MyGolfSpy Ball Lab is where we quantify the quality and consistency of the golf balls on the market to help you find the best ball for your money. Today, we’re taking a look at the TaylorMade TP5. An overview of the equipment we use can be found here. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
The TaylorMade TP5 is one of two TaylorMade premium Tour offerings. While the company traditionally offers secret menu balls to its PGA TOUR players, the TP5 is listed as being played by Rory, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and others.
In this report, we share what we learned about the 2019 TaylorMade TP5 and let you know how it stacks up against other golf balls on the market. Finally, we’ll give you the True Price – how much it costs to get a dozen “good” golf balls.
About the TaylorMade TP5
TaylorMade classifies the TP5 is a mid-launch ball. It’s the higher spinning of TaylorMade’s two retail tour offerings. It’s a five-piece ball with a 322-dimple, cast urethane cover.
TP5 manufacturing is a bit of an odd situation. Core and mantle layers are made in Asia. Those parts are then shipped to TaylorMade’s ball factory in Liberty, S.C., where the cast urethane covers are applied.
TaylorMade TP5 – Compression
On our gauge, the average compression of the TaylorMade TP5 is 90. That’s basically the same as the Titleist Pro V1. Compared to the ball market as a whole, it’s solidly in the firm category.
By Tour standards, it’s in the top handful of softest balls likely to be in play each week.
TaylorMade TP5 – Weight and Diameter
- 100 percent of the balls in our TP5 sample met our standard for roundness.
- None of the balls tested exceeded the USGA weight limit of 1.620 ounces.
TaylorMade’s TP5 (and TP5x) are consistently the smallest balls we’ve measured. TaylorMade flirts with the USGA standard and while none in our sample failed the USGA ball track test, several fell through our gauge 10 to 15 percent of the time (anything below 25 percent passes).
While all of the balls tested met our roundness standard, it should be pointed out that the TP is consistently narrower on the seam than on the pole. The thickest part of the ball is generally a spot between the pole and the seam, which helps to explain why seam and pole measurements often fall below 1.680 inches, the USGA’s minimum diameter.
TaylorMade TP5 – Inspection
Centeredness and Concentricity
With five layers, TP construction is complex. While that creates opportunities for more finely tuned performance, it also creates greater opportunity for defects.
We noted three balls with visibly off-center cores, though none were significant enough to be of concern.
We did flag significant and/or multiple defects in 11 percent of the balls. The most common issue was inconsistent thickness across multiple layers. A single ball had what I would describe as compressed mantle layers with a visible void between the core and the inner mantle.
It’s a little-known fact that TaylorMade sources its cores from two different factories (it’s working to consolidate to a single source) and cores are mixed within boxes. Within the sample, we observed two shades of blue cores. Cut patterns (and feel) suggest the material composition is slightly different. While compression numbers between core versions were similar enough, layering issues appear to be a bit more common with the lighter core ball.
We also noted a single ball with small bits of hard white material in the core. The likely culprit is a mixing issue that in this case was unlikely to cause a notable performance issue.
TaylorMade TP5 covers are generally clean and free from defects. While we noted a single ball with a minor cover defect, our inspection yielded nothing of concern.
Like the other Tour balls we’ve tested to date, the TP5’s cast urethane cover is thin, soft and generally consistent in thickness. Greenside spin should meet the expectations for the category.
In this section, we detail the consistency of the TaylorMade Tp5. It’s a measure of how similar the balls in our sample are to one another relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
- Consistency (of weight) across the sample set was on the low end of the average range.
- While none of the balls were over the weight limit, the TP5 is not as consistent as some others in its class.
- The TaylorMade TP5 falls within the average range for diameter consistency.
- As noted, the ball runs small and while none failed the diameter test, several fell through a 1.68″ gauge multiple times. This was especially true when the gauge is aligned with the seam which is consistently the narrowest part of the ball.
- Compression consistency for the TaylorMade TP5 falls on the leading edge of high average. With a range of 7.5 compression points across the sample, it’s not perfect but performance (and feel) can be expected to fall within a reasonable definition of “the same” across the sample.
- When we look at the consistency across the three points measured on each ball, the TaylorMade TP5 is within the average range with no significant outliers in the sample.
True Price is how we quantify the quality of a golf ball. It's a projection of what you'd have to spend to ensure you get 12 good balls.
The True Price will always be equal to or greater than the retail price. The greater the difference between the retail price and the True Price, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
TaylorMade TP5 Summary Report
To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
While compression, diameter and weight generally were within the average range and we found no disqualifying balls for any of those metrics, we aren’t without concerns about the TP5
We flagged 11 percent of the balls as bad. That’s not an alarming number. However, we noted issues in more than 80 percent of the balls in the sample. The majority were minor and while minor issues typically aren’t of concern, there is a point at which a high rate should be considered problematic. Experts will disagree over where that point is. I’ll simply note that it’s a significantly higher percentage than what we’ve observed in the other balls tested thus far. As stated, with complexity comes greater opportunity for variation.