TaylorMade's TP5 golf balls might have surprised some people when they came out in 2017.
The five-layer ball -- particularly the firmer TP5x ball -- offered a noticeable hike in distance from mid-irons up through driver, while still delivering performance with the scoring clubs. Now, with a generation under their belt, TaylorMade is ready to announce the next generation of TP5, which the company says performs significantly better than the debut models.
The thing is, most golfers aren't going to see what really makes the new TP5 balls faster. That's because the leap forward, what Eric Loper and so many in the company excited, is the second layer of five. But let's build to that.
The TP5 ball was designed to build up to its compression rating, starting with a low-compression core (16 points in TP5 and 25 points in TP5x), then building on it with a stiffer outer core and mantle. The idea is to kill spin with the driver and longer clubs to deliver more carry and distance.
The new layer in town
After the mantle is the new secret sauce, so to speak: the outer mantle. The new fourth layer is made with a material the company calls High Flex Material (HFM), named after the high-flex modulus rating of the material. In other words, this new fourth layer, made from a new resin material not previously thought to have been used in golf balls, helps absorb more energy and ball speed from the club at impact. This happens because this layer deforms less and handles stress better, meaning there's less energy loss as the ball reforms faster after impact and starts flying.
Another added benefit of the new HFM material is it sandwiches the cast urethane cover better with scoring clubs, like wedges, to launch a little lower with more spin.
In addition to improved ball speeds and improved greenside performance, the material is more durable, meaning the ball can perform at its designed best longer.
The overall compression rating has gone up on the TP5x, from 90 to 97, but the TP5 rating remains at 85. If you're looking for a lower launch and more spin with approach shots, go for the TP5. If you want a higher launching shots generally speaking, TP5x is for you.
Both balls are available Feb. 15 for $45 per dozen.