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2018 Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X Golf Ball Review

50 Words or Less

The new 2018 Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X golf balls each have a unique feel but both perform at a high level.  Chrome Soft is the softest feeling tour ball available.


Driven largely by the success of Chrome Soft, Callaway is now the #2 selling ball in golf.  But if you think they’re satisfied with that, you don’t know Callaway.  That’s why, for 2018, they redesigned the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X to include graphene – one of the strongest materials in the world.  We tested both of these new golf balls to see if you should make the switch.


I’ve tested just about every ball there is, and I feel confident saying that there is not a softer feeling tour-caliber ball than the Callaway Chrome Soft.  Off the putter, it produces a quiet, low-pitched “thud” that feels soft and heavy off the face.  The ProV1 is not even in the same ballpark.

The Chrome Soft X feels markedly different.  It is much more like your standard tour ball with a crisp “tock” at impact.  The difference between these balls was amplified when I was using a carbon steel putter and slightly less noticeable with a stainless steel putter.  The gap in feel will likely depend on your flat stick of choice.

Around the greens, the Chrome Soft maintains its buttery feel, and the Chrome Soft X is a touch firmer.  As I move into the longer clubs, feel differences tend to become less noticeable, but the Chrome Soft still stands out for its softness.

Long Game

The most interesting claim made about the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X golf balls is that they’re forgiving.  To quote Callaway, “Softer golf balls compress easier on off center hits for incredible distance all over the face.”  I was pretty skeptical about this, but when I was hitting driver on the launch monitor, I felt like I was getting more ball speed than I should have from some marginal strikes.  I’m not suggesting that this feeling counts as evidence, and maybe the whole thing is a case of Callaway incepting the idea into my head, but it did intrigue me.

On to the measurables.  Both the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X produced ball speed equal to or slightly above any tour ball that I’ve tested.  In terms of spin, both were low but the Chrome Soft was lower.  The difference wasn’t huge – less than 200 RPM on average – but for very high or very low spin players, that could be important.

In the irons, the Chrome Soft was again lower spinning than the Chrome Soft X.  This matches up with Callaway’s description of the Chrome Soft X as being “workable” where the Chrome Soft is “straight.”  While the difference was measurable, don’t expect the Chrome Soft to magically cure your slice.

Finally, Titleist’s ad begs me to address their claim that the Chrome Soft isn’t as long as their new Tour Soft.  I’m sure I could set a robot to make that true or pick the right batch of testers to validate that claim, but my testing showed nothing of the sort.  I found the Chrome Soft to be slightly faster (~1 MPH) and lower spinning (~200 RPM).  Of course, that ignores the more important difference: the Chrome Soft’s urethane cover and superior short game spin.

Short Game

Both the Chrome Soft and the Chrome Soft X produced huge spin in my wedge testing.  From full shots to half shots to short pitches, the spin numbers they registered were as high as any golf ball I’ve tested.  On average, these balls were virtually identical in terms of spin, but I did register my highest spinning shots with the Chrome Soft X.


Whether you play white, yellow, or one of Callaway’s Truvis colors, you can’t go wrong playing Chrome Soft.  The Callaway Chrome Soft is the softest feeling tour ball I’ve ever hit, and it lacks nothing in performance.  The Chrome Soft X has a much different feel but has equally impressive numbers.

Buy the 2018 Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls HERE

Matt Saternus
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  1. Interesting info as I’ve played Titleist for many years but have gamed some Chrome Soft in past couple years perhaps need to give new fall a try

  2. rajopotamus

    were you able to measure any ball speed differences off the longer clubs (driver or irons) on the chrome soft x vs chrome soft? Did you notice any differences in launch angle off the longer clubs between the two balls?

  3. Jason Hutty

    I hit the new Chrome Soft X yesterday. I generally play either Pro V or B330RX, depending on conditions. my hcp is 3 and my swing speed about 105. The Bridgestone is a way better ball. I think the margins on flight performance and distance are negligible, but the chrome X is SO HARD. It feels bad, and sounds awful. It spins less, and I suppose that oculd be a good or ba thing depending on what you’re after. I couldn’t get over how bad it was. I now have 11 balls I’m looking to offload, there’s no way I’d play competitively with it.

  4. i have 4 different chrome soft balls in my bag,
    1. nothing printed after soft.
    2. one dot after soft.
    3.two dots after soft.
    4. one dot then a x followed by another dot
    Cant find any information in all your websites

    • Matt Saternus


      I don’t have any info on the significance of the dots.



    • Matt Meeker

      I run into similar situations when I find balls Brian. Here’s my understanding:

      1. 2018 model as shown in this review
      2. Not sure – could be a special run sent for testing
      3. 2017 model
      4. 2017 X model

      – Meeks

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