Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X balls

Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls Callaway Golf

Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X balls

Equipment

Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X balls

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X
Price: $44.99/dozen
Specs: Four-piece, dual-core balls with urethane cover
Available: Feb. 16

Goal
The updates to the Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls aim to provide more distance off the tee and spin around the green while maintaining a soft feel at impact.

The Scoop
The Holy Grail of golf balls is a product that provides tons of greenside spin and control, while off the tee offering less spin and a high launch angle. For years, to get one of those traits, ball manufacturers had to sacrifice the other. Callaway believes that with the updated Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls, it has made its best premium ball yet to provide both traits.

“We knew that if we could make the inner core larger and increase the compression differential between the inner and outer core, we could produce a ball that has a higher launch and a lower spin,” said Dave Bartels, Callaway’s senior director of golf ball research and development. “Most golfers know that on full shots, that means more distance.”

The inner and outer cores of Callaway balls are made from different kinds of rubber. In the past when Callaway tried to make the inner core softer and the outer core firmer, the outer core cracked if the difference became too great. However, adding a new material called Graphene to the outer core has changed that.

 

Callaway Chrome Soft ball

The inner core of the 2018 Chrome Soft ball is significantly larger, while the outer core is thinner. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

“It’s a nanoparticle that is extremely strong and extremely flexible,” Bartels said of Graphene. “It’s only an atom thick if you isolate it down to a single layer. It elongates well and stretches well, so it can provide reinforcement for our outer core. Mixing it with the rubber made the outer core of our Dual Fast cores better.”

To be clear, Graphene itself does not boost performance, but it allows Callaway to enhance performance in ways not otherwise available. Adding Graphene to the outer core enables Callaway to make the inner core of the four-piece Chrome Soft larger and the outer core much thinner without durability issues.

As a result of adding Graphene to the outer core, Callaway was freed to make the inner core of the new Chrome Soft 21 percent larger in diameter, and it is 79 percent larger by volume. If, as the saying goes, the core of a ball is the engine, Callaway thinks it has gone from a 4-cylinder to a turbocharged V12.

Callaway Chrome Soft ball

Callaway Chrome Soft ball (Callaway Golf)

A softer urethane cover helps give the Chrome Soft more greenside spin than its predecessors. It’s the softest urethane cover in Callaway’s stable, and while the Chrome Soft’s overall compression is still about 75, the combination of a softer cover and larger inner core lowers the frequency golfers will hear at impact, so Callaway thinks many players will think the new Chrome Soft is softer.

A new modeling process has helped Callaway create a seamless cover for better and more consistent aerodynamics.

The Callaway Chrome Soft X is also a four-piece ball that has the benefits of Graphene in its outer core and a soft urethane cover made with an updated, seamless pattern. However, Chrome Soft X has a 94 compression, so it will have a firmer feel and produce a flatter, lower launch angle than the standard Chrome Soft. It is designed to appeal to golfers who generate excessive spin off the tee and from the fairway.

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