2012 Buyer's Guide Balls

Colored, multi-layered, self-correcting. We've got 'em all.

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Penta TP3
Key Feature: Boasting the same urethane cover as the TP5, the Penta TP3 has three (as opposed to five) layers and rings at a very reasonable price. TaylorMade engineers optimized the core, mantle and cover materials, all of which helped lower spin on drives while increasing it on mid- to long irons.
Who It's For: Golfers who can benefit from a ball that spins more on mid- to long irons. Low-handicappers looking to play a urethane ball at an attractive price.
Specs: Urethane cover, three-piece.
taylormadegolf.com | $35
Penta TP5
Key Feature: This new and improved five-layer ball features a 28% lower core compression. That equates to lower driver spin (and, hence, longer shots), and a softer feel around the greens.
Who It's For: Developed for Tour pros, the TP5 can be played by golfers of all abilities. Of course, better players will really notice the benefits of its multiple layers.
Specs: Urethane cover and a five-layer construction that's engineered to improve performance on every shot, from tee to green.
taylormadegolf.com | $46
Key Feature: Constructed for mid-handicappers who want to hit the ball a long way, spin it (but not too much) around the greens and generate higher ball speed off the clubface. As TaylorMade says, the "ball speed gains come from a proprietary REACT core technology and new SPEEDMANTLE for increased velocity."
Who It's For: This midrange ball has many of the qualities of a premium ball, but at half the price. Despite not being a urethane cover, it still felt remarkably soft.
Specs: Three-piece, ionomer cover with SPEEDMANTLE.
taylormadegolf.com | $27
Key Feature: Titleist has made the softest DT yet. How'd they do it? By making a crazy soft core and surrounding it with an aerodynamic cover constructed from two soft Surlyn ionomers.
Who It's For: Golfers who like a soft-compression ball that yields long shots with both woods and irons (not to mention control from anywhere on the course...including around the greens).
Specs: 392-icosahedral-dimple design boasts five different dimple sizes. Available in white and optic yellow.
titleist.com | $20
NXT Tour
Key Feature: Engineered for longer distance, the new three-piece NXT Tour has a large dual core and a smaller, soft center. Coupled with a higher-volume outer layer, this new version of an old favorite goes a mile.
Who It's For: Golfers looking for a blend of big distance and decent spin on approach shots, but not in the market for a premium ball. The Tour S version is a low-compression version of the Tour.
Specs: 302-dimple design, Fusablend cover. Its NXT Tour S version comes in an optic yellow option.
titleist.com | $32
Pro V1
Key Feature: Delivers increased spin control and a more consistent flight, thanks to a ZG process core technology, responsive ionomeric casing layer, urethane elastomer cover and dimple design. It's still the standard by which all other premium balls are measured.
Who It's For: Any player wanting outstanding feel, distance and durability.
Specs: Three-piece ball with urethane elastomer cover, bearing a spherically tiled 352-tetrahedral-dimple design. The four-piece Pro V1x produces less spin on full shots.
titleist.com | $58

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