The premium line of TaylorMade golf balls will continue to be the TP5 & TP5x but the company claims the use of a new material within their layering makes them even faster than previous models.
Traditionalist arguing over the golf ball on social media may not be happy but that should make the majority of golfers elated at the prospect of “free” yardage.
TaylorMade has been swimming in the 5-layer golf ball realm since the 2009 Penta TP model but introduction of the TP5 in 2017 really drew the attention of core golfers.
The 2019 versions build on that legacy of a golf ball designed for Tour level play but with plenty of yardage benefits by adding a new High-Flex Material (HFM).
Mike Fox, Category Director, Golf Balls & Accessories, TaylorMade, expounded on what led them to the new variation in an interview with Flagstick.com.
“A Pretty Radical Product”
“When we created the TP5 and TPx two years ago it was a pretty radical product for the marketplace at the time”, says Mike Fox, Category Director, Golf Balls & Accessories, TaylorMade, referring to the spin of the ball achieved off the irons as well as drag on the ball. Each factor impacts the potential distance of iron shots and that was what the company set their sights on.
“We dropped the iron spin on our product by about 800 rpms,” he shares, citing the move to a different core compilation as the key to helping golfers gain about a half club in yardage with that product.
The company claims they were able to do so while maintaining soft feel and spin on short game shots. As such, when they looked to advance their top golf balls for this year they decided to retain all that but target speed as they area where they could offer improvements.
Most companies create a faster ball by making it firmer, thus sacrificing feel and spin.
Fox says that when you often try to make a golf ball faster that is already fast, durability can also be compromised.
They wanted to retain feel, spin and durability.
“We’ve spent the last four years developing this material called HFM. With HFM what was really special was that we were able to pick up this speed and actually meet our durability standard. That was actually the most difficult part,” says Fox.
The secret to HFM is that is has a high rebound characteristic yet it flexes at high speeds, according to the ball guru. Other materials will often just break down in the same situation.
“HFM is the fastest material we have ever put in a golf ball. What’s great about it is we were able to use this material and not sacrifice any spin.”
In working with the HFM material, Fox relates that they were able to make adjustments within the other four layers to accommodates its’ characteristics, all part their new “Speed-Layer System”.
And the reaction of the tour staffers who use TP5 and TP5X who are notoriously picky about a ball change as they often see flight and feel compromised in a chase for distance?
According to Fox some like John Rahm said the only difference they saw was extra yardage, thus they did not need to spend extra time making other adjustments. With layers staying the same thickness and spin rates being consistent, the launch windows don’t vary from the previous products, the balls just move faster.
And the speed gains with this ball are coming for all golfers, according to the company,
They assert that in recent testing Rahm, who averages 177-179 MPH of balls speed with the driver, was averaging in the 182.5 range. Gains were also claimed with players at slow, medium swing speeds.
Additional features of the new balls include a Tri-Fast Core consisting of an extra-large, low-compression inner core (16 compression in TP5 & 25 compression in TP5x) and a progressively stiffer outer core and mantle. They match up with a “Dual-Spin Cover” highlighted by a soft cast urethane cover and an inner core that is 30% more rigid.
The urethane cover has a new formulation that has increased durability and the same can be said for a new paint formulation.
Which Ball To Play?
TaylorMade says choosing between the TP5 and TPx is not a matter of distance compromise off the tee but a choice about feel, spin around the green, and iron trajectory.
The softer TP5 (just 85 compression) produces more spin around the green with a softer feel and lower iron ball flight. The TP5X (97 compression) flies higher off the irons and is firmer feeling on short shots.
TaylorMade says staffers Rory McIlroy and Beau Hossler will likely adopt the new TP5 while the TP5X model should be the choice of Jason Day, John Rahm, and Dustin Johnson.
Both the TP5 and TPx will arrive at retail in Canada on February 15th and have a suggested price of $59.99.