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.
About the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS
Of the now three balls in the Callaway Chrome Soft lineup, the high-compression Chrome Soft X LS is expected to be the fastest, highest launching and lowest spinning of the three.
Those properties make it the most compelling for me. It also provides us with a fresh opportunity to gain insight into how Callaway’s ongoing ball plant improvements are manifested in the finished product.
Like the standard Chrome Soft X, the CSX LS is a four-piece, dual mantle design with 332 dimples. The geometry of those dimples has been tweaked a bit to optimize performance.
The Chrome Soft X LS is manufactured at Callaway’s ball plant in Chicopee, Mass.
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS—Compression
On our gauge, the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS measures 100 compression. That’s notable for a few reasons.
First, it makes for a ball that falls on the extreme end of the compression range. It’s the second firmest ball in our database and solidly within our X-Firm range. That’s not a bad thing. Compression and speed are tightly correlated so if the goal is to compete with balls like the TaylorMade TP5x and the Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash, higher compression is kind of a necessity, although, as we’ve noted previously, TaylorMade has softened the TP5x this time around.
The bottom line is that, for a healthy number of golfers, the Chrome Soft X LS should prove to be the longest ball in the Callaway lineup.
Callaway told us the target compression for CSX LS is identical to the Chrome Soft X. However, we’ve got it between five to 10 points higher from one ball to the next. Again, that’s not a negative but prospective buyers need to understand that we’re a long way away (25 compression points to be precise) from the standard Chrome Soft.
By no reasonable measure is the Chrome Soft X a soft golf ball. The Callaway Chrome Soft X LS is firmer still.
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS—Diameter and Weight
While not as pervasive as it is with other brands, Callaway occasionally struggles with golf ball weight. That was mildly the case here with a single Chrome Soft X LS exceeding the USGA’s maximum weight standard.
We typically don’t see roundness issues with Callaway’s Tour-level balls. This held true with the Chrome Soft X LS as none of the balls in the sample came close to failing our roundness check. All of the balls in our sample were round.
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS—Inspection
Centeredness and Concentricity
Given the history (one could say Chrome Soft was the impetus for Ball Lab), it’s fair to say this section is where a good bit of the rubber meets the road for Callaway. Let’s cut to the chase.
None of the balls in our sample presented with significantly off-center cores or other layer defects.
It’s worth mentioning that Callaway has shifted from dual-core construction to a dual-mantle in its latest designs. While Callaway would likely put its own spin on the decision, companies who continue to use dual-core designs in their four-piece designs maintain it offers the best performance, while dual-mantle designs are a bit easier to produce more consistently.
We did find multiple instances of layer incursions (the outer mantle penetrating into the inner mantle) and, while some of them were worse than others, ultimately we weren’t convinced they’d cause performance issues. None were flagged as bad, though several were noted for being noticeably less than perfect.
All of the cores in our Chrome Soft X LS sample were generally consistent. We didn’t find any large chunks of debris nor did we find any of the swirly core (improper mixing) that was common in prior generations of Callaway golf balls.
Several balls in Box 2 had small flakes of material that looked a bit like glitter but the material wasn’t pervasive and the data from the gauges didn’t suggest any significant issues as a result.
We noted a defect on a single cover: a small raised area that may have occurred as the ball was exiting the mold. While noticeable, it was still relatively minor so the ball was not flagged.
The takeaway should be that, while we did note multiple imperfections which is true for most of the balls we test, during the visual inspection, we didn’t find a single disqualifying defect across our sample.
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS—Consistency
In this section, we detail the consistency of the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS. Our consistency metrics provide a measure of how similar the balls in our sample were to one another relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
While we did find some inconsistencies within our Callaway Chrome Soft X LS sample, the data collected on our gauges suggest that Callaway continues to trend in the right direction.
- The weight inconsistency is reasonably apparent in the chart.
- Box 1 was heavier, on average, while Box 2 was lighter. Box 3 was reasonably balanced. However, one of the balls exceeded the USGA’s maximum weight.
- Diameter consistency for the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS falls on the low end of our average range.
- Several balls in the sample run a little on the large side.
- Compression consistency across the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS sample was average.
- The compression delta across the sample was 8.5 compression points—above average for the database and the best of any Callaway ball measured to date.
- The average compression delta across the three points measured on each ball also falls within the average range. None of the balls showed more than a 3.5-point variation across the three points measured.
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 retail price and the True Price, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
Callaway Chrome Soft X LS—Summary
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.
- Average compression and diameter consistency across the sample
- The visual inspection found no obviously bad balls.
- Weight consistency still lags a bit behind the leaders.
The Callaway Chrome Soft X LS gets an overall grade of 72.
Our gauge data suggests that while Callaway still has some work to do, the overall quality and consistency of its Chrome Soft line is improving.
The “True Price” of the Callaway Chrome Soft X LS is $49.32. That’s an increase of just three percent over retail.