If you think of the most popular and widespread sports on the planet, it is not so difficult to realize the thing that connects them. It may be a whole other topic as to why, but most sports employ the use of a ball in order to be played. It can be big or small, light or heavy, sturdy or squishy, but it is a ball.
Sports like football, basketball, volleyball, and handball even have it in their name and the sport and the type of ball share the same name. Then there are those like tennis and polo that do require balls in order to be played but that lack the word in the name. The same goes for golf, the star of our article here.
Well, it is the golf ball that is the star actually, two popular versions of it in particular, but we will get to that. As a sport, golf cannot be played without the right equipment. That of course includes the clubs that are used for hitting the said balls and most people agree that the club is the more important bit. It is the tool after all and it is important to maintain and clean them effectively. But what about the balls?
You still cannot play without them, right? It is neither here nor there which is more important. They are equally as crucial, which is why there are so many different types of both clubs and balls. It is up to the players to pick and choose which is the right one for them.
About Golf Balls
Although they seem very common and familiar, and perhaps even too small to offer any interesting changes and performance potential, the golf ball is a very advanced commodity full of features.
A modern golf ball is made up of a core, one or more intermediate layers, and a cover. The core is the central part of the golf ball. It is usually made of high-density rubber or synthetic material. The size and hardness of the core can vary based on the type of ball, but they generally range from around 1.5 inches to 1.6 inches in diameter.
The intermediate layers are often made of materials like rubber or plastic, and they help to control the spin and feel of the ball. The number and thickness of these layers can vary based on the ball’s intended use and price point. Usually, balls that need to be hit longer and harder are stronger and more robust. Those that are made for more control and spin are lighter and not so tough.
The cover is the outer layer of the golf ball usually made of a durable material like ionomer or urethane. The cover can be designed to provide different levels of spin and feel, and it can also impact the ball’s durability and resistance to scuffing or cuts. Again, balls that need to go through more wear and tear are built stronger and more durable than the rest.
The manufacturing process for golf balls typically involves compression molding. The different layers are molded separately and then assembled together, with the cover added as the last part.
The finished ball is then tested to ensure it meets the required specifications for weight, size, and compression. A lot of design, planning, and care goes into the creation of golf balls. The sport is a very popular one and the players must never suffer while on the court due to their equipment failing them.
The TaylorMade Brand
One of the top brands in the world of golf is TaylorMade. For almost half a century, it is a top-tier company dedicated to changing the world of golf for the better. They have a long history of doing so because their founder was actually the one who made the first metal wood club. Before that, all wood clubs were made exclusively out of wood.
That is how they got their name of course. Gary Adams, the founder of the company, created the first metal wood club which brought about a new age of golfing. His company went beyond that with many of its products. Right now, they produce two of the most popular golf balls in business, the TP5 and the TP5x.
Gary Adams, a golf equipment salesman, took a loan of $24,000 in the spring of 1979 and founded his company. Renting a building and using it as the HQ, alongside two other people he created the first 12-degree driver cast made of stainless steel. Adams’ father was a golf pro so he knew a thing or two about the sport and what golfers needed.
With constant innovation and authenticity, he quickly made a name for himself and the brand. Passionate about the sport and always competitive, he had the right approach to make it big. Right now, TaylorMade Golf Company has a strong legacy of breaking the norm and introducing novelty approaches to golf.
The TP5 and the TP5x
These two types of golf balls are by far the most popular and advanced balls the brand has in its lineup. Similarly named, they offer enough range between the two of them for different types of players as well as for different scenarios on the court.
This article has them at its very center and from this point on we talk about the differences, similarities, features, and uses of these two amazing golf products.
Design and Features:
|Made for||Tour Control||Tour Speed|
|Construction||5 Layers||5 Layers|
|Cover||Soft Tough Urethane||Soft Tough Urethane|
|Technology||ClearPath Alignment||ClearPath Alignment|
|Colors||White, Yellow, Custom (USA)||White, Yellow, Custom|
|Balls in the Package||12 (6)||12|
|Price||Starting at $52.99 ($24.99)||Starting at $52.99|
Many of the features of these two golf balls are similar, some are even entirely the same. They come with 12-packs and their starting price is $52.99. Both are available in standard white, bright yellow, and custom personalized colors and styles. More important aspects are also quite similar, like their design and construction for example.
The TP5 and the TP5x are both designed with 5 layers. This 5-layer construction is what the number 5 in their name is there for. This strong design allows many different technologies and materials to be incorporated into the build which maximizes performance and allows the balls to be used in many different shots.
The outer layer is made of urethane, soft but strong, which provides great amounts of control and feel near the holes as you approach it from the green.
In terms of the inner layers, they are made from high-flex modulus and the core is tri-fast. What this brings to the table is a lot of speed, a reduced spin, and lots of distance. These are all features that a quality golf ball needs to have if it is to serve the golfer and allow them to play with confidence.
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between the two. However, other features that make them what they are different, which gives us two distinct balls used for different outcomes and during different stages.
The main (and what many people think is the only) difference between the TP5 and the TP5x is the compression they have. Starting off with the TP5, it comes with a lower compression which gives it more spin and makes it softer.
On the other hand, the TP5x has a higher compression meaning the ball provides more distance and that it is also firmer. For the players who want or need more spin and not that much distance, go with the ball that lacks the X in the name. Those of you who prefer or require longer shots and firmness to the ball, know that the X is your friend.
Another major difference between these two cousin balls is the pattern of their dimples. All golf balls look the same at the initial glance, but the little dimples make a lot of difference. With these two, it is about aerodynamics as the TP5x is more aerodynamic.
It needs to be because it has less drag which is important for reaching larger distances. The TP5 does not need as much aerodynamics from the diples because it favors control and feel with shorter and medium shots where accuracy and confidence are more important than distance and strength.
Where to Use Them?
So how are these two balls used and where and why should you pick one over the other? Well, since one is for distance and speed and the other for control and feel, it is quite easy to guess where each of them falls. The TP5x is perfect for the shots of the tee and in the fairway while the TP5 is better for approaching the green and on the green.
When you need to get as close as possible, you need flight and distance, and hence more aerodynamics. This is where the X comes into play. Once you are close to finishing the hole and need a more refined and controlled approach, it is time to forget about the X.
You may have noticed that it is all quite similar to the clubs and how each type is used. You use the driver and the woods for longer and stronger shots, so those from the tee and the fairway. Then as you get closer and closer, you move on to the irons and hybrids, only to finish off with the putter.
It is very similar to these two TaylorMade balls, but it always ultimately comes down to the preferences and needs of the players, their skill and confidence, and whether or not they are in the rough or need to go over obstacles.
The general rule of thumb in golf is to follow what the course dictates and what each of your shots brings next. You know, the good old, “improvise, adapt, overcome” approach. It describes golf and the use of balls (and clubs) perfectly.
Aside from these balls, you might find it helpful to learn about the typical duration of an 18-hole golf round to plan your time on the course effectively.
Can I Use Both?
Of course you can! These two balls are different enough to give you two separate results based on how and where you pick them. While they are technically made for different stages and shots, a lot of players pick one and stick with them to the end. Those more experienced and nuanced know that it makes a lot of difference to pick and choose, mix and match.
The TP5 can be used for approach shots and chips around the green because more spin and control are needed to get near and into the hole. Once you do so, start off the next hole with the TP5x because you need strength and distance with the first few driver and wood shots off the tee and from the fairway. Alternating between the two gives better results in the end and can make you a better golfer!
Watch this video for more tips on which one should you prefer or maybe even use them both for a full experience:
PGA Tour Stars Who Use Them
Since TaylorMade is arguably the best and most notable golfing brand, it is only natural that many of the top golfers of all time, as well as current stars, use their gear. They actually like their balls in particular and both the TP5 and the TP5x are a very common occurrence in the bags, pockets, and on the tees of champions.
Some of the TaylorMade staff players and partners who swear by the TP5 include Rory Mcllroy, the 4-time major champion, Dustin Johnson, the former No.1 player in the world, and Tommy Fleetwood, the 5-time European Tour champion. They have been with the brand since 2017, 2016, and 2018, respectively.
When the TP5x is concerned, the stars also like what it offers. The Spaniard Jon Rahm who is the current number-one ranked player in the world uses this ball. He has been with the brand since 2017. Colin Morikawa, a 2-time major champion and the rising star Matthew Wolff enjoy using the ball too. Both of them have been TaylorMade staff players since the year 2019 and regularly use the X.