Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

If you’re thinking about trying the new TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls, you’ll want to read this. We take a deep dive into the layers of technology that make these golf balls perform to the very highest level.

The time and effort that goes into making a golf ball is mind-blowing. There is a real science to it which we have seen in the latest behind-the-scenes tour of the TaylorMade Liberty ball plant.

However, what does that all mean when it comes to the ball that you’re going to play? To find out, I caught up with Josh Dipert Director of Research and Development at TaylorMade to ask him about what we can expect from the TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls.

Where do you begin when you start to develop the technology of a golf ball like the TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x? 

“We really have a good product development timeline with a four-year tech plan. We have advanced design teams which look at technologies, but are not combining technologies. For example, they might just be looking at dimples. The only thing they look at is the dimples. They’re trying to understand where a certain dimple may go, how they make it high drag here or low drag there, things like that. They’ll think about how they can make the ball launch low with the wedges or high with the driver. That’s what they’re trying to understand.”

TaylorMade TP5x
A look inside the five piece design of the TaylorMade TP5x golf ball. (Credit: TaylorMade)

How did you come up with creation of the speed wrap technology? 

“Our advanced design team are looking at new formulations of rubber and seeing how we change rubber and formulate different properties. They found out that the speed is the same, the compression is the same, but the frequency in this ball is lower. By digging in more we are able to change the frequency of a ball without changing the speed or the compression. It’s a really interesting technology.

“We know that the TP5x ball priorities speed and then feel. We also know the TP5 ball prioritises feel then speed. So, we then need to think, how do we utilise the technology for a better feeling golf ball and a faster golf ball. That’s where the speed wrap technology comes from.”

How does frequency play a part in the design of a golf ball? 

“Historically, what it allows us to do is make a faster golf ball. To make a faster golf ball, it has to be a higher compression and feel firmer. That’s when frequency goes up. What this allows us to do, especially when we put the speed wrap technology in the TP5x, was to drop the frequency. It now sounds softer but has the same speed. Then, we increase the speed, which brings that frequency back up. Now, it’s faster, but with the same sound and feel.” 

• How is a TaylorMade golf ball made?

• Review: TaylorMade TP5 golf balls

How did you create a more penetrating flight in these new golf balls? 

“It’s all down to dimple design. With both the TP5 and TP5x we did bring down the spin rates a little bit on the driver and the long irons. That’s where we talk about that five-layer compression gradient. What that gradient does is separate the spin between driver and wedge, so you will get low driver and high wedge spin. As soon as the ball leaves the face, it doesn’t really care what the core material is. It really is aerodynamics and about how the wind affects it. That dimple we create is just a little lower lift dimple, so it doesn’t fly up, so it has a flatter flight and a shallower angle as well.”

How many prototypes did you go through when creating a ball like the TP5 and TP5x? 

“For both balls we went back and counted 240 different prototypes that we created. When that happens, with the amount you have created, you start on a four-year timeline. The engineering process is simple. You design, make and test and you do it again. You want to start wide with lots of options and then narrow it down. You don’t want to start narrow as you’ll start zig zagging then you end up chasing yourself.

“You want to start wide to get an understanding, then go through each cycle to narrow it down. So, you’re starting with lots of options in a low quantity, then you’ll end up with less options but with more quantity, because you want to understand the product variation.”

TaylorMade TP5
The TaylorMade TP5 ready for on course testing. (Credit: TaylorMade)

What do you look for in a quality test?

“One of the easiest things to look for is durability. There are lots of different types of durability, one is just whether the ball cracks or not. We look at how many shots it takes for the ball to crack, and we have a limit. We have a floor which it cannot be below because that is not acceptable for us. We will always continue to improve, but there is a level that we can’t go under. It’s the same with sheer durability, but also cart path durability.

“We have standards, we compare ourselves to ourselves and to competitors and we always want to be better. Those are some of the pass and fail criteria that we have in place.”

How quick do professionals go into a new golf ball? 

“It’s difficult. It’s not as easy as a driver fitting, as with that, if they see a mile an hour extra ball speed, it’s in the bag and they’ll play it next tournament. With a golf ball, our fitting is extensive. We spend two-to-three hours with a tour player. Some players like to start with driver and work their way down, while some players will start with a wedge and work their way up. Sometimes, they’ll say ‘I love my wedge and driver, but my irons spin too much.’ But, they can work around it and then get out on the course to test it out.

“On a driving range every lie is perfect, so you’re just looking at numbers on Trackman. So, you have to get on to the course, somewhere they usually play, so they know how the ball will play. Then, they will know, this is what they need to carry this bunker, this how they hit it out of this rough. It is extensive testing to get the ball fully in the bag. That’s why we know with our players, they’ll all be in the ball by the Masters, but we know it can take a couple of months.”

What ball are you most excited about? 

“I think I’m most excited about the TP5x because there are some crazy ball speed gains. We are getting feedback from consumers that are seeing gains around 5mph-to-7mph and that’s where the everyday golfer will see the difference.

“I’m excited see the faster swing speed players see the difference in ball speed and distance with that flatter flight as well.”

Are you subscribed to the bunkered YouTube channel? We release new gear reviews EVERY Friday!

author headshot

James Tait is bunkered’s Gear Editor. Want to know how the latest Callaway driver, Vokey wedge or Scotty Cameron putter performs? He’s the guy to ask. Better yet, just watch his videos on the bunkered YouTube channel. One of the biggest hitters in the UK, James also competes on the World Long Drive circuit and is a descendent of former Amateur champion Freddie Tait.

Gear Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute - Day 1 LIVE from Augusta