Time to see how the TP5 vs TP5X golf balls compare…
TaylorMade first launched their version(s) in 2016 and upgraded in 2019. TaylorMade Tp5 range compares well against other premium branded golf balls.
At first glance, the TP5 and TP5x look identical but the differences lie in the cover and the inner core of the balls.
Commonalities between TP5’s and TP5X’s
Since the original release in 2016, the TP5 / TP5x has grown tremendously in popularity and is being used by the top players within the TaylorMade stable such as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and others.
Professional golfers and casual players have taken to the features of the TP5 range and have found that they surpass the features and benefits in TaylorMade’s Tour Pro line.
Although identical in appearance the variance lies in the cover and core that leads to distinct performances outcome.
TaylorMade claims this model is a complete Tour model with superior ball architecture and excellent, all-round performance.
The TP5 and TP5x have the following attributes in common.
- Five layers of construction
- High Flex Modulus (HFM) material
- Tri-Fast core (progressive compression)
- Speed layer system
- Dual-spin soft cast urethane cover
- 322 seamless dimple pattern
- Available in yellow and white color
If we talk about the level of sophistication and complexity, the 5-layer structure is indicative enough for their advanced design.
TaylorMade TP5/x are some of the exceptionally few 5-layered golf balls available at this stage.
It consists of three core layers forming the Tri-fast Core for reduced drag and increased launch.
Encasing the triple-core is the two Dual-Spin outer layers. The outer layers reduce spin in the long game while increasing spin for increased control in your 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.
High Flex Modulus material
The release of the TP5/x in 2019 brought along a stiffening of the fourth layer by 30%.
To enable this TaylorMade used a material that has not been used in golf ball manufacturing before. The fourth layer is made from the material called High Flex Modulus (HFM) which delivers maximum speed at impact.
The HFM wraps the core and then functions like a tightly wound spring that absorbs energy, and rebounds at contact for enhanced speed and distance.
Although the balls appear identical, the difference in the firmness of this cast urethane cover produces distinct performance differences.
The Tri-Fast Core consists of an extremely low compression inner core that progressively stiffens towards the outer core and mantle.
TP5 starts with an inner core compression rate of sixteen and increases up to eighty-seven in the outer core while the TP5x starts with an inner core compression rate of twenty-five and increases up to 97 (up from 90 in the pre-2019 model) in the outer core.
This progressive stiffening is what makes the Tri-Fast Core so exceptional.
The energy transfer from the clubhead to the core results in the core rebounding to deliver phenomenal distance on full shots.
The low compression inner core reduces spin, and the surrounding two layers of stiffer and more resilient rubber materials provide speed. The combination of lower spin and increased speed results in the increased distance in the longer clubs.
New Speed-Layer System
Advanced golf balls can assist you in distance and speed gain, while the reduction in spin will aid you in dealing with the dreaded slice.
The Tri-fast core and HFM fourth layer combine to make up the new speed-layer system in the 2019 release of the TP5 range. This generates heaps of energy at impact for even more distance.
Not only does it increase the distance but makes the ball much more playable in windy conditions.
In addition to assisting in windy conditions off the tee, the Speed-Layer System together with the urethane cover delivers enhanced spin and control with your short irons and wedges.
Dual-spin urethane cover
Both versions of the TP5 have an outer urethane cover with a seamless 322-dimple design for increased distance.
Different stiffness and thickness in the outer urethane cover have a significant impact on the ball flight and spin rate.
The TP5 golf ball has a soft cast urethane cover, and the TP5X has a slightly stiffer cast urethane cover.
The TP5 has a .040″ cast urethane cover thickness and a compression rating of 87 while the TP5X has a .020″ cast urethane cover thickness with a compression rating of ninety-seven.
A stiffer urethane cover with a higher compression allows for more speed, a piercing ball flight, and a high trajectory in the TP5x. This makes the TP5x the longer of the two.
Both golf balls produce maximum spin on long and short shots with the TP5 producing slightly more spin off the softer compression and softer urethane cover on wedge shots and around the green.
Driving and Long Game
The higher compression combined with the lower spin rate gives the TP5x an advantage in the distance category.
A high compression rating of ninety-seven on the TP5x makes it ideal for golfers with a high driver swing speed around 110mph or higher.
The lower sidespin and backspin rate are unlikely to produce a wild slice and will keep your drives closer to the short grass.
Furthermore, the TP5x has more of a piercing ball flight and TaylorMade claims that it has a higher ball flight than the TP5. The piercing ball flight provides you with more control in windy conditions.
Around the green
TP5 feel is noticeably softer compared to the TP5x due to the softer outer urethane cover. This becomes more evident as you approach the green.
Additional spin generated on the TP5 makes offers it better performance around the green for golfers that play with feel.
The TP5x with its harder urethane cover is less likely to stop rapidly on short chips and pitches especially on fast greens.
It’s not that you cannot stop the TP5x, it is just slightly more difficult to stop than the TP5.
However, on full pitch shots, the TP5 is more likely to spin back and off the green than the TP5x.
Putting is very subjective and depends on your preference for the feel of the ball. The softer outer core on the TP5 will produce a soft feel of the putter face while the TP5x will come of the face slightly firmer.
TaylorMade has developed two excellent golf balls in the TP5/x with a high acceptance rate since its release in 2016.
Loads of technology have been built into the TP5/x ensuring that it delivers on a variety of fronts.
So, who did TaylorMade have in mind when designing these golf balls?
All levels of golfers will benefit from using either of the golf balls depending on their preferences and swing style.
Top professional golfers are using the TP5/x on tour with immense success. It is also said that some of the professional golfers like Rory McIlroy use the TP5 on tour and the TP5x in his long drive exploits.
Even average players can play with the TP5 and TP5x golf balls with success.
The predominant belief is that the TP5 model is the one that suits most golfing styles due to its all-round features and emphasis on the short game performance.
The TP5x is the firmer option with an impressive speed that is suitable for high-spinning players with high swing speed. The higher compression, tighter core, makes the TP5x the preferred option for golfers with a faster swing speed
Which one should I use?
That depends on your swing speed, spin rate, and feel preference. Your swing will dictate whether you need the TP5 or the TP5x.
The TaylorMade TP5 ball is a great alternative for the ever-popular Titleist Pro V1. The lower compression will suit you if you have a driver swing speed around 100-110.
If you are getting the driver up to around 110+ mph and require less spin, the TP5x is your partner. If not, you will lose distance compared to the TP5.
The TaylorMade TP5/TP5x balls are similar in appearance and performance. However, to get the maximum benefit from either your swing type or spin requirements must be matched to the ball you select.
The 2019 upgraded made great strides in making the TP5/x faster, more durable, and better performing in every part of your game.
The best feature of these golf balls is that they deliver.
The softer TP5 will provide more feel on and around the greens but faster swing speeds will struggle to control the spin.
A firmer TP5x will generate less spin and suit fast swing speeds.
If you want less spin and more distance, however slight it may be, the TP5x is your partner. More control around the greens and greater stopping power? Partner with the TP5.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.