Taylor Made is one of the leading golf equipment and accessory manufacturers on the U.S. market.
Since being founded by golf equipment salesman, Gary Adams, in 1979, Taylor Made has gone on to satisfy and impress golfers all over the world with its incredible range of professional-grade clubs, golf balls, accessories, and apparel.
In this comparative review, we’ll be focusing on two of Taylor Made’s newest and most popular golf balls: the TP5 and the TP5X.
Both of these balls have proven their superiority on the course under the masterful play of professional golfers such as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
However, despite their numerous similarities, these balls have their own unique set of advantages and a couple of key features that differentiate them from one another.
Today, we’ll be weighing up the TP5 and TP5X golf balls against one another, considering their respective advantages and disadvantages. This review will aim to provide you with all the information you need to determine which product is best suited to you.
- 5-layer construction
- Scuff-resistant finish
- 322 dimples for reduced drag
- Dual-spin cover
- Inner core compression rating of 16 enables longer distance shots
- Softer feel
- More workable playability
- Suitable for mid-to-high handicap golfers
- Lower compression may produce too much spin
- Less capable of long-distance shots than the TP5X
- 5-layer construction
- Scuff-resistant finish
- 322 dimples for reduced drag
- Dual-spin cover
- Inner core compression rating of 25 offers greater control
- High trajectory
- More piercing playability
- Well-suited to experienced of professional golfers
- Requires greater force for long-distance shots
- Probably not the best choice for high-handicap golfers
TP5 vs TP5X Buying Guide
Taylor Made designed the TP5 and TP5X golf balls because the company felt there was something missing from the golfing market.
Many professional-grade, high-performing golf balls existed on the market thanks to Taylor Made and other popular golf equipment manufacturers, such as Callaway, Cobra, and Ping.
However, whilst these existing balls indisputably performed incredibly in the right conditions, therein lay the problem: they were, at least partially, dependent on the conditions of play.
Taylor Made wanted to create a game-changing golf ball that could outperform the competition regardless of external conditions such as weather, shot type, and terrain.
So, in 2016, Taylor Made released its new TP5 and TP5X golf balls.
These balls were specially designed to travel over longer distances whilst achieving ideal spin levels and higher trajectories.
Best of all, thanks to their incredible internal and external constructions, the TP5 and TP5X golf balls can be used in any location and for any shot on the course, from the tee to the fairway, and even on the green. They can also perform consistently even in undesirable weather conditions, such as oncoming wind.
Since their intial release in 2016, the TP5 and TP5X have has a couple of upgrades in 2017 and 2019. For the purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on the newest 2019 models, which have been engineered to surpass the expectations set by the previous models.
At A Glance
Just by looking at them anyone but an extremely experienced golfer would probably struggle to tell the TP5 and TP5X apart without looking at the stamp.
Both balls are available in white and yellow, and both have HFM (High Flex Material) urethane covers.
However, we all know not to judge a book by its cover, so let’s delve a little deeper into the construction and playability of the TP5 and TP5X.
The internal construction of the TP5 and TP5X golf balls is very similar across both designs.
Both the TP5 and TP5X have a 5-layer construction, which is part of what makes these balls so performance-enhancing.
This internal construction consists of 5 layers including the cover.
The Tri-Fast core at the center of both balls is designed to enhance ball speed. The same type of core is used across both designs, but the compression ratings differ: the TP5 has a compression of 16, while the TP5X has a compression of 25.
The compression rating of a golf ball indicates, in essence, how easily the ball can be ‘compressed’.
A lower compression rating usually means a ball will be easier to hit over long distances with a less powerful swing. Balls with higher compression ratings tend to require more force to travel long distances but have the added advantage of allowing the player more control.
Therefore, whilst both the TP5 and TP5X should be very distance-friendly, the TP5X is likely to enable slightly more controlled shots, and will therefore be better suited to professional or low-handicap golfers.
Other than the compression differences in their cores, the internal construction of the TP5 and TP5X are the same.
The layers increase in stiffness from the center outwards, so the outer core is stiffer than the inner core, and the mantle, in turn, is stiffer than the outer core.
What this means is that the energy transfer from the clubface increases in speed as it travels through the layers. This is what makes both the TP5 and TP5X so high-performing over long distances.
The external cover construction is where the main differences between the TP5 and TP5X become apparent.
The Dual-Spin cover featured on both the TP5 and TP5X actually consists of two layers: the inner cover and the outer cover.
The TP inner cover is more rigid than the outer cover, which is made of soft cast urethane.
These covers complement each other to provide multi-layer spin performance. The inner cover retains its structure during the moment of impact, pushing the softer outer cover into the clubface grooves. This helps to add both spin and loft to the resultant shot.
The outer cover is what differentiates the TP5 from the TP5X in terms of external structure.
The TP5 has an outer cover stiffness rating of .020”, while the TP5X’s outer cover has a stiffness of .040”.
Therefore, the TP5X has a slightly stiffer outer cover than the TP5. This means that less spin will be generated, resulting in increased distance shots, especially in the hands of experienced or low-handicap players.
Many non-golfers (and even a fair number of regular players) don’t realize the importance of the dimpling on a golf ball’s surface. In fact, ‘why do golf balls have dimples?’ is a very frequently asked question with many informational articles online dedicated to it.
However, the dimpling that can be observed and felt on the outer cover of a golf ball is crucial to determining its performance.
If you’re not a golf ball connoisseur, you might be wondering how such tiny indents on a ball’s surface can make such a significant difference to its performance. However, the science behind golf ball construction indicates that both the number and depth of dimples on a golf ball are crucial factors in terms of drag and lift.
During flight, dimpling helps air to interact more closely with the surface of the ball. They allow air to travel around to the back of the ball, increasing the pressure behind the ball, which would be extremely low on a smooth ball. The increased pressure behind the ball help it to travel
The average golf ball will usually have anywhere between 300 and 500 dimples on its cover. The average dimple depth, meanwhile, is a minuscule 0.010 inches.
Both the TP5 and TP5X have a total of 322 dimples on their covers. This dimple count strikes an ideal balance. The number is high enough to ensure lower drag and increased lift, both of which help to improve aerodynamic motion.
However, the dimple count is also low enough to ensure that the combined lift provided by the ball’s spin and dimples isn’t too much and that the trajectory isn’t too high as a result.
The last thing to mention about the exterior of the TP5 and TP5X golf balls is the newly developed paint used on both balls by Taylor Made.
The 2019 models of both of these balls are finished with a specially developed, scuff-resistant paint.
Scuffing and scratching on the surface of a golf ball doesn’t just reduce the aesthetic appeal of your ball; it can actually impact its performance. A scuff will increase the drag on the affected part of the ball, meaning that the aerodynamics of your ball will be uneven, leading to inaccurate shots.
Therefore, the paint used on both the TP5 and TP5X golf balls ensures product durability and consistency of play.
So, what does all this mean for the respective playabilities of the TP5 and TP5X?
The TP5 is advertised on Taylor Made’s website as having ‘workable’ playability, while the TP5X’s playability is described as ‘piercing’.
‘Workability’, in golf ball terms, is the extent to which a ball can be affected and manipulated by the club and the player. This is in line with what we know about the TP5’s construction: its low compression rating and more malleable outer cover mean that it picks up distance and spin more easily than the TP5X.
Meanwhile, the ‘piercing’ playability rating of the TP5X is a reference to the high, yet direct trajectory enabled by its construction.
Feel is an extremely important contributing factor in the performance of golf equipment.
In terms of golf balls, the feel is an indication of how ‘soft’ or ‘firm’ the ball feels on impact with the clubface.
Both the TP5 and TP5X have a soft feel due to their low compression ratings. However, the TP5 is slightly softer than the TP5X because its compression rating is lower.
The increased softness of the TP5 is another feature that makes it ideal for mid-to-high handicappers because it helps to retain ball speed, even on mishits.
Similarities and Differences
As we mentioned earlier, and as our breakdown of the respective features of the TP5 and TP5X have demonstrated, these golf balls have several similarities, as well as a few key features where they differ in important ways.
Before we move on to our final overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the TP5 and TP5X, we thought a quick recap of these similarities and differences would be helpful.
Beyond their nearly identical exteriors, the key similarities between the TP5 and TP5X are that they both use five-layer construction and have equal numbers of dimples on their surfaces.
This means that both balls enable superior levels of control, as well as reduced drag and increased lift for improved dynamic motion.
Additionally, both the TP5 and TP5X use the same scuff-resistant paint for durability and consistency.
The main differences between the TP5 and TP5X are compressibility, trajectory, and feel.
The TP5 is more compressible and has a softer feel than the TP5X due to its lower compression rating and softer outer cover. The TP5 also has more of a mid-range trajectory.
Meanwhile, the TP5X has a slightly stiffer feel, is less compressible, and can achieve higher trajectories.
Overall, the TP5X is likely to be better suited to the play of a more experienced or professional player with a higher swing speed, while the TP5 will help to improve the play of a mid-to-high handicap golfer.
Ultimately, Taylor Made’s TP5 and TP5X are both incredible golf balls - a fact which is testified to by some highly successful professional golfers.
Both the TP5 and TP5X are high-performing, durable, and consistency-oriented golf balls, designed for lower drag and longer distances.
Despite looking identical and comprising many of the same features, however, the TP5 and TP5X are two different golf balls, the properties of which make them individually suited to different styles and levels of play.
The TP5 is more workable than the TP5X, meaning it is better suited to mid and high-handicap players.
This ball’s exterior malleability, contributed by its softer urethane cover, means that it generates spin easier, helping higher handicap players to achieve a better and more consistent loft.
Additionally, the TP5’s more compressible inner core allows for better long-distance shots and will suit those with slower swing speeds.
The TP5X, meanwhile, will suit experienced and lower handicap golfers best due to its reduced spin and higher trajectory, which make it an extremely powerful ball.
Additionally, its higher compressibility rating means that it will be better suited to faster swing speeds when accuracy and distance are required.
Overall, our comparison of Taylor Made’s TP5 and TP5X golf balls suggests that one is not necessarily ‘better’ than the other.
Rather, the subtle design and construction differences between these balls mean that Taylor Made has a ball to cater to every golfer’s needs, regardless of experience, swing speed, or handicap.