Four regular golfers put Callaway’s all-new graphene-infused Chrome Soft balls to the test... and love them.
Callaway promised the original lower compression Chrome Soft was “the ball to change the ball”, and a couple of years on, softer balls have never been so popular.
For 2018 there’s a new Chrome Soft model hitting the shops that’s infused with “graphene”, a phenomenally light yet ultra-strong material that’s been used to strengthen the outer core without sacrificing the overall soft feel.
With Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson already having won on tour with it, we thought it was time to see how it performed for four TG readers with average handicaps.
Q: First impressions compared to your usual ball?
DD: I usually play a Titleist Pro V1 until I lose too many, then I’ll switch to whatever I’ve got spare. Distance-wise with driver and irons the Callaway was very similar, but I thought the Chrome Soft (standard, not the X) felt more forgiving and tracked well even in windy conditions.
CL: Srixon AD333 Tour is my preferred ball primarily because I feel comfortable with it, and the cost. Driver distance for me with the Chrome Soft (and X) was the same, but I feel like I’ve picked up 10 yards with my irons.
GF: The Chrome Softs (standard and X model) were better for distance than my usual Srixon AD333 Tour ball. I reckon I found 10-15 yards with the driver and half-a-club with my irons.
SD: I reckon both my drives and iron shots have been straighter and more accurate using the Chrome Soft rather than my usual Srixon AD333.
Q: And how about performance around the greens and feel when putting?
DD: The one marked difference from the Pro V1 was the feel of Chrome Soft on the green; noticeably softer.
CL: I’m not sure why, but I felt like I made better contact with the Chrome Softs (possibly because the feel is softer) in the short game. They also came off the putter really solidly and I felt like I had better distance control (possibly because of the softer feel).
GF: Spin and control around a green is difficult to quantify, but I reckon my putting from distance greatly improved, and the putts seemed to have a really good roll, too.
SD: Inside 125 yards I definitely got a better feel of control hitting into greens.
TESTED: The best ball under £30 a dozen
Q: Did you have a preference for Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X?
DD: I’d edge towards the Chrome Soft purely because of how it feels off the driver and when putting. I also really liked the added durability of both Chrome Softs; I didn’t scuff or scratch one, which is pretty impressive.
CL: For me it’s the Chrome Soft. That’s really down to the extra feel and control when hitting wedges up to an 8-iron. I can now get my shots to stop on the green, which is a great benefit.
GF: Right now the control and distance package for my swing speed would mean I’d go for the Chrome Soft X. I’m really interested to see if I feel the same way once the course dries out and conditions improve.
SD: Tough question. I definitely prefer the feel of the Chrome Soft, but I’ve actually scored better with the X. Lower compression balls in general have really benefited my game, and since using Chrome Soft I’ve developed spin on approach shots, which is impressive.
TESTED: Range ball vs Premium ball
Q: Is £38 a dozen a fair price, and would you recommend them?
DD: Without a doubt. The price is fair, £38 a dozen represents good value (especially when you think Garcia and Mickelson play it on tour). I’ll be buying more when I run out.
CL: I’ve already recommended them to friends and family, and given them a sleeve to try. They were just as impressed as me. Even though the price has gone up from last year, £38 is a reasonable price. They’ll be on my Christmas list.
GF: With the Chrome Soft being highly comparable to all other premium balls in terms of performance, yet coming in for less money, £38 is extremely reasonable. I would happily recommend them to other golfers of any standard.
SD: It’s a fair price to pay for what is a quality tour-proven product. I’d recommend them to any golfers wanting excellent feel.
Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X
RRP: £38 per dozen