When TaylorMade wants to let the world know about its latest club designs and golf engineering, it doesn’t mess around.
Already an industry leader in equipment manufacturing, personalization and innovation, the California-based golf giant invited a platoon of golf writers to the gorgeous Torrey Pines Golf Course near San Diego to try out its latest gear while learning from the TaylorMade crew that plans, designs, builds and fits it.
Through a two day program, journalists went through TaylorMade’s professional fitting process before testing every club the company makes from driver to putter.
Taylormade started the day where every round must begin — the golf ball. Players got a chance to see the specs on the new Product (a) Golf Balls – pellets for mid-handicap players looking to generate more spin like the pros manage.
According to TaylorMade, most amateur golfers reach four greens in regulation during a round of 18 holes. When those players miss the green, it’s by an average of 30 yards. That means they’re hitting a chip up to the putting service, and they’ll need some ball spin to get the ball to stick or reverse what it’s on the dance floor.
The Project (a) construction wants to activate the core of the golf ball regardless of swing speed because average to high handicap players need a ball that will backspin and bite around the greens without spinning too much off of the longer irons and spraying with a hook or slice. To pull that off, the (a) offers three piece makeup with 360 dimples and a Soft Tech cast urethane cover — the same material used on pro tour balls.
With Torrey Pines course waiting for journalists to give the Taylormade line a run on one of the handful of fully public courses to hold Major Tournaments across the country, the golf writers moved to the driving range and the opportunity to go through the official fitting process.
The same men who take the Taylormade registered pros through the line to find exactly the equipment they want to play worked with the scribbling amateurs. From driver to putter, the fitters not only examined individual swings to see which clubs might work best, but they also adjusted those clubs to battle draw or fade, angle of approach and other variables.
It was determined I come in steep, so I was more attuned to strong iron play. So, the fitter recommended RSi 1 irons, one inch extended with a two degree adjustment closed to fight a natural slice. And, since I do hit irons better than traditional drivers, he set me up with R15 rescues (hybrids). Finally, we chose a 60, 56 and 52 degree set of wedges to get me that last 40 or 50 yards to the green.
Of course, it takes time to prep a custom set like that — so I played Torrey Pines that day with a general simulation of what I’d end up with in my bag. Even though it was the first time I’d played TaylorMades of this design, there were a few clubs I developed an immediate affinity with during the 18 hole media round.
I loved the R15 three fairway wood enough to use it off the tee consistently — forgoing a driver on everything but par fives. And, I did a lot of accurate work with the RSi 1versions of the pitching wedge and eight and nine irons. I put a few shots of more than 100 yards out on the green using those light, well-balanced irons.
I came away from the event with a mew, custom fitted, bespoke set of clubs that arrived at my door just this week. In the days to come, I’ll test the new sticks on the range and on a couple of courses to see if all of this personally fit design and engineering makes a different. It’s a tough job, but I get to do it. So, as we move toward the U.S. Open, stay tuned.