The first World Golf Championship event of the year features a change in scenery, as the world’s best golfers tee it up in Mexico City at Club de Golf Chapultepec. With the course perched up at 7,835 feet, the high elevation will certainly be a factor—and a spectacle—as players look to dial in their new yardages in the much thinner air.
As if the altitude wasn’t already producing enough additional distance, several players are playing the new TP5 or TP5x golf balls, which have been delivering more carry, more control, and more greenside spin.
Dustin Johnson, who enters his first event as World No. 1, will have a particularly interesting time adjusting his yardages, with reports of DJ hitting 180-yard pitching wedges and flying greens with his 2017 M1 driver.
TaylorMade Tour players are donning special edition TP5 hats in Mexico to celebrate the launch of the new 5-layer golf balls at retail. Typically, changing golf balls is a long process for PGA TOUR pros, but TP5 and TP5x have proven to be the exception with many players quickly adding the new ball to their arsenals.
Here are a few of the top players in the world who are gaming TP5 or TP5x:
As a player who isn’t afraid to drive it deep, DJ is always looking for improved performance wherever he can get it. With TP5x, he has noticed improvements in trajectory control as well as feel and spin around the greens. The change from Tour Preferred X to TP5x is already paying dividends for DJ, with a win a Riviera and a jump to #1 in the World.
Although Jason Day is not in the WGC-Mexico field due to illness, he has also experienced similar performance improvements with his TP5x golf ball. As reported earlier this year, Jason has really enjoyed the ball’s wind performance. With less spin as a result of the Tri-Fast Core, TP5x delivers less drag and a more penetrating ball flight to minimize the impact that wind has on the ball’s trajectory.
Justin gave both the new TP5 and TP5x balls an in-depth side-by-side test and was really struggling to choose between them. He put the TP5x in play at Riviera because his distances were more consistent and he was seeing 3–5 more yards with his irons. The kicker for him was that his new M2 driver/TP5x golf ball combo is ten yards longer off the tee than last year’s M2 and TPX.
Jon is a high-spin player, so after adding TP5x to the bag, he noticed significant distance gains with both his irons and his driver as a result of the decreased spin. He has been thrilled with the added control TP5x offers (again, as a result of less spin and less drag) and he’s been killing it off the tee (331 yard driving average through Round 1). Rahm has indicated that he’s never been longer in his life than he is with his new 2017 M2 driver and TP5x ball.
Sergio loves to work the ball and use spin to control the various types of shots he plays. He can flight the TP5x high to low on demand and curve it both ways, depending on the shot shape he needs. Additionally, the feel and receptiveness around the greens set the ball apart versus older models. Like Rahm, once Sergio dialed in the Loft Sleeve settings of his new 2017 M2 driver to sync up with the performance of his TP5x, he’s never been longer off the tee.
Si Woo Kim
Rising PGA TOUR player Si Woo Kim was one of the first guys to test the new golf balls with TaylorMade R&D last year. Si Woo creates a ton of spin with his irons, so once he switched to TP5x, he immediately noticed a huge difference in iron spin—netting up to 10 yards in distance gains, especially when into the wind. He has struggled in the past when playing into the wind and loves the improved control and decreased long iron spin that TP5x provides.
TaylorMade’s VP of Tour Operations, Keith Sbarbaro, spoke about the rapid adoption of TP5 and TP5x:
“The dispersion is just so tight and controlled. Almost every player who has tested the ball is hitting it higher, spinning it less, and landing it softer. This ball is the real deal, new guys are switching every week because it’s that good.”
Rob Brooks @golfnation_