This is the second review of three TaylorMade golf ball models I’m in the process of reviewing. The first was the Project (a) ball, a ball designed more for amateurs with slower swing speeds. This review features the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball. The “TP” is a “tour” level ball, meaning their highest performance and most expensive. This is one which many TaylorMade PGA Tour players use, and for good reason. Let’s take a look.
The Tour Preferred ball is a four layer ball. Each layer features materials and engineering which give the ball specific performance characteristics. For instance, the core may provide the primary distance of the ball while the outer layer or cover provides much of the ball’s feel and spin. Most tour balls, the Tour Preferred included, have a urethane cover which provides the softest and best spin in the sort game.
Together these layers and their engineering produce the following performance characteristics in the TaylorMade TP ball:
These characteristics are slightly different than the Tour Preferred X ball, which I will be reviewing soon. The difference between the two is that numbers two and three above are swapped. The X ball has medium mid- to long-iron spin and medium-high short iron and wedge spin.
Low driver spin means more accuracy off the tee and longer distance. High spin inside 100 yards means short game control.
On The Course
I don’t do TrackMan or FlightScope testing on my golf balls and clubs, just real world golf on real golf courses. If you need to know the exact spin rate off a 9-iron at X miles-per-hour swing speed with x-launch angle, there are other sites full of that information. Google it.
Off the tee the TP feels very solid and I can hit it as far as just about any other ball I’ve tested. I can feel the ball compress and I’m able to work the ball as needed, though my swing lately seems to only want to go straight or draw. Don’t ask me to hit a fade right now. I’ve hit a few massive drives (for me), and even some massive 3-woods with this ball.
Iron feel of the TP is excellent. The ball is soft enough for me to feel it on the face and tell if I’m clipping it just right, compressing it. Those pure shots produce pure results and birdie opportunities.
Inside 100 yards (admittedly my weakest link) I have plenty of spin. Sometimes I can actually clip the ball to crisply when pitching or chipping and it will check too much. That’s not the ball’s fault. It the fault of my skill level, short game distance control.
Lastly, the fee of the putter is great. The cover feels soft and I have total distance control with the flat stick.
Not Just For Tour Players
Over many years one of the main reasons amateurs were not well off hitting “tour” balls is because of the compression of the ball and maxiumum distance. High swing speeds were needed to get full compression out of them. That does not seem to be the case with the TP ball. I have a driver swing speed of about 100MPH, and 105 if I’m really killing it. With the right driver head, shaft, and this ball, I can hit them quite far. I don’t feel like I’m losing distance with the TP due to not having a high enough swing speed.
The other component to “tour” balls is the high spin. The engineering of this ball gives the player, amateur or pro, the high spin where it is needed in the shorter irons and short game. So once again, an amateur could benefit from playing this ball.
Whether you are an amateur or a pro, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball is a high performance option.