TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls have been making a splash since their launch a few years ago. And with the new, upgraded version from last year, they appealed to many Tour players such as Rory, Dustin, Jason Day, and their fans, too!
So, if you ever wondered why TaylorMade created two seemingly identical models, this review will point to their distinguishing and mutual features.
There’s plenty of technology integrated into both models that make them some of the most Tour complete TaylorMade golf balls. Yet, there are differences in their design, which leads to performance differences, which we analyze in this article.
Key Features of TP5x
- 5-layer construction
- HFM material
- Tri-Fast core (progressive compression)
- Dual-Spin Cover (softer cast urethane, but firmer than the MP5)
- 322 seamless dimple pattern
- Compression rating of 97 and a soft feel (but firmer than the MP5)
- Piercing ball flight with a high trajectory
- Available in yellow and white color
What do TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x have in common?
When comparing them, nothing indicated that these two models differ in any way, and if it weren’t for the ‘x,’ you’d think that TP5 and TPx are identical golf balls. However, their interior differentiates, leading to different performances outcome.
TaylorMade claims this model is a complete Tour model with superior ball architecture and excellent, all-round performance. If we talk about the level of sophistication and complexity, the 5-layer structure is indicative enough for their advanced design.
The upgrade mentioned above in both models mostly focuses on the 4th layer. This time, this layer is 30% stiffer compared to the previous release. This layer is made from the material called High Flex Modulus (HFM), which delivers maximum speed at impact. It functions like a tightly wound spring that absorbs energy, and then, as you hit the ball, it rebounds it quickly for extra speed.
The two models are not the cheapest Taylormade golf balls, but they feature soft urethane cover with a seamless 322-dimple design that influences the distance-gain; it produces lower drag and helps you launch the ball higher. But, the difference in the firmness of this cast urethane cover is the cause of varied performance on the course.
Difference Between the TaylorMade TP5 and the TP5x?
The main difference is seen in the compression rate and cover softness.
We mentioned above that the 4th layer was the one that was modified. This change allowed TaylorMade to make the core of the ball softer in the TP5x model. Also, it allowed them to alter the compression rates. Plus, the cover was made of different stiffness as well.
The TaylorMade TP5x features an overall high compression rate of 97 and a slightly firmer cast urethane cover that leads to a more piercing ball flight and less spin.
On the other hand, the TP5 has a mid-high compression rate of 85 and a softer cast urethane cover that delivers more workable ball flights, i.e., it provides speed and distance of the tee, and more control on the green.
TaylorMade TP5/TP5x Design
The 5-layer construction of the TP5/TP5x is a clear explanation of why a golf ball is not just a golf ball. The technology-infused design of the TP5/ TP5x integrates a Tri-fast Core (three layers) that reduces drag and increases launch.
As we said, the two models differ in the compression rate of the inner core layers, 25 for the TP5x and 16 for TP5.
Regarding the two outer layers, TaylorMade called the structure Dual-Spin cover, which allows you to reduce the spin in the long game while increasing it and gaining more control in the short game. The contrast of the soft cast urethane and the semi-rigid inner core maximizes the interaction between the club grooves and the cover.
The softness of the cover is where the TP5 and TP5x differ, the former featuring soft cast urethane cover, while the latter a bit firmer cast urethane cover.
The 322 dimple cover in this model features a new protective paint, which makes the two models much more damage-resistant to extreme impacts and less prone to scuffing.
New Speed-Layer System
Golf balls will not change the way you play the game, nor will they have a tremendous impact on your handicap. But, advanced golf balls can help you gain more distance and speed, helping you better deal with slices and fades. The premium ones have the potential to self-correct their flight trajectory and deliver a specific performance type.
To deliver all-round performance is where golf ball manufacturers are putting their efforts, particularly with the tour models. Enhanced ability to perform well in all stages of the game is what you can expect from TaylorMade TP5/TP5x golf balls.
The new Speed-Layer System (compared to the 2017 model) comprises of the four very stiff layers (excluding the outer cover) that generate lots of energy at impact. At impact, this energy releases, producing maximum speed that leads to more yardages.
It is interesting to see how these layers work in harmony to optimize the carry distance and control the ball flight in windy conditions. Wind interference is often an issue among golfers who live in windy areas, so this is a recommended model to tackle the problem.
But the Speed-Layer System is not only workable off the tee. Together with the urethane cover, they deliver enhanced spin and control when using your short irons and wedges.
Feel, Spin, Ball Flight
The most distinguishing feature between the performance of the two models is the feel they deliver. The TP5 is softer than the TP5x, and that’s due to the difference in the cast urethane cover firmness they feature. And this difference becomes more and more pronounces as approach the green.
When using the wedges, short irons, and even the Scotty Cameron putter, the TP5 performs slightly better compared to its sibling, the TP5x, as it has a softer feel. It allows you more control over the pitches and chips with more spin and higher launches.
The TP5x delivers a firmer feel and lower spin and a piercing ball flight. The capacity to generate more speed is proportional to your ability to hit the ball straight, so the better the swing, the more distance gain you can expect.
Yet, the performance on the green is slightly more limited compared to the TP5. What you can expect from it are higher launches, but less spin and, unfortunately, less stopping power compared to the TP5x.
Still, if you have played with the TP5x launched in 2017, you will notice an improvement in the short game performance thanks to the High-Flex Material (the new material we discussed above) combined with the upgraded cast urethane cover.
To sum up, the TP5 is the model that boasts more playability when it comes to all-round performance, particularly in the short game. Yet, the TP5x is the model that low handicappers prefer due to extremely low spin, self-correcting and piercing flight, and Distance gain.
Which model is the best for me?
From the review so far, you probably got the sense of what each model does and where they fit in your golfing style.
The prevailing opinion is that the TP5 model is the one that suits most golfing styles. It is softer and longer, and you can expect a few yardages more. Plus, it is the model that provides better all-round features, with more emphasis on the short game performance.
The TP5x is a firmer ball with an impressive speed that is suitable for high-spinning players with high swing speed.
The TaylorMade TP5/TP5x balls are premium models, designed to stand in the same line with some of the most prominent competitors’ tour balls.
The 2019 upgraded release made them faster, more durable, and better performing in every segment of the game. They would be a great addition to your Travel Golf bag the next time you play.
We can’t say that they have any flaws at all, except for the price which is on the higher end, and which implies that these are not just branded golf balls, but real game-enhancers if you know how to play them.