TaylorMade TP5x Review – Who Is This Golf Ball Ideal For?
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on September 6, 2023

The TP5x is built for low driver spin, rapid ball speed, and increased wedge spin for greater spin control.

In this post, I conduct an honest review of TaylorMade TP5x golf balls and explain why they didn’t suit my moderate swing speed.

After reading through my review, you’ll be well versed in the features of this 5-piece golf ball and understand why it best suits high swing speeds. I’ll also discuss its premium price tag and offer alternative constructions from TaylorMade.

taylormade tp5x 1

Features

Five-Piece Ball

Like the TP5, the TP5x consists of 5 layers that optimize its performance from tee to green. A stiff expanded core and 3-piece HFM Speed Layer limits energy transfer assistance on long shots. This suits higher swing-speed players but isn’t suitable for slow or moderate swing speeds requiring additional speed off the clubface.

The final piece is a Soft Tough Urethane cover built to soften the feel and increase spin around the green.

Expanded Core

The Expanded Core is the driving force behind the TP5x and is designed to preserve and release energy at the optimal moment. I didn’t generate the degree of spring I initially anticipated. However, I put that down to my clubhead speed and ball striking. I ultimately struggled to produce desirable ball speed on long shots.

In my experience, players swinging a driver over 97 mph will enjoy enhanced long-game ball speed and spin consistency.

HFM Speed Layer

The HFM or High Flex Material Speed Layer consists of 3 stiff pieces, working to limit spin and boost ball speed. I received limited assistance from the HFM at impact, highlighted by my dismal ball speed metrics. Again, my swing speed is the culprit rather than the golf ball.

Moderate or slow swinging mid handicappers may consider an alternative, like the higher springing TaylorMade Tour Response.

Soft Tough Urethane

I liked the Soft Tough Urethane cover on the TP5x. It softened the feel, increased spin, and proved more durable than other urethane golf balls. The material etched into my wedge grooves at impact and elevated my wedge spin rate. The spin elevated my short-game control and enabled me to attack the flag from short range.

Tour Flight Dimples

The Tour Flight Dimples proved their worth on take-off and landing. Their aerodynamic capabilities fought off drag on take-off and stabilized the ball in the air for consistent flight. The dimples kicked into action again towards the end of the flight, boosting lift to delay descent.

Thanks to the added lift, my ball enjoyed extended periods in the air on long shots to increase my carry distance. I also noticed the lift boosted my shot-stopping power on approach, owing to the high flight and steep angle of descent. The ball bit on the green aggressively to stop quickly.

Colors

Like the standard TP5, the TaylorMade TP5x range is finished in white, Hi-Visibility yellow, and PIX patterns. The white works for traditionalists like myself, whereas the Hi-Visibility yellow finish is ideal for players with visual impairments seeking a design that’s easier to follow in the air and identify in the rough.

I appreciate the lightheartedness of the PIX patterns, but I don’t feel they provide any value to your game. However, they’re fun, and I’m not opposed to playing with the design.

Performance

Price

TP5x golf balls are priced at the upper end of the market. I paid just under $50 for a dozen golf balls, similar to the asking price of a box of Pro V1s. The premium price tag of the TP5x makes them better suited to superior golfers who are less likely to lose multiple balls per round.

It doesn’t make financial sense for mid or high-handicappers to play the TP5x. If you lose 4 to 5 balls every round, you’ll plow through a box of balls in 2 to 3 rounds. At $50 a pop, that’s a hefty price to pay.

Alternatively, consider the more affordable but equally high-performing TaylorMade Tour Response.

Feel

Despite sporting a higher compression score than the standard TP5, I was impressed with the softness of the TP5x. It’s marginally firmer than the TP5 to stiffen up the structure but still soft enough for optimal feedback on putts, irons, and wedge shots.

Compression

The higher compression score on the TP5x renders the ball challenging to generate consistent strikes, especially for my moderate swing speed and occasional mishit. I struggled to boost energy transfer from the clubface to the ball, resulting in a loss of ball speed, a weaker launch, and a loss of distance.

Although I experienced my fair share of challenges with the TP5, I found it an easier golf ball to launch. Overall, I noticed that players with faster swing speeds stand to benefit the most from the complex 5-piece TaylorMade construction.

Spin

Driver

TaylorMade markets the TP5x as a low-spinning design built to optimize launch and distance. However, I found myself generating a higher spin rate than usual with my big stick, which was still lower than my performance with the TP5.

I created 2750 rpm of driver backspin, nearly 100 rpm less than my TP5 results. The numbers registered were 200 rpm above my standard driver spin results.

Irons

The low spinning nature of the TP5x continued to shine on approach, producing fewer revolutions compared to the TP5. I generated an average spin rate of 5860 rpm with my 7-iron, which is 200 rpm less than the TP5.

The lower spin rate saw my ball roll a yard further than usual on approach, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Despite the lower spin rate and roll, the soft cover and shot-stopping power helped the ball stay on tight greens.

Wedges

Lower greenside spin was the order of the day with the TaylorMade TP5x, but it didn’t hamper my short-game control. The ball still bit quickly on pitch and chip shots, but it still stopped quick enough to keep my ball near my desired target.

My wedge spin rate returned an average of 9700 rpm on full shots, which is 200 rpm less than my TP5 results. Although lower, I didn’t notice a significant difference between the TP5 and TP5x with the naked eye. The differences only became apparent once I checked the metrics.

Ball Speed

Driver

I wasn’t impressed with my TP5x driver ball speed, which was 1 mph slower than the TP5. The slower ball speed was a direct consequence of my unhurried swing speed and reduced energy transfer. I averaged 136 mph driver ball speed, 4 mph off my standard results.

My inability to boost energy transfer at contact prompted a consistently weak strike, increased spin, and a loss of ball speed. This led to a powerless launch, unstable flight, and reduced carry and total distance.

Despite my findings, I’m confident that players releasing a driver over 97 mph will enjoy better fortune with the TP5x off the tee.

Irons

The TaylorMade TP5x continued its trend of slower-than-usual ball speed as I pulled out my long and mid irons. For context, I conjured up an average of 114.6 mph 7-iron ball speed, which is almost 3 mph off my standard velocity.

My moderate swing speed, strike inconsistencies, and lackluster energy transfer cost me acceleration off the clubface.

Distance

Driver

The results proved that the TP5x isn’t the longest Tour golf ball I’ve played, finishing almost 5 yards shy of the TP5. My ball flew 262 yards before rolling an additional 7 yards for a total distance of 269 yards.

My lack of energy transfer and ball speed were directly responsible for my inability to maximize yardage off the tee.

Irons

My lack of distance continued to plague me on approach, with my 7-iron shots delivering fewer yards than usual. I produced 143 yards of carry distance, and the ball rolled an additional 2 yards for an average of 145 yards.

The mid-iron distance averages were 2 yards short of my TP5 results and 4 yards off my overall average.

Launch and Flight

Ball striking and energy transfer woes aside, I enjoyed the higher launch of the TP5x. I discovered the x model launched 0.6° higher off the tee compared to the TP5. In addition, I managed to launch my TP5x long and mid-iron shots 0.4° higher than the standard TP5.

What I Like About The TaylorMade TP5x

Wedge Spin

The TP5x delivered a lower spin rate than I enjoyed with the TaylorMade Tour Response, but I was still impressed. Thanks to the Soft Tough Urethane cover, the ball stopped quickly on approach and greenside shots, allowing me to attack the flag.

Aerodynamic Dimples

I appreciated the efficiency of the Tour Flight Dimples both on take-off and landing. The aerodynamic structure obliterated drag after leaving the face for a high launch despite my erratic strikes. Conversely, the dimple pattern enhanced my lift to increase carry distance.

The Tour Flight Dimples continued to form on the descent, maximizing shot-stopping power on approach shots.

Soft Feel

I felt the TP5x was marginally firmer than the TP5 but still soft off the clubface. I especially appreciated the smooth touch on putts, irons, and wedge strikes, owing to the superior feedback on off-center strikes.

Hi-Visibility Yellow

The Hi-Visibility yellow was a breeze to trace in the air and identify in the cabbage patch, and I recommend it. I have nothing against the white or PIX designs. I just like a ball that’s easy to follow when I’ve pushed it into the thick rough.

 

What I Dislike About The TaylorMade TP5x

Expensive

My biggest dislike is the price of TP5x golf balls. They’re run at a premium, and I don’t recommend them for casual golfers prone to losing multiple balls every round. I’d rather mid-handicappers look at lower-priced options like the TaylorMade Tour Response.

Not Made for Moderate Or Slow Swing Speed

The higher compression score and stiffer multi-structure best require optimal clubhead speed into impact. My moderate swing speed struggled to strike the ball sweetly, resulting in erratic contact and a loss of ball speed.

I suggest slower swing speeds test a softer, compressible golf ball like the TaylorMade Soft Response.

 

Overall Rating and Thoughts

My honest review of TaylorMade TP5x golf balls reveals a high-quality product that goes long off the tee and spins around the green. However, my moderate swing speed wasn’t able to optimally strike the ball, costing me energy transfer, ball speed, and distance.

If I exclude my experiences, I’ve received an abundance of positive feedback from my faster swing-speed companions. It best suits players swinging a driver over 97 mph because of their ability to deliver maximum force at contact for a powerful launch.

Higher clubhead speeds will enjoy the overall performance of the TaylorMade TP5x. However, I feel the TaylorMade Tour Response will serve moderate swing speed golfers the best.

Overall Score: 7.8/10

 

Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8