TaylorMade has withdrawn its TP Red ball with the side stamp TP/RED.LDP from the R&A and USGA’s list of Conforming Golf Balls. During its own testing procedure, TaylorMade discovered a rogue batch of TP Red balls that exceeded limits set by the governing bodies on initial velocity off the clubface.
TaylorMade’s mistake was pairing the TP Red cover with the wrong core and this delivered a velocity in excess of the limits set. As soon as the error was discovered TaylorMade immediately took steps to get the ball removed from the Conforming List.
Despite its removal, the TP Red ball will still be permissible in the vast majority of competitions. As the R&A’s assistant director of equipment standards, Claire Bates explains, its elimination from the list does not make it a non-conforming ball.
“I confirm that The R&A would still regard that specific ball type as being a conforming golf ball, even though TaylorMade has requested that it be withdrawn from the Conforming List due to a manufacturing issue effecting initial velocity.
“Therefore, once it has been removed from the List, it will still be acceptable for use in all competitions – other than those where the Committee has introduced the Conforming Ball Condition as a condition of competition.”
As the mistake occurred in just one rogue batch, amounting to two tenths of 1% of its golf ball output, TaylorMade has now released the same ball with a different marking that has been accepted onto the Conforming List – this will be the version used by TaylorMade’s Tour staff. (The photograph opposite shows how to distinguish between the the balls, the forward slash on the ball denotes the original version.)
This will not affect the vast majority of amateur golfers but for those playing in high level events we would recommend they check with the tournament committee as to whether the Conforming Ball Condition has been introduced. If it has, the TP/RED.LDP version of the ball should not be used.