MyGolfSpy Ball Lab is where we quantify the quality and consistency of the golf balls on the market to help you find the best ball for your money. An overview of the equipment we use can be found here. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
Callaway calls Chrome Soft “the ball that changed the ball.” Given what we witnessed during last season’s robot ball test and what we found subsequently, it’s fair to say that Chrome Soft is the ball that changed the way we think about golf balls. It’s a large part of why we decided to build the MyGolfSpy Ball Lab. So it only makes sense to kick off Ball Lab with the 2020 Chrome Soft.
In this report, we’ll give you the rundown on what we found in the lab and let you know how it stacks up against other golf balls on the market. Finally, we’ll give you the True Price – how much it costs to get a dozen good golf balls.
About the 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft
With a thin injected urethane cover, the Chrome Soft fits loosely into what’s generally called the “tour ball” category. It’s a four-piece design with a mid-sized inner core. On full shots, the 2020 Chrome Soft is classified as a high-launch, low-spin ball, which makes sense given where it falls on the compression scale. As you would expect from a urethane-covered ball, Callaway claims high green-side spin. All Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls are made at the company’s plant in Chicopee, Mass.
2020 Callaway Chrome Soft – Compression
On our gauge, the average compression of the 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft is 75.
Across the ball market as a whole, the Chrome Soft can be considered a mid-compression ball. However, it should be noted that it is among the softest in the urethane category and significantly softer than what is likely to be played on the PGA TOUR.
The overall compression consistency of the 2020 Chrome Soft is squarely in the average range. None of the balls in our sample varied significantly from the median compression measurement.
Likewise, consistency across the three points measured on each ball showed only minimal variation with 100 percent of the sample set falling within the acceptable range.
While not among the absolutely most consistent balls on the market for compression, we have no major concerns.
2020 Callaway Chrome Soft – Diameter
Relative to the market average, the diameter of the Callaway Chrome Soft is on the smaller side, making it ideal for a tour ball.
That said, with its new models, Callaway appears to be flirting with the USGA size limit and a single sample failed the ball track test.
We deem individual balls under the size limit as “bad”; however, the lot itself would be conforming under USGA rules.
Consistency and Roundness
While the overall diameter consistency of the 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft falls within the average range, there was a single ball that did not meet our standard of roundness.
2020 Callaway Chrome Soft – Weight
None of the balls in our 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft sample exceeded the USGA weight limit of 1.620 ounces.
Consistency across our Chrome Soft sample set was on the higher end of the average range. That’s a good thing.
2020 Callaway Chrome Soft – Inspection
While we found some measure of off-center cores in just over 20 percent of our samples, only one was significantly off-center to the degree that it would likely have performance implications.
The larger concern is what we describe as layer concentricity issues – uneven thickness of the layers (including the mantle and cover) surrounding the core.
Eleven percent of the balls we cut showed enough variation in layer thickness that performance implications should be a concern.
Core coloring was generally consistent with no swirls or abnormal color patterns that would suggest poorly mixed materials.
It is notable that we found cores in two distinct colors (dark and light gray). Typically, we would expect cores of the same model to be the same color. That said, we found no quantifiable differences between the two colors in our measurements.
While cover 2020 Chrome Soft covers are generally clean and free of tool marks, we did disqualify a single ball for a deep, fingernail-like impression that spanned multiple dimples.
The 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft has a medium-size inner core. Mantle and cover layers are thin. The cover is soft. There’s nothing to suggest that green-side performance of the ball wouldn’t meet expectations for the category.
True Price is how we quantify the quality of a golf ball. It's a projection of what you'd have to spend to ensure you get 12 good balls.
The True Price will always be equal to or greater than the retail price. The greater the difference between the two, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
2020 Callaway Chrome Soft Summary Report
To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
In general, the consistency of the Callaway Chrome Soft is AVERAGE for the metrics we measure with our gauges.
Our visual inspection found reasons for concern around core centering and layer concentricity, though these areas appear to have improved significantly from the previous model.
With a bit more than 22 percent of our 2020 Callaway Chrome Soft sample set flagged as “bad” for one reason or another, there is room for improvement.
Callaway has been upfront about the fact that its quality improvements are ongoing so there’s reason to believe that quality will continue to improve.