TaylorMade introduced both balls to the market in 2017, essentially to compete with the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x, and the manufacturer had instant success with both if you take into account the men’s PGA Tour and the current world rankings.
Dustin Johnston, ranked number one in the world, plays a TP5x. He appeared as if he was going to take the golf world by storm in 2017 until the unfortunate fall he had the night before the Masters, which forced him to withdraw. It took him several months to rebound, but he did. Young Spaniard Jon Rahm, who had a breakout year and is ranked No. 5, plays a TP5, as does veteran Justin Rose, perennially one of the best on the Tour and ranked No. 6. Rory McIlroy, ranked No. 10, plays a TP5x.
Sergio Garcia, who won the Masters to finally win a Major that had eluded him for so long, plays a TP5. Jason Day, ranked No. 12, plays a TP5x.
According to the literature produced by TaylorMade when it unveiled the balls in December, 2016, the TP5 and TP5x feature a Tri-Fast Core and Dual-Spin Cover that combine for a 5-layer golf ball construction that is specifically engineered to perform with every club in your bag. The unique 3-layer core system in TP5 and TP5x features progressive compression, enabling maximum energy transfer and generating massive speed on full shots. The contrast of an ultra-soft cast urethane cover and a semi-rigid inner-cover creates maximum interaction between the cover and club grooves, resulting in exceptional spin performance with full wedge shots and pinpoint control from around the green.
To gain a deeper understanding of the difference between the two balls, I checked out the video put out by PGA Golf Pro Rick Shiels. He not only tests the balls using different clubs, he actually cuts them open to inspect them. I recommend looking at his videos because they are both scientific and entertaining – if you really want to understand balls and how they react.
“Visually I like the golf balls. It looks like a very polished golf ball,” Shiels said.
Beginning with putting and starting with the TP5, he described it as “soft, but weirdly springy.” He found it to have kind of a “bouncy ball” effect. With the chip shots and the pitching, he found it “very soft” with a high spin. Insofar as the TP5x, he found it to be “soft” with a “clicky” sound when putting. He also found that the ball had the “clicky” sound with chip shots and a similar high spin. He said he preferred the softer feel from the TP5.
He then applied data to both. From 100 yards out to the green, he tried five shots each with the same ball and took the best three. He used a TaylorMade Spin Grind Wedge and found the spin to be very different between both balls. The TP5 was spinning 12,500 revolutions per minute, which he said is “super high.” He said he received more height from the TP5 than the TP5x, which had slightly less than 12,000 RPM.
Using a PING i200 7 iron, he found both balls had similar readings. TP5 had a spin reading of 6,000 RPM, which he did not consider high for a 7 iron. He said the RPM was even less with the TP5x. He said the ball speed was almost identical for both.
|TaylorMade TP5||TaylorMade TP5x|
With a driver, he found the ball speed was greater for the TP5x, which he equated to a shot that travelled about seven yards longer.
In terms of durability, he was incredibly impressed because there was virtually no scuffing.
He opened up both and was impressed by what he saw.
Overall, he said he is a massive fan of the TP5. He said what may be sacrificed in the longer distance off the tee with the driver and the spin with the 7 iron is made up with ultimate control around the green. He said while the TP5x produced faster speed off of the driver and decent spin, it was not enough for him to warrant using it over the TP5.
“I’m a massive fan of both,” he concluded. “I think TaylorMade have come to the golf ball market with a serious ball.”