Made famous by their S2H2 Stainless Steel Woods introduced in 1988, and later for the “Big Bertha” driver introduced in 1991, Callaway now sells more golf equipment than any other manufacturer in the world. In 1997, they purchased Odyssey Sports and began producing one of the most popular putters - among both professionals and amateurs alike - the Odyssey Putter. Today, Callaway Golf continues to deliver innovation in every area, year in and year out. Five-time Major winner and three times Masters Winner - Phil Michelson - has used Callaway equipment throughout his distinguished career. Few players think “great golf balls”, however, when they hear the name Callaway but, the introduction of their Chrome Soft, and Chrome Soft X lines, might just change that.
Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball Review
Key Features of the Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X
Dual SoftFast Core – Callaway’s patented dual-core construction features an exceptionally soft inner core surrounded by a firmer outer core. According to Callaway, the soft inner core leads to faster ball speeds and longer distances for golfers with slower swing speeds, while the firmer outer core provides more control for low-handicappers with faster club head speeds.
Four Layer Construction – A thin mantle layer surrounds the two inner layers of the “Dual Soft Fast Core.” An ultra-soft urethane outer cover gives the Chrome Soft its soft feel and exceptional grip off the clubface.
Truvis Pattern – Callaway’s specifically designed Truvis (true visibility) pattern, printed on the Chrome Soft, provides better visibility and focus of the ball off the clubface and during flight. They also claim Truvis makes finding the ball, once it lands, considerably easier. Originally, Truvis balls came in white with a red pattern but, in 2016, Callaway added a black pattern on a yellow-based ball. Truvis balls look like miniature soccer balls. Even though the concept of visibility is somewhat subjective, most players agree that the Truvis pattern does help to track the ball in flight and find it after it lands. If nothing else, the Truvis pattern makes the ball easily identifiable, and looks cool.
Hex Shaped Dimples - Callaway balls employ hex shaped dimples which they claim provides greater stability in the wind.
Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls Review
- Players can expect similar distance to other premium balls.
- Similar launch angles off wedges and short irons to other balls in the same class.
- The ultra-soft cover provides exceptional feel and control around the green.
- The Truvis pattern helps players track and locate their ball.
- Excellent value, usually priced around a third cheaper than its competitors.
- Not quite as long as the TaylorMade TP5 or Titleist ProV1.
On average, most players found the Chrome Soft slightly shorter than the TaylorMade TP5 and the Titleist ProV1. Many others, however, noticed little or no difference. The soft inner core, coupled with the firmer outer core, gives the Chrome Soft plenty of yards with no loss of control. The Chrome Soft makes its distance numbers with a good combination of low trajectory, moderate spin, and ample roll.
Callaway classifies the Chrome Soft as a mid-spin ball. It offers mid and higher handicappers optimal distance using a balanced blend of spin, compression, and overall lower trajectory.
Short Game Performance
Softer balls like the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X earn their keep around the greens. The ample backspin helps pitch shots stop quick and stay put. The softer cover, of the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X, improves feel on chip shots and putts, as well. Overall, it grabs the clubface and checks-up nicely, and feels great off the putter. Much like a soft green, a softer ball provides the slower, and easier to control, speeds that players crave.
Even though they’re softer than other premium balls, the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X take a beating as well as any ball out there. It’s more likely to go for a hike in the woods, or a dip in the lake, than go down with an injury.
Callaway Chrome Soft X Golf Balls
- The Chromes Soft X offers golfers all of the same features of the Chrome Soft.
- Plenty of spin, especially through the middle part of the bag.
- Piercing trajectory and better performance on windy days.
- Play as well or better than the higher priced balls in their class.
- The higher spin could exaggerate poor shots (slices and hooks).
Even with plenty of spin, the Chrome Soft X plays a bit lower, throughout the bag, than its competition. Better players may see as much as ten yards more than the higher flying TP5 X or ProV1 X.
While the Chrome Soft falls into the mid-spin category, the Chrome Soft X falls into the high spin category.
Short Game Performance
Even with the slightly firmer feel, the “X” version of Callaway’s Chrome Soft pair will play just as well as the original, from the rough and around the green.
What’s new for this year’s Chrome Soft Golf Ball?
Callaway introduced the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft +, to the market in 2015. and added a little spin to the 2016 versions of each. For 2017, Callaway conceded that better players struggled with the low-compression, mid-spin 2016 models and added a high-spin, mid-compression, tour worthy “X” model.
How do the Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X compare to other balls?
The Chrome Soft “X” version matches up well with its counterparts- the ProV1 X, and the TP5 X. They all feature high-spin, soft feel, and ample distance. For most players, choosing one over the other will come down to personal preference, brand loyalty, or price. With the Chrome Soft, however, Callaway followed TaylorMade’s lead and tilted the formula a little more towards mid and high handicappers. Both the Chrome Soft and TP5 have lower compression, and less spin, than the ProV1.
For a more detailed comparison of different brands, click here.
Should I play the Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X golf ball?
Callaway, just like their competitors, offers the higher compressed “X” version for players with faster swing speeds. The tighter wound core springs less off the club. Better players get more control, with little or no trade-off in distance. Overall, manufacturers produce “X” balls for golfers with swing speeds of a 100+ MPH (about 230 yards off the tee). The average player and weekend warrior, however, will get the best results using the less compressed, lower spin Chrome Soft. Either way though, both offer the softest feel of any ball out there, and rival their closest competitors for distance and spin. Callaway has a ball selection tool on their web site at http://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-ball-selector/. Players, unsure of what category they fall into, can get help right from the manufacturer.
Our instincts tell us that the harder a ball, the further it flies. But, like so many things in the game of golf, the opposite applies. A slow and easy swing outdrives the muscle shot every time. Hit down on the ball and it pops right up. So it should be no surprise that the softest ball goes the furthest, or to see the Callaway name printed on the side.