With their Tour superstars sorted, TaylorMade have turned their attention to a ball for club golfers with their new Tour Response
◆ RRP: £39.99 per doz
◆ Construction: Three layers
◆ Cover: 100% urethane
◆ Colours: White and yellow
TaylorMade have made big strides in the tour golf ball category since launching the TP5 a few years ago. So big, three of the top 10 players in the world regularly play a TP5 or TP5x, and Rickie Fowler ditched Titleist for one.
So with the likes of DJ, Rory, Jon Rahm, Fowler and Jason Day all content with their ball's performance, TaylorMade's engineers have turned their attention to you, the average club golfer.
TaylorMade say 80 per cent of the balls they sell in the US are either tour level (over $40 a dozen) or budget buys (below $20 a dozen), which means there's a huge gap in the middle. And that's the area club golfers spend the majority of their golf ball money.
So, after surveying thousands of average players and listening to what they wanted from a ball, TaylorMade have come up with the brand new Tour Response. It has many of the hallmarks of a market-leading tour ball – three layers, 100 per cent urethane cover – but comes in a lot cheaper.
With confusion surrounding blended covers at this price point (which aren't actually urethane) TaylorMade aren't shying away from calling out other manufacturers for misleading consumers on their cover materials.
The confidence comes down to being able to prove that the Tour Response is better than its rivals, and when TG tested it on an indoor launch monitor in the USA at the end of last year, we found the numbers (distance and spin with a driver and a 6-iron) were more than a match for a Pro V1.
A 100 per cent urethane cover is soft enough to bite into the grooves of a wedge just like a tour ball, meaning you get tour-level spin and control without the tour ball price tag.
Responsive to your game
An ultra-low compression core (40 point) and an overall compression of 70 gives the softer feel lots of club golfers have come to love from lower compression balls. A three-piece construction maximises energy transfer and rebound at impact.
TaylorMade have designed the Tour Response for golfers seeking tour quality at a lower cost. It's long and fast off the driver and irons, has high wedge spin along with a soft feel, which sounds a lot like what higher-priced premium tour balls promise.
TaylorMade say Titleist's Tour Soft (£31 a dozen) and Callaway's ERC Soft (£34 a dozen), which are both pitched at club golfers, are not really the competition for the Tour Response. In the hands of club golfers TaylorMade say Callaway's Chrome Soft and the Pro V1 are the main rivals
TaylorMade Soft Response golf ball
◆ RRP: £24.99 per doz
◆ Construction: 3-layers
◆ Cover: Ionomer
◆ Colours: White, yellow and red
There's space in any golf ball manufacturer's line-up for a keenly priced ball that performs for golfers who don't want to pay for premium tour models. The new Soft Response is geared up to perform especially well at moderate swing speeds. It's soft compression means it feels great, it's fast and long off the driver and irons, but to get the keenest price you give up some wedge spin and stopping power. TaylorMade say new U-shaped dimples extend flight especially well at lower spin rates.