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TV/Media: TaylorMade TP Golf Ball Video


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By Erik J. Barzeski via TheSandTrap.com
TaylorMade knows how to get the heart pumping with a fast-paced video that makes you want to go out and whack some golf balls really far.

taylormade_tp_ball_sleeves.jpgIn case you haven't heard yet, TaylorMade now makes golf balls. Sunday's introduction of the TP Red and TP Black golf balls was done by TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO Mark King, PGA Tour player Sergio Garcia, and others. Towards the end of the presentation, Garcia introduced a video. This video (6:07, 31.3 MB .wmv), to be more precise.



Go ahead and grab the video. You'll find it's an aggressive, energy-packed video that makes some bold claims and statements, not the least of which is Senior Director of R&D Dean Snell saying "Holy s***, this is awesome" (though Dean would later jokingly claim he never said "holy s***" and that the audio was dubbed in).



What follows are some screenshots of the presentation for those who don't have time to watch the six-minute video.

Chief Technology Officer Dr. Benoit Vincent kicks off the video by talking about TaylorMade's transition from manufacturing golf clubs to golf balls. TaylorMade hired away Dean Snell, designer of Titleist's Pro V1 golf balls, in 2001 and Benoit says "we decided to provide Dean and his team full funding, resources, and equipment to develop the golf ball that the best player in their world would trust their livelihood to."



Dean Snell then carries the majority of the movie from here on out, first talking about the four components of distance: ball speed, launch angle, backspin, and aerodynamics. Those four components map closely to the four aspects of ball construction: core, mantle, cover, and aerodynamics.



taylormade_tp_ball_video_1.jpg
Dean Snell explaining the four components of distance and how they relate to the golf ball's construction.



The first of those four components is the core. Snell claims that a lot of cores use old materials from the 1960s, but that the TP balls use a new core formulation TaylorMade calls the NdV4. Snell says the new core allows the balls to be lower in compression but still very long.



Dr. Kim Hyun, a research chemist, says that the TP Red and Black, with cores that are 10 to 30 units lower on the compression scale than typical golf balls, break the general rule that links higher compression ratings to higher ball speed. Snell believes that the NdV4 technology will "open new windows for future golf ball development."



taylormade_tp_ball_video_2.jpg
The NdV4 core in TaylorMade's new TP Red and TP Black golf balls offer high ball speed at a low ball compression, breaking the general rule that high = high.



Next up, Snell tells us that Tour players want consistency in their irons. As an interesting story, Titleist staff player Curtis Strange had a microphone on him during one event in which he hit an iron shot to a par three that came up well short. He muttered most of the way to the green "just make a ball that goes the same distance every time." Inconsistent distance was one of the problems players had with Dean Snell's Pro V1 (though that problem has been largely eradicated in subsequent revisions).



After Snell talks about how this consistency comes from the mantle layer, product development engineer Eric Loper, tells us that after testing hundreds of golfers, TaylorMade concluded that one golf ball would not meet the all golfers' needs. Hence, the two-ball approach, each ball having different thickness mantle layers.



taylormade_tp_ball_video_3.jpg
After studying golfers, Snell and his team determined that two balls would be needed, each with a different thickness mantle layer.



Moving into the cover, Snell informs us that Tour players have felt that other balls are "a little too clicky, the ball jumps off the face a little bit." The main challenge, says Snell, was to develop a cover that felt good and retained spin on short game control shots without the "clicky" feeling.



Sanjay Kuttappa, senior product development engineer, talks about the urethane cover's tensile strength and abrasion resistance and how that corresponds to a thin, yet durable, cover that remains soft.



taylormade_tp_ball_video_4.jpg
The cover is built from a urethane that is abrasion-resistent and very strong, yet soft and "non-clicky."



Snell then moves to the final phase, aerodynamics. In practical terms, that means dimple patterns. Referring to the Maxfli BlackMax, Snell says that in the past the aerodynamics "have been good, but they haven't been the best." The BlackMax, you see, tended to "fall off" at the end of the flight while the TP balls retain their forward progress even during the "late" stage of ball flight.



Each of the three segments of ball flight (simply named "early," "middle," and "late") require different coefficients of lift and drag to maximize distance. Over 30-40 different prototype dimple patterns were put through over 600 tests before the 322-dimple pentangular dipyramidal pattern was concluded as the best. I joked with TaylorMade employees that "PDP" probably stood for "perfect dimple pattern" and the scientific name was a great example of CYA.



taylormade_tp_ball_video_5.jpg
The TP golf ball features a "perfect dimple pattern," though the official name is a bit more scientific.



Finally, Dean Snell talks about validation through Tour players as the final stage of product design. Snell talks about products players would test in the past and say "not bad, you're getting close, seeya later." He contrasted that with the reaction these balls got, saying "Wow. Holy s***. This is awesome. Is it legal? When can I get 'em?"



Snell continues to hit hard, saying "Is this ball better than the Pro V1? I've been asked that question. The Pro V1 has been the benchmark, and today, I can say that this golf ball is better than Pro V1."



taylormade_tp_ball_video_6.jpg
Dean Snell says: "This golf ball is better than Pro V1." Snell designed both balls.



From here, the video kicks into high gear. Thumping, fast-paced music kicks in. The names of Tour players follow the statement "And he's not the only one" (who think the ball is better than the Pro V1). Product packaging flashes on the screen. Brief descriptions (the red launches lower, the black has higher spin on irons) and phrases like "More Distance" and "Our Tour Players Just Got Longer" zoom towards viewers to the anxiety-building music.



taylormade_tp_ball_video_7.jpgtaylormade_tp_ball_video_8.jpg
The music kicks into high gear here and the ball is officially revealed for the first time.

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