In the hands of a mid or slower swinger, there is plenty of performance to be had here. Specifically, the short game feel and spin control are outstanding for a ball that comes in at less than £30 per dozen.
Excellent feel off the putter face
Superb short game spin control
Faster swingers may see a drop off in driver distance
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If you are looking for a golf ball with a soft feel, TaylorMade has a new 50-compression design that may well fit the bill. We wanted to see how the TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 golf ball performed so we tested it on a launch monitor and on the golf course. In this video and article, we’ll explain what you can expect from tee-to-green.
TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 Golf Ball Review
TaylorMade says this is the softest ball it has ever produced and that was something we really noticed on the greens. We have tested A LOT of golf balls this year including the Kirkland Signature 2.0 and the Wilson Triad, both of which feel soft, but this raises the bar on that front. It has a lovely feel of the face of the putter and during our round of golf using the yellow colour option, we certainly holed more putts than usual.
This soft feel extends into the short game. We hit a series of 50-yard pitch shots using a SkyTrack launch monitor and averaged 5775 rpm of spin. This was around 500rpm more than we got with the mid-price urethane-covered TaylorMade Tour Response 2022 golf ball and the Wilson Triad. In fact, it was only fractionally behind the average spin rate we achieved with some of the best golf balls on the market, like the Tour-played Titleist Pro V1x. So far so good.
The 7-iron performance during our launch monitor testing was also solid. We averaged a carry of 174 yards and with a peak height of 34 yards, this was what we’d want and expect when attacking the green from this distance.
However, it is important to say here that with a low 50-compression, the TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 is undoubtedly aimed at players with mid or slow driver swing speeds. This became evident during our testing. At my driver clubhead speed (112mph), I found that shots dipped out of the air on the course and came up short. We used the TaylorMade Tour Response 2022 during the same round and the Soft Response was often around 10-yards shorter off the tee. This was something we also noticed during our launch monitor testing (the Tour Response offered between four and nine yards extra carry).
This would seem to be the main trade-off with such a low compression ball but it will not be the same for everyone. If your driver head speed is around the 90mph mark, you may well find the long game performance is good. Our 7-iron distances were around where we’d expect them to be. This solid long game performance (for the right swing speed) makes this one of the best soft feel golf balls we've tested this year.
At just under the £30 per dozen mark, the TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 is a product that promises plenty of performance. Whilst faster swingers may see a drop off in distance at the top end of the bag, slower swingers will still be able to benefit from the superb short game performance without seeing the same drop off.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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