Ball tested: TaylorMade SuperDeep
Specs: Construction – Two-piece; Cover – Iothane; Core – High-speed; Dimples / Pattern – 342 in seamless LDP (Low-Drag Performance) pattern
Some manufacturers do not reveal or emphasize the compression ratings of new golf balls. Some models are now designed and marketed to fit and appeal to a golfers preferences for price, distance, spin, feel and control.
Price as tested (new): $19.99 per dozen
Ball notes: When you think “two-piece golf ball,” you probably don’t think “soft.” TaylorMade aims to change that with the SuperDeep model, introduced in 2013. The company slots SuperDeep just above its Burner ball for spin and feel, and just below the RocketBallz models in those departments.
It’s not the cover but the core that makes SuperDeep such a softy. TaylorMade designers geared the rubber REACT core down to an ultra-low 60 compression, which also gives slower swingers a power boost.
Golf Digest thinks TaylorMade has a winner, awarding SuperDeep a gold medal in its Hot List testing. The magazine gave the ball a full 5 stars for both performance and look/sound/feel.
Here’s what our own research revealed.
Sound and feel: First, a note about expectations. When you buy a “distance” ball at a price point of $20, anything less than rock-hard counts as a bonus. That said, two-piece balls like the Pinnacle Gold have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, so we expected at least a little cushion when contacting the SuperDeep.
Our tests confirmed it: SuperDeep is pretty darn soft, all things considered. Not “tour” soft, mind you, but lacking the cacophonous crash of yesterday’s distance bombs.
Off the tee: Yep, it’s long. We liked SuperDeep’s high launch and steady, low-spin flight, too. Naturally, it’s supposed to excel in this category, so the performance wasn’t surprising. Still, adding a few yards certainly proved gratifying to our 85-mph swinger.
From the fairway / rough: The SuperDeep delivered good distance from irons and hybrids. It also flew nice and straight, without making slices or hooks worse. It doesn’t listen all that well when you scream, “Bite!” But for a value ball, stopping power is sufficient.
Around the green: Softness matters here, and while SuperDeep isn’t a hop-and-stop ball, it allows you to play higher chips and pitches that don’t roll out excessively. When putted, it definitely emits a more pleasing sound than your average distance model.
Bottom line: It’s about time higher-handicappers got to enjoy the feel of a tour-level ball. Well, it’s not quite that soft, but the easily compressed core of TaylorMade’s SuperDeep is most appreciated. Best of all, you need not sacrifice distance or pay a premium for the experience. This is a value/distance ball that delivers both, with a little extra thrown in.
Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance
Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo
Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330