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Callaway Chrome Soft Garage Lab Review

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Callaway Chrome Soft Garage-Lab Review

 

So this ball is supposed to be the holy grail of balls; the ball that changed the ball!  Well, I love hype just as much as the next guy, but this level of promise has finally moved me to action.  I have never written a review of any sort, although I find most, especially by honest folks like those on this site, extremely valuable. 

 

I am your average 15 handicap golfer, and learned mostly on my own as an adult over the last several years.  I haven't taken nearly enough lessons and have donated my fair share of income to buying a better game.  My driver swing speed is only 95-105, with average drives hovering in the 240-260 range. 

 

My objective for this test was simply to verify that this ball, at an advertised compression of just 65, could indeed stand up to the ball speeds of the Titleist Pro-V1x.  I know on most days, I am not swinging fast enough to get the most out of the Pro-V1x (despite what Titleist says), but every now and then, the rules of golf physics break down and I catch one perfectly that finds its way out near the mythical 300 mark.  It's that potential that keeps me using a ball that usually out-classes my game. 

 

I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about the softness of the ball (it is Supersoft-soft) or how much it spins around the greens (subjective based on how you strike it anyways and it is urethane).   It does feel great when chipping and putting, but I expected that.

 

 

Methodology:

 

I tested this ball against the Pro-V1x across two different testing sessions.  I alternated 5 shots on each ball, with a total of 120 shots total on the driver (Ping G25) and 10 balls per iron (TM R7 TP) for each. I also kept only consistent shots, which was a real bear at times as the SC100 does have a tendency to drop in a 312 yard drive from time to time (I attribute to stray sunlight streaming through the windows). 

 

I performed this test in my garage at a temperature of about 60 degrees with the assistance of my new Voice Caddy SC100.  I apologize, but I have yet been able to convince my beautiful/brilliant wife that we should invest in a more expensive launch monitor, but for this test, I feel it gave me the data I was looking for. 

 

I made every attempt to keep my swing as consistent as I could and favored control over max-out distance to ensure good contact with the ball.  I wanted this test to be about the ball as hit by an average golfer (for better and worse).  So without further ado, here goes nothing…

 

Driver Results:  (60 balls each for Chrome Soft and Pro-V1x)

 

Driver:      Swing Speed       Ball Speed         Distance           Smash

Chrome Soft          97           142                     244                     1.46

Pro-V1x                 97           144                     249                     1.48

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Results: (10 balls per iron for both the Chrome Soft and Pro-V1x)

 

Iron:    CS SS//V1x SS      CS BS//V1x BS       CS Dist//V1x Dist       CS Sm / V1x Sm

4i              89     |    93     119   |      122                  183      |       191           1.30  |  1.29

5i              88     |    92     120   |      122                  176      |       180           1.36  |  1.31

6i              92     |    91     116   |      119                  172     |        181           1.24  |  1.30

7i              84     |    90     110   |        113                154     |        158           1.30  |  1.24

8i              85     |    86     104   |        107                145     |        151           1.21  |  1.23

9i              82     |    86      99    |      101                  134     |        136           1.20  |  1.16

PW          80      |    87      92    |        96                  117     |        123           1.14  |  1.09

 

Interpretation of Data:

 

Starting with the driver, the data shows a 2 mph ball speed advantage for the Pro-V1x which led to an additional 5 yards of carry.  This is not nearly as much as I had suspected it might be, but this data does not capture any sort of spin rate, which may affect real world distance when roll is added in.  This data is carry distance only.  In addition, I have no numbers on accuracy as well, so no way to compare the two balls in that dimension without getting on the course.

 

The iron data reveals more the flaws in my iron game than anything else.  However, if you look carefully, some of my swing speeds with the Pro-v1x were significantly higher than the Chrome Soft, but these did not necessarily translate into large distance games or ball speed gains.  Again, this could be attributable to not a big enough sample size per iron and my less than pro-like iron swing.  I did notice a better smash factor in the irons with the Chrome Soft than with the driver, but I would have to leave it to the smart ball experts around here to know if that was in any way a result of the lower compression.

 

Summary:

 

From just the raw numbers of ball speed without any sort of spin numbers, I am a bit surprised the Chrome Soft held so tightly to the Pro-V1x with the driver and with the irons, produced comparable ball speed numbers even at slower swing speeds.  I don't know what the distance loss curve will look like at much higher driver speeds, but from this limited ‘garage lab' testing, I think Callaway may be onto something with the Chrome Soft, especially for those of us who swing at more human speeds.

 

The temperatures here are not expected to get out of the high 30's for a while so an accurate on course test of distances would not be fair right now, but when the temps do start to rise, I will do some on course testing.  I am curious both about comparing distance to the Pro-V1x as well as accuracy comparison to the Supersoft.

 

I hope this was helpful in peering through the marketing a bit to see what some hard data might reveal.  I did notice in studying Callaway's marketing of this ball, they are careful about highlighting the spin and softness to a much stronger degree than to the distance.  I think the results I found demonstrate that while it may not beat or match balls like the Pro-V1x in driver distance at every speed, it is really pretty close for such a low compression ball.  My mind remains open…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember...Your focus determines your reality.  - Qui-Gon Jinn (rumored +3 handicap)

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Thanks Much,

 

When I peer behind the GreenDoor, I believe that I also would select the Chrome Soft versus the Pro V1x....... IF, I were going to pay the Upper $40's for the Pro V1x, then I would go for the Chrome Soft balls at $38/dozen and save about $10.

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Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(48*) & SW(54*) Cobra King F8 LW(58*)all wedges have Recoil 460 regular shafts Putter: 33" Bellum-Winmore 707 putter Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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Very nice writeup GreenDoor.  This certainly gives up a starting point for comparisons.  I agree that outside testing is needed, so looking forward to that.  

 

I have never played the Chrome Soft, but I would think it would hold its own in lower temperatures.  Not sure about temperatures above 60.  I guess I would initially put it into the category of the Bridgestone Precept Lady, Titleist SoLo, or Wilson Duo.  I have tried these and they work fine in colder temps; but not as well for me when it warms up.  But it would be interesting to see how the urethane cover reacts.  

 

I will certainly check them out.  Thanks again!

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Thanks for the write-up and welcome to the MGS Forum.

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PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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Nice writeup! 

 

I have been doing nothing but hear about this ball recently! I hope to get to a ball fitting here in February and will look to compare this to the Pro V1/Pro V1x and others!

 

I'd love to hear any other updates you come across!

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:titelist-small: TS3 8.75 with HZRDOUS Yellow and Black MicroPerf Best Grips.

:callaway-small: XR 16 3W & 5W with HZRDOUS Red shafts and Black MicroPerf Best Grips.

:srixon-small: U65 4i with Fujikura MCI shaft and Black MicroPerf Best Grips.

:titelist-small: AP3 5-PW with Accra Tour 110i shafts and Black MicroPerf Best Grips.

:titelist-small: SM7 50F, 54S and 60M grinds with Dynamic Gold 120 Tour Issue S400 and Black MicroPerf Best Grips.

:bettinardi-1: Queen B #6 with 34" Stability Shaft and P2 Aware Tour Grip.

:titelist-small: Pro-V1 Golf Ball.

Jones Utility Golf Bag.

Dormie Custom Headcovers.
Bushnell Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder.

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Field Update: I got out for nine today at Twin Lakes and was able to compare both balls on the course.  It was about 45 degrees out and very wet fairways and greens so little to no roll.  On average, I was driving the Pro-V1x about 245 and the Chrome Soft about 234 on holes where I got in a good swing on both.  The Chrome Soft did seem (warning…opinion about to occur) straighter than the Pro-V1x, but not quite to the level of a Supersoft or E6. 

 

One thing I did notice was that on my irons, the Chrome Soft was the exact same club away from the hole as the Pro-V1x, even though at an 11 yard difference, it should have been a club different.   For example, on the 3rd hole, I had an 8 iron left with my Pro-V1x shot and a 7 iron with my Chrome Soft shot; I played the 8 iron on both and landed both pin high.  That happened on at least 4 different holes.

 

Stopping power on wet greens did not tell me much except that it reacted almost the same as the Pro-V1x except maybe it backed up 1 foot versus 3 feet with the Titleist.  Chipping and putting was nearly identical as both balls had a soft, almost heavy feeling today.  Durability was outstanding as there were no scuffs or marks on either ball and both balls wanted no piece of the ice covered pond at number 8 (now that I think of it, that would have been a cool shot to skip it across the ice…).

 

Thanks again for the warm welcome; I really appreciate what everyone here is trying to do in shedding some light into the murky world of golf equipment marketing. 


Remember...Your focus determines your reality.  - Qui-Gon Jinn (rumored +3 handicap)

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Thanks for posting this - interesting results.  Now, could you add in a test of the Chrome Soft vs the Wilson Duo (last year model or new one)?  I think the Wilson Duo is about 1/2 the price of the Chrome Soft, so I'm curious if there is a performance difference.


Driver: Callaway Optiforce 440 9.5* with Diamama Blue S+ 62g Stiff shaft

3 and 5 wood: Callaway Big Bertha with Fubuki Z65 Stiff

Hybrid: Wilson FG Tour 4 hybrid

Irons: 5 iron: Cleveland Altitude Stiff; 6 -PW Callaway Apex Pro, KBS Tour-V Stff

Wedges: 51*, 55* and 58* SCORE with Genius Stiff

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I have been considering the same thing. In fact, I did some limited testing with the Supersoft, but not enough to post any definitive data. I noticed a 2-3 mph difference between the SS and the CS, but would have to hit some more before I would post. Hopefully will get some time next week.


Remember...Your focus determines your reality.  - Qui-Gon Jinn (rumored +3 handicap)

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Played the chrome soft yesterday, and it plays very well, very long, about 10-15 off the tee, and it was actually about 3/4 club eith irons, this time of year the ball really doesn't go, so on the first hole I was 140 out, it's cold and the ball doesn't go so I pulled 8 iron, and flew the green, I hit it closer to 150, it feels wierd off the iron face but it jumps, I will be playing this ball for a while, hopefully, as the weather warms a bit I will have more info to share, overall I really liked the ball


Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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I think if you can compress the ProV1 that probably is the ball you shud play and the Chrome is an optional ball for those with slightly lower swing speeds and the Chrome gives them the ProV1 advantage. I'm losing swing speed with age and looking for a ball that I can compress to maximize distance and still maintain good control on the greens.

 

I am testing the Chrome myself and have only played one round with it. At this juncture I am pretty impressed...feels great off the face...distance was just fine (colder weather) and clearly comparable to Pro V1, with both irons and woods. I was hitting my drives as long as or longer than the younger crowd and my irons were crisp and consistent with my ProV1 historical yardages. I didn't think the action on the green was quite as good with shorter chips but conditions may well have affected those shots as well as the absence of play lately...call it rust.

 

I had tested the Duo last year and found it wanting in almost every area...but particularly distance. Altho I sure felt like I was compressing the ball it just didn't go anywhere and was well short of the Pro V1.

 

My round this week with the Chrome has my attention and I intend on giving it a complete playing test...which for me is a dozen balls and played in warm weather conditions. To that end I will take them to Florida with me in 2 weeks along with Pro V's for "the exam".

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The local golf store gave me a 2-ball pack of the Chrome Soft to play. I've been playing it for over a week and I like it a lot. Feels good. I wouldn't say it's longer than a PV1, but it's right with it. Nice around the green too; plenty of spin. Would I play it? Yes. Will I play it? Probably not, given the performance and price of the MG Tour C4 ball. I would certainly play it over the Duo, which I hate. Felt like hitting a sponge and no distance.


We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I'm going out today and will play the Chrome. I bought a doz. this morning just for purposes of testing them. My total sale was approx. $41.00. It's supposed to be sunny and upper 50's today. Like Kenny I'm already sold on the MG Tour. It's a proven winner in all categories. And they cost about 1/2. We'll see. I'll be back this evening or in the morning with my thoughts

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My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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Yesterday as I said I went out and played the new Chrome Soft ball. First off I didn't even attempt to make any measurements of distance. I played like crap yesterday from tee to green for an entire 18 holes. It was a whipping. Not much playing and no practice lately. It showed. Anyway...

 

I played the same ball during my round yesterday. Do I Like the Chrome. Yes. I didn't get the feeling that it's softer than other Tour quality ball out there. The temp yesterday was in the mid to upper 50's. Distance wise it's in the same range of what I've been playing off and on lately. I tend to switch around some with balls. Always a urethane cover. For me a urethane cover is paramount. Off of good quality iron shots the ball felt like I'd expect for a urethane ball. Around the green It seemed to spin and check. Again, as expected. Putting? Felt good there too. Durability? Again... good. I never hit a tree,cart path or anything like that. After my round the ball seemed to have held up well and still only looked slightly worn. I'd play this the same ball again.

 

Conclusion: I'd be just fine playing the Chrome for a while. It's a good quality ball for sure. Does it beat other balls of it's caliper? Not in my book. Quite frankly I couldn't tell the difference between say the Chrome and a PV1. What the Chrome does have going for it is the price. For those that are familiar with some of my posts know I'm a big believer in the Master Grip Tour C4 ball. I think for the money if I had the choice of buying the Chrome for $37.99 (or any other $40+ premium ball) or the MG Tour C4 for $19.95 I'd buy the C4 every time. Without a doubt. I've also got a doz. of the new Snell balls ordered. We'll see.


My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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Went to a weekend opening of a new Golf Galaxy yesterday and picked up a dozen Chrome Softs at 25% off ($28.49).

 

At that price, I don't mind taking a chance on them, especially at the beginning of the golf season here in central Ohio. Will I be using them in mid-summer when the rust is off of my swing? I'm not sure, as I really like the ProV1x. 

 

However, for $28, I couldn't resist!  B)

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In looking at your numbers table, something that stuck out to me was the smash factor. It seems that while overall your SS to BS was more efficient with the Chrome Soft, you still averaged more distance with the ProV1x. Not sure if it's an anomaly in readings, but it perhaps suggests that the Chrome soft has reminiscing returns after a certain swing speed.

 

What do you guys think? Just my tired mind rambling but I've noticed when trying lower compression balls that they don't always fly as far or provide as much benefits as when using something in a higher range. YMMV though.


Bag One: :taylormade-small: '16 M2, Tour AD-GP 7S

:adams-small:  XTD Ti 15*, Tour AD-GT 8S

:taylormade-small:  RBZ Stage2 Tour Issue 18.5* hybrid, Matrix Ozik Altus 85S Wilson FG Tour F5 21* hybrid, stock

:mizuno-small:  MP-H5 4-PW, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 51/08, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 58/10, DG Spinner

:cameron-small:  2012 Newport2, 34"

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Have not hit one yet as I have not yet found one on the course....LOL

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Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(48*) & SW(54*) Cobra King F8 LW(58*)all wedges have Recoil 460 regular shafts Putter: 33" Bellum-Winmore 707 putter Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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Have not hit one yet as I have not yet found one on the course....LOL

I haven't been out on any course to find lost golf balls since Thanksgiving Day!


Bag One: :taylormade-small: '16 M2, Tour AD-GP 7S

:adams-small:  XTD Ti 15*, Tour AD-GT 8S

:taylormade-small:  RBZ Stage2 Tour Issue 18.5* hybrid, Matrix Ozik Altus 85S Wilson FG Tour F5 21* hybrid, stock

:mizuno-small:  MP-H5 4-PW, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 51/08, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 58/10, DG Spinner

:cameron-small:  2012 Newport2, 34"

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I haven't been out on any course to find lost golf balls since Thanksgiving Day!

I am sorry for your loss.....


Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(48*) & SW(54*) Cobra King F8 LW(58*)all wedges have Recoil 460 regular shafts Putter: 33" Bellum-Winmore 707 putter Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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Wow that's one heck of a write up! I'd be interested in seeing the differences for you between prov1 and prov1x.

 

Does Mickelson actually play the chrome soft? He swings just as hard if not harder than anyone on this forum, so I'm pretty sure that would debunk any overpowering claims.

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Thanks apprenti23, I did get a free sample pack of the new Pro-v1's in the mail from Golf Galaxy last week and now that the weather has warmed up a bit, my launch monitor seems to be working again (apparently didn't like sub-freezing temps any more than I did).  So I might do a quick test between the new Pro-V1 and V1x and last years models to see if there's any difference.  I would not predict much of a difference, but at least I would have a little data.

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Remember...Your focus determines your reality.  - Qui-Gon Jinn (rumored +3 handicap)

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