Photo Packaging Product Credit: © Taylormade Golf
Ball tested: TaylorMade New Tour Preferred Golf Ball, and Tour Preferred X Golf Ball
Some manufacturers do not reveal or emphasize the compression ratings of new golf balls. Some models are now designed and marketed to fit and appeal to a golfers preferences for price, distance, spin, feel and control.
REACT Core - Promotes fast speed off the driver and soft feel throughout the bag
Spin Mantle Technology - Inner layers designed to promote consistent approach shot spin
New Soft Tech Cover - New softer cover material promotes improved greenside spin and control
Seamless LDP 322 Dimple Pattern - Promotes penetrating ball flight for more distance into the wind
For players who are at a more advanced level of the game, the 2016 version of the well-known TaylorMade Tour Preferred ball is a strong option. There are actually two models within this line to pick from – the regular Tour Preferred, and the Tour Preferred X. While these two models are extremely similar, the regular Tour Preferred will feel a little bit softer coming off of the club, and it will tend to fly a little bit higher. The regular model is a four-piece ball while the X has five layers, but you should find that both offer impressive distance off the tee combined with incredible touch around the greens.
Picking between the regular and the X is going to be a matter of personal preference and playing style. Those with high swing speeds may want to look closer at the X model, since it offers a lower ball flight. Keeping the ball down and under control can be a challenge for players who swing hard, which is why the X is used by many Tour professionals. If you find that you have to constantly fight with your ball flight to keep the ball down – specifically on approach shots – the Tour Preferred X may be the right option for you.
Of course, in the end, the only way to know which ball is your best option is to head out onto the course to test them out. If you are interested in using a TaylorMade ball, try to pick up a sleeve of each model that you wish to try and give them a test drive for yourself. The performance of the ball on the course will be the ultimate decision maker, so don’t make a pick based on anything other than how the ball helps you score.
Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance
Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo
Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330