We are now on the 3rd generation of the TaylorMade Project (a) ball and it is one of the most successful products they have done with over 2 million dozen sold to date. Even they can't sell that many drivers.
The 2016 Project (a) was one of our favourites so it is pleasing to see that most things have not changed too much.
It is still the same 3-piece ball with 70 compression and a 322 dimple, seamless cast urethane cover, which is unusual for a ball in the mid-price category and provides better control.
However TaylorMade has tweaked the core of the ball to make the centre softer at 25 compression and the outer layer firmer in order to improve the speed as the extra energy created by the centre is retained by the outer core.
TaylorMade claim that the Project (a) is now at the maximum legal speed of 250 feet/second so I thought I would check it out by comparing it to the 2016 version.
On GC2 with a 7-iron I was seeing a 1mph increase in ball speed and a 600rpm drop in spin between the 2018 Project (a) and the previous model and that saw a 4 yard gain, which is impressive.
With the driver, I got the same 1mph gain in ball speed and combined with 300rpm drop in spin also saw a four yard gain.
There seemed to be a lower peak height with the driver, whereas with the iron it was the same, so you should get a little more run as well.
These numbers were pretty impressive and shows how the internal makeup of the ball can have a big effect on spin, launch and distance.
Around the green the 2018 Project (a) sounds a little softer than the 2016 model but seemed to have a little more greenside check on chips. With the putter it was pretty similar so if you liked the benefits of Project (a) before, you will like them more now.
You still get the same double numbers as before of 00, 11, 22 and 33 and now you can have them on a yellow ball as well, which is good to see.
Personally I preferred the sound of the 2016 ball, but of course the performance gains of the 2018 Project (a) mean that I would happily get used to it. This is one of the balls to beat again in the mid-market so I would urge you to go and get used to it too.