As a PGA golf professional who has been playing tour level golf balls with high compressions for a long time, I was a little skeptical when word came out that Callaway was producing a tour caliber golf ball (Chrome Soft) with a compression level the likes that none of us have ever seen in the premium golf ball market. Most tour balls are in the 90-105 compression range, but a tour ball with a 65 compression? It’s extremely hard to make such a soft ball perform like a tour ball. Traditionally, if you played a soft core, it would feel great but not go as far. With a fast core, it would give you exceptional distance but felt harder. You would have to sacrifice one for the other.
This was going to be interesting for me to try. So I did. So did my playing partners. So has Phil (Mickelson). And so have many of you.
For anyone that has ever played with me, they know I’m a very opinionated player and also one that has always been reluctant to change when something has been working for a long time. So I’m not lying when I said I was uncertain of how this golf ball could possibly provide me the type of overall performance I’m used to experiencing from the likes of the Speed Regime, Hex Chrome+ and Tour-I series.
The tag line for Chrome Soft is “It’s the ball that changed the ball” and there are a few main features of the golf ball as prescribed by Callaway. I think it’s easiest to address each of them broken down in parts as to how it has performed for me.
1. Low Spin Off The Tee For Exceptional Distance
Chrome Soft’s trademarked SoftFast core is the primary engine behind this feature but Callaway’s HEX dimples also have a part in this ball’s overall playability. With a 65 compression, it wasn’t difficult for me to compress this golf ball as I have a driver speed on average around 105mph. The ball is extremely accurate off the tee since it spins less so my misses were a lot better in terms of maintaining overall distance but especially in reducing the side to side movement of the golf ball. It holds its line very, very well.
Side note for distance: With my irons, I saw on average about a ½ club more distance. The ball seemed to really jump off the face and had a penetrating ball flight that performed well in all conditions.
2. Incredibly Soft Feel
This is achieved not only with the low compression but also the DuraSpin urethane cover. The incredibly soft feel was noticeable with all clubs through my entire bag, from the driver, to the irons, to the wedges, and even the putter. Because of the feel difference, my touch around the green improved, especially on touchy, short wedge shots. The feel was consistent regardless of the type of shot that I was playing. It was a small adjustment with the putter to get used to how soft the feel was, but by my 3rd round, I had adjusted to the way the ball reacted on putts.
3. Excellent Greenside Control
The DuraSpin urethane cover provides a great platform for being able to control the ball on different types of green surfaces. In our area (the Carolinas), we have both Bermuda and Bent grass greens and I was able to control the ball well on each. I do not like a super spinny ball that pulls back. I prefer to be able to control the spin of my golf ball with drop and stop, one bounce and check with my irons and wedges and not create too much backspin or pullback.
It was very easy to get the ball close with bunker shots, difficult pitches, and short chips because Chrome Soft reacted very consistently off the face of my wedges. When you know what to expect from a golf ball around the green, it takes the pressure off of having to be overly precise. I didn’t feel like I sacrificed much, if anything, when playing this ball compared to another urethane cover tour ball.
Finally, with that type of cover material, I worry about how easily the ball would scuff or “cut.” You don’t want to be having to replace the ball a couple of times a round. Overall, considering I have new wedges in my bag with aggressive grooves and face milling, I felt like the durability was one that was consistent with other tour balls.
Chrome Soft is a great golf ball for all golfers at an affordable price. It was easy to tell that each specific layer of the 4-piece construction was activated for the specific shot required of me. The low compression core not only produced wonderful feel across all clubs but lower spin off the longer clubs to keep my ball flying straighter, especially on mishits. The outer mantle layer helped retain the energy produced from the SoftFast Core which provided me excellent consistency in what to expect from each club in the bag. Lastly, the urethane cover added to the tremendously soft feel and made for easy drop and stop, controllable spin around the greens. Give the ball a try because it is worth it!
If you’d like to talk to me about this ball email me here. Or, if you’ve played the ball I’d like to hear how it was for you by leaving your comments below the post. Thanks for reading!
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