TaylorMade Golf Company has announced the release of its 2016 golf ball lineup, highlighted by the new Tour Preferred X, Tour Preferred and Project (a).
The new Tour Preferred ball (four-layer construction, 80 compression), features TaylorMade’s next-generation SpeedMantle inner layer, comprised of a material that is more than 65 per cent softer and more flexible than the previous generation’s mantle.
The development of the new mantle has allowed engineers to create a softer feeling ball, while still maintaining the performance characteristics of the original Tour Preferred golf ball.
The new Tour Preferred golf ball is also designed to provide higher launch and more spin for long irons, while maintaining the same distance off the tee and greenside spin as the Tour Preferred X but with a softer feel.
The new Tour Preferred still features TaylorMade’s Soft Tech cast urethane cover and Low-Drag Performance Aerodynamics (LDP), a 322 dimple pattern to provide distance off the tee and a penetrating flight through wind.
The new Tour Preferred is designed for players of all swing speeds looking for a softer tour performance golf ball.
Tour Preferred X
The new Tour Preferred X ball (five-layer construction, 87 compression) features a new thicker re-engineered Soft Tech cast urethane cover for more greenside control and the same LDP 322 dimple pattern found in the Tour Preferred.
Similar to its predecessor, the Tour Preferred X is designed to deliver low spin off the tee, low iron ball flight, but with more greenside spin.
TaylorMade Tour Professionals who play the Tour Preferred X include Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day, along with many others.
“We developed forty-three Tour Preferred X prototypes throughout our exhaustive pursuit to engineer a better golf ball and put them in the hands of our tour players,” said Eric Loper, TaylorMade’s director of golf ball development.
“They were unanimously drawn to the ball that produced more control around the greens and that was the new Tour Preferred X,” he said.
“We’re excited by their initial reactions to its performance and look forward to their transition into the new models for the ’15-’16 PGA Tour season,” said Loper.
Choosing Between Tour Preferred & Tour Preferred X
With Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X, TaylorMade offers two distinctly different performance golf balls.
What separates Tour Preferred and the Tour Preferred X from a performance standpoint is feel and spin.
Tour Preferred is the lowest compression tour ball the company has ever offered and is designed for players who prefer softer feel and more spin in the mid-to-long iron shots. This spin will also promote a higher trajectory on approach shots than the Tour Preferred X.
On the contrary, the Tour Preferred X is designed for players looking for a more penetrating flight with their irons and more feedback (firmer) on shots into and around the green.
TaylorMade’s 2016 lineup also features the new Project (a), designed specifically for the competitive amateur player to promote more spin and improved performance where needed most, on shots 30 yards and in.
The new Project (a) has an overall compression of 70 (versus 88 in the original model), which was achieved by dropping the core compression 33 per cent.
The core compression has been reduced from 60 to 40 by way of a REACT Core with a new speed optimized formulation.
As amateur players generate nearly 50 per cent less spin than players on tour, Project (a) is specifically designed to deliver more spin on mid irons, short irons and shots around the green for enhanced control and increased scoring opportunities.
The new Project (a) features many of the same technologies as featured in the original model, including REACT core technology for more distance on long shots.
The new Project (a) also retains the proprietary Soft Tech cast urethane cover to provide higher greenside spin, softer feel and improved durability. Soft Tech is the same cover used on both Tour Preferred models.