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
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.
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.
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.
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.
No cover defects were noted.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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.
- One of these boxes isn’t like the others.
- Persistent layer issues
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).