The Callaway Chrome Soft and it’s counterpart the Chrome Soft X are my go-to golf balls when I play golf, thanks to their exceptional performance and feel. Make no mistake, these are 2 of the best golf balls you can buy, and in my opinion they give the rival Pro V1 lineup a run for their money in terms of performance. There are subtle differences between the 2 golf balls, each bringing different advantages based off of what you’re looking for.
The Chrome Soft golf balls have become much more popular over the last few years, and Callaway made sure to implement some improvements on each of these golf balls for the 2020-2021 season. So what are the differences between the Chrome Soft and the Chrome Soft X? Let’s take a deeper look at a head to head comparison between these tour level golf balls.
Chrome Soft at a Glance
Since the Callaway Chrome Soft burst onto the golf ball scene in 2014, it has risen to the ranks of one of the best golf balls on the market every year. The Chrome Soft is made to provide tour level performance, with a soft feel. The Chrome Soft is considered a premium golf ball, priced just under $50, priced appropriately among golf balls of this caliber.
The Chrome Soft has been remade for better performance this year: it features a four-piece dual-core construction with a urethane cover. The soft inner core has been made to be 34% larger in 2020, translating to higher ball speeds and a higher launch angle. The dual-core construction is made to transfer speed more efficiently, while generating higher spin rates on short irons and approach shots. The last piece of innovation for the Chrome Soft in 2020 is a thinner cover; Callaway made the cover 10% thinner, to produce lower spin off of drives and longer shots.
In one sentence, the Chrome Soft brings long distance off the tee, awesome feel around the greens, and excellent spin from tee to green. This is an awesome and forgiving golf ball for any low or mid handicap player.
Chrome Soft X at a Glance
The Chrome Soft X was developed to be complimentary to it’s counterpart Chrome Soft, and is made with the more advanced player in mind, serving true Tour level performance. This ball is meant to feel nearly as soft as the Chrome Soft, and have virtually the same durability. This ball is also meant to be slightly more workable, with higher spin rates on short game approaches and longer distances off the tee. The Chrome Soft X has a higher compression rating than the standard Chrome Soft, and is more suitable for golfers with higher swing speeds.
As far as construction goes, there are a few key differences present within the Chrome Soft X. The X is a four-piece golf ball, but instead of 2 cores, it features one larger core. This core is over 100% larger than the 2018 version of the Chrome Soft X, and is made with a tougher rubber that maximizes speed on impact. Surrounding the core, the Chrome Soft X has 2 mantle layers, the inner layer being softer while the outer mantle is a bit firmer, which is designed to boost speed on longer shots while providing a foundation for higher spin off of a wedge. This year’s Chrome Soft X is 22% thinner compared to last year, and combined with the harder outer mantle layer, this cover gives the ball a slightly firmer feel.
The technology in the Chrome Soft X makes this ball have a slightly higher trajectory than the Chrome Soft. Overall, this is a Tour level ball made with the advanced player in mind.
Chrome Soft Vs Chrome Soft X Head to Head Comparison
In a head to head comparison, we found the Chrome Soft X to produce higher spin rates on both wedge and mid iron shots, and lower spin rates off of the driver face vs the Chrome Soft. While both golf balls had excellent spin performance, the Chrome Soft X allows the advanced player to be a little more creative on their iron shots. The high spin rates the Chrome Soft X produces allow you to stop the ball pretty quickly or spin back with relative ease. While this is also possible with the Chrome Soft, the standard Chrome Soft just doesn’t have the exact same grab to it.
If you’re looking for precise greenside control, the Chrome Soft X has a slight edge in this category. That said, a good player will be able to control either one of these golf balls pretty well.
If you want a softer feel on your golf ball, we can confidently tell you that the Chrome Soft is softer than the Chrome Soft X. If you want to be able to hit the center of the green and know exactly what the ball will do, the Chrome Soft is a little bit more predictable. The Chrome Soft X does take a little more precision and placement, in part due to the spin rates and firmer feel. While the Chrome Soft X does have a firmer feel, both of them feel pretty responsive and soft in the short game. Both of these balls have an awesome sound on contact, without the annoying clicky sound you can get from a soft ball.
On the putting surface, the Chrome Soft X has that slightly firmer feel, which I find I can read the feedback on the stroke better than the softer Chrome Soft. That said, both balls were predictable on the green, and make a nice sound when struck.
Between the two of these balls, the flight of the Chrome Soft is noticeably easier to keep straight than the Chrome Soft X. The Chrome Soft X is about 20-30% more workable, allowing for more creative shots off of both driver and iron shots. It’s pretty easy to draw or fade the standard Chrome Soft, but if you look for more workability the Chrome Soft X has more shot shaping ability.
Concerning trajectory, the Chrome Soft X consistently delivers a slightly higher trajectory, which makes sense due to the spin rates coming off this ball. The standard Chrome Soft’s trajectory has been improved since the last version of this ball, and now delivers a more penetrating and higher ball flight than the last version.
If you were hoping to differentiate these 2 golf balls by price, think again. The Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X are both priced as tour level golf balls, and are in line with the Pro V1 lineup, the TaylorMade TP5’s, etc. These are definitely premium golf balls, but you get what you pay for here. These are definitely on my list of preferred golf balls to play, even considering the price.
Which Ball Should I Play?
Hopefully this guide has given you some good insight into each of these golf balls and what they offer. As a generalization, we recommend the Chrome Soft to mid to high handicap players who want a long, straight ball that will improve their distance off the tee, and keep them out of the rough more often. The Chrome Soft X is suited for low to mid handicappers who place a premium on wedge spin, higher apex on the ball trajectory, and workability. The better player will likely do best with the Chrome Soft X, and be able to use some creativity to place their shots where they want on the green.
Who Plays Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X on the PGA Tour?
A handful of the best golfers in the world play Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls.
On the PGA Tour there are some serious stars that use one of these balls, including Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson and Marc Leishman, Kevin Na and Henrik Stenson. That’s just a small sample of well known players who play the Callaway line, but frankly there are dozens more. If you want to see a more complete list, head over to Callaway.
The Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X are two formidable golf balls that can improve your performance on the golf course. Each of these golf balls is made for a different player profile. If you have a slower swing and are a mid to higher handicap, the Chrome Soft will be best for you, and can help straighten out your tee shots. If you have a faster swing and care much more about shot shaping and control on the greens, the Chrome Soft X will suit you more.
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