There's a market out there for Tour-caliber golf balls at modest prices with design nods to the fact that most recreational golfers don't swing over 100 mph with their driver. After all, for golfers with slower swing speeds, they're not maxing out on a golf ball that goes for $50 per dozen.
TaylorMade Golf has tried to appeal to that golfer in the past, including with the Project (a) balls that had premium design materials but were aimed to help amateurs. Now comes along their new Tour Response and Soft Response balls, built to achieve something similar: give amateurs a ball they feel is built just for their game.
The Tour Response ball features a cover made from cast urethane, which is superior to an ionomer cover in every way. The ball, including the cover, is softer than the TP5 line, but TaylorMade is spinning that as delivering "effortless" distance and giving a regular golfer their version of the TP5.
The company says that softer cover also helps deliver more greenside spin as the cover will grip wedge grooves better. Under the cover is the Speedmantle piece, which is the firmer middle layer on this three-piece ball designed to build up ball speed. The core is softer, as is the case in the TP5 line, with the Tour Response using the ZnO Flex core to create a combined compression rating of 40.
The Tour Response balls come in at $35 per dozen, which is $15 cheaper than Tour-caliber ball prices. It's not built for faster players, but the price point should appeal to golfers who don't bang it but still want a high-performance ball.
For all that's touted about Tour Response -- namely the premium design materials -- there's a golfer that likes an even softer ball. They may be costing themselves some yards, but they're making that trade-off already. TaylorMade is hoping they can tell that player that the Soft Response is, yes, soft, but that it's also longer than whatever soft ball they're playing.
The Soft Response, which comes in at $25 per dozen, has a soft ionomer cover. The U-shaped dimples are designed to increase lift and help the ball carry farther for players with moderate swing speeds. TaylorMade's pitch is that the reduced spin profile from this ball will give them extra yards, even if they're fit into a driver which promotes spin to give them more carry. Call it getting the most out of what a slower player has in the tank. However, less spin with full shots might be a problem for this player.
The ZnO Flex core, which has a compression rating of 35 (although there's no real standard for that measure), keeps the soft feel of the ball.
Both balls will be available on Feb. 28, with Tour Response available in white and yellow, and the Soft Response available in white, yellow and matte red.