The TaylorMade Golf Soft Response golf ball is a three-piece golf ball that is the heir to the throne that was relinquished by the Project (s). A golf ball that was released in 2018. Back then, the Project (s) proved to be a real pleasant surprise, as it performed very well in every facet of the game when tested that year.
Back in late 2019, I first caught wind of the new Soft Response that was going to be released. I was naturally intrigued to see if the new Soft Response was going to be a step forward, a step back, or no different than the underrated Project (s), a golf ball that I’m not certain received much fanfare,
TaylorMade Golf made the decision to discontinue the Project (s) in favour of the Soft response. The Soft Response was ultimately developed when TaylorMade Golf surveyed thousands of golfers. Results of the survey indicated that golfers wanted a golf ball that offered soft feel without giving up distance. How was tis accomplished?
Starting with the cover, the soft ionomer cover of the Soft Response golf ball is durable and features an “Extended Dimple Pattern” that’s designed to keep the golf ball in the air for a longer period of time, whilst keeping the spin rates low. The compression rating of this golf ball is quite low, with a rating of 35, thanks to the trademarked ZnO Flex Core™. In doing so the Soft Response gives golfers “a softer feel while maximizing energy transfer and rebound at impact, resulting in dominant distance for the average swing speed player”.
The Soft Response golf balls come in three colours where white, a high-visibility yellow, and a matte red finish are available.
A combination of getting older and diabetes has led to my eyes not functioning quite like they used to. Over the last year, I’ve really struggled to follow the flight path of my golf ball, especially when the skies are overcast.
Now, I realize that bright, high-visibility golf balls aren’t for everyone and believe me when I say that I didn’t like them either. But out of need comes necessity or vice versa. There really is quite the market in the golf ball industry for high-viz golf balls, otherwise all of the manufacturers including TaylorMade Golf wouldn’t produce them. And, like it or not, it seems like I’ve fallen into the demographic of golfers that need them. SO, I’ve been searching for the right colour. I’ve struggled with different colours experimenting with green and orange as well. But for some reason, I’m really able to locate and track red. In the air, I find that the red acts like a “shot tracer”.
Sticking with the visibility for a second, I’ve found that the matte red colour is very easy to locate in the fairway and/or rough. As mentioned, I’ve struggled at times locating green and orange especially in certain conditions. This is particularly the case during bright, cloudless mornings where the dew reflects the sun. The red finish however, allows me to locate it easier. Except for one instance. In the fall, when it just so happens that red leaves have fallen to the ground.
As far as summarizing the performance of the Soft Response golf balls, I feel that it’s important to discuss this from the green and work my way back to the tee.
Putting – The Soft Response feels terrific off of the putter. The feel may not be for everyone, but I like the soft, muted feel, sound, and sensation that I get from putting with the Soft Response. The alignment aid is very functional, and what I really like is how the bright white print contrasts on the matte red finish of the ionomer cover.
Greenside Spin – Thinking back to my experiences with the Project (s) in what seems an eternity ago, that ball impressed in this facet of the game. Maybe my striking and short-game is better in 2020 than it was back then, but I feel that this golf ball stops better. Strange for a non-urethane cover right?! But it really seems to be the case. I experienced very little rollout of firm greens and softer greens this ball, for me, acted in a way like a tour-level golf ball. Bear in mind that this depends on the golfers and how you strike the golf ball. Results will of course, vary. Out of greenside bunkers I found that the Soft Response put the brakes on rather briskly.
Full Swing Approach Spin – Up above I detailed the the greenside spin being similar to a tour-level golf ball. When it came to approach on full swings with anything from a 5i down thru wedge this golf ball did a little bit better that “drop ‘n’ stop”. In my experiences, more often than not (flipping the club notwithstanding) the Soft response would end up backing up a little bit. Time and time again, I would find my golf ball sitting in front of the ball mark. Anywhere from from 6″ to 18″.
Driver Spin – In my opinion, TaylorMade Golf did a very good job with acquitting themselves on their claims. The Soft Response is a golf ball that yield low driver spin. This golf ball, in my experiences did not balloon, and that led to this golf ball being very long off of the tee. Which brings me to distance. I also found that the wind did not effect this golf ball off of the driver and that it really had a tendency to fly straight, and sort of just “float” out there.
Distance – I didn’t start using this golf ball until mid-September. The Soft Response is the longest golf ball that I’ve struck in 2020. For the first time all year, I was finally seeing ballflight in a manner that I’m used to seeing. I haven’t been shy about discussing my struggles this year and to be honest, early October is when things started to come around. Much of this has to do with low-compression of the mantle layer and I’m certain that the dimple pattern has something to do with it as well. Distance with the irons is also longer, and I would suggest up to a club and half over another ball of the same genre that I’ve tested.
With all things being equal, the Soft Response has proven to be longer than my typical “Benchmark Golf Ball”.
TaylorMade Golf might hate me for saying this. But, the Soft Response, for me, has proven to be longer than their TP5 or TP5x, both golf balls that I really like a lot. I would have no problem teeing up either one tomorrow. But the Soft Response is a golf ball ball that I also wouldn’t be hesitant to put into play.
It is a multi-layer golf ball that has a rugged, durable cover that can withstand a beating and the matte red finish is easy to track in the air or locate on the ground.
It provides very surprising greenside spin and yields plenty of length. The soft feel of the Soft Response is a winner, and it’s no surprise that I love the soft feel. I do gravitate towards low-compression golf balls now a little more than I used to.
The Soft Response is the best of this genre of golf ball that I’ve tested. When you factor in the price it gets even better. At $29.99 CAD or $24.99 USD it won’t break the bank.
The Soft Response golf ball might be worth your while. This might be the “Sleeper Golf Ball of 2020”.
Until The Next Tee!!