Dan Box

Over the last few years there has been a big influx in golfers using patterned golf balls on the course. That's not just limited to amateur golfers either, with a number of tour pros including the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler choosing to use balls such as the TP5 Pix as it gives them enhanced alignment and feedback on the greens.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

The latest addition to this growing trend comes in the form of the SpeedSoft Ink, which is the 'ink' version of TaylorMade's new SpeedSoft ball and has a low compression design which is said to offer the softest possible feel, whilst still maintaining plenty of speed and distance.

Who Is It Aimed At?

The ball itself is a two-piece construction which has a low compression, making it more than suitable for everyday golfers who don't have particularly high swing speeds and are looking for an option that gives them more distance and ball speed without sacrificing feel.

The Ink design is not going to be for everyone, and TaylorMade know that, which is why they have also produced a standard version of the SpeedSoft without the pattern.

The Ink design is there to provide more of an upgrade to the aesthetic rather than any real alignment like the pix design or the Callaway Triple Track technology offers, so I don't think it'll improve performance in that way, but it might help you with a bit of extra feedback on how your ball is spinning and rolling around the greens.

The Tech

The two-piece golf ball features a new PwrCore technology, making it the softest ball in TaylorMade's range, with faster core materials designed to provide additional distance.

The ball has a compression of less than 50, with a larger core design encouraging easy compression and a soft feel, while the 322 extended flight dimple pattern encourages more distance thanks to a low drag, aerodynamic design.

The SpeedSoft is available in standard White or Yellow colourways, as well as the SpeedSoft Ink which comes with a distinctive paint-splatter design.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

Available in four different colourways (Green, Red, Blue and Pink) the SpeedSoft Ink is the first time that TaylorMade have been able to offer visual technology on a ball with a low pricepoint for the budget-conscious golfer.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

Looks and Feel

In the past I have tried using golf balls with added visual technology, and I did use the Chrome Soft Truvis balls for a while, but I always find myself coming back to the standard plain white finish as it looks cleaner and in some ways easier to hit in my mind.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

The SpeedSoft is TaylorMade's budget golf ball, with an RRP of just £26.99 per dozen, and whilst the quality and finish is still good, you can definitely tell that they aren't quite in the same league as their top of the range TP5 models as soon as you take it out of the sleeve.

In all honesty I think TaylorMade could've done a little more with the design of the box for the SpeedSoft Ink - if you're going to design a golf ball with pink, green and blue stripes over it, I think you can afford to push the boat out a little more on the front of the box to make sure it really stands out.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

In terms of feel, the only word that I wrote down during my testing was 'soft', because that just seemed to sum the ball up. TaylorMade say that this is the softest ball that they have produced, with the lowest compression, and it certainly felt as if the ball just stayed on the face that little bit longer at impact.

It didn't scream distance and speed when you strike it, but it felt good and I particularly enjoyed the feel on the shorter shots around the green as it gave the impression that you had a little more touch on those fiddly shots.

The Data

I headed down to Hukd Golf to test the ball on the GC Hawk launch monitor, putting it up against my own Titleist Pro V1 golf ball to see how it compared to a more 'premium' model.

As the data shows, the SpeedSoft performed very well compared to a golf ball which is double its price. The main thing to note was that the spin rates with the 100 yard shot, full 7 iron and driver were all lower by a few hundred rpms with the SpeedSoft compared to the Pro V1 thanks to the lower compression, which I found impacted the dispersion a bit more than I'd ideally like.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

For me, this meant that my carry distances were down by a couple of yards with both the 7 iron and the driver, although the longest shot with each of these clubs actually came from the SpeedSoft when the spin dropped down a little further again.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

In the end, the main thing that I saw from the Pro V1 compared to the SpeedSoft was more spin on the shorter wedge shots, and more consistency in the numbers with the 7 iron and the driver. The difference in my longest and shortest carry distances with the Pro V1 was 8 yards with the 7 iron and just 4 yards with the driver, compared to 8 yards and 15 yards with the SpeedSoft.


Out on the golf course, the ball continued to perform well and I didn't see much difference in terms of performance on longer shots compared to my normal Pro V1. When I got closer to the green, I did find that I was struggling to generate the same levels of spin on chips and pitch shots.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

I enjoyed the visual feedback of the Ink pattern when hitting shots around the green though, it's great to see how the ball is spinning and rolling when chipping and putting, and I can see how it would help people improve their consistency in this area.

At times I did find the pattern a bit distracting on longer shots, particularly when the patterned lines were pointing in different directions. I don't like drawing lines on my golf ball either for this reason, so maybe it's just me being fussy!

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

Having tested all four of the different balls I also found that the red colourway was actually a little more difficult to spot out on the course, particularly at this time of year when there's leaves and mud around. The ball just seemed to blend into the surroundings a bit more, which made it harder to find.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Verdict

TaylorMade's SpeedSoft is a good all-round golf ball that I think plenty of golfers should consider, particularly those who are on a budget and looking for something that performs strongly without breaking the bank.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

I would definitely recommend it to some of my friends who are getting into the game because it's easy to hit and provides plenty of distance, but won't cost them too much if they happen to lose a couple during a round of golf.

The Ink visual technology isn't for everyone but it's a great option to have in four different colourways, and I found that the blue and pink in particular were really vibrant on the course and could definitely help some golfers out around the greens.

Would I Use It?

If I was to use this ball, I think I would opt for the standard SpeedSoft rather than the Ink version as the design is just a little too busy for me. The ball tended to spin a little low for my liking, especially as I moved down towards the short irons and wedges, but I was still very impressed with the performance overall.

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Pros and Cons

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball Review

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TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball

TaylorMade SpeedSoft Ink Golf Ball - Product Details

UK Launch08 March 2024
UK Launch RRP£26.99
European Launch08 March 2024
European Launch RRP€38
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Women
Ball Construction2-Piece
Ball FeelSoft
Colour OptionsWhite/Blue, White/Green, White/Red, Red/Pink
Quantities3, 12
Manufacturer's WebsiteTaylorMade Website

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