green from deep rough, 220 yards out, and then ran in the birdie putt. It's usually hard for Kenny to hit longer clubs out of heavy rough because he brings the head in on a real shallow approach angle, making it hard to get the head through the thick grass. Most times he would have wedged out in that situation, he said. Thanks to the Raylor, instead of scrambling for par, he made birdie. A big difference made possible by the Raylor.

Who Needs a Raylor?
Who needs a new Raylor hybrid? Everybody from high handicappers to low handicappers to tour pros. "It's an essential part of every player's arsenal, even though you probably won't have it in your bag at all times," said Olsavsky. "It should be kept on hand to replace a long-iron, hybrid or fairway wood when you play a course with significant rough, or maybe an exceptionally undulating track where severe sidehill lies are frequent. Point being that the Raylor isn't necessarily an everyday club, but rather is a great weapon to have on hand when conditions call for it."

The Raylor hybrid becomes available starting on September 4, 2009 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $229 per club.


TaylorMade Introduces Penta TP

First Five-Layer Tour Ball Delivers a Superior Balance of
Performance in Five Key Shot Categories


Carlsbad, Calif. (September 1, 2009)– TaylorMade Golf has introduced Penta TP, a new tour ball designed to deliver a superior balance of performance in five key shot categories, the result of three years of research and development.

"We spend a lot of time with tour pros asking questions," said Dean Snell, head of TaylorMade golf ball R&D. "Most think the ball they play is lacking somewhere. Some say their ball performs great in the short game but costs them distance, while other players said the opposite about their ball. Some feel their ball performs great off the middle and short irons but isn't long enough off the tee and doesn't spin enough on short shots.

"The takeaway was simple: If we could create a ball that performed well in all areas we would have a revolutionary product. That's what inspired us to create our newest ball, Penta TP, which is every bit the breakthrough we hoped it would be."

Penta TP is the first tour ball with five solid-layers, with each layer engineered to optimize performance in five key shot categories that skilled players need – driver, long-irons, middle-irons, short-irons and partial wedges. The five layers of Penta TP include the core, inner mantle, middle mantle, outer mantle and cover, and each one plays a critical role in optimizing the performance of each of the five key shots.

Layer 1 – Cover
The soft Urethane Cover promotes a higher than average spin-rate on the all-important partial wedge shots required in the scoring zone, within 100 yards of the flag. These are the types of shots where many current tour balls fail to deliver the goods because they launch too high and don't spin enough. Instead, most tour pros want a ball that launches lower and spins enough to stop fast after one or two bounces, which gives them maximum control over these types of shots. Penta TP's soft, durable Urethane Cover has the necessary characteristics to deliver that coveted combination of lower launch angle and higher spin-rate, while also providing soft tour feel.

Layer 2 – Outer Mantle
The firm and fast Outer Mantle promotes optimum spin off the short-irons to stop the ball quick without sucking it off the front of the green or drawing it back too far from the hole. The Outer Mantle is the fastest mantle in the ball; because it's positioned just beneath the cover it's easily compressed by slower swingers (ball speeds 120 mph and below), helping them to generate higher ball speed for increased distance.

Layer 3 – Middle Mantle
The semi-firm and fast Middle Mantle, which surrounds the Inner Mantle , promotes mid-launch and mid-spin off the middle irons. Mid-launch promotes control; mid-spin keeps the ball from up-shooting, ballooning and falling short of the target. The Middle mantle consists of a fast material, allowing medium-slow swingers (who average from 120 to 140 mph in ball speed) to generate more ball speed and distance, as they will compress only the two outermost mantles underneath the cover.

Layer 3 – Middle Mantle
The semi-firm and fast Middle Mantle, which surrounds the Inner Mantle , promotes mid-launch and mid-spin off the middle irons. Mid-launch promotes control; mid-spin keeps the ball from up-shooting, ballooning and falling short of the target. The Middle mantle consists of a fast material, allowing medium-slow swingers (who average from 120 to 140 mph in ball speed) to generate more ball speed and distance, as they will compress only the two outermost mantles underneath the cover.

Layer 4 – Inner Mantle
The soft, fast Inner Mantle, which surrounds the core, promotes soft feel, high launch and low spin off the long-irons for exceptional distance and high, soft-landing flight that helps the ball sit quickly on the green. The Inner Mantle consists of a fast material, which helps players who average from 140 to 160 mph in ball speed to generate more ball speed and distance, because although they don't swing fast enough to activate the core, they are able to activate the three layers between the core and cover including the inner mantle, which is the deepest of the three.

Layer 5 – Core
The extremely soft, low-compression core is the most critical layer to promoting high launch and low spin off the driver, which are well known to be the launch conditions that promote maximum carry and distance. Despite being soft and low-compression, Penta TP's core is still very fast, which allows players who generate fast ball speed -- in the 140 to 180 mph range -- to generate more ball speed. Which means that if long-hitters who play a tour ball will likely be longer with Penta TP.

Progressive Distance Promotes More Yardage at a Variety of Swing Speeds
The layers of Penta TP are configured strategically to promote "Progressive Distance," which allows it to deliver terrific distance to all types of swing speeds. That's because, as mentioned above, each layer is exceptionally fast. Slow swingers who generate only enough clubhead speed to activate the Outer Mantle will benefit. Medium swingers who can activate only the Outer and Middle mantles will benefit. Fast swingers who activate the Outer, Middle and Inner mantles will benefit. And of course, very fast swingers who activate every mantle plus the core will benefit.

Added Spin and Control in the Scoring Zone
The added spin Penta TP promotes in the scoring zone is especially important in light of the groove-change rule that will be implemented in high-level competitions by the USGA and R&Amp;A in 2010. The new grooves will impart less spin depending on the lie (much less out of the rough) and swing type (shallow swingers will lose more than steeper swingers). Penta TP will help some players recover some of the spin likely to be lost because of the new rule.

Recent testing with TaylorMade Tour Staff pros drew rave reviews from Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Retief Goosen and Justin Rose, who complimented Penta TP's all-around performance and singled out for praise the spin and control on the all-important 30- to 75-yard wedge shot. "That's been the biggest shortcoming in today's tour balls," says Dean Snell, head of TaylorMade's golf ball R&Amp;D department.

LDP Technology for Improved Distance on Driver Mis-hits
Penta TP also incorporates TaylorMade's LDP technology, which uses improved aerodynamics to promote increased lift to keep the ball in the air longer for more distance on the most common types of driver mis-hits, which occur on the top half of the clubface. TaylorMade robot testing shows that LDP improves driver distance on mis-hits dramatically, and that TaylorMade balls with LDP are clearly longer on driver mis-hits compared to competitive balls without LDP. Also, Penta TP's dimple configuration delivers the same hold-the-line stability in the wind that the TP Red and TP Black are renowned for.

Three Years in Development, Five-Layer Penta TP Delivers a New Level of Performance
"Penta TP took three years to develop as our golf ball R&D team carefully experimented with different mantle materials, compositions and thicknesses until the ideal combination was defined," said Dr. Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade's chief technical officer. Extensive computer modeling, prototype creation, robot testing and player testing went into creating what we believe is the finest all-around performing golf ball of its kind, a ball that delivers outstanding performance on every key type of shot a golfer has to hit while also delivering tremendously soft and responsive feel off everything from driver to putter."

Penta TP on Tour
Penta TP is already being played on tour, first by Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen, who switched into it at the PGA Championship. Other players who have switched into Penta TP include Y.E. Yang, Justin Rose and Jason Day. "It usually takes players several weeks or even months of trial before they'll change balls," said Snell. "We're seeing players switch into Penta TP after testing it for nine holes. That's proof that Penta TP offers a dramatic improvement in performance."

A Great Choice for Every Level of Player
Penta TP was created for our tour pros, yet it's a great ball for every level of player. You don't have to be a fast swinger to achieve excellent distance with Penta TP, and it delivers the kind of spin in the scoring zone that a distance ball can't compete with, giving shorter hitters the added control to get up-and-down more often. The same goes for higher handicappers – the extra spin Penta TP promotes will only improve the quality of their short shots, helping them score lower.

Penta TP becomes available starting on December 1, 2009 in the Sunbelt states (Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, southern California and Hawaii) and February 15, 2010 nationwide at a retail price of $45.99 per dozen.

About Sean Crogie

Father of 3, #golf writer, full-time mail carrier, part-time @RideauViewGolf Turf Team #PJ20 fan, golfing nomad.
View all posts by: Sean Crogie

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