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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.
Visit Callaway Golf HERE
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Great review Matt! Curious to know if there will be a new TP5 review, as I would like to know if there is a noticeable difference between 2019 and 2021 versions
I would guess that TaylorMade will not have a new TP5 until 2023.
Appreciate the review Matt. I’m really interested in trying this new line.
Callaway received some bad press a couple of years ago about poor quality control with their ball production (off center cores, etc.). I suspect they’re hoping this new manufacturing investment and QC process will help change consumer perception. I do admire them for their efforts here.
Based on your testing, would any of these new balls legitimately have a chance to make it into your bag? Do they seem noticeably “better” than prior generations?
The Chrome Soft is a little softer than I prefer, but I’m sure the other two will get at least a few rounds in this year.
Thanks for sharing the great review. I’ve been going back and forth about the proV1 and ProV1x for my game. How would the spin numbers for the CS X and X LS fall on that spectrum. Is either one an intermediate option? Or are they comparable?
I think the Chrome Soft X is fairly close to the Pro V1x.
And would the X LS be close to the ProV1 or lower spin still?
It’s similar, but I see less spin difference because I’m a low spin player.
The X LS is similar to the left dash Pro V1x.
Hey Matt! Great review. Any idea when you’ll get your hands on the new Bridgestone series?
We hope to get them in hand in the next couple weeks. As always, it’s extremely helpful if you let the OEMs know (on social media, email, anything really) that you value our reviews.
Great review!! I usually play the Bridgestone Tour B XS or the RXS, but I really would like to try the new Chrome Soft X.
I’ve played with the Chrome Soft exclusively for the past 3 years. The track version is extremely helpful on shorter putts and the ball reacts very well off the irons. I probably give up a little off the tee to those who play higher compression balls, but it’s not enough to negate the overall benefit. I’d recommend using a putter with a firm insert to get better feedback.
Hi Matt. I used to play with the Callaway hex tour which was a really good ball. Soft and long of the tee. Just wondering which version of chrome comes closest..
I don’t remember the Callaway Hex well enough to say. My general recommendation is for most players to start with Chrome Soft.
I used to play Chrome soft but didn’t like the way they felt, but now that it seems Ike they are remastered I may just have to get some to try.
How would you compare the CS X LS compare to the AVX?
I have a full review of the AVX here: https://pluggedingolf.com/2020-titleist-avx-golf-ball-review/
Is the ERC soft new in 2022 or just the Chrome soft?
I don’t recall seeing anything about the ERC being new for 2022, but I might be mistaken.
Started playing the chromesoft and love them. Great combination of distance and spin for me.
My game is so unpredictable, ball choice probably doesn’t matter. But, I’ve been using chrome soft exclusively for two years. Really like them, but have wondered if the x or ls were any different. Thanks for the info.