Does the ball you play matter, and if it does, how much? Every once in a while, you’ll have a great round with a bargain basement hard-as-a-rock ball you picked up in the rough one day or a terrible round with a brand-new top of the line soft-coated ProV1 that you received for your birthday. You have no way to know if the T-shot that made a right turn into the woods would have stayed in bounds with a different ball, or drifted just as far out, anyway. You are not alone. Great players, those that take an almost identical swing every time, can feel a difference. The weekend warrior, however, doesn’t hit enough balls to be sure of anything, one way or the other. Luckily, manufacturers have precise test methods and, in competition for your dollar, do everything they can to help you figure it out.
So, while most golfers think “great clubs” when they hear the name TaylorMade, their latest offering in the ball category – the TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x – may change that. Here’s a look at both balls and what sets them apart from the competition.
Taylormade TP5 and TP5x Review
The TaylorMade TP5 series of golf balls have many features. For one, both balls feature a Tri-Fast Core. This is a three-layer core system provides what TaylorMade calls “progressive compression.” They claim the specially designed core enables maximum energy transfer and generates increased speed and distance on full shots.
Five Layer Construction – TaylorMade first introduced the five-layer ball to the world in 2010 with the TaylorMade Penta. Along with the inner three layers of the “Tri-Fast Core,” the fourth and fifth layers consist of a firm inner cover and soft cast-urethane outer cover. According to TaylorMade, the five-layer design offers more spin separation and control than three and four piece balls.
Dual Spin Cover - The semi-rigid inner-cover, and an ultra-soft cast urethane outer cover, create maximum interaction between the ball and clubface grooves. This achieves exceptional spin and control with full wedge shots, around the green, and provides a good feel when putting.
TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball Review
- Longer overall distance than other premium balls.
- Higher launch angles than comparable balls in the same class.
- Excellent soft feel and control around the green.
- The cost can add up quickly for players that constantly lose balls.
Throughout the bag, most players will average about the same length as with a ProV1 and Bridgestone Tour B330, and maybe a few extra yards past the Callaway Chrome Soft. While softer than most balls out there, the TP5 gets you to the cup by way of lower trajectory.
Spin refers to backspin, and, unless you have a severe slice, you want spin. Backspin improves aerodynamics and helps to lower resistance. Spin keeps the ball in the air longer and provides that kind of “second wind” that some shots seem to get.
Short Game Performance
More than any other reason, golfers pay extra for premium balls because of their short game performance. The higher spin rates help pitch shots stop quick (and in the case of some, back up to the hole). Imagine dropping one, right next to the pin, from a hundred yards out. The hard two-piece ball, with no spin, rolls ten to fifteen feet towards the back of, and maybe even off of, the green. The soft five-piece ball plugs and rolls a foot or two. This applies to chips and putts too. Players hate hard and fast greens. You could play an entire round and never quite get the correct feel of a slick green. So then, why play a hard and fast ball that’s difficult to control. The softer cover, of the TP5, offers improved feel and more control for players of all skill levels.
Like most premium balls, the TP5 and TP5x feature a urethane cover sturdy enough to handle the cart path, the trees, and the occasional bounce off of a lakeside boulder. You’re more likely to lose it than put it out to pasture.
TaylorMade TP5X Golf Ball Review
- All of the same qualities as the TP5.
- Less spin, higher ball flight, and more carry than the TP5.
- Costs less and matches up evenly with the higher priced ProV1x.
- Not for players with severe slice or hook problems.
The TP5x offers a rare combination of more distance and increased ball height. Low-handicappers may see as much as ten to fifteen more yards off the T, with average gains of around ten yards per club for every level of player.
The TP5x feels a little more solid than the TP5. It spins less on longer shots thanks to its higher compression of 90 versus 83 for the TP5. Usually, players with faster swing speeds prefer higher compression balls.
Short Game Performance
Most players can expect the same high level of performance from the TP5x as described for the TP5.
How does the TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls compare to other Golf Balls?
You’re more likely to notice a difference in ball class, more so than between manufacturers. Golfers regard the ProV1 and ProV1x as the “gold standard” of golf balls but, many players will find Callaway’s Chrome Soft and TaylorMade’s new TP5 lines play the same or better. Overall, the Chrome Soft weighs in as the shortest and softest, while the TP5 and TP5x match up closely with the Titleist ProV1 and ProV1 x, respectively. Bridgestone also makes the three-piece Bridgestone Tour B330 and Tour B330S. Out of the group though, only TaylorMade produces a ball with five layers.
Which TP5 Golf Ball is Right for Me?
The higher compression of the TP5x means that the core of the ball is wound tighter and springs less when hit. Better players, with faster swing speeds, are happy to trade the extra pop of a low compression ball for the added control of a higher compression ball. In general, if you average 230 yards or more off the T, the TP5x is for you. For the average player, however, the TP5 will be the right choice. Both balls offer a rare combination of distance, low compression, high spin, and soft feel.
When it comes to golf balls, there’s no different ball for different skill level. The better-quality balls play better for everyone. They go just as far, or further than the two-piece mid or low-priced balls but, provide far more control off the T and around the green. Poor play (always losing balls), and budget would be the only reasons not to play a higher quality ball. When it comes to top tier balls, dollar for dollar, none fare better than the TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x. TaylorMade has done their part in producing a high-quality ball at a reasonable price; the rest is up to you.