Martin Hopley

In the last cycle of golf ball launches I felt that the TaylorMade Tour Preferred was the closest challenger to the number one selling Titleist Pro V1.

This time round TaylorMade has been taking this message directly to Titleist by making direct performance comparisons with the TP5 balls using videos such as the one with Jon Rahm shown in the player below this review.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

It may sound a little too good to be true and bear in mind Rahm swings it faster than most of us, so the gains will be bigger. It should also be noted that the comparisons are with the 2015 Titleist Pro V1 rather than the 2017 Titleist Pro V1 as that is what was available to them at the time. However, fear not as I was able to do some 2017 Pro V1 comparisons, which I will come on to later.

Firstly we need to compare the TP5 to the pervious Tour Preferred and whilst both have five layers, the differences in construction from the previous three layer Tri-Fast core below left is what makes the TP5 different.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

As I found out when I interviewed TP5 designer Eric Loper, the five layers enable the ball to behave differently with short irons and driver and it is the higher ball flight combined with lower spin that is generating these performance claims below.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

The higher launch with higher ball speed claims to give a different flight trajectory that relies on a steep landing angle to create stop, but without the excess spin that would cause it to stall at the top of the flight.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

To be fair it is hard to see with the naked eye unless you are an elite player who can hit it consistently, but a lot of the SkyTrak data I got backed this up with an increase in peak height of a yard or so.

The soft cast urethane cover sits above a firmer inner cover and it is this difference in firmness that creates the optimum level of spin. The softer outer cover also gets pushed into the grooves of the irons and wedges which then grip the ball and ensure it comes off with less spin and a higher launch.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

The durability of the cover was about average for the premium ball sector and I liked the fact the visible seam was in the same position relative to the logo every time for lining up for putting.

TaylorMade TP5x Golf Ball

Recent TaylorMade balls have been very stable in the wind and this continues with the TaylorMade TP5. Even though it may be flying higher, it is doing so with less spin so in theory it should hold its line better.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

As with most makes of premium ball there is a softer standard version and a firmer X version. The TP5 is 83 compression and the TP5x is 90 compression and if you were comparing them to a Pro V1 then the feel of the two versions is pretty similar.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

Using SkyTrak I compared the TP5 balls to the pervious Tour Preferred models. With the driver there was very little in it with the softer standard versions of both balls, with the TP5 spinning more and flying higher than the Tour Preferred for me.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

However with the firmer TP5x then the lower spin, higher flight story delivers an extra 4 yards carry than the Tour Preferred X at a fractionally slower swing speed and to be fair it is the X version that TaylorMade has been pushing when doing their competitor comparisons.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

With a 6-iron the picture was the same with the TP5x using that high launch and steeper descent to stop quicker than the Tour Preferred X.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

Due to a technical glitch I have the data, but not the summary screen for the wedge results. However I can tell you that the both balls performed pretty much the same on full shots.

On and around the greens the feel was about the same as the Tour Preferred with the TP5x feeling a little softer than a Pro V1x and the same for the TP5 versus the Pro V1. This means most better players could easily transition into the TP5x without much difference in feel, which is important because this is probably the option to go for from the TP5 range on a strictly numbers basis.

TaylorMade TP5x Golf Ball

If you were unsure if the Tour Preferred could challenge the market leader, then I would say that the TP5x definitely can for better players. If you compare the numbers with the 2017 Titleist Pro V1 review that I gathered on the same day, then it is honours even for the driver with the Pro V1 having the edge on the TP5 and the TP5x sneaking the X ball battle for me.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

However ball selection is more about feel and control and the wedge numbers between the two makes were virtually identical with the softer versions and Pro V1x spinning more and going a yard or two further than the TP5x for me. As ever it is very player dependent, so it is really going to come down what works best performance wise and then provides the control, sound and feel you like when chipping and putting.

The RRP is a couple of pounds cheaper than Pro V1, which in some respect shows TaylorMade's confidence in the TP5 ball, but a greater price difference could have encouraged more people to try it out.

The TP5 is definitely an improvement on the Tour Preferred and will challenge the Pro V1 strongly again, so trying it out is something you should definitely do.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
More from TaylorMade



TaylorMade TP5 2017 Golf Ball - Product Details

UK Launch01 March 2017
UK Launch RRP£49.99
USA Launch03 March 2017
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Women
Ball Construction5-Piece
Ball FeelSoft
Colour OptionsWhite
Quantities3, 12
Manufacturer's WebsiteTaylorMade Website

User Reviews

November 2018

Normally I play the proV1 or the proV1x. I play to a 10 index but feel that in the last year I have lost distance. I bought a sleeve of TP5X balls and fell in love with the feel of the ball off the tee. I could feel the ball compress off the club head and the distance was back. The compression rate is lower than the Pro V and I think that is the difference for me in distance. It took a little time to adjust to the greens as the ball did not travel the same distance while putting. I really like the ball.

steve r
July 2018

I have always played Pro V1 balls. I was given a dozen TP5x and played them for the first time today. Liked the ball from tee to green, Distance and and bite were excellent. I did struggle at the beginning of the round with the putting. The feel with the Odyssey putter was different, the feel seemed soft with many short putts early. After a few holes it got better. It is a different feel and overall I liked the ball.

July 2018

In love again with a golf ball, the TP5 and have written to TaylorMade not to try to change this one moving forward, as I agree with Scott's sentiment, because if it ant broken stop trying to fix it. As back in the day they came out with the "original" five layer ball , the Penta. Then they changed it to the Lethal, which did have similar playing characteristic to the Penta, but then they discontinued them for the Tour Preferred; which was crap and I had to go to another manufacturer = money lost for TaylorMade. So now we are back to the TP5 and as stated before LOVING IT! Great distance and roll with the driver, great feel with the irons and around the green. Like the feel of the TP5 over the TP5X, but both perform well with an average of 1 club to 1 1/2 longer in distance; 7 handicap with a 105 swing speed. So please TaylorMade, leave this series of balls along!

Gary Weiss
June 2018

A loyal Pro V1 user since day #1...72 years old, 8 handicap who can still move the ball about 240-250 (Scottsdale heat) off the tee. However, I found a few TP5s at my club and heard good things about them. I played them and found them exceptional! Great feel and great performance. Sunday, I reached 2 of our par 5's (500 yards) in 2 with two of the best 3 metals I have ever hit; both from about 240 out (off great drives). I have done so before with Titleist but those 2 holes, the feel, the trajectory, the performance; convinced me that the TP5, just may be a better ball...

April 2018

The yardage in your tests confirm my results. I played the Tour Preferred before it became unavailable. I switched to the TP5 and my yardage dropped by 12-15 yards. I was hitting a whole club different or almost a whole club. I hit my 6 iron 180, but was hitting the TP5 about 165 which is my 7 iron. I’ll have to try the TP5x. I hate having to figure out all my yardage’s again. I don’t know why manufactures change their ball designs for us average people. I have never heard one player EVER going just wish they’d make my ball obsolete and make a newer one that really doesn’t play any better for me and just messes up my yardages. I really believe the manufactures lose more people than they gain with this production model.

Ty Webb
April 2018

Wow! What a ball...Shot 70/72 in my Mens Club Master's competition. I used to play the X but this ball has spin and rolls much better on chips. This is the ball for me here on out....thank you TM.

August 2017

I've played all of the premium balls on the market, and the TP 5 is clearly the best ball for my game. It is exceptionally long and straight. 10 to 20 yards longer. It has great feel and spin as well. I strongly recommend trying this ball. The TP 5 is my new go to ball.

Butch 9.3 hcp
July 2017

I played the TP5 for 9 holes and then the 2017 Pro V1 for 9 holes. The TP5 is longer, softer, and easier to control. A superior ball when struck properly.

jeff gubernick
June 2017

Played the TP5x today and found the ball longer and higher with the driver. The irons were easy to compress and actually liked the feel around the greens.

June 2017

Great distance for me, great off my Odyssey putter, but chipping felt a little hard, same with pitches. I hope this doesn't become an issue.

May 2017

I have tried several different balls and decided to play the new Pro V1x. However I could not get the distance with my driver and irons. The TP5x is 15 to 20 yards longer with my driver. Was blown away with the hang time of this ball. I am very pleased with the performance of this ball. Trying to get used to the short game with this ball.

Craig H
May 2017

I'm 51 years old, a not-so-tall 5'7", and I now have a swing speed around 85-90mph.

In the past, I've used the ProV1. For me, it was good around and on the greens, but unforgiving off the tee and fairway (when it was good, it was very good... but when it was bad, it was a doozy). I switched to Titleist DT Solo/Trusoft and had about the same distance and control, but it was more forgiving. A few years ago, I switched to Wilson Staff Duo. I absolutely loved the feel and had a consistent game with it (12 handicap). My driving distance was around 215-220, and if I caught a good one, maybe 240.

Last week, I switched to the TP5x, and oh my! My ball flight was considerably higher than before (I noticed this on the very first drive). My driving distance jumped to around 240, and I had several 250+ in there. They have a little firmer feel on and around the green, but it didn't take me long to get used to it.

I can honestly say that I have a newfound confidence in my game, and if I can eliminate the hiccups, I expect my handicap to drop a stroke or two.

April 2017

With a good drive consistently longer than using Pro V1. TP5x is definitely longer but does scuff up quite easily and does lack a little feel around the greens. As distance is my biggest concern will buy again although price could be more competitive.

April 2017

I am a 4.8 index and a member at LPGA International and played the TP5x today and where I picked up yardage I had a hard time with the ball holding the green. I then switched to a ProV1 and had no trouble holding the green. I liked the ball flight and the extra distance but im not sure if the extra 10 yards is worth the price.

April 2017

When the Bridgestone balls were no longer available I tried all the balls on the market. The Chrome Soft felt awful and was consistently ten yards shorter than everything else, the pro V1x I don't get on with the new version, but I do like the standard Pro V1.

Then I tried the TP5x. Consistently ten yards longer off every club for me. Spins as much as a Pro V and feels great off the putter. Since I switched three other people have tried the ball and also gained distance. Certainly worth a try.

April 2017

Had no feel around the greens, only with mid irons and off the tee.

March 2017

I played with a TP5 today, I normally play Callaway Chrome Soft (play off 9.6). Absolutely no difference in distance, but the biggest noticeable difference was around the greens and putting, it felt like I was hitting a marble. Very Expensive and very disappointing.

March 2017

Picked up 15 to 20 metres with driver.

March 2017

I played with the TP5x today coming from the Bridgestone 330-S. I found that the ball flight was a little higher feel and spin rate to me is identical to the 330 and Pro V1x but one thing that may sway me is the I can lower my ball on the tee which gave me a bit better control off the tee with a higher ball flight. Distances were very similar. Pro's - good ball flight and nice feel . Cons - sill an expensive ball.

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