TaylorMade say their new TP5 and TP5x balls are the most complete tour balls ever.
To simplify the mystery behind picking the right ball for your game, they've developed softer and firmer versions so you choose purely based on feel.
With Jason Day, Dustin Johsnon, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose putting TP5s in play - and Jon Rahm winning with on the first week he switched from his old ball - there's understandably a lot of hype around the product.
So ahead of its March 1st release, we asked four TG readers to put them through their paces...
Chuck Taylor (Handicap 12), Mervyn Craddock (Handicap 11), Nigel Meredith (Handicap 21) and Andy Colen (Handicap 7)
Do you think a golf ball can really make the difference on the golf course?
MC: I've seen balls evolve over the years and tried everything from the old, smaller balls to wound, two-piece bricks and balata. I reckon the ball you play is everything.
NM: Experience has taught me balls can make a big difference in terms of distance, spin and feel, even at my handicap. I was really surprised how the TP5 and TP5x gave me more distance over my usual ball with the driver and irons, yet it also delivered extra grip around the greens, too.
AC: On the launch monitor there was a definite difference in favour of the TP5/ TP5x over my usual ball. We tested in winter conditions so I can’t say for sure I saw the distance difference on the golf course. But I would say the TP5x performance better than my ProV1x on short chips and pitches.
CT: We all have a favourite ball, so yes I do think the ball you play can make a massive difference to your game.
Is TaylorMade’s claim of the TP5 being longer with the driver and irons legitimate?
MC: I hit hots from the centre of the bat with both my own ball and the TaylorMades. Both driver and 6-iron shots went further from a good sample of shots. I reckon it’s a legitimate claim and will help players enjoy the game more – who doesn’t want to hit shots further with the same amount of effort?
NM: I believe it is. My ball-striking wasn’t as consistent as the other guys, but comparing equivalent strikes I gained three-five yards with both the woods and irons.
AC: Hitting shots on the launch monitor in a controlled environment there was a definite gain for the TP5/TP5x. in the real world of winter golf it wasn’t quite so noticeable, but I’m really excited to test them in spring.
CT: Yes it is. I hit my own ball just as well with a 6-iron and driver as the TP5s and I’ve added yards over the ProV1
It’s all very well being longer, but how did you find feel with the TP5s?
MC: I reckon they perform with all the clubs in the bag. They sound and feel good off the driver and irons and give really positive feedback from the putter. In my opninon they are spot on; not too hard or too soft.
NM: Feel was excellent. I like TaylorMades simplistic idea of choosing a ball based on the feel you want. For me the TP5 x was firmer and I liked how putts seemd to travel the same distance as my current ball, which would mean no worries with having to adjust to a new ball’s characteristics.
AC: Feel with both balls was really nice. The TP5 has a definite softer feel on full shots, but I really liked the crisper feedback of the TP5x with the putter.
CT: Feel with both balls is quality, which you'd except if the best players in the world are putting it into play. I really liked the feel of the TP5x on the greens.
Spin is a huge factor when choosing a ball. How did the TP5/ TP5x compare to your current gamer, and which did you prefer?
MC: On my third hole of testing I span a gap wedge three feet back out of its own plug mark, which I’ve never done before. I was really surprised at how much grip I got; both full shots and chips and pitches have more spin and stop quicker than my usual ball. I liked both, but the extra feedback I got from the TP5x would make it my favourite.
NM: I chop down on the ball so typically generate a decent amount of spin. Compared to a full out wedfe shot with my usual NXT Tour I reckon I got some extra grip. The firmer feel of the TP5x would be my choice.
AC: I’ve blindly played the Pro V1x for years, but I’ve got to say the TP5x performed better on shorter chip shots. Its ability to grab and grip the green’s surface was impressive.
CT: I played abroad during my test period and would happily admit to the TP5s being just as easy to spin and stop as any premium ball I’ve tried. For me I’d game the TP5x, which seemed to work well with my swing.
Would you recommend them?
MC: I’ll definitely be switching to the TP5x. It’s a fantastic all-round ball that can give my game an edge. I reckon other Pro V1 players should give them a try.
NM: Oh yes, I'll be switching when the balls are available in March. I’d definitely recommend them; who doesn’t want an extra five yards on every full shot they hit?
AC: Both balls are definitely worth a try. They’re great for distance, feel and spin.
CT: Yes, I’d recommend them. So many of us golfers stick with the same ball we’ve always used, just because it’s what we know. I’ll be using them in 2017.