A premium ball that performs just as well at opposite ends of the bag. If you’re looking for impressive distance off the tee from a high flight, this is well worth considering.
Impressive ball speed and controlled spin off the tee
Impressive spin control inside 100 yards
Not as low spinning off the tee as we were expecting
Feel is on the firm-ish side
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For those considering using one of the best Callaway golf balls, there are three to choose from. The standard Chrome Soft golf ball is aimed at the widest portion of the market, an all-rounder with a soft feel aimed at moderate swing speed players. Then there is the Chrome Soft X 2022 which should deliver all round performance for faster swingers and is the brand’s most used ball on Tour. And finally, you have the Chrome Soft X LS which Callaway says is ‘designed for max distance in a fine-tuned lower spin profile.’
The question is, how well does it perform, how does it compare to the other balls in the range and is it one of the best low spin golf balls on the market this year. We tested all three on the golf course and using a SkyTrak launch monitor to find out.
We are going to dive straight into the driver numbers here. The X LS version is designed to be higher launching than the Chrome Soft X and that was exactly what we discovered. The former was launching a fraction under 2˚ higher. However, it is also designed to be lower spinning but at our clubhead speed (around 112 mph), the spin profile between all three Callaway balls was very similar. There was just over 200 rpm difference in average spin between them and actually, it was the standard Chrome Soft that delivered the lowest spin performance. Indeed, for us, the X version was also marginally lower spinning than the X LS.
One important benefit to highlight is the ball speed. In our testing the X and X LS versions were hugely impressive - we saw a jump up between these two models and the standard Chrome Soft version. This combination of fast ball speed and high launch delivered a satisfying flight with plenty of distance. However, if you are faster swinger looking for a Callaway golf ball that offers low spin driver performance, we recommend you also test the Chrome Soft X to see how it stacks up in your own game.
The low spin performance of the X LS was more evident in the mid-iron testing we did. At 4693 rpm, the spin was a little lower than we’d usually want from a 7-iron. However, importantly, the launch angle was high (the highest of the three versions) and so the peak height of 34 yards was also the highest of the three. The X LS was also 3 yards longer than the X and 4 yards longer than the standard version.
We then hit some 100-yard and 50-yard pitch shots to see just how much control the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS offers as you approach the green. From both distances, the spin control was impressive. Anyone thinking of investing in this model will notice how well it grabs on the green when you pitch. However, for us, it was the Chrome Soft X that produced the most spin from 50-yards.
How does the Chrome Soft X LS feel?
We immediately noticed that it felt hotter off the face than the standard Chrome Soft model. The feel suits the fast performance of the ball but if you are looking for something with a really soft feel on and around the green, this might be a little too firm.
We don’t doubt there will be some golfers for whom the Chrome Soft X LS fits perfectly and is one of the best golf balls for their game. In our testing and at our clubhead speed, the Chrome Soft X was a better fit. We recommend that if you are a faster swinging player looking for distance off the tee and control into the greens, you test the two side-by-side. There are some subtle differences that are likely to make one of them slightly better for your game.
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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