“White, round, and sits on the ground” isn’t where the premium ball market is headed, at least not according to Mike Fox, Category Director for TaylorMade’s golf ball division. Instead, the future of the golf ball will be built around added visual technology to improve feedback and theoretically, performance.
TaylorMade collaborated with Indiana University to best determine how to implement visual technology in a golf ball, and the TP5 Pix (short for pixelated) is the result. Fundamentally, the TP5 Pix offers the same 5-piece construction as the current retail TP5, but it features 12 evenly spaced red and yellow, X-shaped logos. Neither here nor there, but I think TP5 Ninja Star would have been apropos.
The chief benefit of Pix technology, according to TaylorMade, is immediate feedback related to how much and in which direction the ball is spinning on and around the green. According to TaylorMade, the human eye processes darker colors more efficiently when it’s lighter and vice versa, which is the reasoning behind the dual color, red-yellow design.
Another point of note, it took TaylorMade 18 months to develop a specialized printing machine capable of producing the “X design” in a way which maintains the same graphic durability as the TP5 side stamp and TM logo, which suggests this is something TaylorMade has been working on – or at least considering – for several years.
Given that context, even the casual observer, will note the, ahem, similarity between Pix and Callaway’s Truvis design, which is likely protected by some array of ball-marking methods and process related patents. Crossing the fine line between imitation and inspiration doesn’t mean any rules have been broken, but it’s a virtual certainty Callaway will take a close look at this one.
This release leaves the door open for plenty of forum discussion fodder. Do lines, colors and patterns constitute technological advancement? If so, to what end? Will we see increased acceptance of visual technology on professional tours or does the technology become more of a retail novelty than anything else?
Tell us what you think.
Availability and Pricing
Retail availability for the TaylorMade TP5 Pix begins March 22. Retail price is $45/dozen. For now, there is no TP5x Pix offering.
For more information, visit TaylorMadeGolf.com.