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My Golf Spy Ball Lab Report- Callaway Chrome Soft X- LS


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Callaway's new release from this spring, the Chrome Soft  X LS (low spin) 

https://mygolfspy.com/ball-lab-callaway-chrome-soft-x-ls-review/

A photo of Callaway Chrome Soft X LS golf balls

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Couple interesting points for me.
 

1) the change in design to a dual mantle vice dual core. Helps in the construction consistency. This gets left out of their advertising about their improvements and being more consistent that another brand.

2) even with all the improvements the overall score of 73/100 isn’t that impressive. I was expecting they would be in the mid to upper 80s

 

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Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

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Yeah, I keep feeling like the words say things are getting better with the Callaway balls, but the final number is still lower than I’d expect to see.  I was even a little shocked to see it was only 73/100 considering there was only one bad ball.  It seems like they’re still having ball to ball consistency issues even if they’re still good enough to not fail.

 

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Yeah, the last two labs have left me scratching my head a little. I don't think Tony has an ounce of malice in him and if the CS X LS was the best thing ever he would have said as much. But without some transparency as to how the final score is derived, that 73 is hard for me to understand. 1 bad ball, a true cost of just 3% off MSRP, and a score of 73? I don't see how that pans out. Reading the article and getting to the end I was thinking this was going to rate in the 90's. 

I'll keep reading the ball labs because, I do enjoy them. But right now, they are kind of data without context. I'm sure Tony is working on the context, but until we can say that X% of weight difference equates to X distance lost or gained. Or a core out of center does X to the ball flight, etc, we are really just having a beauty contest. 

On the Podcast Tony and Team are always talking about how the ball matters, and since find it cut it, I've been echoing that song as well. I know it is a different test, and it isn't easy to do, but putting data to the "bad balls" is the mission I put before you.

"We choose to test this ball in this lab and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too."  -what my mind believes Tony says every time he sits down at his work bench.

 

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FW Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 17.5° - Fujikura Pro

Utility:    :cobra-small: King Forged 20.5° Utility - Catalyst X

Irons:   image.png.cbfb2d938ea45d82004d9bdeb23cf643.pngD7 Forged GW-5i - Recoils

Wedges:   :Sub70:  JB 52° , 286 56°

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9 minutes ago, Thin2win said:

Yeah, the last two labs have left me scratching my head a little. I don't think Tony has an ounce of malice in him and if the CS X LS was the best thing ever he would have said as much. But without some transparency as to how the final score is derived, that 73 is hard for me to understand. 1 bad ball, a true cost of just 3% off MSRP, and a score of 73? I don't see how that pans out. Reading the article and getting to the end I was thinking this was going to rate in the 90's. 

I'll keep reading the ball labs because, I do enjoy them. But right now, they are kind of data without context. I'm sure Tony is working on the context, but until we can say that X% of weight difference equates to X distance lost or gained. Or a core out of center does X to the ball flight, etc, we are really just having a beauty contest. 

On the Podcast Tony and Team are always talking about how the ball matters, and since find it cut it, I've been echoing that song as well. I know it is a different test, and it isn't easy to do, but putting data to the "bad balls" is the mission I put before you.

"We choose to test this ball in this lab and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too."  -what my mind believes Tony says every time he sits down at his work bench.

 

The score is pretty accurate when you consider weight, diameter and compression all had consistency issues. 

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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55 minutes ago, Thin2win said:

Yeah, the last two labs have left me scratching my head a little. I don't think Tony has an ounce of malice in him and if the CS X LS was the best thing ever he would have said as much. But without some transparency as to how the final score is derived, that 73 is hard for me to understand. 1 bad ball, a true cost of just 3% off MSRP, and a score of 73? I don't see how that pans out. Reading the article and getting to the end I was thinking this was going to rate in the 90's. 

I'll keep reading the ball labs because, I do enjoy them. But right now, they are kind of data without context. I'm sure Tony is working on the context, but until we can say that X% of weight difference equates to X distance lost or gained. Or a core out of center does X to the ball flight, etc, we are really just having a beauty contest. 

On the Podcast Tony and Team are always talking about how the ball matters, and since find it cut it, I've been echoing that song as well. I know it is a different test, and it isn't easy to do, but putting data to the "bad balls" is the mission I put before you.

"We choose to test this ball in this lab and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too."  -what my mind believes Tony says every time he sits down at his work bench.

 

Well said!

Tony and team have had a negative perception about Callaway balls since they started cutting them open. Fair or not, there is some cognitive bias there.

I even had a back-and-forth on the perception that "soft is slow" with him on Twitter and he blocked me, the mygolfspy account blocked me and the forum account blocked me. And I don't even think I used any 4 letter words!

They really aren't fans of much criticism and the skin seems to be paper-thin.

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53 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The score is pretty accurate when you consider weight, diameter and compression all had consistency issues. 

very well probably true. If Tony(or whoever) could just share the 100 point scale they are using so we all know what the grades are based on, that would make this process more transparent and easier to follow. Without that, it is kind of like waiting to see what the Russian judges(sorry to any Russian Judges out there) were going to give a performance back in the day before judging was given a very strict scoring system. 

 

Even the MGS forum testers have a scoring system, 19 our of 20 on feel etc., that they are expected to use so that when they put up their final score out of 100 readers can see where those points were gained and lost. The blog, which is read by probably more people, is using less stringent scoring standards. I don't think that the 73 is the wrong score, but with the flow of the article, I thought it was off. And if I did, I'm sure other readers did too. And trying to keep up the MGS brand and values, I would think that being transparent here would only bolster the scores given to each ball. 

 

All that said, 73, what a crap ball, Callaway sucks, never playing their stuff!!  JK. 🤣🤣

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FW Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 17.5° - Fujikura Pro

Utility:    :cobra-small: King Forged 20.5° Utility - Catalyst X

Irons:   image.png.cbfb2d938ea45d82004d9bdeb23cf643.pngD7 Forged GW-5i - Recoils

Wedges:   :Sub70:  JB 52° , 286 56°

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2 minutes ago, Thin2win said:

All that said, 73, what a crap ball, Callaway sucks, never playing their stuff!!  JK. 🤣🤣

HAHA!

Hard to believe Phil won the longest major in championship history with a Callaway chrome soft x ball...

https://www.golfwrx.com/654804/phil-mickelson-witb-2021-may-pga-championship/

but, there is an inherent problem with rankings/ratings in general.

What's Observed in a Rating? Rankings as Orientation in the Face of Uncertainty

First Published February 27, 2019 Research ArticleCROSSMARK_Color_horizontal.svg

Abstract

Ratings and rankings are criticized for being simplistic, obscurantist, inaccurate, and subjective, yet they are becoming an increasingly influential social form. We elaborate the criticisms of ratings and rankings in various fields but go on to argue that analysis should shift its target. The problem that ratings deal with is not observation of an independent world. Instead, the challenge they face is the circularity of second-order observation in which observations must take into account the observations of others. To this purpose they function well enough not because they mirror how things are but because they offer a highly visible reference point to which others are attentive and thereby provide an orientation to navigate uncertainty. The concluding section places the problem of ratings and rankings in a broader historical perspective, contrasting the ranked society to the society of rankings. Responding to uncertainty, ratings and rankings perpetuates rather than eliminates anxiety.

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1 hour ago, Thin2win said:

very well probably true. If Tony(or whoever) could just share the 100 point scale they are using so we all know what the grades are based on, that would make this process more transparent and easier to follow. Without that, it is kind of like waiting to see what the Russian judges(sorry to any Russian Judges out there) were going to give a performance back in the day before judging was given a very strict scoring system. 

 

Even the MGS forum testers have a scoring system, 19 our of 20 on feel etc., that they are expected to use so that when they put up their final score out of 100 readers can see where those points were gained and lost. The blog, which is read by probably more people, is using less stringent scoring standards. I don't think that the 73 is the wrong score, but with the flow of the article, I thought it was off. And if I did, I'm sure other readers did too. And trying to keep up the MGS brand and values, I would think that being transparent here would only bolster the scores given to each ball. 

 

All that said, 73, what a crap ball, Callaway sucks, never playing their stuff!!  JK. 🤣🤣

I would agree that the article flowed that way but once you get to the section of the consistency issues is where it changed. Tony pointed out the issues so it’s not like the article was all good then dropped a bad score out of nowhere.

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Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

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I re-read the article to see where the issues might be that caused the 73 rating, but I didn’t find many. Every “issue” was said to be not that bad, or not an issue that is consistent across the board, so not real sure why the score is low, and the adjusted pricing isn’t far off from regular retail... Oh well, I won’t be playing them anyway.

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3 hours ago, StrokerAce said:

Well said!

Tony and team have had a negative perception about Callaway balls since they started cutting them open. Fair or not, there is some cognitive bias there.

I even had a back-and-forth on the perception that "soft is slow" with him on Twitter and he blocked me, the mygolfspy account blocked me and the forum account blocked me. And I don't even think I used any 4 letter words!

They really aren't fans of much criticism and the skin seems to be paper-thin.

This is the perception of MGS on other forums throughout the internet. The claim of transparency, but not include all the information, and respond this way when being challenged over it. What they are doing is great, but they need to realize some things will always be questioned and how they respond to be questioned is just as representative as the data. Overall though the ball lab is just a manufacturer quality control test and that’s it.

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Did I read the report right? The whole article kept saying that issues were “not bad” or not an issue then I got to the end and found a score of 73 🤔

I expected a mid 80 or something, but not a 73???

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28 minutes ago, TBT said:

Did I read the report right? The whole article kept saying that issues were “not bad” or not an issue then I got to the end and found a score of 73 🤔

I expected a mid 80 or something, but not a 73???

Did you read this part 

WEIGHT CONSISTENCY

  • The weight inconsistency is reasonably apparent in the chart.
  • Box 1 was heavier, on average, while Box 2 was lighter. Box 3 was reasonably balanced. However, one of the balls exceeded the USGA’s maximum weight.

DIAMETER CONSISTENCY

  • Diameter consistency for the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS falls on the low end of our average range.
  • Several balls in the sample run a little on the large side.

COMPRESSION CONSISTENCY

  • Compression consistency across the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS sample was average.
  • The compression delta across the sample was 8.5 compression points—above average for the database and the best of any Callaway ball measured to date.
  • The average compression delta across the three points measured on each ball also falls within the average range. None of the balls showed more than a 3.5-point variation across the three points measured

And

THE BAD

  • Weight consistency still lags a bit behind the leaders.

FINAL GRADE

The Callaway Chrome Soft X LS gets an overall grade of 72.

Our gauge data suggests that while Callaway still has some work to do, the overall quality and consistency of its Chrome Soft line is improving.

 

 

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I too was a little surprised by the 73 score. It does seem that this is Callaway's best performance to date and I would have expected something in the 80's. In any case, way too high of compression for me.  

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13 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Did you read this part 

WEIGHT CONSISTENCY

  • The weight inconsistency is reasonably apparent in the chart.
  • Box 1 was heavier, on average, while Box 2 was lighter. Box 3 was reasonably balanced. However, one of the balls exceeded the USGA’s maximum weight.

DIAMETER CONSISTENCY

  • Diameter consistency for the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS falls on the low end of our average range.
  • Several balls in the sample run a little on the large side.

COMPRESSION CONSISTENCY

  • Compression consistency across the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS sample was average.
  • The compression delta across the sample was 8.5 compression points—above average for the database and the best of any Callaway ball measured to date.
  • The average compression delta across the three points measured on each ball also falls within the average range. None of the balls showed more than a 3.5-point variation across the three points measured

And

THE BAD

  • Weight consistency still lags a bit behind the leaders.

FINAL GRADE

The Callaway Chrome Soft X LS gets an overall grade of 72.

Our gauge data suggests that while Callaway still has some work to do, the overall quality and consistency of its Chrome Soft line is improving.

 

 

I had actually NOT seen that part of the report earlier.  Maybe skipped it accidentally but I noticed it right away on the ranking that they were just OK with those metrics. I was surprised I didn’t read anything about it in the article itself. 

Edit: found out why... that blurb is showing up after the ball comparison tableau dashboard. So I didn’t read down past that part. I started playing with the chart there and saw the ranking then got distracted by something else.

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Posted (edited)

Everyone has to realize the comparison score is going against the Titleist Prov, the absolute best ball on the market with the most consistency. When you compare the TP5X vs the Titleist, the score is legit.....how can you have balls exceeding the USGA standard and expect a good score?...incnsistent weights that vary this much?  I am not shocked at all by the score. In fact, i would rate the TP5x lower. 

Edited by Tsecor

Golf is cool

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Posted (edited)

The Tour BX and Z Star were in the Excellent tier with the V1 and V1x in the original 2019 ball test. (You know the one where balls were actually hit into the air to show performance). Those correspond to scores of 72, 82, 84, and 93 respectively, on this new scale. TXG hit the CSX LS, Left Dash, and one other low spin ball in a test which were very close across wedge/iron/driver. 

Test balls on course, use the one that works best for you. If you want to use this testing to find some test candidates, that is about the extent I would use it for. I play Bridgestone because in my unscientific testing they appear to fly farther and straighter (especially in the wind) off the club of this bogey golfer than Titleist (with slightly less spin). I seem to score best with B XS due to better greenside control and stopping power, but after my last round hitting the BX 10-20 yards farther, that needs another look.

Z Stars are similar to the Tour B XS and Pro V1. They also go on BOGO sale for 67% less than regular priced Pro V's in Canada. But used B XS balls still seemed better than new Z-Stars fresh out of the sleeve to me. 

I wouldn't use these scores to exclude anything from testing until some sort of measurable data like SG for the variance could be calculated, or even yards offline. If the various layers have the same density, the effect on putting is zero, and close to 0 on short game shots. FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Unless you swap balls every 6 holes, the one with the most durable cover probably flies through the air better than something that scuffs easier after half a round. 

A lot of chatter about Xander Schauffele never winning a tourney in 3+ years, how many more victories would he have had playing a Pro V instead of CSX? 🤣 We'll never know. But what do I know, I buy used balls online for $1.50/pc or less. 🤑 I understand minimizing variables in an experiment to improve results, that's a great reason for MGS to use the Pro V1 to test every club and create an even playing field. But when your sample size is 1 golfer, find what works best for your game and budget. 

If looking down at a Pro V brings you joy, play them. But if something else performs better or the same (and costs less), don't let these scores make you feel like you're leaving strokes out on the course. I would love to try Left Dash for a comparison, but until I can get them used I don't plan on paying $70/dozen. 

Edited by BMart519

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On the flip side, the 2020 AVX scored an 87 but the 2019 ball was in the near bottom (Fair tier) for testing. The Maxfli Tour X was up a tier in "GOOD" and then scored a 43, the lowest on the scoreboard. 

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17 hours ago, BMart519 said:

Test balls on course, use the one that works best for you. If you want to use this testing to find some test candidates, that is about the extent I would use it for. I play Bridgestone because in my unscientific testing they appear to fly farther and straighter (especially in the wind) off the club of this bogey golfer than Titleist (with slightly less spin). I seem to score best with B XS due to better greenside control and stopping power, but after my last round hitting the BX 10-20 yards farther, that needs another look.

Yeah I played a Bridgestone XS for the last 2 round (could consider actually 3-4 round since I played a 3 ball best ball round alone last week. Been toying around with different ball but the XS stopping power is incredible, so incredible that my game was off by a few yards every time. It would roll at least half the distance than most ball I played out there this year. Finding and fixing my green mark was easy, 2-3 feet away from my ball on approach shot.

Drive I had trouble hitting the fairways, distance wise it was not very far. I had a little off day but the ball seemed harder to control on drive.

Last game I played some cheap wilson staff elite 50 compression (24 balls for like 20$) and my drive was like 15 yards farther, I know I had a better driving day but 15 yards on average... for half the price and less stopping power... Can't wait to try them again see if my number are the same.

WIll try the BX next round for sure

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