Tour Speed vs Tour Soft Golf Balls: Which Titleist Ball Suits Your Game?

Colin McCarthy

Tour Speed vs Tour Soft Golf Balls

When it comes to choosing the right golf ball, players often find themselves torn between distance and control. Two popular contenders in this debate are the Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls. Each offers unique benefits, but which one truly enhances your game?

The Tour Speed is renowned for its impressive distance, reportedly ranking as the second longest ball across numerous brands.

However, some players find it too spinny off the tee and lacking in green-side control. On the other hand, the Tour Soft promises a balanced performance but might not match the sheer distance of the Tour Speed.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these golf balls can help you make an informed decision. Whether you prioritize distance or control, knowing what each ball offers will elevate your game to the next level.

Overview of Tour Speed and Tour Soft Golf Balls

In the world of golf, choosing the right golf ball can significantly impact your game. Two popular options among golfers are the Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls.

Each type offers distinct characteristics tailored to different playing styles and preferences. This overview aims to provide detailed insights into the features, benefits, and performance of both the Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls.

Key Differences in Design

Titleist’s Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls use distinct design approaches. The Tour Speed features a unique thermoplastic urethane cover, enhancing durability and control.

It also includes a three-piece construction designed for maximizing distance. Conversely, the Tour Soft comes with a larger core and a softer ionomer cover, focusing more on providing a soft feel and moderate control.

Another design difference lies in their dimple patterns. Tour Speed employs a 346 quadrilateral dipyramid design, optimizing aerodynamics for consistent flight.

In contrast, Tour Soft uses a spherically-tiled 342 cuboctahedron dimple pattern, which aids in producing a penetrating trajectory and better distance for players with moderate swing speeds.

Performance Factors

Performance factors of the Tour Speed and Tour Soft cater to varied playing styles. Tour Speed excels in delivering long-distance shots due to its firm core and aerodynamic dimple pattern.

It provides players with lower spin rates on full shots, making it suitable for players aiming for maximum distance.

On the other hand, the Tour Soft offers a balance between control and distance. Its softer feel translates to higher spin rates on short game shots, giving players enhanced control around the greens.

Though it might not match the long-distance capability of the Tour Speed, it compensates with more precision and a softer landing on approach shots.

Backspin rates and descent angles also differ between the two. Average backspin rates for the Tour Speed with wedge testing at 80 mph show a small drop-off compared to premium balls like the Pro V1, indicating less “drop-and-stop” performance.

The Tour Soft, while not as spin-efficient as urethane-covered balls, provides adequate spin and control on approach shots.

FeatureTour SpeedTour Soft
Cover MaterialThermoplastic urethaneIonomer
CoreHigh-speed coreLarge, soft core
Dimple Pattern346 quadrilateral dipyramid342 cuboctahedron
Spin (Approach Shots)ModerateHigh
DistanceMaximumModerate to High
Control around GreensModerateHigh

Comparing Distance and Control

When selecting a golf ball, two critical performance factors are distance and control. The Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls cater to different aspects of these performance metrics.

Here’s a detailed comparison:

Distance Capabilities

The Tour Speed golf ball is engineered to prioritize distance. It comes with a high-energy core and a reformulated thermoplastic urethane cover.

These attributes contribute to its impressive distance performance, offering golfers a stable flight and extended carry.

Testing reveals that the Tour Speed can add up to seven yards of carry compared to its predecessor, delivering a higher ball speed of 7 mph and an additional 1,000 rpm spin rate with a 7-iron.

In comparison, the Tour Soft focuses on providing a softer feel while maintaining good distance. It features a larger core and a 4CE grafted cover, which promotes both distance and control.

When tested, the Tour Soft golf ball showed five more yards of carry over the TaylorMade Soft Response 2022 golf ball.

While it may not significantly outperform the previous generation Tour Soft in distance, it still offers a commendable balance of distance and consistency.

Control on the Green

The Tour Soft excels in control around the green due to its lower compression and softer cover. This ball allows golfers to achieve high spin rates on greenside shots, helping them to stop the ball more precisely.

While the Tour Soft spins slightly less than the ideal 4,000 rpm with a 7-iron, it still provides ample height and control, making it a preferred choice for those who prioritize short game performance.

In contrast, the Tour Speed, with its three-piece construction and thermoplastic urethane cover, balances distance with control. Though primarily designed for distance, the Tour Speed does not compromise on short game precision.

It spins at approximately 50 rpm more than the Tour Soft when using wedges, offering golfers enhanced control and more stopping power during chip shots.

This balance makes the Tour Speed suitable for players seeking a combination of long game distance and short game accuracy.

Feel and Aesthetics

In addition to performance factors like distance and control, the feel and aesthetics of a golf ball are essential considerations for many golfers. The Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls offer different experiences in these areas.

Texture and Material

Titleist designs the Tour Speed with a thermoplastic urethane cover and a three-piece construction, contributing to its firm but responsive feel.

The higher compression of around 78 ensures a consistent texture that many players find satisfactory for enhancing ball speed and distance.

Conversely, the Tour Soft features an ultra-thin 4CE grafted cover over a larger core. This combination imparts a noticeably softer texture, making it ideal for golfers seeking a plush feel and excellent greenside spin.

The ionomer blend in the Tour Soft’s cover material adds an extra layer of spin control, particularly on greenside shots and pitches.

Visual Impact

Both golf balls exhibit distinct visual elements that appeal to different types of players. The Tour Speed showcases a more streamlined appearance, complemented by a 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design.

This design not only improves aerodynamic efficiency but also gives the ball a sleek, modern look. On the other hand, the Tour Soft appears more traditional with a larger visual footprint that may appeal to those who prefer classic aesthetics.

Both balls are available in white and yellow, catering to a range of visibility preferences and playing conditions.

Pricing and Value

Understanding the pricing and value proposition of golf balls is crucial for golfers looking to optimize their performance without breaking the bank.

Let’s compare the pricing and value of Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls.

Analyzing Cost-Effectiveness

Titleist Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls sit in similar price brackets, but their cost-effectiveness depends on individual needs.

The Tour Speed, priced around $40 per dozen, offers a three-piece construction with a thermoplastic urethane cover, ensuring durability and longevity.

This durability could lower the cost per round, making it a smart investment for golfers seeking an all-around performer with good value for money.

On the other hand, the Tour Soft, also around $40 per dozen, features a larger core and an ultra-thin 4CE grafted cover, promoting a softer feel and high spin on greenside shots.

While it doesn’t offer the same level of durability as the Tour Speed, its lower compression design might appeal to those prioritizing feel and spin control around the greens.

Availability in Market

Both Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls are widely available in the market. The Tour Speed, limited to white in the US until June 21, expands to yellow in other markets immediately at launch. This ball caters to players looking for a mid-low trajectory with piercing ball flight and maximum distance.

The Tour Soft offers both white and yellow options from the start. It targets golfers who prefer a softer feel and higher greenside spin.

Retail availability ensures golfers can easily find these balls at major sporting goods stores, golf shops, and online retailers, making it convenient to choose the right ball for their game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the key difference between Titleist Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls?

The primary difference lies in their design and performance; the Tour Speed prioritizes distance with its high-energy core and urethane cover, while the Tour Soft focuses on a softer feel and higher spin rates around the greens for better control.

Are Titleist Tour Speed golf balls more durable than Tour Soft?

Yes, the Titleist Tour Speed is designed to offer greater durability and longevity, potentially lowering the cost per round for golfers seeking an all-around performer.

What color options are available for Titleist Tour Soft and Tour Speed balls?

The Tour Soft is available in both white and yellow options. The Tour Speed initially offered in white, is also expanding to yellow in other markets.

Who should use the Titleist Tour Speed golf ball?

Golfers looking for added distance and overall performance should opt for the Titleist Tour Speed, thanks to its design that enhances ball speed and carry distance.

Who benefits the most from using Titleist Tour Soft golf balls?

Golfers who prioritize a softer feel and higher greenside spin for better control, particularly around the green, will benefit the most from using the Titleist Tour Soft.


Choosing between Titleist’s Tour Speed and Tour Soft golf balls ultimately depends on a golfer’s individual needs.

The Tour Speed is ideal for those seeking added distance and durability, while the Tour Soft caters to players who prioritize a softer feel and enhanced greenside control.

With both balls priced similarly and offering distinct advantages, golfers can confidently select the one that best complements their playing style.

Whether it’s maximizing distance or achieving better spin control, Titleist ensures there’s a suitable option for every golfer.

When deciding which ball to incorporate into your game, consider factors like swing speed, course conditions, and personal preferences.

Testing both in various scenarios can provide valuable insights, helping you make an informed choice tailored to your unique requirements.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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