When Rickie Fowler endorses something, you know it is going to be worth checking out.
TaylorMade’s latest additions to its tour-class golf ball family have brought a wave of excitement in the world of golf.
If you are a high to mid-level handicapper looking to move into the elite group of golfers, then TP5 and TP5x might be just what you need. But the main question is, which one is better? TP5 vs TP5x: which one takes the edge?
The TP5 family is targeted towards serious golfers who wish to fine-tune their game. It provides tour-level performance and is meant to deliver better distance with greater control.
The two products seem very similar at first glance, but there are subtle differences that set them apart. To any seasoned golfer, such differences are important.
Therefore, in this article, we shall compare these two balls and deliver a verdict on which one is best suited for whom.
Quick Overview – Taylormade TP5 Vs TP5x?
- TaylorMade TP5: TP5 is a high-spin, high-control ball with a soft feel. Such features make it a valuable weapon in a golfer’s arsenal, especially around the greens. The urethane outer cover has a soft cast and a Dual-Spin feature that promotes air contact with dimples, leading to higher spin.
- TaylorMade TP5x: TP5x has a higher speed, more piercing ability, and longer coverage than its sister ball. It is designed to cover the extra yards, especially during driver shots. It features a High-Flex material that absorbs the energy of the hit and releases it during the motion to boost speed.
Differences Between TP5 and TP5x?
Both balls are part of the same family/series. There are considerable similarities between them. Their outlook and their construction philosophy are identical. However, there are differences that lead to distinct results. One yields more distance, while the other offers more spin. In the following table, all such differences have been highlighted.
While the table clearly shows there are differences, you would notice that both of these balls belong in a similar category. The features aren’t drastically different. Both have great speeds, but the difference between TP5 and TP5x is that the latter offers a bit more velocity. Both balls are designed to provide high spin, but the TP5 takes the lead in that.
These two versions aren’t supposed to compete with each other. Both have very similar prices, so that is not a distinguishing factor. Even their packaging looks very similar, with the text being almost identical.
Therefore, despite their minor differences, the aim of both of these golf balls is to give mid-handicappers an edge to improve their games. Each of them does it in its own slightly unique way.
1 Breaking Down Taylormade TP5
As mentioned before, TP5 mildly prefers spin and control over distance and speed. In the following few paragraphs we will analyze some of its features and discuss their impact on its performance. We will review its construction and design qualities and see how they yield their unique features.
If you were wondering what the number 5 in the ball’s name stands for, then you finally have your answer. The number 5 refers to the layers of material used in the construction of the ball. This is very unique because golf balls usually feature 2 to 3 layers of material.
However, TaylorMade’s groundbreaking choice of 5 layers has enabled this ball to be the all-rounder that it is.
Indeed, normally it would be impossible to achieve better speed without damaging spin performance. Such a feat is only made possible due to TaylorMade’s proprietary 5-layer ball construction.
It is comprised of four layers of increasingly stiff material, wrapped in a Dual-Spin urethane cover that is durable and soft.
The core layers are made up of a unique material known as HFM. HFM stands for High-Flex Material and it makes the ball act like a stiff spring. When the ball is hit, the compression energy is stored in the material and then released once the ball is traveling. This adds to the speed of the ball, thus contributing to the distance traveled.
This combination of materials offers a complete tee-to-green performance package.
As it has been mentioned before, TP5 is a high spin ball. For the same swing or shot, TP5 will have a higher rpm value than the TP5x. When using wedges, the rpm value can go up to 12537. Higher spin is beneficial for the ball in several ways. It is good for controlled lofted shots as the ball keeps on spinning, thus introducing some moderation in the distance traveled.
When using the ball around the greens, the high spin can help keep the ball under control. Control is the most important factor around the greens. Therefore, using TP5 will allow golf players to be able to read the greens much better.
TP5 is designed to be a soft ball. A soft ball also provides better control around the greens. This is because a soft ball will brace the impact nicely and not shoot off like a hard ball. Therefore, while putting, soft balls perform the best. TP5 has a compression rating of 87, which definitely makes it one of the softer options in the market.
Indeed, some golfers go for a soft ball just because they prefer the muffled thud sound over a hard, clunky sound. As any expert would tell you, golf has a lot to do with player comfort. The more comfortable you are with your shots, the better your performance. Having a ball with the preferred sound certainly helps the golfers think clearly about their shots.
One unique thing about TP5 is that its soft feel contributes to better control in more than one way. The soft cast urethane Dual-Spin outer cover of the ball has a special feature – it enhances the way air interacts with the dimples, thus allowing the ball to spin more.
Speed and Distance
We have discussed briefly that TP5x is a better ball when it comes to velocity and distance traveled. However, it should be kept in mind that it does not mean that TP5 is not fast or does not provide good length. It does, but it sacrifices those features a little bit to provide control. That is why experts consider it more ‘workable’ than ‘piercing’.
To really test a ball’s speed and distance capabilities, one has to play it with a driver club. Off a driver, the TP5 can attain a speed of up to 157 miles per hour while covering around 281 yards. Those are impressive figures, but as you’ll see later on, TP5x is even better.
Altitude and Launch
Both the TP5 balls are designed to provide decent launches off the tee and off the irons. After conducting several tests, it can be seen that TP5 has a more moderate launch angle as compared to TP5x. However, due to the high spin, TP5 manages to attain a very high altitude.
As we will later analyze, TP5’s height takes an edge over TP5x’s height.
This is another feature that contributes to TP5’s renowned controlling ability. The higher the ball goes, the steeper will be its descent. A steep descent leads to a more controlled landing. If the descent is not steep, the ball rolls off more, and there is a higher chance it will overshoot.
Pros and Cons
TP5 is a good all-rounder ball that caters to almost every aspect of golf. It packs a lot of features, but it is not without its faults. Generally speaking, it is not a very specialized ball. For instance, it might provide good control around the greens, but it will not be as advanced as Pro V1. We have summarized the pros and cons of the ball in the following table.
- Its high-spin feature gives the golfer a higher control around the greens.
- This control is enhanced by its softness, which can further assist the golfer in the short game.
- It is a high-altitude ball that leads to smooth landings that do not overshoot.
- It has high durability.
- There is a slight compromise on distance and speed for the sake of other features.
- It is not very easy on the wallet.
2 Breaking Down Taylormade TP5x
In our experience with golf, there are always two types of players: distance mongers and control freaks. In an ideal world, we could have both our desired distance and control. However, such a world would not follow the laws of physics. Therefore, golfers often have to choose one or the other based on their strengths and weaknesses.
Golf balls are seeming all the same. The manufacturer has to make the call on what type of features does it want the golf ball to have.
Mind you, a manufacturer will never clearly state that its ball is good in one field and lacking in another. Just like a car salesman would not tell you if a model has poor handling, even if it has great acceleration.
Every manufacturer will claim that their balls provide everything from better control to greater distances. However, by reading reviews like these, you can truly see what the distinct upsides and downsides are of using a particular golf ball.
For instance, when using TP5x, you will get quality speed and distance coverage. In the next few paragraphs, we will go over some of its features in detail and see what makes it a valuable member of the TaylorMade family.
For the most part, the construction of TP5x is very similar to the construction of TP5. Both have 5 layers, four of which are progressively stiffer HFM material and the fifth one is a Dual-Spin outer urethane cover. TaylorMade calls this core technology the ‘Tri-Fast Core’. Due to its unique stiffness progression, it allows the ball to have great coverage and minimum drag.
Of course, the TP5x’s construction has to be slightly different in order to make certain features pop up more than others. The individual thickness of the Tri-Fast core and the stiffness level of each HFM layer is different in TP5x as compared to TP5. Such differences result in the ball behaving more like a stiff spring, which adds to the momentum of the ball while traveling.
Furthermore, it should be noted that according to the laws of physics, a bigger core leads to larger distances. A higher amount of mass results in greater inertia, which increases the distance a ball can travel before being stopped. Therefore, TP5x employs a thicker core than TP5, resulting in more coverage.
The TP5x golf ball has been purposefully designed to have a low spin. A low spin ball has a higher piercing ability. A high spin ball plays with the air more, while a low spin ball carries forward with momentum.
It should be kept in mind that by design, TaylorMade has intended for both balls to have high spin. It is just that TP5x has a relatively lower spin. The advantage of lower spin is that the ball can cut through the air better.
The disadvantage is that it deprives the golfer of some finesse. The person playing will find it harder to control the ball during a short game.
Without sounding like a broken record, we must state that TaylorMade has designed both of these balls to have a soft feel. On its website and in the promotional videos, the company advertises both of them as having a soft, urethane outer cover.
However, it is hard for distance balls to be softer beyond a certain level. As such, TP5x has a compression rating of 97, which makes it more in the league of hard balls. This can be felt especially when playing around the greens. Whether one is putting or chipping, the clunky sound of the ball is very indicative of its hardness.
Speed and Distance
This is the department in which TP5x really shines. Its Tri-Fast Core has been designed with extra care, so it is able to get those few extra yards. In fact, off the driver, it gets more than just a few extra yards.
While these readings differ from player to player, TP5x has been found to average around 290 yards off the tee. The same goes for speed; this particular golf ball can achieve around 165 mph, which is a fairly impressive speed.
As mentioned before, the low spin contributes to such impressive distances. Therefore, experts have classified this golf ball as ‘piercing’.
Altitude and Launch
In a true high-distance ball fashion, TP5x does not attain as much height as its sister golf ball. If you have been following along, you would have already realized the reason for that. By not attaining a very high altitude, TP5x manages to attain a landing path with a low gradient.
This ensures that the ball will have the maximum possible amount of roll-off before it comes to a halt. This moderate altitude is made possible by TP5x’s low spin which pushes the ball to go forward instead of higher.
However, it should be noted that due to its material composition, TP5x has a higher launch angle than TP5.
Pros and Cons
Like its sister ball, TP5x is designed to be an overall performance booster. It does certain jobs better than the others, and it can help any midlevel handicapper improve their game. However, it is not the best ball in any category. For instance, it might provide great length, but it will not be as well as Titleist Velocity, which is designed for distance.
- TP5x provides some of the most unprecedented figures in distance and speed.
- The low spin and the moderate altitude further contribute to the distance traveled by the ball.
- Highly durable. Minimal scuffing even after prolonged usage.
- Lack of control around the greens.
- Huge price tag.
Taylormade TP5 Vs TP5x Golf Balls: FAQs
You just had a lot of information chucked at you. You must be feeling overwhelmed. Buying a new golf ball can be a difficult process. On the surface, it seems as if it should be an easy decision as they all look the same.
However, we now know how many different factors one has to consider before making a purchase. It is okay to feel confused and ask questions to further clarify the process. Below is a list of questions that others have asked most frequently.
✅ Which Ball Spins More: TP5 or TP5x?
TP5 has a higher spin than TP5x, thus providing the former with better control around the greens.
✅ What Is the Compression of a TP5?
TP5 has a compression of 87, while TP5x has a compression rating of 97. Generally, both are considered in medium-soft range, but clearly, TP5 is softer as compared to TP5x.
✅ What Is the Best Taylormade Golf Ball?
There is no such thing as a universally best golf ball. Depending on your playing style and proficiency level, you would have a different golf ball best suited to you. TaylorMade has a lot of other offerings outside the TP series as well. For instance, if you value feel above everything else, then you should go for the TaylorMade Project (a). It is a very soft golf ball with a compression rating of 70.
✅ What Color Options Does TP5 Come In?
Unfortunately, both the TP5 and TP5x come in the standard white color only.
✅ Can I Personalize/customize This Ball?
Unlike some brands, such as Titleist’s AVX, TaylorMade does not offer any customization option for its TP5 series.
So, what’s the verdict? Which one is better? TP5 or TP5x? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. We have already mentioned this a few times above, but it all depends on the golfer’s preferences. If you go online and look for reviews of these balls, you would find a range of results. Some golfers say that they prefer the softer feel of TP5. Other golfers seemed happy about the distance TP5x was providing them with.
Of course, comparing TaylorMade TP5 vs TP5x is a bit different than an average golf ball comparison. These two balls share a lot of similarities, as they both have very identical constructions. Indeed, to an untrained eye, it is almost impossible to spot a TaylorMade TP5 vs. TP5x difference. The company markets both of them as soft, high-distance balls with great control around the greens.
However, as we analyzed above, TP5x has a more click-like sound than TP5, especially when played around the greens. This indicates TP5 as a softer option. Interestingly, the differences in spin are barely noticeable in the short game.
It is only when you swing with a wedge or driver, do the differences in spin become prominent. Indeed, when hit off the tee, TP5 can have a spin 900 rpm higher than TP5x. However, when swing using 7-irons, the difference drops down to only 300.
On the other hand, TP5x can cover an average of 290 yards off the driver, whereas TP5 covers only 281.
While both of these balls have individual disadvantages with respect to one another, there are a few things that are lacking in both balls. First of all, both TP5 and TP5x are only mildly soft. For a product advertised as having a soft feel, their compression rating should be lower.
Secondly, all the major brands offer their golf balls in different colors nowadays, but these balls only come in white. Thirdly, TaylorMade should really introduce an option to personalize the ball, so enthusiastic golfers can have a connection with their balls.
However, if we have to pick a winner of TP5 vs TP5x, we would go for TaylorMade TP5. Distance is a trait that can be improved through other ways as well. By working on your angles and swing strengths, your length can be enhanced. However, control is something much more difficult to master. Therefore, if an average handicapper needs improvement, it would most likely be in the short game around greens. Therefore, TP5 would be a better choice for most mid-level players.
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Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API