Four average golfers test Callaway’s new ERC Soft ball and its innovative alignment aid
Callaway is well known for inventing the low compression Chrome Soft ball. It was tagged as "the ball that changed the ball" when it was launched in 2015.
But in January, the company introduced its new ERC Soft, a ball that could well go down as "the ball that changed alignment": The ERC Soft uses the same sort of alignment aid that aircraft carriers use to guide pilots in.
Callaway says "Triple Track Technology" makes lining up your ball a lot easier, and Phil Mickelson has had success with it, albeit on the recently-released Chrome Soft X, throughout 2019.
So does it work? And is the ERC Soft worth a place in your bag? We asked four TG readers to test them for us and report back...
Callaway ERC Soft: £34.99 (dozen) - www.callawaygolf.com
First impressions of the ERC Soft?
ME: I've tried low compression balls before, but straight out of the box ERC Soft had a different, more grippy feel. I liked the idea of the Triple Track lines, I thought they could be useful for aligning more than just putts, too.
PE: They look really striking, and the three Triple Track lines is such a simple idea, I really liked the feel when putting, over my usual Titleist Velocity.
MD: I like the feel of a softer golf ball, so the ERC Soft was right up my street. When driving I felt my accuracy improved and the ball felt great.
AE: I usually play the Callaway Supersoft so feel was very similar. Shots sprang o the face quickly and I really liked the sound and feel.
How did you get on with the ERC Soft's Triple Track alignment stripes?
ME: Initially, I didn't feel the lines helped me hole any more putts, but I could see putts travelled on the line I wanted. But over time it feels like the tech has helped me read greens better. I've also started using the lines for lining up o the tee; they help visualise the club's path.
PE: I've used the Triple Track tech to help me set up on the tee, I was surprised how far my alignment was o . I use the lines to aim where I want to go and then align my feet and hips to the same line, and it's helped straighten up my ball flight and added a little distance, too. I feel like I've holed more longer putts.
MD: The lines are a great idea; they've made setting up a proper part of my pre- shot routine. I can now see when the club face is square to my target, and my putting percentage has dropped since putting the ERC Soft in play.
AE: They're really useful for focusing attention on putts inside 10 or 12 feet. Set the Triple Track up to the line, align the putter face to the stripes and you're away. They're fantastic.
How did the ERC Soft perform for the rest of your game?
ME: ERC Soft is a great mix of soft feel and spin without giving up anything in terms of distance. Shots fizz off the face, sound and feel great, but I also felt more con dent to attack the flag from 80-100 yards as I was con dent the ball would drop and stop.
PE: I used the Titleist Velocity (a two-piece ball) before, so I feel the ERC's softer feel gave me more confidence in my ball striking. If anything I've straightened up my ball flight with the driver a little and added a few yards. What's not to like?
MD: I don't see any negatives. ERC feels and sounds good through the bag, and it's certainly not short. It spins where it should, no other ball can compete with the alignment tech and it costs less than a typical tour ball. A real club golfers' ball.
AE: I was very similar distance- wise to my usual ball. Shots soar through the air which really helped with stopping shots quickly.
Is £34.99 a dozen a fair price for ERC? Would you recommend them?
ME: It's right at the top end of my budget for a dozen balls. If you can afford them they are definitely worth it. If a ball can knock four or more shots o my score they're worth their weight in gold. It's a thumbs up from me.
PE: Confidence is a big part of the game so I play the ball I'm most confident with. For me the better accuracy I've experienced with ERC Soft could save me money in the long run, so it's well worth the cost. I'm already recommending them to friends and colleagues who play.
MD: Once golfers have tried it I don't think they'll go back to buying a different ball, so put the price aside and try them. I'd definitely recommend them, I love them.
AE: Without doubt I'd recommend it; it's a lovely all- round ball for club golfers. Shop around and you'll probably shave a bit off the RRP, which makes them even more attractive.