Equipment

New Equipment

TaylorMade Distance+ ball simplifies approach to longer shots—and the shortest ones, too

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: TaylorMade’s low-cost Distance+ is a two-piece ball designed for faster initial velocity to live up to its name. This year’s version adds a plus-sign shaped alignment aid as its sidestamp. The graphic allows a player to see that the putter face is perpendicular to the aim line and at the same time that the ball is zeroed in on the target.

Price: $15 (dozen). In white and yellow. At retail immediately.

THE DEEP DIVE: In recent years, golf ball designs have pursued satisfying multiple playing requirements, most notably high-speed and low spin off the driver combined with high-spin and control around the green. That combo platter unfortunately is only truly found in the most expensive balls played by pros, and it’s one reason that the average selling price for a dozen golf balls has jumped nearly four dollars since 2015 to $33.76, according to figures from golf industry research firm Golf Datatech.

But let’s face it: Most of us would prefer to simplify the game as much as possible. Most of us just want to hit the ball far, and most of us don’t have the kind of short games that tour players have, and most importantly, most of us lose more balls per round than we’re willing to admit.

TaylorMade’s answer to those demands for simpler things—and one that likely has resonance after a year in which the number of golfers grew by 6.2 million beginning and previously lapsed players—is an update to its low-cost and high-speed entry. The new Distance+ for 2021 is again designed with a low-drag dimple pattern that enhances initial velocity, just as the previous version was. The two-piece ball uses an ionomer cover that features 342 dimples.

The mid-range compression (77, per the company) is evidence of the high-repulsion core and a clear reflection that this ball is about enhancing the distance potential for average golfers.

While that focus on high speed is paramount for performance off the tee, the ball’s new graphics add some focus to performance on the green. While all the physical characteristics of the Distance+ are unchanged in its latest iteration, the new plus-sign shape to the sidestamp alignment aid allows the golfer to check that the face of the putter is square to the target, and the crossline provides a reference for the proper aim line.

The TaylorMade Distance+ sells for $15 per dozen ($25 for two dozen). It is offered in white and yellow, and is available at retail immediately.