Ball Lab: TaylorMade TP5 Review
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Ball Lab: TaylorMade TP5 Review

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Ball Lab: TaylorMade TP5 Review

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 TP5. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.

About the TaylorMade TP5

an overview of the TaylorMade TP5

Of the two balls in the current TP5 retail family, the TaylorMade TP5 flies a bit higher and spins considerably more through the bag than the TP5x. It’s a bit softer too and while we don’t condone choosing your golf ball based on feel, it’s definitely a reason why some will choose the TP5 over the TP5x.

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.

As we’ve noted several times before. TaylorMade’s approach to manufacturing is unique. 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.

TaylorMade TP5—Compression

a chart detailing the comrpession of the TaylorMade TP5

On our gauge, the 2021 TaylorMade TP5 measures 87 compression on average. That’s down about three points from the previous generation. It’s only four points softer than the current TP5x and identical to the Titleist Pro V1 (though the spin profiles are significantly different). While it’s never going to be confused with TaylorMade’s Soft Response or even the Tour Response, by legitimate PGA TOUR ball standards, it’s certainly on the softer side.

TaylorMade TP5—Diameter and Weight

A single ball in our TaylorMade TP5 sample exceeded the USGA weight limit of 1.62 ounces. Accordingly, it was flagged as bad.

While we did have a couple of balls that weren’t perfectly round, none in the sample failed to meet our standard of roundness.

TaylorMade TP5—Inspection

Centeredness and Concentricity

As was the case with the TP5x, we flagged six percent of our sample as bad. In both cases, the cause was significant inconsistencies with layer thickness in two or more layers.

As with other TaylorMade TP5-series balls, we noted multiple layer incursion issues (the outer layer effectively melting into the inner layer). While prevalent, none was significant enough for us to flag the ball as bad. That said, this continues to be an issue for TaylorMade and is certainly something we hope to see improved (if not resolved) in the future.

Core Consistency

It’s not unusual to find a few different shades of cores with TaylorMade. That’s not wholly uncommon across the industry and, in most cases, if it’s a real problem it will be reflected in the gauge measurements.

We also noted some differences in mantle coloring as well. That’s a bit more unusual but, again, we’ll defer to the gauges.

We did note a few cores with a bit of speckling … call it unmixed material. Regardless, only a few balls were impacted and we didn’t feel it would likely have a pronounced impact on performance.

Cover

No cover defects were noted.

TaylorMade TP5—Consistency

In this section, we detail the consistency of the TaylorMade TP5. 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.

The results of our consistency tests (below) are frustrating. On one hand, it’s reasonable to say the majority of the problems we encountered can be traced to a single box. On the other, all of the balls of a given model are supposed to be the same and, in this case, there’s a strong argument to be made that wasn’t the case with the TP5s we bought.

Weight Consistency

  • Balls in Box 1 were heavier than Boxes 2 and 3 and included a single ball over the USGA weight limit.
  • I suppose Box 2 best represents the average of the sample while Box 3 ran a bit light.

Diameter Consistency

  • TaylorMade makes a small ball. To say Box 1 is large (by TaylorMade standards) is an understatement.
  • Boxes 2 and 3 have smaller average diameters and nearly all of the balls dance perilously close to the minimum allowable diameter, which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from TaylorMade.

Compression Consistency

  • Again, Box 1 is the outlier. It’s firmer and generally less consistent than the other boxes.
  • The compression delta across the entire sample was nine points. That’s not outstanding but it’s well within the average range.
  • 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, only a single ball showed more than a three-point difference across the three points measured.

True Price

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

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.

If you’ll permit me to editorialize a bit, the TaylorMade TP5 (and I suppose the TP5x) frustrates the hell out of me. Sensibly, TaylorMade’s offerings should be the ones to challenge Titleist for supremacy in the market, especially given the unique five-layer construction and the ability that gives TaylorMade to more precisely tune spin throughout the bag. The thing is, with each Ball Lab we complete, it becomes more apparent that TaylorMade still has some work to do on the quality side of the equation. It’s reasonably consistent most of the time but some of the time it isn’t—and those layer incursion issues are far more common than we see in other brands with similar dual mantle construction. It shouldn’t happen.

For a lot of golfers, the TP5 lineup checks all the boxes but the consistency doesn’t always live up to the potential offered by the performance characteristics.

The Good

  • Toss out the first box and the numbers are pretty good.
  • The smaller average diameter (for two of the boxes) should present a distance benefit.

The Bad

  • One of these boxes isn’t like the others.
  • Persistent layer issues

Final Grade

The TaylorMade TP5 gets an overall grade of 65.

The score is attributable to below-average consistency for both weight and diameter along with the three bad balls noted in the sample (one weight and two layer concentricity issues).

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Trusty rusty

      2 years ago

      Great review Tony, I’m sticking with the TP5, I still feel it’s the best ball I have ever played with. I understood for the original it was a touch smaller and a few grams heavier. The dimple pattern and shape, makes it fly a little higher.. Fine with me.

      Reply

      Bruce

      2 years ago

      I played Pro V1s for decades. 100 Tour Balata’s for decades before that! Play TP5s exclusively. Obviously, I like a “spinny” ball. And, Pro V1s have moved toward a distance ball. It’s why I moved. Played Srixon and Chrome Soft. TP5 much superior, IMO. Now and then I get one that’s not up to snuff. I always blame ME!! Next time I’ll take it out of play!! lol

      Reply

      terry

      2 years ago

      These results shocked me. I believed Taylormade would have some of the highest quality standards. Haven’t played the ball so can’t comment on playability. Currently playing the 2019 Maxfli Tour ball bits my game and you can’t beat the price 2 dozen for $45 or the quality of the ball

      Reply

      Frank.Zhou

      2 years ago

      To be fair, Taiwan is not a country, it is a part of China, pls change. Many thanks

      Reply

      Milo

      2 years ago

      Only China sees it that way.

      Reply

      Carl

      2 years ago

      the tour pros that use the Taylormade ball are getting the cream of the crop balls….I understand Taylormade has every ball checked and the top balls go to the tour pros…..so they do not have to look at what MYGOLFSPY or anyone finds odd about the balls…..my guess in all the ball companies do the same for the tour pros….but it is OK because 99.99% of us are not playing a game that needs the perfect fit ball or clubs for that matter….

      Reply

      Jimmy Choo

      2 years ago

      That’s good marketing and maintain a minimum production cost for maximum profit. Well, 90% of the golfers that buy these balls is not going to feel the different and the 10% that can feel it may have doubts in their swing or club than to blame it on that low percentage bad ball. Well done! Taylormade! Such a clever move to save the money for the sponsorship.

      Reply

      P-Dru

      2 years ago

      I guess this explains why sometimes I love the TP5 and sometimes I don’t. Either way, if the round is important to me, I have gone exclusively with the new gen PV1x. This new gen is the first time the current Titleist info for flight/spin for PV1 v. PV1x actually holds true for me. I really do get better flight/spin/distance with the X.

      Reply

      Emery

      2 years ago

      I made a firm move to PV1x this past summer due to inconsistent ball flight of TP5/x. Have played TP5’s for a couple yrs exclusively but….decided to go PV1 and noticed improved dispersion on driver and then went to PV1x where I like it on the short game. Tried a left dash but the driver didn’t like it. Will try the dot. I did play with the Callaway x & ls and were OK, but, seems the PV1x for now.

      Reply

      Matt

      2 years ago

      If you were a TP5x player, give the Titleist Left Dot a try if you can find some. Ball flight came down a touch and got a little more spin with irons to help with the firm greens I play at my club.

      Reply

      WYBob

      2 years ago

      Thank you for doing a Ball Lab on the 2021 TP5. Like you, I am surprised and frustrated by the TP5 results given the premium pricing and the number of folks on Tour that use and endorse the TP5/TP5x. This year it boiled down to a choice between the Pro V1 and TP5 for me. I liked both balls but I chose the Pro V1 because of previous MGS results, on-course testing, and Titleist’s reputation for consistency. Your recent Ball Lab on the Pro V1 and now this one on the TP5 plus the recent 2021 Ball Performance Test indicate the Pro V1 was the more optimal choice. My only suggestion is that future Ball Labs on the premium balls be done much earlier in the year so we can utilize them before the manufacturer’s spring promotions (i.e. Buy 3 get the 4th dozen free, etc.), Those promos bring the pricing down significantly into the neighborhood of Tier 2 and DTC balls. That would be a real value to your MGS readers. Thanks again!

      Reply

      JasonA

      2 years ago

      I believe that the Taylormade tour staff will be provided balls that have been specially Quality Assured (i.e. check for size, weigh, compression and likely balance)

      Reply

      Tom Terrific

      2 years ago

      This TP5 has been compared to the ProV1 and it (TP5) has a distinct advantage for my game, the higher ball flight and more spin alternatives with 5 piece layering. I have a swing speed of 90mph with driver and use 40 gram SR flex Ping G425 and at my age, 75 I get about 225 carry at this altitude, 6000′. Prov1 is a wonderful ball but flies too low with my irons. Taylormade got this right, higher ball flight at lower compression, the Tour Response is just as good and even better with irons for me…

      Reply

      Frank

      2 years ago

      Tom, the ProV1x is higher launching and higher spinning than the ProV1. Also that New Maxfli TourX is another to consider, and neither one feels as hard as the TP5.

      Reply

      Dave Gibbons

      2 years ago

      Good to know. Seems I’ll be taking my TP 5X boxes back and gettiong ProV1 X repacemenys.

      Reply

      Mike

      2 years ago

      I’m confused on the metrics here. You are stating the true cost for the Taylormade TP5 2021. However the weight, diameters, etc are showing a 2020 TP5 ball. So which is it?

      Reply

      Patrick Wilson

      2 years ago

      Thanks.. With $$ going up as fast or faster than beef, i am paying a lot more attention to my golf balls.. Have played a couple of TP5s, and agree.. quality just not quite up to snuff….

      BTW.. Have you had any requests to test MG Golfs C4 ball. They make claims that it outperforms ……. Kinda suspicious……

      Reply

      Mike

      2 years ago

      So the TP5 spins more than the TP5X? I thought that the Taylormade logic was the same as the Pro V1’s in that the “X”s spin more? Any word on if the TP5’s spin more than the Pro V1’s?

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      2 years ago

      Definitely. The TP5 is on the spinnier end of the spectrum for golf balls that are actually played on TOUR. It’s not quite Kirkland or Mizuno level spin (and you can throw Volvik S4 in that super-spinny mix, if you’d like), but it will definitely generate plenty of RPMs. There can always be exceptions, but typically it’s going to spin appreciably more than a Pro V1 of the driver and irons.

      There’s more detail in our 2021 Ball Test: http://mygolfspy.com/best-golf-balls-2021/

      Reply

      Peter

      2 years ago

      Great review as always. Do we know if TaylorMade balls found on shelves are the same ones played by touring pros? It’s hard to believe that world class players could afford that much spin off the TP5.

      Mike

      2 years ago

      Tony, many thanks. I tend to have a moderate swing speed yet generate too much spin. So I probably will retire my TP5’s in favor of pro v1’s. Or even chrome softs, which I’m told spin a bit less.

      Christopher

      2 years ago

      Peter, they’ve got nearly 60 TP5 balls listed on the USGA’s site, so I’d imagine it’s doubtful in most cases.

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