I picked up a dozen of the new Taylormade Project (a ) golf balls at my local Golfsmith last week on the way home from work. I read about them and was intrigued by the idea of more spin for lower handicap players and I figured I would see if they are right. I played with them on April 18, 2014 at Jack Tone golf in Ripon, CA. It was windy, 15-20 MPH and gusty. I played exclusively with the Project (a ) and overall I find them to be a really good pro-level ball. They remind me of older Pro V1’s (2010) because they are really soft and buttery with a 9 iron off the tee and they fly high and land really soft and hold well. The first test of the the spin of the ball came at the first hole from the left rough, into the wind from 115 with a pitching wedge. I made clean contact, and hit the top back portion of the green and even though it slopes away, the Project stopped just off the fringe.
The second hole was the first chance to get a feel for the distance and stopping power from the tee. With a 9 iron hitting 145 with the wind at my back, the Project flew to the front of the green, hopped and stopped. Not bad, I did not hit it hard but it still did not roll out, even with the wind at my back. Into the wind it was mid to high launch, did not balloon, but does have a bit more side spin than the Taylormade Lethal, but not as much as some older 3 piece urethane covered balls. I do like that you can shape shots more with this ball. I was able to play a predictable draw when I wanted to with my mid irons (6 and 7), and I hit a couple of soft fades with my wedges that were easy to produce.
I like the overall feel of the ball around the greens. It feels like a pro ball with just a little less density. For me that equates to a soft but still there feel on short shots. Some of the higher handicap balls like the DT So Lo are so light that at times you don’t really feel the ball when you make contact. The Project gets up quickly like a DT So Lo, but it has some mass so you can feel the ball compress on short and mid approaches. The ball feels fantastic when you hit it with an iron off the tee. It is so soft that you can feel it compress and recoil. With a driver you don’t lose any distance and the soft feel makes the strikes in the sweet spot feel even sweeter. The ball is not as dense as a Lethal so you don’t get the pop and recoil that comes from the pro ball off the driver, but they are long and straight so I could get used to the softer smash.
Off the putter, I like that the ball is a little more substantial than a Velocity. With the putter this ball feels great, but it does not pop off my Odyssey like the Lethal. The sound is more muted on lag puts but it is something I quickly got used to. The speed and feel of the ball really reminded me of older Pro V1’s from the 2010 era, and that is not at all a bad thing.
Overall, I really like this new ball. I hit one of my longest drives ever on the 9th hole with it, wind aided, and carried it 235 yards into the wind on 18. I didn’t feel like I gave up any distance with the Project but I did gain a lot more feel and spin, so I recommend them. If you have an extremely high swing speed (not my problem) these may not be for you, but if you are a moderate swing speed, are looking for better stopping power on the greens, and don’t mind a soft feel and durable cover, you should try this ball.
My next ball review will be the new Nike RZN balls for 2014, stay tuned.