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Here I will be reviewing the Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball, the only ball that received 5 stars for feel, performance and innovation on the 2015 Golf Digest Hot List.
Read on to find out what you need to know about these Tour-level golf balls to make an informed purchase.
Note: The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing, body and clubs are different, results with a particular golf ball may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The ratings for the Chrome Soft balls are outstanding: 4.7/5 with over 74 reviews on the Callaway website, and 5/5 (2018 version) on Global Golf.
What makes these golf balls so great, though?
What People Like
- long distance
- incredibly soft feel off the putter face and with wedges
- great value (performance is nearly as good as the Pro V1, an expensive ball)
Be aware that these balls generally provide very little spin with the longer clubs: long irons, woods, driver, etc.
What People Don’t Like
- some have complained about the red paint flaking off
- some have bemoaned a lack of results compared to their previous ball (explained more below)
Overview & Features
The Callaway Chrome Soft is the only golf ball that has what Callaway calls a “SoftFast Core”, which produces lower spin rates with the driver and other long clubs.
The dimple pattern, called “Hex Aerodynamics”, apparently makes the ball even longer by reducing drag and increasing lift.
The Chrome Soft has a compression rating of 65, which is a mid-to-low compression rating. Compared to harder balls like the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the lower compression on the Chrome Soft allows golfers with mid-range swing speeds to compress the ball with irons and wedges and therefore gain a lot of distance.
Chrome Soft balls also have a Tour Urethane Cover. This makes the Chrome Soft ball more controllable and consistent all throughout the bag — great spin with the shorter clubs, great low-spin distance with the longer clubs, and straighter shots.
How does the ball perform from tee to green?
Around the greens, the ball spins nicely (thanks in part to the urethane cover), although not quite as much as a ball like the Pro V1. Putts and chips on good greens roll smooth and true.
Depending on your swing speed, you might gain distance with the Chrome Soft ball over a harder ball like the Pro V1, and it will probably take some time to adjust to these new distances.
True to Callaway’s claims, well-struck tee shots do indeed tend to be low-spinning and long.
Although there are balls out there that carry even less spin, the Chrome Soft seems to produce spin results roughly in the middle of the range for a Tour-caliber ball.
Note that, depending on your swing speed and previous golf ball, your spin rates and distances may or may not change considerably. If you’re coming from a high compression ball and your clubhead speed is ~90 mph, for instance, you could see substantial results.
What about sound & feel?
As mentioned above, the Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball feels incredibly soft, particularly with putters, wedges and short irons.
The ball almost feels “heavy” when struck at times, as if the ball is compressing and just sitting there. Other times, you might barely feel the strike at all with a wedge; you’ll just feel the turf. Either way, when you look up (and if you struck it well), you’ll see the ball flying beautifully through the air.
With clubs like the driver, the feel is much less soft and more hot and explosive, as it should be. I’m quite impressed that Callaway was able to pull that off.
The sound is rather muted, which is not surprising considering the softness of the ball.
Where can you get Chrome Soft balls at a lower price?
Check out the new Chrome Soft balls available here.
If you’d prefer not to pay full price for new balls, you have the option of getting them recycled or refinished.
I recommend staying away from refinished balls. They are usually stripped and repainted to look new, and they tend to be too risky in terms of performance.
Recycled Chrome Soft balls (balls that have been found on golf courses and have often only been hit once or twice) are a much safer bet.
I would recommend buying packs with ratings of AAA or above; you can find such offerings on this eBay page. Just modify the search query as desired.
The Callaway Chrome Soft are excellent Tour-level golf balls, and if you:
- think you have a swing speed that will benefit from a softer ball: more distance, better feel, etc.
- prefer low spin off the tee and higher spin around the greens
… then I would highly recommend giving these a try. They are among the best balls Callaway currently has to offer.
Thanks for checking out this review. Do you have any thoughts or opinions about Callaway’s Chrome Soft golf ball? Leave a comment below!