Taylormade’s slogan for the Burner ball is ‘command the tee box.’ How do they intend for you to do this? By offering a ball that can achieve maximum distance but with a soft feel. A high launch angle throughout all the clubs in your bag should increase your distance alone. Essentially, Taylormade is banking on the old adage of ‘high launch equals more distance.’ You may not experience long distances that you’re used to seeing with your typical two piece rock but the Burner offers a nice package of feel and distance that achieves some interesting results.
The Burner is a two piece ball made with an ionomer cover. I know, I know. You hear ‘2 piece ball’ and you’re thinking it’s rock right? Not necessarily. Yes, that cover is a thicker one (.070 mm) as compared to softer, ‘spinnier’ cover which usually checks (pun intended) in at .050mm but you may not notice it unless you’re used to a softer to begin with. With a compression rate of 60 and a low spin ratio from <30 yards it’s not the softest of balls but it’s not a rock either. Also, the nice simple ‘Burner’ alignment aid is a welcome feature that just seems to be the right size and fits well.
The first thing I did after getting the Burner balls was head to my local range for some short game testing. On to the chipping green I go with my wedges and my test subjects but before I go on I should note that I currently use conforming grooves on my wedges. That being said, these balls performed better than I had expected. On chips and pitches the Burners would take a hop or two and have minimal roll out before coming to a stop. I suppose they would zip and check up immediately with the right player and maybe the right conditions but I didn’t see it yet on the practice area. However, I did notice that when I took them to the par 3 course when hitting ½ to ¾ wedge shots these balls had a nice trajectory to them and yet still landed soft with minimal roll out. Hmmmm. Now I’m intrigued. Ah but how did it feel coming off the old flat stick? Two piece balls typically feel like rocks coming off putters but not these. I have a putter that has a fairly firm insert and the Burners felt soft and rolled true with good distance control which I wasn’t counting on. OK now I’m pretty excited about these so it’s on to the course.
As I mentioned before, Taylormade says ‘command the tee box’ with these balls. For a two piece ball, these felt abnormally soft coming off the driver. I was expecting a harsher feel as found with most two piece offerings but not with these. While not soft like a three or four piece ball, these were soft enough. Distance? Yep, there was some nice distance to be had when hit flush with the big stick as well as my fairway wood and hybrids. But how did they work with my irons? Yes. Whether it was a long iron, middle iron, or short iron the feeling and performance were all relatively the same which was a nice surprise. Consistency in iron play as well as wedges is very important to golfers and is a great equalizer to an opponent who is big off the tee. The Burners do perform in the areas where scoring can really take place which is reassuring.
Normally I go into a review with a completely open mind and look to be a sponge to absorb all sorts of info, data, etc. but this one I was a little biased. No particular reason why. I think the best reason I can come up with is that when I think of golf balls, Taylormade isn’t at the forefront of my brain. Truth be told I didn’t want to like this ball. I was afraid to like it because I didn’t want to have a tough decision to make when the review was finished as to whether I needed to make a switch to a different ball or not. That being said, I liked this ball. Quite a bit actually and more than I thought I would. It’s a good, solid offering that gives nice distance with versatile performance at an attractive price point. For those in search of a golf ball that offers more performance than a traditional distance ball does with out losing much of that distance then this may be a good place to start.
Retail pricing comes in under $30/dozen. For more information about the Taylormade Burner and other Taylormade products you can check out their website HERE.