If you’re a high spin player looking for a ball that will offer a good combination of control and distance off the tee, as well as a soft feel on the greens, the Chrome Soft 2022 golf ball is well worth considering.
Solid, all-round performance
Soft feel around the green
Low spin off the tee
Drop-off in short game spin versus the X version
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For the latest iteration of the popular Chrome Soft franchise, Callaway says it has ‘enhanced every component and design feature’ to improve performance. Billed as a model that will work for all levels of player, we wanted to see whether the 2022 Chrome Soft is one of the best golf balls on the market this year so we tested it on a launch monitor against the new Chrome Soft X and X LS versions.
Any player willing to pay around $50 (or £50 in the UK) for a dozen golf balls will want everything from good spin control and feel in the short game to distance off the tee. Callaway says the new ‘Elastic SoftFast Core’ is what delivers the Tour-level combination of speed and control in the Chrome Soft.
We started our testing by hitting a series of 50-yard pitch shots using a SkyTrak launch monitor. We immediately noticed the soft feel (noticeably softer than both the X and the Chrome Soft X LS 2022 golf ball which felt sightly hotter off the face of the wedge). For our 50-yard shot, we averaged 5417 rpm of spin. When you couple that with a relatively high flight, we thought it offered solid control when pitching from this distance. The spin here was around 800 rpm higher than we had when testing the impressive, mid-priced Srixon Q-Star Tour 2022 golf ball but it was over 1000 rpm lower than with the Chrome Soft X.
We then hit a series of 100-yard shots and for us, the Chrome Soft was the lowest spinning of the three Callaway balls we tested. For those prioritising short game spin control, the Chrome Soft X 2022 might well be the way to go.
Next we hit some 7-iron shots and in truth there wasn’t much to choose between all three models. The Chrome Soft, like the others, offered a good mix of launch and spin to provide both impressive distance (we averaged 174 yards carry) and good control (5837 rpm spin and 33 yard peak height). These numbers would be exactly what we’d be looking for from a 7-iron.
Onto the driver and for us, the Chrome Soft was the lowest spinning of the three Callaway balls we tested (around 200 rpm lower than the X LS model). If creating too much spin off the tee is an issue in your game, this may well help you find more control. At 13.3˚, it launched relatively high - almost 2˚ higher than the Chrome Soft X. This combination of high launch with relatively low spin offered impressive distance. However, one important point to make here is that Callaway says the X and X LS versions should both be faster off the face of the driver and our experience would back that up. Oft the three it was the Chrome Soft X that offered the highest ball speed and the most distance.
The final and most subjective part of the test was on and around the green. Whilst many golfers will prefer a slightly firmer feel, we loved the muted sound through impact from the Chrome Soft. What’s more we thought it offered a real point of distinction from the other options in the family.
It is clear that the Callaway Chrome Soft for 2022 is a good all-round golf ball. The stand-out performance elements in our testing were the soft feel in the short game and the low spin but high launch flight off the tee. For regular players in search of a premium golf ball that performs well in every area of the game, the Chrome Soft 2022 is well worth considering.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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