Callaway Chrome Soft vs Chrome Soft X: Head-to-Head Comparison
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on December 12, 2023

In this post, I share the results from my Callaway Chrome Soft vs Chrome Soft X review. I’ll reveal the main differences between the balls and the pros and cons of each construction. Additionally, I’ll highlight which golf ball flies further, spins more, and is the easiest to launch.

After reading this post, you’ll know which swing speeds and skill levels best suit each golf ball. I’ll always discuss the sensitive issue of prices and help you determine if it’s worth forking out a premium for both designs.

Before we dive into the detailed finding, here’s a quick summary of my testing:

Chrome Soft

Chrome Soft X

Construction 3-layer: SoftFast core, ionomer mantle, and urethane cover 4-layer: SoftFeel core, dual mantle, and urethane cover
Compression Score Medium compression (Mid-90s score) Higher compression (Suitable for >97 mph driver swing)
Flight Straighter due to increased compression More workable flight (draw/fade potential)
Feel Softer Firmer
Launch Medium to high Low to medium
Driver Spin Lower (average 2440 rpm) Higher (average 3062 rpm)
Iron Spin Lower (average 5608 rpm) Higher (average >6300 rpm)
Wedge Spin Lower (average 9000 rpm) Higher (average 9800 rpm)
Pros – Low driver spin
– Faster ball speed
– Longer distance
– Straighter flight
– Soft feel
– Higher wedge spin
– Built for faster swing speeds
– Workable flight
– Low to mid-height launch
Cons

– Price
– Lower wedge spin

– Price
– Slower ball speed
– Shorter distance
– Firmer feel
– Not for slow swing speeds
Goes Further? Winner
Easier to Hit? Winner
Spins More with a Wedge?
Winner
Price $49.99 $49.99
Final Verdict Best for moderate swing speeds & low and mid handicappers Best for faster swing speeds

callaway chrome soft 1

callaway chome soft x 1

Main Differences Between The Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X

Construction

The quantity of layers is the first significant structural difference between these golf balls. The Chrome Soft sports a 3-layer setup with a Hyper-Elastic SoftFast core, an ionomer mantle, and a soft urethane cover.

Callaway took an extra step with the Chrome Soft X. A dual mantle design separates the urethane cover from the Hyper-Elastic SoftFeel core. Although the additional layer helps fast swing speeds contain spin and accelerate velocity, it increases the stiffness of the golf ball.

Compression Score

Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls tick all the boxes for a medium compression golf ball, suiting moderate swing speeds like mine. Conversely, the Chrome Soft is a compression ball, scoring in the mid-90s.

My moderate swing speed struggled to consistently compress the higher-scoring Chrome Soft X. This cost me ball speed, increased my spin rate, and resulted in a loss of long game distance. It’s not always the case, but players swinging a driver over 97 mph stand to benefit the most from the stiffer Chrome Soft X.

Flight

In my experience, the Chrome Soft flew straighter than the X model owing to increased compression, lower spin rate, and aerodynamic dimples. On the contrary, the Chrome Soft X offered a more workable ball flight to induce a draw or fade on approach.

Personally, I appreciate the optimized workability to enhance my control on approach shots, a sentiment most lower handicappers will share. However, the straighter flight from the Chrome Soft suits mid-handicappers still seeking an air of relief on heel and toe mishits.

Feel

The feel of these golf balls off the clubface and when biting into them were polar opposites. The Chrome Soft offered the softest feel and was a pleasure to strike on short game shots. I found the 4-piece Chrome Soft X firmer and less appealing than the standard Chrome Soft.

Launch

The Callaway Chrome Soft launched higher than the Callaway X, producing an effortless lift-off and ample carry distance. By my standards, the Chrome Soft generated a medium to high launch, which is a sweet spot for me.

Conversely, an elevated spin rate and reduced ball speed on the Chrome Soft X prompted a low to medium launch. I personally prefer increased elevation on lift-off for consistent flight and carry distance.

Driver Spin

I produced less driver spin rpm with the standard Chrome Soft, owing to its lower compression and compatibility with my slow swing speed. I notched up an average of 2440 rpm with the big stick when I struck the Chrome Soft.

My Chrome Soft X numbers were the polar opposite, rising to 3062 rpm. The increased spin revolutions stem from reduced compression at contact, causing a weaker, lower-than-intended launch and fewer yards.

Iron Spin

The iron spin rates of both balls differed, but the results were almost unnoticeable with the naked eye. My 7-iron Chrome Soft X shots produced over 6300 rpm backspin, which saw my ball stop rapidly on approach. However, my distance was not very satisfactory due to the elevated spin rates.

I produced far fewer revolutions on Chrome Soft strikes, conjuring up an average backspin rate of 5608 rpm. Although I noticed more distance overall with the Chrome Soft, I found the balls bit as quickly as each other.

Wedge Spin

The difference with the naked eye appeared minimal. However, when I checked the numbers, the Chrome Soft X dominated in this department. Despite its firmer construction, the soft urethane cover gripped into my wedge grooves and left the face with enhanced spin revolutions.

I produced an average of 9800 rpm backspin on Chrome Soft X wedge shots, leading to an aggressive bite and maximum greenside control. On the contrary, I conjured up 9000 rpm with the Chrome Soft. Nonetheless, I didn’t notice any wild differences between the stopping control.

 

callaway chrome soft 2

callaway chome soft x 2

Pros and Cons of The Callaway Chrome Soft

Pros

Low Driver Spin

I welcomed my low driver spin rate with the Callaway Chrome Soft owing to its highly compressible nature. I struck the ball consistently to reduce spin revolutions and retain ball speed for a powerful launch.

Faster Ball Speed

The increased compression helped me to boost my energy transfer at contact, causing the ball to rebound rapidly off the clubface. The ball launched into the air at a rapid pace and surged forward to optimize my carry and total distance.

Longer Distance

The Chrome Soft delivered impressive driver, fairway wood, and long iron distance thanks to the low long game spin and explosive ball zip. I found it an easy golf ball to launch with my moderate swing speed, resulting in consistent carry and total yardage.

Straighter Flight

I find the straighter flight is a positive for mid-handicappers seeking improved accuracy off the tee and on approach. Naturally, lower handicappers seeking increased workability and control may prefer the shape provided by the Chrome Soft X.

Soft Feel

My favorite feature of the Chrome Soft is its delicate feel, especially on iron and wedge shots and putts. Besides the feel, the soft cover was responsible for etching into my wedge grooves and increasing spin pitch, chip, and full wedge shots.

Cons

Price

The steep price tag deters me from playing the Callaway Chrome Soft on a regular basis. A dozen balls set me back a little under $50, placing them in the league of a Titleist Pro V1. I don’t feel the premium price tag is sensible for mid and high-handicappers because you’re more susceptible to losing balls.

You’ll notice your golf ball expenses skyrocket when playing these, which could be avoided by playing affordable distance balls.

Wedge Spin

The Chrome Soft registered a lower spin rate than the Chrome Soft X, which is why I list it as a con. However, I noticed very little difference in the way of stopping control with the naked eye.

 

Pros and Cons of The Callaway Chrome Soft X

Pros

Higher Wedge Spin

I was surprised to see the Chrome Soft X producing more enhanced wedge spin revolutions than Chrome Soft. Despite its firmer feel, I generated 800 rpm more backspin with the Chrome Soft X. However, the difference in stopping power was minimal to the naked eye.

Built for Faster Swing Speeds

The higher compression of the Callaway Chrome Soft X is best suited to golfers swinging a driver over 97 mph. My moderate swing speed struggled to compress the golf ball consistently, leading to increased spin and slower ball velocity on long shots.

Faster swingers will enjoy the benefits of low spin, accelerated pace off the tee, and optimal spin on approach.

Workable Flight

I found the Chrome Soft X easier to draw or fade to navigate doglegs and avoid hazards from tee to green. The lower handicappers will appreciate the workability, which enhances control and offers more shot options.

Low to Mid Height

I launched the Chrome Soft X along a low to medium apex, which isn’t my preference, but suits the needs of skilled golfers. The low to medium flight provides superior roll upon landing to increase your total distance.

Cons

Price

Like the Chrome Soft, the Chrome Soft X is pricey, asking approximately $50 for 12 golf balls. I don’t feel it’s worth the average golfer spending that amount. Alternatively, look at quality entry-level balls like the TaylorMade Soft Response.

Low-handicap golfers resistant to losing multiple balls per round may see the value in spending on a tour-level ball.

Slower Ball Speed

I wasn’t a fan of the slower ball speed, but that has more to do with my swing speed and smash factor than the ball. Other moderate swing speeds may experience the same issues and are better off with the lower compression Chrome Soft golf ball.

Shorter Distance

My reduced compression at impact hampered my distance numbers, directly impacted by ball speed drop-off and spin increase. I feel my fellow moderate swing speeds will likely experience similar challenges and are better off with the Chrome Soft.

Firmer Feel

I found the Chrome Soft X was firmer than the Chrome Soft, which was not my favorite feature. I prefer golf balls that are soft off the clubface and amplify feedback on iron and wedge shots.

Not for Slow Swing Speed

I noticed that the Chrome Soft X isn’t suited to moderate or slow swing speeds. It requires a faster clubhead speed to impart optimal pace and low spin onto the golf ball. Instead, I suggest average swing speeds consider the soft, highly compressible Chrome Soft ball.

 

Which Ball Goes Further?

Winner: Chrome Soft

In my experience, the Chrome Soft travels further than the Chrome Soft X. The former outclassed the X model off the tee and on approach. I sent my Chrome Soft drives 4 yards farther than the X. My 7-iron Chrome Soft strikes ended 3 yards longer than the X range.

 

Which Ball is Easier to Hit?

Winner: Chrome Soft

I found the softer, low-compression Chrome Soft easier to hit and get airborne. The moderate compression ball matched my average clubhead speed and was a breeze to launch high and long. My medium clubhead speed struggled to transfer sufficient energy for a consistently powerful launch.

 

Which Ball Spins More with a Wedge?

Winner: Chrome Soft X

The Chrome Soft X delivered 800 rpm more wedge spin than the Chrome Soft. However, if I removed the data from the equation, I would’ve struggled to tell the difference.

 

Which Ball is Cheaper

Winner: Tie

Both golf balls carry the same retail price of $49.99, placing them in a tie. Although low handicappers can warrant spending this premium, I see it as unnecessary for mid and high-handicappers.

 

The Final Verdict

After testing the Callaway Chrome Soft vs Chrome Soft X, I found the former best suited to moderate swing speeds. The Chrome Soft was easier to compress, launch and generate optimal distance. I feel it’s a superior option for moderate swing speeds and low and mid handicappers.

Conversely, the Chrome Soft X proved itself as a well-rounded tour golf ball for faster swing speeds. The biggest downside of both these golf balls is their price, but if you have deep pockets and wish to enjoy the tee-to-green benefits, they are worth considering.

 

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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8