Thursday, 4 May 2017

Chrome Soft vs Chrome Soft X

Introduction
I love the Callaway Chrome Soft, without doubt my favourite ball. The introduction of an X version meant I had to test it.

Hypothesis
This is an interesting one. My previous testing with premium balls and indeed other comparisons between these models suggests there will be no difference. However, Callaway claim the X version should fly lower and spin slightly more whilst feeling slightly firmer.

A excellent review here.
GolfWRX review here.

Method
Within the limitations of my indoor setup I tested by capturing 5 solid shots (not blatant mishits) with both balls and multiple clubs. Shots were struck from a soft range mat. Using this mat I have noticed shots launch higher and travel less distance compared to a firmer mat or turf. Spin rates are also significantly higher and less variable than those encountered playing 'real' golf.

The balls were:
Callaway Chrome Soft
Callaway Chrome Soft X

The clubs were:
LW (60°) (goal was a 36 yard pitch)
SW (52°) (goal was a 90 yard pitch)
6 Iron (29°)
3 Iron (21°)
3 Hybrid (21°)
2 Hybrid (18°)

Results and Analysis

Subjective:
The X ball is superb/weird. It felt very similar-slightly firmer to me but made a noticeable click compared to the duller thud of the normal chrome soft. I really like the click and soft feel of the X, but I also really like the thud and soft feel of the normal ball!

Data:
These are screenshots, the first club is the normal chrome soft, the second is the X.


As usual, raw data can be found here.

Does the X fly lower?
Not the way I hit it!

Does it spin more?
Technically I think it might a little; with the exception of the 36 yard pitch every single club did spin slightly more. However, I dont think a few hundred rpm of additional spin is going to affect my scores!

Conclusion
I think this was as expected. There may be differences between these balls if you are a tour player but as an amateur a premium ball is a premium ball. I would and will happily play either chrome soft model.

Next Steps
Once I get a setup capable of withstanding 3W/Driver shots repeat the testing.

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