Callaway’s Chrome Soft X: The perfect complement to Chrome Soft
Callaway Chrome Soft X Golf Balls at the 2017 PGA Show
Chrome Soft X Golf Ball
Callaway’s rise to being a serious player in the premium golf ball market has been fast and furious thanks to the revolutionary Chrome Soft golf ball.
Professionals and recreational players alike have made Chrome Soft their ball of choice because of its incredibly soft feel but also the tour-proven performance it delivers from tee to green.
The original Chrome Soft was introduced in December of 2014 and then revamped for 2016 with a new layer being added to further improve performance, especially as it related to distance consistency on shots played from 100 yards and in.
Now, for 2017, Chrome Soft has a new stablemate: Chrome Soft X.
The two balls will share some similarities, most notably their four-piece construction and the low spin rates they produce off of a driver to create impressive distance. But there are some fairly significant differences as well.
“The Chrome Soft X is going to be a little firmer golf ball,” said Jason Finley, Callaway Global Director of Brand Management for Golf Balls. “It’s going to provide not only low spin off the tee but then a little more spin (than Chrome Soft) as you go through the bag."
“You’ll get more spin particularly in that middle part of the bag, which is going to give you more workability. But (Chrome Soft X) is also going to have a new aerodynamic pattern to give it a more penetrating ball flight as well.”
The development of Chrome Soft X was led by detailed feedback that engineers received from Callaway’s touring professionals, including Phil Mickelson.
The firmer feel was requested by some players in hopes of getting just a little bit more feedback on full shots and shots played from around the green, but the ability to work the ball easier, especially as it relates to iron shots, was at the top of the wish list for many.
In terms of the changes that were made in creating Chrome Soft X, they have been extremely well-received by those who were involved in the process.
“This is already our most popular ball with our Tour players, and a big reason for that is it’s going to help with more workability.” added Finley.
As Finley mentioned, Chrome Soft X will fly slightly lower than Chrome Soft, but Callaway’s HEX Aerodynamics ensure that players still get optimal carry distance.
Maximum greenside spin and control, however, have been maintained through an advanced mantle in the design and the ball’s responsive Thermoplastic Urethane cover.
Of course, with a new addition having been made to the Chrome Soft family, players now have decisions to make in terms of which ball is right for their game.
As it relates to that choice, Finley was refreshingly candid in terms of his assessment about how golfers should fit themselves.
“I would say for the vast majority of people the standard Chrome Soft is still going to be the best ball for them,” he said. “They’re going to be able to hit farther through the bag."
“But if you’re the golfer that wants to work a few more shots, you’re going to have more ability to do that with the Chrome Soft X. It’s also going to benefit the high-speed player a little bit more.”
Chrome Soft X golf balls are currently available in both white and yellow, with popular Truvis Technology to be available later this year.
2016 Chrome Soft Golf Balls. THE BALL THAT CHANGED THE BALL. NOW WITH A DUAL SOFTFAST CORE.
Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball History
Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls Tech Story
Callaway made a huge splash in the golf ball market with its release of Chrome Soft in December of 2014, as the incredibly soft feel that came with a tour-caliber ball was a hit with professionals and amateurs alike.
That being the case, some eyebrows were raised when Callaway introduced a new version of Chrome Soft to market early in 2016.
TGW staff members were in Carlsbad, California in early March to visit Callaway headquarters and learn more about the company’s 2016 offerings, and one thing we were looking forward to was finding out more about Chrome Soft 2016, both in terms of its new features and the motivation behind a new version of such a popular ball.
We met with Petra Rackley, Callaway’s Manager of Engineering for Golf Ball Research and Development, to get the inside scoop on the new ball.
Rackley first walked us through Callaway’s Core Lab for a look at the materials utilized in Chrome Soft 2016 and then explained why the company created the new version of the ball and how it works.
Not surprisingly, Rackley revealed that feedback from touring professionals, including Callaway’s most high-profile staffer, Phil Mickelson, was what first led to trying to improve Chrome Soft.
What was the feedback that the Tour players provided to Rackley and her team about the original version?
"They wanted more distance consistency, especially on shots closer to the green," she said. “Those are the shots where they need to be able to hit the ball exact yardages.”
The challenge, Rackley said, was to deliver the consistency and control that the tour players wanted on scoring shots -- short irons, wedges, and short game shots -- while maintaining Chrome Soft’s differentiating feel, as well as its high ball speed and low spin off the tee.
The need to achieve all that functionality is what led to Callaway’s Dual SoftFast Core technology, which Rackley explained in more detail.
“Different parts of the core are activated depending on speed,” she said. “The outer core is firmer, which increases consistency on shorter shots, and the softer inner core brings ball spin down on full shots for more distance."
According to Rackley, "No one had ever made a dual core ball that soft before," and Callaway was interested to see how it would perform.
The ball was first tested out on Tour as a prototype and became known as the "Double Dot" because of the two dots after “Chrome Soft” on the ball’s side stamping. The ball was a huge hit with touring professionals, who immediately put it into play, and from there the decision for Callaway was an easy one.
"We didn't want to hold back any technology and decided that we were going to put this ball out for the public," Rackley said.
And rest assured, you will be playing the exact same ball that was originally given to the tour players, which you'll see firsthand when you open a sleeve of Chrome Soft 16 and find the double dots still on the side stamp.
Chrome Soft 2016 has proven to be a well-received upgrade of the 2015 model from a performance standpoint. Not only is the ball seeing tremendous play on multiple professional tours, but golfers of all ability levels have the option to play a ball that offers enhanced distance and consistency while maintaining the soft feel that Callaway believes was a game-changer in golf ball technology.
For the golfer who’s looking for soft feel, maximum distance off the tee, and extreme control from 150 yards and in, Chrome Soft 2016 is a must try.