Gear: TaylorMade MySymbol TP5, TP5x golf balls
Price: $54.99 per dozen (three dozen minimum order)
Specs: Five-piece urethane golf balls
Before every round of golf, pros on the PGA Tour show the other golfers with whom they are playing what ball they are using and the identifying marks drawn on it. The marks can be anything, but most golfers use initials, dots, lines or a lucky pattern. Some players take things a step further, opting to only play a certain number on the ball. For instance, Rory McIlroy plays the TaylorMade TP5 ball, but instead of a 1, 2, 3 or 4, his are 22s.
TaylorMade has offered non-white and patterned balls for several seasons, including the TP5 and TP5x Pix balls and the Tour Response Stripe ball, but with the MySymbol program, the Carlsbad, California-based equipment maker is aiming to take personalization to another level.
Personalized golf balls have been around for years, with TaylorMade offering 00 to 99 balls starting in 2011 and corporate-logoed balls being available well before that. But starting today, golfers can order customized TP5 and TP5x balls by choosing from more than 100 symbols that can replace the number on a ball. (There is no rule stating your golf ball must have a number on it.)
The symbols include animals, food, states, flags, holidays and sports. Golfers can also pick the color of the TaylorMade logo (navy, green, red, orange or pink) and opt to add up to four alphanumeric characters instead of the logo or eight characters on three eligible lines of text on the side of the ball. The symbols and text are added under the clear-coat finish, making them just as durable as any other part of the ball.
So if you want a red TaylorMade logo with a taco under it … done. A navy blue TaylorMade logo with a largemouth bass under it, easy. A green TaylorMade logo with a cactus, no problem.
TaylorMade said Collin Morikawa plans to start using a ball with a dog that looks just like his goldendoodle, Koa. Charley Hull, another TaylorMade staff player, is expected to begin playing a MySymbol ball marked with an illustration of herself, complete with a pink visor, sunglasses and a ponytail.
The company aims to have all its staff players, PGA of America professionals and partners using a MySymbol ball within two years.
Over the years, TaylorMade manufactured and stored special-number balls. When supplies of 23s, 55s and 99s ran low, production of its standard-number balls was stopped briefly to make more of a special number ball. MySymbol balls won’t be manufactured that way, because TaylorMade does not want golfers to view the MySymbol balls as a novelty. These balls are meant to be used, so the company has seven new machines dedicated to creating MySymbol balls to order.
The TaylorMade MySymbol balls are available at taylormadegolf.com.