The Best Game Improvement Irons (Reviewed In 2023)
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Today, we’re taking you further on our journey of discovering the latest and greatest golf balls in the game. Next up on the docket: The Callaway Chrome Soft & Soft X.
Callaway is a major player in the golf ball biz. They sponsor some of the hottest names on the PGA Tour in the likes of Francesco Molinari, Jim Furyk, and Phil Mickelson. Seasoned pros don’t play at the highest level without considering every angle of their game, so when they put their name on a brand, you know they believe in the product.
The Callaway Chrome Soft ball drove 8 different PGA victories in 2018, and Phil’s already won at Pebble Beach with the Soft X Triple Track as recently as February 2019. We’re going to be looking at a lot of golf balls in the coming weeks, but we couldn’t wait to show you how the Chrome Soft & Soft X balls can keep you on the fairway and shave strokes off of your game.
Ultra-Soft & Forgiving
This is a great golf ball with soft and forgiving feel, while still hitting solid off the tee. Our go-to pick for long shots.
Control Your Game Better Than Ever
Jason Finley from Callaway’s Golf Ball Brand Management team told The Golf Warehouse that the Soft X, in particular, is “a little firmer golf ball” which provides “not only low spin off the tee, but a little more spin than Chrome Soft as you go through the bag.” Especially with your mid range irons, he says, you get greater control and playability with increased spin.
Why’s this ball so special? It’s driven by a graphene-infused dual soft/fast core coupled with a larger inner core helping transfer tons of energy through the ball while keeping the spin off the tee low and manageable. The clever double core architecture snaps the ball further off your woods and low irons. With your higher irons, you’ll be stunned at your tightly-controlled ball placement and impressive arcs on the approach.
The most notable feature of the Chrome Soft and Soft X is right there in the title. It’s a super-soft ball! Its super soft cover has a smooth, comfortable feel and keeps the spin down. And, if low spin equals high forgiveness, then the Callaway Chrome Soft isn’t just for the pros. It’s a great ball for the mid-level hacker desperate to correct that hard slice.
Key Differences between the Chrome Soft & Chrome Soft X
You might be scratching your head at the last section. Jason Finley called the ball “a little firmer” but the primary feature is its ultra-softness. Here’s what that means.
The Chrome Soft is the softer ball featuring lower spin, offering the not-quite-pro golfer in all of us a more forgiving experience. Shots tend to hit straighter and more in-line with your intended flight path. Thanks to the mega soft Tour Urethane cover and low compression core, it compresses into your club face more easily, resulting in improved distance even if you hit off-center.
The Chrome Soft X, on the other hand, is geared more towards the everyday golfer. It’s this ball Jason referred to, and it’s this ball that Callaway’s all-star pro lineup is hitting on the Tour. Mickelson himself won with this ball. The X model has a slight edge in firmness over its sister ball, so a skilled pro can control his spin with ultra-fine precision.
The X version is designed for a higher swing speed. If you aren’t moving that club at near or over 100mph, you aren’t going to get the distance the Furyk gets with it. In fact, if you’re in that boat, the Chrome Soft is designed with your shot in mind.
As we touched on, the lower compression in the core powers the ball to blast off of your club face like a bullet leaving the chamber. At too high a swing speed, this mechanic can even work against you.
At a comfortable intermediate swing speed, the soft springiness of the classic Chrome Soft ball will raise your eyebrows and drop your tee shots far out in front of your buddies’ shots. (even with his overpriced new driver).
Let's Look At The Specs
Chris Ryan, one of golf’s prominent online personalities, fired some test shots for the folks at Today’s Golfer over in the UK, where they gathered some impressive data on the Callaway Chrome Soft & Soft X.
His tee shot reached 275 yards which was among the longest of the tour balls he tested. He confirmed that the X model has a degree of spin more than the standard ball by over 700 RPM in the middle irons. In the short game, he reached a backspin of over 9200 RPM. Talk about control on your approach shot!
Shooting with three clubs, his average ball speed was 164mph. That puts it up there with some of the fastest balls on the market, including the Pro V1x (check out our Pro V1x review here). Ball speed is a major factor in shooting accurately, and every 1mph you add can increase your distance up to 2 yards. Thanks yet again to the low compression technology, which enables this ball to soar far and fast.
Breaking Down The Game
We’ve mentioned that this ball can fly fast and that it’s been tested to have some serious distance. The Chrome Soft shoots far with both woods and irons. Remember, too, that the ball is built for control and forgiveness. It’s an all-around ball for a wide range of golfers.
Your tee shots will have some length, but not quite as much as a pure distance ball. However, unless you play at the pro level, the length difference between balls will be mostly negligible. It’s all about dropping shots where you want them to land, right?
Shooting Your Irons: The Fairway
Out on the fairway is where you’ll really notice and appreciate the soft feel you get from the Chrome Soft’s low compression core. The touch is so light that you get a good feel of the grass around the ball as you swing through. You’ve never felt as in-control as you will shooting a Chrome Soft ball.
The Chrome Soft X, being just a bit firmer, does come with a little extra distance in the middle irons. Remember, too, this ball spins a good bit faster. You’ll need to have better control in your swing than is necessary for the standard model.
The dimple pattern offers another significant advantage we haven’t talked about yet, too. The hexagonal arrangement helps the ball cut through moving air. It’s a great ball for a breezy day, as its flight path is less affected by gusty winds than some of its competitors. Plus, its precision machining ensures that every ball is consistent and has the same flight pattern.
On the Approach
The short game is where the Callaway Chrome Soft stands out among the pack. You can achieve some insane backspin on your chip shots to drop that ball inches within your target.
The softness of the ball results in an unprecedented level of control, giving you a precise feel of where you’re striking it. Springy as the ball is, it takes very little power to shoot an effective approach shot, adding to the rookie-friendliness that comes with the standard model.
Our Final Thoughts
If you’re still not sure whether the Callaway Chrome Soft or Soft X is a good choice for you, just take it from Phil himself.
“The great thing about this golf ball is that the average player can see the difference.”
“The softest feeling ball you’ve ever hit.”
“…hitting every iron 6-10 yards longer.”
There you have it – the seasoned veteran himself gives the Callaway Chrome soft a glowing review. He claims it doesn’t just help his game. It helps his friends. His father. The important people in his life. He loves passing them around so much, he used to have trouble keeping them on hand.
If it’s good enough for Phil Mickelson, it’s good enough for any weekend warrior. Treat yourself to the same top-notch gear the pros use and start shooting the Callaway Chrome Soft tour ball on your next trip to the links.
Have you hit the Callaway Chrome Soft or Soft X? Let us know how it worked out for you in our comments!