Michael Fox, TaylorMade Category Director – Golf Ball & Accessories, makes it clear that they are ready for a new focus. After their company came out with the top level TP5 and TP5x product in 2017 following ten years of effort, and added an update in 2019, they are now ready to give their full attention to another level of golf ball.
“It’s allowed us to continue our focus on golf balls, and build on it, and now to start focussing on on providing more performance for other price points, for other golfers and categories as well,” Fox tells us from the confines of his ball laboratory in Carlsbad, California.
He also assures that the golf ball category is now on equal footing for attention within their walls, something that not might have been said less than a decade ago.
This has pushed them in a uncommon direction with their latest mid-level golf ball, the Tour Response and it’s more value-oriented sister product, the Soft Response.
That is most noticeable in the Tour Response where they have stepped up to include a cast urethane cover, something normally only found in premium level balls, simply due to material costs. In the price point (around $44.99 CAD) most products use a Surlyn ionomer cover, generally firmer and not able to grip the club face to help produce as much spin as urethane.
“It’s an industry standard. Urethane makes the best performing product,” Fox asserts. “Every top level tour player has used urethane (covered balls) for decades. Any company that makes a tour ball makes it out of urethane. There is no argument here, you’re not going to talk to another company and ask ‘what’s better? Surlyn or Urethane?’ and have any of them argue. Urethane is just better.”
He adds, “To be able to give you that type of technology, materials, performance, at that lower price is an opportunity for all golfers for all golfers at that price point to get more for less.”
Beyond the cover, the Tour Response relies on a multiple layer design to add speed to the soft outer shell, some of those carried over from the development of the company’s top balls.
The Tour Response weighs in with a compression of just 40 and will be offered in both white and yellow versions as of February 28.
For those looking for a more value-oriented product, the Soft Response, serves those needs with a retail of $29.99 (CAD).
At 35 compression it is even softer than the Tour Response, but uses a U-Shaped dimple pattern to retain distance through greater lift and less drag.
The combination of soft feel and increased launch makes it more suited to average golfers who struggle with distance due to lower clubhead speeds.
To balance the value formula, an Ionomer cover is used in the Soft Response, with three colour options: white, yellow, and matte red,
It, too, will go on sale February 28.