The TaylorMade Tour Response and Soft Response balls promise great all round performance at a competitive price but how did they get on when we tested them?
In the Tour Response, TaylorMade is offering a cast urethane covered ball that comes in at around £10 less per dozen than the brand’s premium TP5 and TP5x balls. In the Soft Response, TaylorMade is aiming to offer a ball that provides excellent all round playability and consistency without the same level of feel and spin control of the more expensive models.
We tested these two TaylorMade balls up against each other on a recent trip to the US. In the long game, they both performed well. Offering plenty of distance off the tee, they both provided a strong flight that was consistently true, even in windy conditions.
There might be different elements to the construction of the two balls – the Soft Response has a unique dimple pattern for added distance, an ionomer cover and has a lower compression – but we felt as if in the long game the differences were fairly minimal, perhaps the Tour Response was a touch longer for our above-average swing speed.
It is when we got towards the green that the distinctions really became apparent to us. We set up one test – a pitch from around 30 yards into a firm green – and hit a series of wedge shots with both balls. There was no doubt the Tour Response just offered that little bit more spin control. Checking quickly on the second bounce, we felt as if we could be a little more aggressive and committed with the Tour Response. For many amateurs, this is where a premium, urethane covered ball really comes into its own and the Tour Response certainly offered good spin control.
This is not to say the Soft Response doesn’t feel good – it does. Off the putter face in particular it felt smooth and we had plenty of control.
For many amateur golfers, who are just as likely to hit a drive straight down the middle of the fairway as they are to shell one into the unknown, the idea of a golf ball that offers good all round performance at an affordable price-tag sounds seriously alluring.
Indeed, this is what TaylorMade is offering in these two new models. The Tour Response is certainly closer, both in terms of price and performance, to the brand’s flagship offerings. If you are looking for that little more control around the greens, especially when chipping, then these are well worth testing for yourself if you want to save a few pounds.
If however, you can put up with your chips rolling out a little more then the Soft Response still feels good whilst also performing impressively in the long game. It also comes in yellow and pink if you want to add some personality to your game.
Two excellent additions to the TaylorMade golf ball family that offer amateurs the chance to balance the price they pay with a level of performance to suit them.