Callaway Chrome Soft vs Titleist Pro V1: Compared
if you ever watch or read any golf-related media then you’ll know that “Titleist is the number one ball in golf!”. From launch, the Pro V1 quickly became the de facto choice of the majority of professional golfers. Elite amateurs and low handicap players mostly followed suit.
Can Callaway’s Chrome Soft tour ball compete?
Chrome Soft And Pro V1 Features
|Chrome Soft||Pro V1|
|Construction||3 piece||3 piece|
The Chrome Soft also comes in two additional flavors the Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS. The Titleist Pro V1 comes in a number of different versions now, the Pro V1x, Pro V1x left dash and Pro V1 left dot. Each looks to address a particular segment of the market.
Callaway also makes several different colored versions along with Triple Track and TruVis options. Triple Track has a pattern of parallel lines to help you line up putts while TruVis incorporates a pattern of images on the cover to make the ball stand out more to the golfer.
Users of the Pro V1 have a much simpler choice of white or yellow!
Since the Chrome Soft and Pro V1 are the softest premium balls produced by both companies I will compare these models.
Differences Between Chrome Soft & Pro V1
Although the current generations of both golf balls are 3-piece with a urethane cover their construction means that they perform slightly differently.
The obvious difference between the two balls is how firm they will feel off the clubface. The Pro V1 is probably a medium firm golf ball while the Chrome Soft is definitely at the softer end of the spectrum.
Slower swingers will probably appreciate the Chrome Soft more than moderate to fast swingers. Certainly, if your clubhead speed is above around 95 mph you may find the feel of the Callaway Chrome Soft a little too stodgy.
Callaway is the only major brand that uses hexagonal dimples. They prefer that shape since it manages to cover a greater proportion of the ball’s surface area than you could do with circular dimples.
In my own testing, I found the Chrome Soft had a tendency to spin slightly less with the driver and also launch a little lower resulting in a slight loss in distance. It’s not totally surprising as softer balls tend to be shorter off the tee. The Pro V1 also tended to have a slightly higher ball flight compared to the Chrome Soft. Although with my swing speed the difference is probably not statistically significant.
With mid irons, the Callaway ball again offered slightly less spin but produced similar ball speeds and launch angles which resulted in a slight yardage gain.
With wedge shots, there was around 10% reduction in the spin rate compared to the Pro V1 which could have a significant effect on your ability to stop the ball on the green.
Who Should Play Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Ball?
Anyone who wants the performance of a tour caliber golf ball but would prefer a softer feeling ball. However, looking at the performance data it is hard to see why someone even with a modest swing speed around 90 mph would make the switch since you are losing some distance off the tee and also likely a fair bit of control around the green.
If you tend to generate too much driver spin when using a Pro V1 then switching to the Chrome Soft should bring it down slightly and might make a difference to your driver carry distances.
Who Should Play Titleist Pro V1?
While the Pro V1 is designed to work with a wide variety of golf swings it probably favors players with moderate to fast clubhead speed due to its firmer feel. To get the best out of the ball you will need to have a reasonably fast swing. However, despite my modest driver speed of 85-90 mph, I think I would pick the Pro V1 over the Chrome Soft.
Which Professionals Play Callaway Chrome Soft?
While there are some players using the Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS I couldn’t find any evidence of male professional golfers using the standard Chrome Soft. given the swing speeds of tour professionals, they wouldn’t take to the lower compression offered by the standard Chrome Soft. The also wouldn’t be too keen on the lower short game spin either.
Which Professionals Play Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball?
There are too many to name. Roughly 2/3 of the players who tee it up every week on the major professional tours are playing a Titleist ball and the majority of those will be either the Pro V1 or Pro V1x.
Alternatives To The Titleist Pro V1
Aside from the Chrome Soft family, here are the other major competitors to the Pro V1:
|Bridgestone||Tour B X|
|Tour B XS|
|Tour B RX|
|Tour B RXS|
|Tour B XS – TW Edition|
|Z Star XV|
|Z Star Diamond|
In addition, direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies like Snell, Vice and Cut all make Pro V1-like balls as well, usually for slightly less money too!
How To Choose A Golf Ball
Make a short list of balls that meet your basic criteria. Do you want to maximize greenside spin or driver distance for example?
Once you have a short list you need to try the balls on the course to see which you prefer.
Start with putting, chipping and pitching to find balls that you like the feel of and that perform the way you’d like. Then move on to your irons and fairway woods to see if they give you the distance, flight and spin that you require.
Finally, look at how they work with your driver. Whichever balls work the best in all scenarios are the ones you should consider putting in your bag permanently.
Callaway Chrome Soft vs Titleist Pro V1: Conclusion
Whether you are looking for distance or spin you are likely to find that the Pro V1 probably does it better no matter what your club head speed.
If you are prepared to sacrifice performance for a soft feel then you could try the Chrome Soft.
Unfortunately, the Chrome Soft isn’t any cheaper either which might have made it easier to recommend.
It is among the softest of the tour balls.