The TaylorMade Tour Preferred ball, is the number two ball on tour, second to the Titleist Pro V1 family. As with the Pro V, the pros on tour prefer the Tour Preferred-X version. It seems that Taylormade has finally gotten over it’s crazy ball and club names in favor of more industry standard naming. While the RBZ turned into RocketBalls, sorry I am over 50, I just can’t buy those at Walmart with a straight face. Sounded like something you should be buying at the pharmacy, but I digress.
I tested the the Tour Preferred ball, no “X”, because it is more in line with the type of ball I look for. I am looking for soft feel and spin around the greens. I took the ball out at Jack Tone in Ripon, CA., for a quick 18. Compared to some of the balls I have been playing, the first impression of the Tour Preferred (TP) is that it is much like some of my favorite Taylormade balls from the past. If you have read my blog over the years you will remember that I have liked many of the Taylormade balls from the TP Red and Black, Penta TP, Lethal, and Project(a) they were some of my favorite balls. However, it has been a couple of years since I reviewed the Lethal, and that long since I have played any Taylormade pro balls.
The TP feels like an old friend, they share the same 5 piece construction that Taylormade has had since the Penta, and they claim to be the only other ball with a cast urethane cover. What I really like about the TP is the feel off the driver and long irons. The 5 piece construction makes the ball seem to stay on the face of the driver and 4 iron just a beat longer. It seems to be as long as the other balls I play like the Callaway Chrome Soft and the flight seems to be med-high.
Where the ball differs from a lot of the balls I have been playing lately is the sound and spin. The TP has a crisp crack with my RSi2 4 iron, and it really makes my R1 ping. But the ball is softer than the Penta TP but feels a whole lot like the Lethal. It spins for days of my wedges. I had to be careful or I could zip it right off of the sloped greens I was playing on the par 3’s.
The cons of the ball though is durability. After a few tee shots with wedges, I had sheared the cover so badly that it had bits of white flaking off of it, and you could see the mantle below. I was not expecting that because for the last 3 or so years, golf ball manufacturers have done a remarkable job of making more durable balls that still have good spin. I can play round after round with Chrome Soft or Pro V1’s and not see any cracking or shearing of the covers.
As you can see after the 9th hole my wedges had done a number on that shiny new TP ball. What is even more surprising is that it happened, not with my older Cleveland Zip Grooved wedges, but with my new RSi2’s with conforming grooves.
This shot shows the stopping power of the TP with a 6 iron from 162 yards, almost hopped into it’s own ball mark.
Overall, I can’t really recommend the TP because they are $45 a box, right now at end of season you can get them for $39.99. So they are not cheap, and if your results are anything like mine, I want a ball to last more than just one round. To be fair, I only played one round with one ball, I will play the other two balls in the sleeve I bought and let you know if I have changed my opinion. Really disappointing, since I have moved all of my equipment except for my putter and wedges to Taylormade.