TaylorMade has given the latest versions of the Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X golf balls their own identity.
“The feedback we got from Tour players, and the players we have internally, was that there was just too much overlap between the TP and the TPx in the last versions,” said Eric Loper, TaylorMade’s director of golf ball development. “What we wanted to do (with this update) was to make the difference more noticeable, quicker. And with the trend in ‘feel’ we wanted to make the Tour Preferred softer.”
According to Loper, TaylorMade went through 76 prototypes trying to find the perfect blend of feel and performance in the four-piece Tour Preferred ball. It features a soft, cast urethane cover and an updated SpeedMantle inner layer that TaylorMade claims is 65 percent softer and more flexible than the mantle layer used in the ball’s previous version. That should make the 80-compression Tour Preferred feel softer, but still allow players to generate plenty of spin for control on chip shots, pitch shots and approach shots with short irons.
The five-piece, 87-compression Tour Preferred X ball has been given a thicker cast urethane cover that TaylorMade says will create more greenside control because, according to Loper, the grooves in wedges and short irons will be able to grab the cover more effectively.
Both balls feature the same 322-dimple cover pattern found in the Tour Preferred.
According to TaylorMade, golfers who are looking for a softer feel and more spin with mid- and long irons likely will get the performance they are seeking from the Tour Preferred ball, while players who like a firmer feel, with less spin off the tee and a lower launch angle with irons should try the Tour Preferred X ball.
Both balls will be available in stores starting Nov. 6 for $47.99 per dozen.