Golf balls
February 03, 2020

TaylorMade's Tour Response and Soft Response balls bring tour-level tech at a more palatable price point

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When designing a ball for the mass, TaylorMade Golf did the logical thing: consulted with the masses.

The company’s new Tour Response and Soft Response line of golf balls were designed only after taking input provided by thousands of golfers of all ability levels about the attributes they wanted in a golf ball.

The Tour Response ball replaces the company’s successful Project (a) in providing a more affordable ball than balls played on the professional tours while incorporating many of their technologies. Chief among them is the use of a cast urethane cover with a new dimple pattern. Designed to extend flight downrange for more carry distance.

“Essentially we’re making a softer version of our TP5/TP5x,” said Eric Loper, director of golf ball R&D for TaylorMade. The compression of the core is a pillowy 40, aiding soft feel while promoting an efficient transfer of energy at impact.

Although the TP5/TP5x are five-piece golf balls and the Tour Response is three-piece, Loper’s opinion about bringing tour-tested technologies to a lower price point is on target, especially when it comes to the cover, where the soft urethane material allows the ball to better engage with the grooves on shorter shots for desirable spin. The soft core provides plenty of speed and a soft feel while the firmer mantle layer brings more heat off the club face.

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The Soft Response does not have the urethane cover, using a soft ionomer cover. The shallow, U-shaped dimples in the dimple pattern promote increased lift and decreased drag, allowing the ball to stay in the air longer at lower spin rates, a good recipe for distance, especially for those without high swing speeds. The low-compression (35) core further enhances the soft feel.

The Tour Response is $35 a dozen and is available in white and yellow. Soft response ($25 a dozen) is available in white, yellow and matte red. Both balls will be available at retail Feb. 28.

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