Callaway Chrome Soft Review - A Difference of Opinion

Words like soft and hard are relative terms.

People may have a different opinion of what soft or hard means to them.

It’s obvious to me that Callaway and I have differences of opinion on what a golf ball named soft should feel like when hit by a golf club. 

Callaway Chrome Soft Review

I’m not sure about you, but I always take advertisements and claims by manufacturers with a grain of salt. Maybe it is the scientist in me, but testing is the only way I’m convinced that a product lives up to the hype. 

In this article, I will give you my honest opinion about the performance of the Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball.

I compared the Chrome Soft to a Titleist Pro V1X for distance, ball flight, spin, stopping distance, and feel around the green.  

The performance is based on my observations and is not a data-driven scientific investigation. 

Callaway didn’t give me golf balls to test; I purchased a dozen chrome soft from Amazon.

As I mentioned in my review of the Bridgestone Tour B330 RX golf ball, I compare golf balls against the Pro V1X because I believe the ProV as the standard of premium golf balls, and almost everyone has hit a Pro V1 or Pro VX.


What Does Callaway Say About the Chrome Soft?

The Callaway website says that the Chrome Soft is a 4-piece construction golf ball and has a Tour urethane cover.

I’m not sure what a “Tour” urethane cover is exactly, but I will say that it is a tough cover.

The Chrome Soft has a Dual SoftFast Core™ that provides fast ball speed and low spin for players to optimize their ball launch off the tee.

The dual core, mantle, and cover provide ball control for all clubs, especially for the wedges from 100-yards and in, as the ball has more spin so players can be aggressive around the green.

Callaway says the Chrome Soft has low compression for a soft feel, both with irons and for those shots around the green.

Here is what Phil Mickelson has to say about the Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball.




How the Chrome Soft was Tested

Weather, course conditions, and who is hitting the golf ball matters in a review.  Below is some information about me and the course conditions when I tested the Callaway Chrome Soft.

The majority of my driver swings (based on Flightscope radar data) are in the 102 to 103 mph range. My handicap index is between 4 and 6. 

My golf clubs are a Ping I20 driver with 9.5-degrees of loft, my fairway wood is a Ping G25 4-wood, and the hybrid is an 18-degree Ping G20, G-25 irons, and Ping Glide wedges. My putter is a Taylor Made Spider Ghost Mallet. 

I tested the Callaway Chrome Soft so many times it isn’t funny. I really wanted to like this golf ball. 

Course conditions were for the most part hard and firm as the Northeast hasn’t had much rain during the late spring of 2016.

I compared the Chrome Soft with a Titleist Pro V1X, which is the golf ball I usually use during competition. I used a GPS for driving distance but since I am comparing two golf balls against each other that’s not too awful important. 

For iron shots, I hit both balls from the same distance, not from where they ended up after the drive.

Distance with Driver & Feel

 

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The Callaway Chrome Soft did go further than the Titleist Pro V1X when both balls were hit square. On level or wet fairways, the Chrome Soft was about 5- or 6-yards pass the Pro V1x. 

The biggest difference was on fairways that sloped away or toward the tee. 

The difference has to be the lack of spin. The Chrome Soft flew lower than the Pro V1X and would chase down the fairway. 

There was no noticeable difference in how straight the ball would fly. 

Here’s the Thing Though

One would think that I’d be all over the Chrome Soft as it went farther for me. But that isn’t the case; the ball felt like I was hitting a rock. 

Not only when I mis-hit the ball, ALL THE TIME off the driver it was like hitting a rock. I can’t think of one time that it felt like I compressed the ball.

I don’t like the feel of the Chrome Soft off the driver.

Maybe my swing speed is too low?

The ball moves off the tee, no doubt about it, but it’s not fun to hit. 

Fairway Wood & Long Irons

I know this is a Callaway Chrome Soft review, but I’m going to have to go with the Pro V1X off the long irons. 

Just telling it like it is.

The Chrome Soft felt better off the fairway wood and long irons than it did off my driver, but the ball flight was too low and didn’t have any spin when they hit the greens.

The ball seemed to skid and run to the back of the green. I got no bite on the second bounce. 

The Chrome Soft might be the ball for you if you run the ball onto the green with these clubs.




Short Irons & Wedges

The response of the Chrome Soft off my wedges was good. 

The golf ball would jump high off the club and stop or spin back on the second bounce. 

The ball felt soft like the grooves were biting into the cover, and the ball made a nice click when hit. 

I was pleased with the performance and characteristics of the ball when I used my short irons and wedges. 

The Callaway Chrome Soft is a good short game performer. 

Chipping & Putting

I especially liked to putt with the Chrome Soft. The response off the insert on my Taylor Made Spider putter felt good, and I like the click the ball makes when it hit the club. 

I had excellent ball control when chipping (both high and low ball flight) with the Chrome Soft golf ball. The ball flew consistently (both distance and height) off the clubface, so it was easy to pick landing areas on the green.

The golf ball was comparable to the Pro V1X. I’m not sure performance was any better, but I liked the feel of the Chrome Soft when chipping and putting.

How Did the Chrome Soft Hold Up?

An important part of golf ball performance for me is how well the ball held up during the round.

Not sure you are old enough to remember how quality golf balls used to be, but it was almost impossible to play 9-holes and not replace it. The ball would be all scuffed up and most likely cut if you hit it a little thin.

Take a look at the photographs of the Chrome Soft after playing 18-holes with it. 

Not a mark on it. I played with a couple other Chrome Soft balls for more than 18-holes and they held up great. No marks until they hit a cart path or tree.

Even the tree damage was minor and didn’t take away the shine of the golf ball or cause me any thought of taking it out of play. 

Even though the Titleist Pro V1X’s have gotten much better as far as holding up to play in the last couple of years, they aren’t even close to being as tough as the cover on the Callaway Chrome Soft. 

After 18-holes, the ball is as white and bright as when you started the round. 




Price & Options

Big win here for Callaway over the Titleist Pro V1X.

You can see the current price below, the Callaway Chrome Soft is between $9 and $15 cheaper (prices vary for Titleist). That is quite a bit of money if you play a lot of golf. 

Callaway also has color options. Several people at my club like to play with the yellow colored golf ball and the Chrome Soft also comes in yellow, and a yellow & black as well as a white & red Truvis pattern. The Truvis pattern is to make the ball more visible and allow you to focus on the ball better when you are hitting it. 

Not sure if that is true or not, I haven’t hit any of the Truvis patterned golf balls. 

Callaway Chrome Soft Review

I really wanted to like the Chrome Soft. That is why I choose to write a Callaway Chrome Soft review. 

In the end, the Chrome Soft is not my favorite golf ball. In fact, today I gave away the last sleeve of the dozen I bought to someone that likes them.

Even though I got good distance with the Chrome Soft with the driver, I never felt like I was compressing it. 

It always felt like a mis-hit or I was hitting a one-piece golf ball. 

The lack of spin with the long irons is another problem for me, I play from the back tees and have many long and mid-irons into the greens. I need a ball that gets up higher and bites with those clubs.

The Chrome Soft performed well with short irons and chipping. I especially liked to putt with the Chrome Soft. The ball has an excellent sound and comes off the club face consistently each time.  

Callaway Chrome Soft is a winner in the price and ball options category for sure. It is much less expensive than other Tour quality golf balls and comes in a variety of colors. 

All that said, and the fact that a lot of people do like the golf ball, I will not be playing the Callaway Chrome Soft.

Right now I am sticking to the Bridgestone B330RX or the Titleist Pro V1X. Next up on the golf ball review schedule is the Taylor Made TP5 golf ball.  

By the way, you can still get the Callaway Chrome Soft 2016 golf ball on Amazon.

Have You Tried Any of The Golf Balls Listed Above?

I’d love to hear your experience with any of them. Leave me a comment below so we can get other golfers opinions.

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4 Comments

  1. Doug

    let me start by saying…I am a Titleist guy through the entire bag, from my 917 D2 to my Newport 2.5 and have played titleist balls back to the balata days. With that said, I switched to the chrome soft when they came out and have compared ProV1 vs Chrome soft every year of changes. In the end you get the same performance, better feel, better durability and lower cost (avg 6 to 10 dollars a dozen) from the Chrome soft. I find that those who stick to ProV 1 are usually brand snobs and tend to have ego handicaps….

    Reply
    • Todd

      Thanks for the comment, Doug. Each and every one of us has their own opinion and I’m glad you voiced yours. I think mileage varies depending on the golfer, weather, and course conditions. I had no problem with the Chrome soft of old other than I didn’t like how it felt off the driver. The latest version is maybe a little better but not much for me. I’ll stick to the ProV1 or Taylormade most days and Bridgestone when it’s windy. If liking the ProV1 over the Callaway makes me a brand snob so be it, but to post a comment like you did and not respect other’s opinions and calling them snobs or having ego’s, well, maybe you should look at your own ego.

      Reply
  2. TomP

    I was very loyal Titleist user for years and years. Liked the ProV1 on full shots but find short pitches can be great to fly and stop, but hard to pitch and run consistently. I switched to the ProV1X and found that it solved that problem, also less “ballooning” into the wind, but felt hard and tough to get feel on less than full shots, including putts. Switched to the Chrome Soft and love it. Flies every bit as well as the Titleists, more consistent control on less than full shots, stop extremely well on full shots. I have had even the hybrids and 5-wood actually back up a foot or two, and have hit a choked down driver on long par 3 that hits the green and stops within5-10 ft even on completely dry and newly mown green. I tried the Chrome Soft X and found the same difference as with Titleist X’s. Felt a bit harder, maybe less command of how quickly it stops/or not on less than full shots. Chrome Soft works every bit the way I want and durable as well, no reason to change to anything else on the market at this time.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Thanks for your feedback and opinion Tom!

      Reply

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