TaylorMade Tour Preferred, Tour Preferred X golf balls

Sergio Garcia won the Thailand Golf Championship in December and the 2014 Qatar Masters Jan. 25 using the new TaylorMade Tour Preferred X golf ball. Today, the company has announced it will start selling that ball, along with the updated Tour Preferred ball. Both will be available March 1 for $45.99 per dozen.

According to TaylorMade, the playing qualities designed into both balls are based on feedback from numerous discussions with staff pros, including Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Garcia. Because the company received so much input from its players, TaylorMade is anticipating that at least 80 percent of its playing staffers will switch into one of these two new balls.

Both balls feature a new cast urethane cover that TaylorMade claims is significantly softer, which should translate to more greenside spin and control on shots hit with wedges and short irons. The 322-dimple pattern that covers the balls has been designed to decrease drag and help shots bore through the wind and hold their line more effectively.

“We went softer with the cover, and it has a tendency to keep the ball flatter and keep it a little lower, with a little more spin,” said Dean Snell, TaylorMade’s vice president of golf ball research and development.

“The single biggest innovation in our Tour Preferred golf balls for 2014 really is the Soft Tech cover,” said Lindsay Main, TaylorMade’s product marketing manager for golf balls. “This cover is more easily grabbed by the grooves of your wedge around the greens, to really increase control.”

TaylorMade claims its new Soft Tech cover material also resists shearing and should last longer.

While both the four-piece Tour Preferred ball and the five-piece Tour Preferred X balls are designed to reduce spin off the tee for more distance, the Tour Preferred ball will produce slightly higher long and mid-iron shots because it will create more spin. TaylorMade also says that the Tour Preferred ball will create a slightly-higher flight with wedges and short iron shots than the Tour Preferred X.

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