After having an excellent run, and a bit of a cult following with the TaylorMade Golf Project (a) golf ball, TaylorMade Golf decided to release the next generation of their mid-level range of golf ball. In saying that, the type of golf ball that I describe is one that has most of the characteristics of a tour-level golf ball, however, it’s one that doesn’t come with the tour-level price tag.
Introducing, the Tour Response golf ball from TaylorMade Golf.
When looking at the TaylorMade Golf Tour Response golf ball we’re looking at a golf ball that features a 100% Cast Urethane Cover. The benefits of this type of cover are that it will yield a softer feel at impact and there will also be a tendency for the golf ball to “stick” a little longer on the face of your club which theoretically could deliver more distance. Not to mention, the added bonus of more greenside spin.
The Tour Response golf ball is an easy golf ball to compress, in large part due to the soft, ultra-low 40 compression rating that comes with it. Low compression means that the golf ball has more potential energy transfer and as a by-product, more distance.
The Tour Response golf ball features a 3-piece design where the cover is cast urethane and the core is low compression (both already discussed above). Rounding out the layers, laying in between the core and the cover we find the ‘Speedmantle” layer. Technology similar, to what we see in their tour-level brethren TP5 and TP5x golf balls respectively. This firmer second layer “surrounds the soft inner core and allows for an explosive transfer of energy and increased ball speeds”.
The Tour Response golf ball is available in white and high-visibility yellow, for those that need help locating their golf ball both in flight and in the turf.
Cost – $34.99 USD/dozen or $44.99 CAD/dozen
Even though I first saw this golf ball in October 2019, my testing and use of the Tour Response golf ball came quite late into the 2020 golf season.
While at an event with the Golf Journalists Association of Canada, attendees had their choice of a dozen golf balls to help ourselves to. The TP5 and TP5x were offered along with the Tour Response. Having never played the Tour Response, I figured that I would select a dozen of the Tour Response. After all, I could use the opportunity to test them and write a review. Little did I realize that I wouldn’t put them into play until November.
The day when I finally put them into play for the first time was a day that was chilly, windy, and there was an imminent threat of rain. Conditions at the golf course were soft. Cart path only. So, know early in this review that when I talk about the length of these golf balls, it’s strictly carry yardage. The same could be said of the sequel to that round regarding moist conditions, although, it was warmer. Besides, when it comes to golf ball reviews, total yardage mean “diddly” it’s carry distance for the win.
When summarizing the performance of this golf ball, let’s look at it in terms of their qualities starting with feel, then putting, greenside spin, full approach spin, and distance.
Feel – Recently, I wrote a review on it’s little sibling, the Soft Response. While the Tour Response isn’t as soft as the Soft Response (the Soft Response has a compression of 35), the feel of this golf ball is soft. All of the technologies nicely meld this golf ball together into one great feeling product. While I found that this golf ball was a little more firm than the Soft Response, it still is a very soft feeling golf ball. Especially with the irons. The feel that I get through impact with the Tour Response is one where I have that sense that I have compressed the golf ball. I liked the Soft Response, I prefer the feel of the Tour Response.
Putting – I realize that for the most part, putting with this golf ball really ties into the feel aspect of things too. This is a golf ball that feels soft yet offers a slight “click” with putters that either have inserts, or do not. The “Tour Response” alignment aid is functional. To the best of my ability, I did not observe any sort of “wobble” indicating that this golf ball rolls true.
Greenside Spin – This is where spin is so important. If you miss the greens in regulation, you’ll need a solid back-up plan. That back-up plan is a golf ball that will provide some spin and help you inside of 25 yards. The Tour Response golf ball is very predictable, especially from tightly mowed areas. In general, always expect less spin from the rough, but I found that the Tour Response was pretty reliable and predictable in these conditions as well, when tested. The urethane cover is responsive when it hits the green and the Tour Response does have a “set of brakes”.
***All of this is dependant on the golfer and how they strike the golf ball.
Full Approach Spin – I’ve used TP5 and TP5x. In fact, I love both of those offerings. In comparison, it’s my opinion that the Tour Response is just as good in this facet of the game as its more expensive stablemate. The Tour Response has no problem stopping on a dime and/or backing up. This golf ball has so much full approach spin that you will gain confidence with it quickly and learn its tendencies. Peace of mind is so important i n this very cerebral game. In the rounds of golf played with the Tour Response, I don’t recollect one approach that released from its ball mark upon landing on the surface. Approach shots have either (a) stopped where it landed or (b) went reverse. We’re talking greens that aren’t severely sloped either or greens that feature backstops.
Distance – The Tour Response is long. I always refer to a “benchmark golf ball” which was/is my gamer. Simply put, the Tour Response is every bit as long, if not, longer than my gamer. Over my rounds of golf playing the Tour Response the weather really varied. From a wet, windy, cold day (it was 9*C or 48*F) where the sky was heavier with rain, or my most recent round when it was sunny and in the low 70’s (or low 20’s in Celsius) the Tour Response loves to fly. I was amazed by how it flew, in particular, with a hurting right to left wind.
On one particular shot from 185 yards out and just off of the fairway with water staring me down (forced carry from my angle) my ball just penetrated, unaffected from the wind and unceremoniously landed just past pin high. The shot went approximately 190 yards.
With the metalwoods I can report more of the same observations. The Tour Response goes “deep” whether it’s a 230 yard 19* hybrid, 240 yards into the wind with a 3-wood, or off of tee with the driver. This is a golf ball that appears to be a lower-spinning golf ball. The Tour Response is longer than many other golf balls that I’ve tested, especially in this category of golf ball.
Dare I say it, I’d put this golf ball into play before the TP5 or TP5x. Especially considering that I’d be paying for my golf balls on my own dime. Unlike the tour professional or the more affluent golfer, every dollar counts for me. The price savings, in Canadian funds is a difference of $15/dozen. For the difference in price, there isn’t that much of a drop-off in performance IF there is one.
The Tour Response does everything that a tour-level golf ball does. It offers greenside spin, full approach spin in spades, length, and a cast urethane cover. The cover, by the way, has been durable thus far as well.
I highly recommend the TaylorMade Golf Tour Response.
Until The Next Tee!!
Thank you for this well written review. Have been playing Srixon Z, Bridgestones . Tried a sleeve of the TP5X this last weekend and had an excellent round. Had some winds up to 21 mph on a challenging course. I typically score mid to high 90s. Windy and a new course and scored a 92. Outdrove and better 2nd shots than a guy who scores low 80s. I now want to try the Tour Response. May be even better for me.