2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x Golf Balls
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2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x Golf Balls

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2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x Golf Balls

The 2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls are all about commitment. As in, TaylorMade is committed to being a bigger player than it already is in the golf ball market.

That commitment comes with a price tag: a cool $100-million investment in its golf ball business.

A big chunk of that went to buying the Nassau ball plant in South Korea outright. The deal adds considerable capacity to TaylorMade’s ball-making machinery. There’s also the South Carolina plant, which puts cast urethane covers on Nassau-made cores. And TaylorMade owns a major stake in the Foremost ball plant in Taiwan.

The company has also made huge investments in golf ball R&D over the past three years and has built a state-of-the-art indoor test range at its headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. Additionally, TaylorMade has completely remade its outdoor test area, with Trackman units lining the range to capture performance data at every stage of ball flight.  

TaylorMade TP5 golf balls.

Why all that investment? There are two key reasons.

First, TaylorMade is a solid, albeit distant, third in golf ball market share. It’s well behind Callaway and not even in the same area code as Titleist. And when it comes to market share, to quote Ricky Bobby, if you ain’t first, you’re last.

But maybe most importantly, TaylorMade has high hopes for the 2024 TP5 and TP5x golf balls because, at least according to MyGolfSpy’s testing, the previous models simply weren’t very good. The 2021 TP5 model was, in fact, the shortest ball at all three driver speeds tested.

Can $100 million make a difference? It all depends on whether TaylorMade really has figured out how to make a soft-feeling yet fast golf ball.

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls

2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x: Telling the Story

My second favorite poem that isn’t a limerick of questionable taste reads as follows:

If you have a thing to sell
And go and whisper in a well,
You’re not as apt to get the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers.

For TaylorMade to make its $100-million golf ball investment pay off, it needs a story to holler from the tree tops. Fortunately, that’s something TaylorMade is very good at.

Yes, technology and performance are a given, like jacks or better to open in poker. But the story TaylorMade tells and how well it tells it is going to determine if it can keep up with, or even close the gap with, Callaway or Titleist. While TaylorMade’s ball sales have grown dramatically (176 percent between 2017 and 2021 according to Golf Datatech), taking a larger bite out of the Callaway and Titleist apples will be a tough task. Grabbing market share from Bridgestone, Srixon, Wilson and other legacy ball makers might be an easier lift.

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls

Make no mistake. TaylorMade is coming after them all. And it has a story to tell.

And that story starts where form and function intersect with performance and personality.

Sound, Feel and Speed

“Typically, golf balls are white, round and sit on the ground,” says Michael Fox, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Golf Ball Product Creation. “However, the market is shifting. Golfers want to express themselves in every product that they use without sacrificing performance.”

As for climbing the tree and hollering, TaylorMade thinks it has a pretty compelling story to tell with the new TP5 and TP5x and all their custom permutations.

In a perfect world, we’d all play golf balls that felt like marshmallows but flew like bullets. Soft feel and distance, however, are mutually exclusive. If you want soft feel, lower the compression. It feels great but you lose ball speed. To get that ball speed back, you make it firmer, but it starts to feel like a rock.

Simply stated, you can’t make one better without hurting the other.

TaylorMade, however, thinks it has cracked the code with something called “Speed Wrap.”

“We’ve created a new technology and a new material that’s never been used before in golf,” says Fox. “It allows us to create a product that’s significantly faster with a better feel and a softer feel.”

The Speed Wrap material was co-created by TaylorMade and Dow Chemicals. In simple terms, the material allows TaylorMade to control sound without affecting speed so it’s still firm without sounding or feeling harsh.

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls.

“It changes the density of the core,” says Fox. “When you have a less dense core with this new material, there are longer distances for sound to travel and you get a lower audible product.”

In effect, while the new 2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls will still have a similar compression as the 2021 models (88 and 93, respectively), they’ll actually feel softer due to a more muted sound.

Five Layers of Soundproofing

While Hogan said it best (“…a feeling that goes up the shaft, right through your hands and into your heart”), feel is really about sound. Whether it’s a click, a clack or a smush, the brain “hears” feel.

TaylorMade has been making five-piece urethane balls since the Penta in 2011. Those balls featured a core, three mantle layers and a urethane cover. However, those three mantle layers had very similar compressions and stiffness gradients, which made them essentially one layer that’s three times as thick.

“What we’ve done now is make each of these layers completely different,” says Fox. “Now, each of these materials goes from a core compression of five up to a firmness compression in the 90s. With that large of a speed gradient, these layers are truly performing like completely different products.”

Each of the three mantle layers is progressively firmer. In the softer, spinnier TP5, the delta is 53 compression points. With the firmer TP5x, the delta between the layers is 71 compression points.  

So, in theory, when you hit the driver and activate that core with a compression of five, you’ll get a high-launching, low-ish spinning shot. It won’t be as low as the lower-compression Tour Response for example, but lower than the 2021 TP5 models.

“With wedges, you’re only interacting with the super-firm outside mantle and super-soft cast-urethane cover,” explains Fox. “That’ll create more groove interaction and more spin around the green.”

Will You See a Difference?

That’s the $100-million question, isn’t it?

There are differences you can measure with a launch monitor but it’s often hard to quantify or even notice a one- or two-mile-per-hour ball speed difference on the course. That’s one of the key reasons golfers fall back to feel as a preference. It’s something you can actively experience.

“’Noticeably better’ is a way higher bar we set for ourselves when we design product,” says Fox. “Give someone a new TaylorMade ball and they fly a green with their 6-iron, the next time they’ll know to club down to a 7-iron. You’ve now changed that game.

“That’s a ‘noticeably better’ product.”

TaylorMade is making an effort to help golfers get into the right golf ball for their game. The TP5 is the softer of the two, but it will spin more off the driver, irons and wedges. The TP5x, alternatively, is firmer but spins less across the board than the TP5. On the new 2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x packaging, you’ll find a small QR code. That will take you to a quick, 12-question survey that will tell you which ball is right for you.

Additionally, you’ll see TaylorMade rolling the “cast urethane but not quite Tour-level” Tour Response ball into the fitting equation. Tour Response was TaylorMade’s best-performing ball in MyGolfSpy’s 2023 ball test. It’s a softer-feeling, lower-spinning alternative to the TP5 and TP5x, and it’s less expensive.

Every pix Tells a Story

The 2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5X pix balls are also getting a bit of a facelift. TaylorMade says its most prolific pix-playing PGA Tour pros, Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler, are big pix fans. The big change for 2024 is a bit of a shapeshift, as the pix insignia goes from what TaylorMade calls its orange and black Motion Triangle to an orange and black Motion Diamond with a silver-gray filling. The black alignment line is also getting noticeably longer.

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x pix golf balls.

“This allows us to put more orange onto the product, which makes it easier to see,” says Fox. “It also creates further separation between the black on the outside of the diamonds and the black centerline for easier and clearer feedback as the product rolls.

“For us, visual technology is a huge component in bringing emotion into the game, but also helping golfers play better.”

And to bring more fun into the equation, expect TaylorMade to offer limited-edition specials throughout the year, whether it’s a pix U.S.A. model in red, white and blue or up to 22 different college and university logos. You can also expect to see a personalized option through MySymbol, so you can make your own.

2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x Golf Balls: Price and Availability

Has TaylorMade cracked the code and decoupled feel and distance? Well, if you read between the lines, they’re pretty sure they’ve cracked the sound and distance code. That, however, may be enough. Based on the previous models’ showing in the MGS ball test last year, TaylorMade has considerable ground to make up, which lends a certain urgency to its $100-million investment in its ball program.

Further testing will be needed but, at the very least, a firmer, faster, more aerodynamic ball that feels (all right, sounds) softer certainly looks like several steps in the right direction.

These 2024 TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls hit the streets and the World Wide Web today in white, yellow and the new pix model for $54.99 a dozen.

For more information, hit up the TaylorMade website.  

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba





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      JJ

      2 months ago

      Why cut it open if you’re not going to comment on how the core on the X is significantly off-center?

      Reply

      Ed Bailey-Mershon

      2 months ago

      Though I live in SC, had forgotten that TM has plant here. Old plant was a Dunlop plant at one time. Anyway, I must ask why make the cores in Asia and finish in US? Ship by air freight very heavy and very expensive, even Apple has moved away from air freight to ocean freight. Still 15 to 17 days on the water, then rail or truck across US to SC does seem to expose the cores to a variety of conditions. Unless they are using refrigerated containers to maintain temperature and humidity.

      I remain loyal to Titleist. Every test drive of a competitor’s ball has found some deficiency. Have enough variables in my old body, do not need variable in equipment.

      Reply

      Vic Z

      2 months ago

      The cut balls look a little off-centered. Hopefully they fix that because I love the feel of both of the ’21 models.

      Reply

      Clayton Z

      2 months ago

      Looks to be poor quality, blue layer on left ball and grey on the right are very inconsistent. Off Center cores

      Reply

      Tim

      2 months ago

      The 5 layers ball has always been a gimmick to me. The 2021 lineup was horrible and it would take a lot for me to try TM again.

      Reply

      Mark T.

      2 months ago

      Thanks for the infomercial – how about a real golf ball test?

      Reply

      JJGolf

      2 months ago

      $55 a dozen for balls made in Asia. If they would have built a factory in the US, then I could feel better about giving them a good look but if Costco can import their original ball (which was made in one of those two TM factories) and sell them for 70% less (and make a profit) then I’m voting by not buying them.
      Because of my golf spy’s annual ball testing, I’ve tried the maxflis and the vice balls and like them both. I game the Vice Pro Softs and they are almost half the price as the TP5s and ProVs. I’m not saying TM and Titleist don’t make good balls, but (for me) they are crossing the line of “too much.. not for me.”

      Reply

      Charles Miller

      2 months ago

      Any idea of what the compression is for these?

      I sure hope the went back to the compression numbers like the ’19 models. The ’21s were way too soft and were much shorter

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      2 months ago

      I’ll stick to the Maxfli, thanks. At half the price, and no real difference in my game, it’s a steal

      Reply

      Mike

      2 months ago

      Totally agree. And for 98% of golfers, you wouldn’t notice a bit of difference between this year’s ball and last.

      Reply

      Max Johnson

      2 months ago

      TM is $54.99, Callaway is $54.99, Bridgestone is $54.99

      When is Titleist going to $57.99?

      Reply

      Shane Harvey

      2 months ago

      I’ll probably continue to play the Tour Response great ball at a great price.

      Reply

      Tom S

      2 months ago

      If they’re charging $55 a dozen, that’s the same price as the Pro-V1. And instead of buying a ball that hopes to be as good as a Pro-V1, I can just buy the Pro V-1 and I know I’m getting a ball as good.

      Reply

      Vito

      2 months ago

      Exactly. Or for $110 buy 4 dozen Maxfli Tours. Which for most golfers would provide the same results.

      Reply

      Duffer1

      2 months ago

      Totally agree. Taylor Made admitted they had issues in the past, poor reputation, say its hard to get people to switch, and they need more market share.

      So how did Marketing decide to combat these challenges? By charging the same as the proven market leader with excellent reputation and performance?!?!

      Only one reader out of a hundred here would notice any difference from the OnCore, Maxfli, Snell or Vice I have played. And now maybe Seed. IMHO Srixon is best bang for the $$ of major brands.

      KUDOS to My Golf Spy for being honest reviewers.

      Reply

      Dan K

      2 months ago

      Did they change the dimple pattern on the ball? Seems like in the ballnamic testing, the flight pattern or the TP5 and X had alot to do with the shorter distances.

      Reply

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