Heard a lot of good things about the TaylorMade TP5/TP5x? With three of the World's top four using TaylorMade's latest golf ball, it should come as little surprise that there's been a big buzz about the TP5.
We wanted to put it to the test, so we invited eight readers along to The Shire, London, to get fitted for either the TP5/TP5x... and then take them to the course to see how they got on.
But the real question was: Would they make the #5witch?
Range Testing: I really like how the fitting showed I could realistically choose either ball as they were closely matched on the launch monitor. For me that means I can pick the ball I prefer the feel of, which is critical to my game. I play three times a week and buy over 100 balls a year so cost has to be a consideration. I’ve hit a number of shots with the TP5 today that have just cut through the wind – it’s almost like the wind has been taken out of play by the ball, which is impressive.
On-Course Testing: I’m not long off the tee, or a big hitter with my irons, so being able to get up and down and make a score from inside 125 yards is really important. Because the TP5 is indistinguishable from my usual Pro V1 I’d have no doubts about putting it into play. The fitter said I was hitting the TP5x higher with less spin, which added up to a handful of extra yards (from a 7-iron). From my understanding more height, lower spin is the holy grail as you get more distance, but approach shots into greens will stop quickly. But I’ll happily sacrifice a few extra yards with the TP5x for a bit more feel and control around the green with the TP5.
My verdict: The TP5x has a firmer feel, so it's really interesting the majority of tour pros use the X. For me it feels rm off the putter and for chipping and pitching is a bit faster and clickier off the face, too. I want to get back and try TP5 on my own golf course so I can see where shots finish compared to my usual ball. I really like the TP5 from what I've seen.
Range Testing: There was about a one-club distance increase with the TP5x over my usual ball on the range; the TP5 spun a little bit too much for me, but there was definitely a yardage increase. I also did some more tests on a GC2 the following day back at my home club, and it just backed up that the TP5x works best for me. With a 7-iron it carried 14 yards further than a Pro V1x (172 v 158) and nine more than a Chrome Soft. Same story with a driver; average carry was 263 (TP5x), 256 (Pro V1x) and 242 (Chrome Soft)
On-Course Testing: I hit my Pro V1 on the par-4 10th at The Shire and it went pretty well, nearly 250 yards down the left side of the fairway – not too bad into the wind. I then tried the TP5x and though I pushed it a bit right, I didn't lose any distance, and it came up level with my normal ball. That was an unexpected bonus. And on the par-3 14th (188 yards), I hit a 6-iron and struck two good solid shots, with both balls, to the left of the green. Both came off the clubface similarly, but the TP5 ended up about 12 yards further, around pin high. That was another surprise. I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs at my own course.
My Verdict: My mates in my club have been discussing the TP5 balls for a while and are so jealous of me taking part in this test. Afterwards, I simply texted them “get some TP5x”! They’re great balls and have definitely won me over; the next balls I’m purchasing will be these. If it’s good enough for Rory, it’s good enough for me.
Range Testing: It was very interesting on the range. I do hit it hard and high and the TP5 just seemed to squash on the face. It ballooned for me and the spin ranges were way too high. But as soon as I hit the TP5x it felt a lot nicer; it certainly didn’t squash as much and the flight was so much more penetrating. My numbers were better, too. My 7-iron was carrying about 170-odd, about right for me. But for me it’s more about how high it goes, and the TP5x didn’t go as high as TP5 and went nine yards further.
On-Course Testing: I used both balls on the course and I preferred the x again. It had a much better flight, felt faster off the clubface and it was just as easy to get some bite and check on the greens. It was definitely longer than
my usual ball, but the biggest thing was how it held its line in the wind. It was blustery out there today and lots of times I was expecting a shot to drift left or right, and it just held its line. On one of the par 3s, the flag was in the back left corner with the wind off the right. I went right at it, 7-iron from 180, and it stayed on line and just stopped dead.
My Verdict: The flight is lower than I'm used to, but the distance is extraordinary. I am consistently hitting at least one club less into the greens. The ball is so stable through the air. Shots that would normally veer off course stay a lot straighter; helping me shoot SIX under my handicap at the weekend! Would I change to this ball? Most definitely yes.
Range Testing: The initial impression was it felt much better off the face than my normal ball, and it did launch really high, but didn’t move in the wind at all. The distance difference I got from both was crazy. I usually use a Pro V1, but after today, maybe not anymore. I liked the feel of the TP5 straight away. I gained 15 yards by just changing the ball with a 7-iron. The feel between the two golf balls [TP5/TP5x] wasn’t massively different
On-course testing: I think I would go for the 5 and not the X, based on today. I’d like to give the X another go, but I thought the 5 was better for me, and more consistent. The X is absolutely fantastic in the wind, but the feel is slightly different around the green, while the 5 is still good in the wind and feels better when you’re putting. I was very surprised. I didn’t think you could get this much difference off a ball. Against the Pro V1 added 15 yards with my drives, and on the irons I was longer again –so the distance gains just by changing the ball is immense. I can’t overstate the difference from the ball that I’ve been playing.
My Verdict: I chopped and changed my mind on the two TP5s, but in general the TP5 came out on top. Compared to my usual ball it’s longer, it stays straighter and it’s much more controlled around the green. Even on miss- hits you’re not as far off line, and if you do it’s your own fault. The TP5 has a nice feel, a nice trajectory and comes off the putter really well.
Range Testing: I tried both the TP5 and the TP5x and I preferred the former, which came off the clubface particularly well. This was a big transformation for me – you’ve got to remember that I’ve been playing with Pro V1s for donkey’s years.
On-Course Testing: Not only was I achieving extra length – 15-20-yards on average – I was also chipping better with the TP5 and was impressed with its performance on and around the greens. For me, the TP5 feels like a softer ball than the Pro V1. I did some back-to-back tests and TP5 was consistently longer, particularly into the wind.
My Verdict: I'll be playing tomorrow and I'll definitely be teeing it up with a TP5. I'll be speaking with my clubmates when I get back and recommending the ball to them. I was that impressed. Both balls felt really good and even in the wind they kept pretty straight and you can't ask for more than that. But it was the feel of them more than anything which will see me.
Range testing: I definitely like the X; I felt the TP5 launched really high and where I play it is really windy. I thought the TP5x was a lot more stable and a bit rmer. The TP5 was really hot off the face so by the time I looked up I could barely see where it goes, whereas the ball ight off the 5x was de nitely slightly atter – it was a bit more stable in the air. When you're hitting at targets the TP5x was really staying on its line and you had a bit of con dence in it, but you don't generally play in these windy conditions. I would switch if it proves to be better than my current ball when I get back on my home course.
On course testing: I wasn't convinced by the TP5; for me it didn't feel as long as the X, though on the greens the X was maybe a bit too rm for me – it took three or four holes to get used to it. I played seven holes the following day (still very windy!) and compared the Pro V1 against the TP5x; I de nitely thought the TP5x performed slightly better in the wind. It seemed longer, especially when I hit it with my 3-wood; I got on in two on one of the par 5s which I've only done a couple of times in the past. And on the slower greens at my course the x felt great; I even holed a couple of long ones. I will continue to use the TP5x over the next few weeks to get more feedback.
My verdict: I'll now go and test it against what I use currently on my home course to get a bit more a feel for the distances. I certainly don't get as much backspin on my home course so it would be interesting to see if I get it there. I thought the X performed really well. I hit a 4-iron with the TP5x from 170 yards into the strong wind and it span back... incredible!
Range Testing: I've hit some fantastic drivers with the TP5 today and don't feel like I'd be leaving anything behind using the TP5 instead of the TP5x. The tter said I was a relatively low-spin player so by adding a little bit more spin shots are staying in the air for longer. For me there's not a huge difference between the balls for driving or iron play, but I really saw a gap in performance in the short game, particularly for putting. TP5 just felt softer.
On Course Testing: The thing that really surprised me was the TP5's performance in the wind. Well-struck drives and tee shots into par 3s seem to be less affected by the wind – they just stayed straighter, whereas my Pro V1 “gets on” the wind more often, and nishes further from my intended target. Don’t get me wrong, less well-struck shots, with more side spin, still perform like my usual ball; it’s the well-struck ones that gain against the competition. I guess that’s why the pros like them in the wind as they’re hitting well-struck shots a lot more often than us amateurs!
My Verdict: All day long I preferred the TP5 for its softer feel and feedback when putting. If there wasn't a logo on it I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and my usual ball on the green. The big performance differences came off the tee, especially in this wind. Cost isn't too much of an issue for me, so on the performance I've seen I'd happily switch to a TP5.
Range Testing: The TP5x has a really nice ight to it and combated the wind very well. I felt I was striking the ball better with the TP5x and that was backed-up by the better stats all-round. I was generally hitting it 7-9 yards further than my normal ball (145-150 yards with a 7-iron). Not only that the ball kept dead straight – which I was delighted with! That was a surprise considering the blustery conditions. There were a couple of shots where I thought I'd knocked it left or right, but somehow the ball just straightened up. The TP5x has a really nice ight to it and handled the wind very well.
On Course Testing: I hit my Pro V1 on the par-4 10th at The Shire and it went pretty well, nearly 250 yards down the left side of the fairway – not too bad into the wind. I then tried the TP5x and though I pushed it a bit right, I didn't lose any distance, and it came up level with my normal ball. That was an unexpected bonus. And on the par-3 14th (188 yards), I hit a 6-iron and struck two good solid shots, with both balls, to the left of the green. Both came off the clubface similarly, but the TP5 ended up about 12 yards further, around pin high. That was another surprise. I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs at my own course.
My Verdict: My mates in my club have been discussing the TP5 balls for a while and are so jealous of me taking part in this test. Afterwards, I simply texted them "get some TP5x"! They're great balls and have de nitely won me over; the next balls I'm purchasing will be these. If it's good enough for Rory, it's good enough for me.