Ball Test: TaylorMade TP5 v Project (a) v Project (s) - Technical editor Joel Tadman compares three of TaylorMade's ball offerings for 2018 to discover the differences in feel and performance at the different price points
Ball Test: TaylorMade TP5 v Project (a) v Project (s)
TaylorMade is having some significant success with its TP5 ball, amassing an increasing number of tour wins while also slowly creeping up on Titleist’s dominant ball share in the marketplace.
So we wanted to test it alongside two other of its 2018 ball models to see how the feel and performance compares and what exactly golfers are getting for their money.
We collected Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor data indoors on a driver, 7-iron shot and 50-yard pitch shot before heading the stunning practice facilities at Adare Manor in Ireland to have another hit with them both on the range and across various short game scenarios.
The TP5 is TaylorMade’s most expensive ball at 49.99 per dozen, you can read about the technology within it here.
Our data testing showed that it produced the highest spin and lowest launch on the 50-yard pitch shot, suggesting it offers the most short game control of the three. For our 107mph driver swing speed, it also delivered the highest ball speed and longest carry distance off the tee.
The iron carry distances were extremely consistent, the mid-to-high launch and ball flight with good spin that wasn’t too high or low will please good players.
The TaylorMade Project (a) comes in at £39.99 per dozen, again you can read about the technology within the ball here. But it’s worth noting this ball does have a urethane cover.
As a result, the performance on the 50-yard pitch was comparable to the TP5, not spinning quite as much but still offering good control.
Driver performance was also good but not quite as good as the TP5, carrying a few yards short of it thanks to 2mph less ball speed at 155mph.
We got a little more distance with the irons, 5 yards more in fact thanks to a touch lower spin but more significantly, 3mph more ball speed.
The 's' in Project (s) stands for soft feel, it comes in at just £24.99 per dozen.
While it definitely gave us the softest feel on all clubs, it offered the least amount of spin on the 50-yard pitch shot and was also the shortest off the tee with the driver. This isn’t to say you will experience the same thing – in fact, slower swing speeds might actually find the Project (s) will be the longest ball for them off the tee.
The Project (s) interestingly gave us the longest iron shots, 9 yards longer than the TP5. This was down to the lower spin and higher ball flight.
There’s clearly distinct differences in performance between the three balls. We’ve proven the TP5 to be the best all-round performer, more than justifying the highest price tag. The Project (a) is also a good all-rounder that just fell short off the tee and on longer pitch shots, while the Project (s) looks to be better suited to slower-swinging golfers who want a soft feel on all shots.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.3.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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