We all adopt different strategies when it comes to the golf ball we play, ranging from “whatever I can find” to “only what the pros on the tour play.” Until not too long ago, I would have placed myself quite firmly in the latter camp. But things are changing – I’m getting older and ball technology has advanced. Although I have played with a handicap between 5 and 7 for a quarter of a century, I have never had the chance to have swing speed on the circuit and certainly not now as the big 6-0 is approaching more and more.
Realistically, like many others, I don’t swing it fast enough to reap all the performance benefits of the best tour-caliber premium balls in the long game, while simultaneously seeking and relying on game feel court and control of their multi-layered constructions and urethane coatings. Until relatively recently, this combination meant a bit of a compromise one way or the other for those with swing speeds below the tour, but, simply put, if I can’t play on and around the greens , I have little chance of playing with a handicap. , therefore leaning towards touring balls for their short game advantages.
Urethane has long been the ball cover of choice and this is where premium balls have had their most tangible benefit – optimum feel and performance around the greens. But more and more of the best mid-priced golf balls now also feature urethane coatings and multi-layer constructions that have brought their performance closer to that of tour models. Not only that, but they also often specifically target those who don’t benefit from the swing speeds that some touring models really need. They’ve been part of a mid-priced ‘super-breed’, if you will, although it’s true that some are definitely more ‘mid-priced’ than others.
One such ball is the latest TaylorMade Tour Response, a three-piece design with a 70-compression Hi-Spring Core designed to help those with suboptimal swing speeds generate as much speed as possible in a ball. soft touch golf shoes. Just sounds the ticket for me, right? And it turned out. Having now played Tour Response extensively for several months, I’ll be brutally honest – I can’t quite tell the difference between this model and TaylorMade’s premium TP5 balls, either in performance or appearance. Judge me for it, if you will, but it’s the truth.
This appearance element is perhaps surprisingly important. Not only does the urethane cover have to feel good to the touch, it also has to look good, and the white version cover, in particular, is indeed suitable for someone who has played mostly tour-caliber balls for many years . The reality is that if the cover doesn’t look good – some urethane covers just don’t – that might prove to be a bridge too far in terms of belief, and belief in what you play is everything. Any fussy doubt that you could just be giving up something by playing this ball, and you’re almost certainly “done” before you’ve even started. Tour Response looks and feels good to me.
Is price a factor? Well, yes and no. Yes, £10 a dozen less than the top-end TP5 models is something of a saving, depending on how many people you pass through. But with an RRP of £39.99 a dozen, it’s still not exactly cheap at nearly £3.50 a ball. So, no, it’s a lot more that I can now get the look and feel I want in a ball that’s more suited to the speed at which I swing the club.
All that to say, I’m pretty much a convert to the TaylorMade Tour Response, which I’ve been playing a lot for months now in its three different forms: white, yellow, and the slightly funky Tour Response Stripe version that certainly stands out from the crowd. .