From Dustin Johnson to Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and beyond, the game’s best prefer the complete tee-to-green performance of TP5/TP5x. After five years of development, the new 2019 golf balls got even faster with a greater rebound effect and optimised spin rates.
But what does that all mean? Finding the best golf ball for your style of play is a process that shouldn’t be overlooked since it is the only piece of performance equipment that golfers use on every single shot.
"I think the golf ball is the biggest switch you can make in the bag...if it didn’t work for me, I wasn’t going to settle for anything else."
- Rickie Fowler, on the importance of the golf ball and his switch to TaylorMade TP5x
After extensive testing Rickie found that TP5 felt very similar to his previous gamer, but when he hit TP5x he was 10 yards longer throughout his bag. With his launch angle a little higher, spin a little lower matched with a good land angle the consistency in performance was undeniable. This produced a tough decision, play with what you know and feel in TP5 or get used to a different ball flight in TP5x?
“It’s been fun to see what the ball can do. Extra yardage on irons, more spin around the green. One less club for me into many holes is a pretty big advantage, too. What more do you want?"
- Rickie Fowler
It doesn't matter if you’re playing with your mates in your local fourball or competing on the PGA Tour, you can’t give up 10 yards, and in just his second week playing the TP5x competitively after more than a decade playing his previous model, Rickie captured the WMPO trophy.
Adrian Rietveld, from the TaylorMade Sports Marketing team, went into some detail on Rory McIlroy’s switch into TP5 2019 (Rory previously played TP5x in the 2017 version of the ball) ‘When you look at these players that are not doing much wrong, a good reason for switching is when you feel things are the same, it’s an important variable as when you see things that you aren’t used to or comfortable seeing, even if you see more speed that could be a reason not to shake it up’.
When paired with his M5 Driver Rory likes to see slightly more spin, and when he tested TP5 ’19 he saw an increase of up to 2mph more ball speed. As an exceptional driver of the golf ball, Rory’s statistics have been hugely impressive this season on the PGA Tour, leading SG: Off-the-Tee (+1.195), and Tee-to-Green (+2.126) – statistically his best season EVER!
Jon Rahm has been a huge fan of TP5x and switched straight into the 2019 version finding that it helped keep his mis-hits from straying too far off line and that he didn’t have to worry about approach shots. Very much a feel player, Rahm is a good tester of the golf ball and when he feels wind his body will automatically help. TP5x is a high performing golf ball and he felt it almost went through the wind. He tested TP5 and felt some additional spin in his mid and short irons and TP5 performed similar with his M5 Driver in the wind. Matched with seeing a big improvement in his 30-yard range, that was more than enough reason to switch at TPC Louisiana where he went onto lift the trophy.
Dustin Johnson made a clean switch to TP5x ’19 from the previous model based purely on ball speed. Finding an extra 1-1.5mph he’s a huge fan on the performance of TP5x as it compliments his style of play. He moves the ball left to right and the ball doesn't move more than he wants it to, even if he over cuts the ball or fades it.
Making the mid-season switch from TP5x to TP5 Jason Day felt that the lower-compression TP5 worked better for him. Day is a powerful player who hits his irons a very long way and gaming P760 irons that already go a little bit further he quickly found the correct balance throughout his bag. Adrian commented regarding Jason’s switch: ‘He liked the softer feel of TP5, he’s able to get his desired trajectory and feels he’s in control more’.
Martin Kaymer has always been a high spin player; launching lower than average and spinning higher and if you flip those, you’re talking about TP5x characteristics. Kaymer found performance in the previous generation when it only took a dozen TP5x to switch out of the previous Tour Preferred golf ball that Martin favoured. Not one to change equipment lightly, the performance gains were undeniable, it was what he’d been waiting for and when TP5x ’19 came into play he found an extra 2mph ball speed.
“I really feel this is our secret weapon. There are still dozens of tour players out there who haven’t even hit a TaylorMade ball whether that be for contract purposes or just the fact that, like most people, they have always ‘trusted’ a competitor brand. But one of the most exciting things about my job is when we are doing testing work with a new player, perhaps he is looking to test other equipment or looking for some sort of gain in a department of his game…. When it is a player who hasn’t tried the TP5 or TP5X I still get excited because I know more often than not we are going to find performance in the ball and the player isn’t expecting it.”
- Mark Thistleton (Senior TaylorMade Tour Representative)
Max Schmitt joined Team TaylorMade after falling in love with his driver and wanted to test TP5x against his previous golf ball. After a fitting session at the TaylorMade Performance Lab at Wentworth Golf Club, Max saw an instant increase in his carry numbers. Each time he hit TP5x his carry went up 10-12 yards with more controllable spin and couldn't believe what he was seeing. ‘He then called me the next day to ask me to send him a box of TP5X practice balls to his home course as he wanted to run the numbers with his coach. They found the same results in their own testing session and that basically sealed his switch to TaylorMade.’.
“If there were no ball contracts out there, I would be extremely confident in saying we would have over a 50% share on tour because players would suddenly start to test all the balls out there and as I have seen time and time again, once they hit a TaylorMade ball and see the performance possibilities in a ball, it’s hard to switch back.”
- Mark Thistleton
Not happy with his performances at the start of the season, Kristoffer Reitan spoke to Mark on how he could improve after missing cuts by 1 shot. At the Belgian Knock Out, the tour team looked at his numbers across the bag and noticed that his spin was high across the board. Reitan is a powerful player who hits it hard and generates spin, after hitting TP5x his spin instantly dropped in all areas of his long game. Finding that extra 1% that he’d been looking for he went on to reach the last 16 and kick start his year.
Reitan reached out to Mark at Valderrama after he hit a 7 iron into the 18th and carried the bunker going to 7ft in strong winds and making a birdie to make the cut. After the round he said ‘with his old gamer he could never have trusted the spin in that shot on 18, he would have almost certainly come up short in the bunker’
Marked as two of the toughest areas to switch in your golf bag, your metal woods and golf ball have the biggest variable for performance gain/ loss. As the technology varies greatly across brands, you can instantly see performance shifts when you pair Injected Twist Face with TP5/ TP5x.
Don’t let all the claims out there keep you from real gains, make the switch and see for yourself.