As you might expect from a ball with soft in the name, it feels soft. That is not an issue unless you are trying to promote something like the Callaway Chrome Soft ball as an alternative tour ball.
Now I am sure some of their tour players did use it, but amongst my non-contracted low amateur buddies the consensus is that it is too soft for that. However they may change their minds with the Chrome Soft X ball. Like other manufacturers the X suffix means firmer so this is off to a good start.
Formerly known as Chrome Soft+ on Tour in 2016, the 2017 Chrome Soft X version features a firmer core and a firmer cover, whilst remaining true to its lower compression feel that gives the spin performance combined without compromising on distance.
It features the same 4-piece construction as the Chrome Soft with the Dual SoftFast Core for ball speed and a Tri-ionomer mantle to regulate spin.
The thin urethane cover provides a nice feel off all clubs and the durability was about average for a premium ball, but with a mid-market price, you could maybe take the hit here.
The Chrome Soft X aims to spin a bit more on irons from 5 down to wedge for more control and around the green the firmer feel than the Chrome Soft is evident.
Previously I felt the Chrome Soft ball was really too soft to use with an insert putter, but the X version is much better to putt with if you like some sound feedback.
Around the course it played very well and the now familiar hexagonal dimple design gave it a stable flight, especially in any breeze.
Taking both balls from the course to the range on SkyTrak to compare them revealed a very similar level of performance for the wedge and a small distance gain for the 6 iron which could be the higher club head speed or the faster core as everything else is pretty equal.
When I got to the driver I saw an increase in distance of around 4-6 yards once you allow for the fractionally slower club speed. This is primarily due to the lower spin of the Chrome Soft X for me, which gives it that extra distance, but overall this ball spun more than usual for my driver.
It is better than the Chrome Soft for my 100mph swing speed, which is probably what is going to make the Chrome Soft X a more viable option for 95mph+ players as it is around this level that more traditional soft golf balls experience a drop off with the longer clubs.
It is also available in white and yellow which is good to see for those who have difficulty doing so.
Manufacturers are trying to find a soft golf ball that will cross over into the premium tour ball market and the Chrome Soft X is another step in this journey.
Compared to other premium tour balls from Titleist and TaylorMade, the Chrome Soft X felt softer than them all. Combined with being around a third cheaper, it also offers good value for money and is a credible alternative if you prefer something that feels softer than your traditional X ball.