50 Words or Less
The 2022 Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X, and Chrome Soft X LS golf balls feel very soft and offer interesting combinations of performance characteristics.
Most OEMs have their golf balls on a two-year product cycle. 2022 should have been an off year for Callaway’s Chrome Soft golf balls, but Callaway didn’t want to rest on their laurels. Instead, they invested $50 million to upgrade their ball manufacturing, ensuring tolerances up to 1/1,000th of an inch. The result is a new family of Chrome Soft golf balls that are more consistent than ever.
As with the previous generation [review HERE], Callaway rates the Chrome Soft as “Softer” and the Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS as “Soft.” For me, this blurs a small but noticeable distinction between the X and the X LS.
The Chrome Soft is definitively the softest of the three. I’d go so far as to say it’s the softest Tour ball available. Off a putter, it creates a soft “thud” without any click or hit to it. The Chrome Soft X is noticeably firmer and louder than the Chrome Soft, but I’d still rate it softer than most Tour balls. Chrome Soft X LS is the firmest and loudest of the three with a feel that is similar to most Tour balls. The latter two have a bit more “click” at impact, and the ball feels like it’s being hit rather than melting into the putter face.
As you move into the wedges and irons, the Chrome Soft remains different than the X and X LS. Impact is quieter and lower pitched, paired with a softer, low compression feel. The Chrome Soft X and X LS feel quite similar with wedges and irons – just slightly softer than your average Tour ball.
Most golfers would assume that the softest ball, the Chrome Soft, would be the highest spinning in the short game, but this is not the case. According to both Callaway and my testing, the Chrome Soft X has the most spin on both full wedge shots and greenside shots. This is certainly a factor in it being Callaway’s most-played ball on Tour.
All the Chrome Soft balls are well within the expected spin range for a Tour ball. The gap between the Chrome Soft X and the other models was consistent but not enormous. Between Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X LS, I saw slightly higher spin from the Chrome Soft. Per Callaway, both are the same on full wedge shots but Chrome Soft spins more greenside. In my opinion, your short game needs to be extremely consistent and fine tuned to notice the differences on the course. Nonetheless, if you want maximum spin, go with Chrome Soft X.
Looking at Callaway’s in-depth comparison chart, one of the big things that jumped out to me is that the Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS are rated as faster off the driver than Chrome Soft. This kind of honesty is pretty rare, and I applaud Callaway for it. I’ll also caution players from going too crazy about this. In my testing, my fastest ball speeds were with the Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS. That said, on average, the Chrome Soft was only about 1 MPH slower. As valuable as speed is, 1 MPH may not be worth sacrificing other things you want.
As in the short game, the Chrome Soft X is the highest spinning Callaway Tour ball. It’s not a high spin ball overall, but it was consistently higher than the other two in my testing. The higher spin is why Callaway rates the Chrome Soft X as “Workable” instead of “Straight.” It also launched slightly lower with the driver and irons.
Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X LS both spin less with the driver and irons. For me, the difference was never more than a couple hundred RPM, but I’m a low spin player. Higher spin players may see a larger gap. These two do separate themselves slightly in launch with the Chrome Soft flying slightly higher than Chrome Soft X LS.
I think that Chrome Soft is going to be the best option for the majority of players with its higher launch and lower spin. It’s also quite consistent in terms of ball speed. Faster players may find more ball speed in the X and X LS. From there, it’s a matter of deciding whether you want higher or lower spin throughout the bag.
With three flavor of Chrome Soft, Callaway provides golfers with a great array of choices. However, the decisions don’t stop at model selection. All three versions comes in a standard white, white with Triple Track alignment, and yellow with Triple Track. Chrome Soft is also available in Truvis White/Red and Truvis Yellow/Black. No matter what you pick, you can make every swing with confidence that your ball will perform just like it should.