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 2021 TaylorMade TP5x. 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.
About the TaylorMade TP5x
Of the two balls in the current TP5 retail family, the TaylorMade TP5x is billed as the higher-launching and lower-spinning. It’s also the firmer of the two though it’s not as firm as it used to be. A point of emphasis in the design of the new models was to remove any reasons not directly related to performance for golfers to choose one ball over the other.
The TP5 remains the only five-piece ball on the market from a major manufacturer. While its competitors would no doubt dispute it, TaylorMade’s position is that more layers provide greater opportunity to tune spin performance throughout the bag.
The manufacturing story remains a bit non-standard. You might even say odd. The cores and inner mantle layers are produced in Taiwan. The nearly finished balls are shipped to TaylorMade’s U.S.A. plant where covers are put on.
At last check, TaylorMade is sourcing cores from a couple of factories. While this can introduce some inconsistency, that’s not universally true. Our gauges will tell us if there are any issues.
On our gauge, the new TaylorMade TP5x measures 91 compression on average. That’s down seven points from the previous generation.
Significant shifts in compression from one generation to the next are rare so it’s noteworthy when it happens. To give you a frame of reference, the compression change from the 2019 TP5x to the new model is roughly the same as the difference between a Pro V1x and the standard Pro V1.
Simply put, the new ball is appreciably softer. Anecdotally, it’s a bit shorter (though it’s by no measure a short ball). We suspect it spins more around the green and certainly feels a bit softer.
Vacating the higher end of the compression space where balls like the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash and now the Callaway Chrome Soft LS live is an interesting decision, especially as golfers are becoming more aware of these options. To some degree, it feels a bit like TaylorMade is walking away from an emerging category where it was already one of the leaders.
My hunch … and it’s only that … is that TaylorMade is likely to release a higher-compression, lower-spinning offering later this year. By softening their mass-market offering, they’ve created space to be aggressive with a new ball.
TaylorMade TP5x—Diameter and Weight
None of the balls in our TaylorMade TP5x sample exceeded the USGA weight limit of 1.62 ounces.
Likewise, none of the balls in the sample failed to meet our roundness standard. In fact, not a single ball was close to challenging it. Simply put, there are no notable weight or diameter issues.
Centeredness and Concentricity
In total, we flagged six percent of our sample as bad. That’s only two balls which, while obviously not perfect, is a solid result. In one case, we observed a significant layer incursion. These occur when the inner layer hasn’t fully cooled before the next layer is added. Effectively, we’re talking about one layer melting into the next.
Minor incursions remain prevalent and this does seem to be an ongoing issue with TaylorMade, though, compared to the prior generation, they were neither as numerous nor as severe.
A second ball was flagged for a significant shift in the internal layers. Technically, the core was off-center, though the larger concern was a significant difference in the outer layer thickness from one side of the ball to the other.
While we did observe some minor bits of debris in the core, generally speaking, there was nothing of any real concern. Notable, though not necessarily an issue, were several variations in core color. The majority of the ball featured a bright red core like the one shown above. However, we also found a few balls with much paler cores.
Outer mantle colors ranged from pale green (above) to neon green. It’s rare to see variation in mantle colors but, again, our gauges provide the best insight into whether there’s a resulting inconsistency.
We noted no significant defects. Minor defects were limited as well and, other than a few pin marks left over from the painting process, there’s nothing much to note. That’s a good thing.
In this section, we detail the consistency of the TaylorMade TP5x. Our consistency metrics provide a measure of how similar the balls in our sample were to one another relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
While we do run into the occasional odd ball from TaylorMade, generally speaking, the consistency of the TP5 series is as good or better than most. With the new model, diameter and weight consistency fall within the Average range while compression consistency achieves a rating of Good.
- The balls in our first box were a bit lighter but not by any significant measure.
- Except for one ball in box No. 2 that was a bit on the heavy side, the consistency of weight across the sample falls within the average range.
- As we’ve come to expect from TaylorMade, the TP5x qualifies as small. It’s fair to say the company finesses its way to meeting the USGA minimal requirement, but nevertheless, the entire sample conformed to the rules.
- Box 3 was a tick larger on average but overall consistency was solidly within the average range.
- Compression consistency across the TaylorMade TP5x sample was above average (what we classify as Good).
- The compression delta across the sample was nine points. That’s one point better than the current database average.
- The average compression delta (the compression range across the three points measured on each ball) falls on the high end of our average range. Notably, none of the balls showed more than a 2.5-point variation across any of the three points measured.
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.
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.
- Average to Good across all of our major consistency metrics.
- Persistent, though typically minor, layer issues.
The TaylorMade TP5x gets an overall grade of 82.
While we did find a couple of minor issues, there are no significant issues to dissuade you from playing the TaylorMade TP5x.
The “True Price” of the TaylorMade TP5x is $50.77. That’s an increase of just six percent over retail.
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