2016 TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X

April 9, 2016 – GolfBallSelector.com completed testing on the new TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X and provides this review in our series of 2016 golf ball reviews.

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The TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X golf ball are part of TaylorMade’s 2016 lineup and replace the 2014 models.

The Tour Preferred features a 4-piece golf ball construction while the Tour Preferred X features a 5-piece golf ball construction. Both feature a 322 dimple design and urethane cover.

2016-taylormade-tourpreferred-packaging  2016-taylormade-tourpreferredx-packaging

Source: Digital Ball Catalog™, GolfBallSelector.com

Here is a breakdown of differences in choosing between the two according to TaylorMade*:

Tour Preferred

Provides players the combination distance and feel they need from tee to green. Off the tee, it gives players exceptional distance with a slightly higher ball flight than that of the Tour Preferred X. The softer feel offers tour level greenside spin along with controlled flight with wedges.

Tour Preferred X

Provides exceptional distance with the driver and long irons by utilizing low spin and a more penetrating ball flight. Controlled flight in short irons and wedges gives the better player the combination of distance they’re looking for off the tee with the control around the green they need.

*Source: taylormadegolf.com

The Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X carry a retail price of $47.99 per dozen.

The TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X will be included in the next release of GolfBallSelector.com.

2016-taylormade-tourpreferred-pole  2016-taylormade-tourpreferred-seam

2016-taylormade-tourpreferredx-pole  2016-taylormade-tourpreferredx-seam

Source: Digital Ball Catalog™ at GolfBallSelector.com

Testing Approach

In testing and evaluation conducted by GolfBallTest.org, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X were subjected to bench testing for compression and cover hardness, and to player and robot testing using the driver, 6-iron and sand wedge. Additionally, we performed a weight analysis and ball color inspection.

taylormade-tourpreferred-inside  taylormade-tourpreferredx-inside

Source: Digital Ball Catalog™ at GolfBallSelector.com

Notable Observations

Player testing was conducted across a range of ball speeds on the on the TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X golf ball. Overall, the 2016 Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X continue to exhibit mid-range launch and relative spins in excellent performance ranges off all clubs tested (driver, 6-iron, and 56 degree wedge).

Relative Comparison of the 2016 TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X:


Summary Comparison between new 2016 and previous models:

  • Off the tee with the driver, the 2016 models spin less than the 2014 models across all speeds –noticeable at the highest ball speeds.
  • On approach shots with sand wedge and 6-iron, the 2016 models spin more than the 2014 models at the lower ball speeds with slightly higher launch angles.
  • Around the green, the 2016 models have a slightly softer feel than the 2014 models.

  • Bench Testing

    Our bench testing indicates that the 2016 Tour Preferred has an overall compression reading of 90 points, which is approximately 10% less than the overall compression reading of the 2014 Tour Preferred. The 2016 Tour Preferred X has an overall compression reading on 104 points which is approximately 6% higher than the 2014 Tour Preferred X golf ball. Additional bench testing measuring cover hardness revealed that the Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X exhibited similar cover hardness to each other and were both slightly softer than the 2014 Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X.

    The increased compression of the 2016 Tour Preferred X will make it feel firmer than the 2016 Tour Preferred in spite of having similar cover hardness. Both 2016 models feel softer that the 2014 models.

    Weight Analysis

    We measured overall ball weight in our analysis. Using the Ohaus model SP-401 scale we measured ball weights of all golf ball models in our current data base. The Tour Preferred measuring at 1.6125 ounces and 1.6095 ounces in the case of the Tour Preferred X. The 2014 models measured at 1.6130 ounces for the Tour Preferred and the Tour Preferred X at 1.6115 ounces, making the Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X among the lightest golf balls we have tested.

    (Note: 1.62 oz is the maximum allowable weight permitted by the USGA/R&A. Proximity to 1.62 without exceeding is considered a positive attribute)

    Player Comments

    The Tour Preferred feels slightly softer than the Nike RZN Tour Platinium and comparable to the Bridgestone Tour B330 and Tour B330-S especially off the putter and sand wedge”.

    “When comparing the Tour Preferred to the Titleist Pro V1, I seem to get less feel and slightly less control around the greens with my wedge shots.”

    “I found the both the 2016 Taylormade Tour Preferred and Bridgestone Tour B330 rolled off my putter (an Odyssey 2-Ball) about the same – and did not see a noticeable difference, but it did feel harder when compared to the Pro V1.”

    “Comparing the Tour Preferred X with the Titleist Pro V1x I found the Pro V1x to launch slightly lower and carry better into the wind.” The Tour Preferred X spins less than the Pro V1x off the driver and off the 6 iron.”

    “On wedge shots, I did not notice any performance difference between the Tour Preferred X and the Pro V1x.”

    “I noticed very little difference in this year’s Tour Preferred X model versus last year’s model in all facets of my game, however when compared to the Pro V1X on the greens I felt slightly more comfortable with the Pro V1x.”


    Golfers looking for a “tour ball” should consider this year’s 2016 TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X as they perform consistently across all ball speeds in delivering mid-launch and mid to low spin measures. Distance is a function of ball speed and the other two elements in concert and both models optimize across all ball speeds well.

    Golfers of all ball speeds looking for a mid-launch angle ball flight off the driver, mid iron and wedge should benefit from the ball and those seeking a slightly softer feeling ball without losing spin on full shots will see those performance features consistently in this ball.

    In our opinion, differences between the 2014 and 2016 versions of the Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X are not significantly different and might be hard to detect for most golfers. The Tour Preferred appears to perform better for the low to mid ball speed player while the Tour Preferred X better for the higher ball speed player.

    In choosing the right golf ball, GolfBallSelector.com believes that golfers interested in the TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X should consider its “best fit” potential for their game in the context of their own preferences and the trade-offs they are prepared to take for distance, control and feel and according to their own unique ballistics measures of ball speed, launch angle and general spin rate. As with any ball, player preferences and individual launch/spin conditions are paramount. Learn more at GolfBallSelector.com, the #1 Ball Selector in Golf.

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    GBT Technologies, LLC (GBT) owns and operates GolfBallTest.org and GolfBallSelector.com. GBT provides unrivaled product performance ratings – and search and decision support tools – that inform, enable, and empower the consumer. We are the Trusted Source for unbiased and fact-based information and performance ratings of golf balls. Learn more at GBT-Tech.com.

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