Martin Hopley

Callaway are claiming that the Chrome Soft golf ball is going to be a game changer as it has managed to get around the issue of a soft ball retaining enough speed to gain distance for higher swing speed players.

It's like the love child that results from the golf ball Christmas party when the soft feel ball has one too many and invites the tour ball back for a coffee.

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball

The new SoftFast core is around a 65 compression, which is much lower than the typical 85-95 compression of traditional tour balls from Titleist and Bridgetone.

At a top secret pre-launch briefing for the ball, I was shown a Callaway video of Phil Mickelson getting very excited about the Chrome Soft. He had slipped some samples around his amateur friends & family and they were all hitting it 6-10 yards further with their irons.

I can't claim to be part of Phil's inner circle, so Callaway slipped me some Chrome Soft too and the first thing you notice when you putt with them on the green is that they are very soft.

This can be a good thing as you could go to a firmer faced putter, or move to an all steel putter from an insert putter, and retain the same ball/putter firmness feel.

Phil also said that the Chrome Soft was more consistent on chips around the green than the previous Speed Regime balls and I would have to agree with him. Once you get over the slightly different feel of the Tour Urethane cover, the Chrome Soft does feel like a premium tour ball in every aspect of the short game. It was almost like going back in time to the days of the balata ball, if you are old enough to remember them.

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball

The durability was also pretty good and with a competitive price point of under £30 per dozen, the Chrome Soft is going to provide very good value for money.

The 3-piece Chrome Soft also features the proven Hex dimple pattern that uses hexagons to ensure there are no gaps between dimples. I like this dimple pattern because most balls that I have tried with it have been much more stable in a strong wind, which happens a lot playing on the links courses I regularly frequent.

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball

Unlike other soft balls I have tried, on impact with the longer clubs it felt and sounded very similar to a premium tour ball, but thankfully not as firm as the Speed Regime SR2.

However if it was going further then it was not immediately noticeable and possibly with a driver club head speed of around 100 mph, I may be a little quick for this version of the Chrome Soft. It is very low spin from the longer clubs so you will need to get your launch conditions right to get the most from it.

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball

Like most soft balls, there is a trade off between softness and speed, so I think this is aimed principally at category 2 golfers who would like something that feels a bit more premium and performs a little better around the greens.

That said, it could see it also suiting some category 1 and 3 golfers too, so it will depend on your swing. As usual with golf ball testing, it is a case of just giving the Chrome Soft a try from the green backwards and see if it works for you.

Phil mentioned that after trying the Chrome Soft he was planning to move from a 105 to an 85 compression ball and I expect that the Chrome Soft concept will appear in a Tour version soon, with a lower compression than most current Tour balls, but with a bit more oomph for better players.

I had better keep in touch with Phil for those.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Callaway Chrome Soft 2015 Golf Ball - Product Details

UK Launch16 January 2015
UK Launch RRP£29.99
USA Launch16 January 2015
Handicap Range
Ball Construction3-Piece
Ball FeelSoft
Colour OptionsWhite, Yellow
Quantities3, 12
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

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User Reviews

February 2017

I'm a 3 handicap and play srixon XV's. I tried these and promise I won't go back. These balls fly like a 2 piece ball off my irons and spin as well on approach shots as my srixon's. Just fantastic balls. Good job Callaway.

June 2016

Great ball. Flies far and lands soft. My unofficial test tell me that the more expensively priced your ball is, the more likely it is to fly OB or find the water. These Callaway fit my game. 100mph 12 handicap

June 2016

I really wanted to like these especially at the affordable price. But I keep going back to Pro V1x, even after trying these. Chrome Soft is definitely a club longer with the irons, especially 5,6,7 irons, about 5 yards more in the air, and the rest due to less spin than Pro V1x on those approach shots. I constantly found myself over greens, especially when hitting from the rough (flyers galore!). Was very good with driver and around the greens, but so is Pro V1. As far as putting, they are much too soft for my liking.

October 2015

Started playing with these about 6 months ago. Would have to be something VERY special to get them off me! Plenty of distance off the tee, especially, but not exclusively, into the wind. Great feel around the greens, plenty of spin when required. Great value to buy and they last! 2-3 rounds no problem at all! 8 handicap 105mph driver (R15 260-280 yds).

August 2015

Former ProV1 user for years but saw a sleeve in the pro shop and decided to try it. Glad I did. Great ball around the greens and very soft feel with irons and hybrids. Durability is excellent and you can't beat the price! Thanks Callaway.

4 handicap - 100 mph driver speed Ball goes about 255-260 and I am 1/2 club longer with my irons with this ball (4-5 yards)

July 2015

Admittedly, I'm a tinkerer. I test everything I can get my hands on. If it works, I'll keep it, otherwise, just data.

I was a Pro V1 guy, since it was introduced. I made a break for the Bridgestone B330 RX a few years back and felt pretty content with them, then went to the Srixon Z-Star for the last couple years, and played them almost exclusively...all the while testing them against each other to see if I felt any advantage of one over the other. All of them close, some minor differences, but nothing that would make me say, this is the one. I also tried the pro level TaylorMade's, Nike's, and Callaway's, but also the less than Pro V1 Titleist and Bridgestone's balls, all playable, but nothing that got me excited.

Along came the Chrome Soft! I love the way this ball moves off the driver, low side spin, great distance, and soft off the face. Fairway woods, hybrids, long and mid irons feel great, and I am getting a few more yards off of them, without the overspin of some of the softer balls. I can still work the ball with ease or just take them straight. The short irons feel soft, crisp, stop cleanly and don't overspin on the green. On the green, they have a buttery soft feeling off the putter, with an excellent roll.

Durability has been excellent, but if you can't find them, then it doesn't really matter how long they play or how durable the cover is. I regularly play a Pete Dye course, Pound Ridge, which could easily steal golf balls on just about every hole. One round, I lost 3 balls on this course, a dream number for some of my playing partners, but a lot for me. With the Chrome Softs, I've played the same 2 balls for two rounds.

I can play this ball with complete confidence...and it's a bargain compared to the other pro balls. I can't say I've played a better ball or even one that's as good as this one.

Just for comparison: 100 mph swing speed, 260 yd drives, 27/28 putts per round, strong short game and 2 handicap.

June 2015

I have used the Srixon XV for the last 4 yrs and loved it. A little less spin than Pro V1x. I tried the Chrome Soft and was completely sold. It goes a little farther than either the Pro V1x or the Srixon and it goes a lot farther on miss hits with my irons. If I hit it thin before I might be 10 yards short of the green now I'm on the fringe and putting. Also just had a + handicap friend who hasn't hit anything but Pro Vs since they came out and he has switched.

June 2015

This ball is the best thing since sliced bread!

June 2015

I was expecting more from this ball. Disappointed in results, the same or shorter off driver, the irons are at least half club longer, but longer irons have less check than other premium balls and I have tried them all. Chips and short irons have plenty of spin, but ball is too hot off the putter. I used to play balata balls but the putters like ping anser where meant for those type balls, new putters have hotter faces and just don't fit unless you play a lot of slow public golf courses, not a match for fast country club greens.

January 2015

Recent bought Calloway X2 Hot irons to replace my X12 irons, I now hit a pitching wedge as far as my old 9 iron. With the Calloway Chrome Soft Golf Ball it is more like as far as my old 8 iron (awesome). I bought 4 X2 Hot woods yesterday, cant wait to see how the Callaway Chrome Golf Ball performs with them.

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