I was able to get out today to play 18 with the new Chrome Soft X. Weather held nice, high 50's with a bit of wind. The first nine I was able to test the 2018 CSX vs the 2017 CSX and on the back nine I played mostly with the 2018 CSX as well as some shots with the Bridgestone B330.
Some background information about me. I am playing a 2017 M2 in 9* with an Aldila Rogue Silver 70 XStiff, swing speed around 110 - 113. Titleist 915Fd 3 wood @ 14.25*, 915Hd @ 18.25*, Titleist irons; 710 AP2 4 iron, 710 CB 5 iron, 710 MB 6 - PW. Nike VR Forged 52*, Vokey SM4 56*, Vokey SM6 60* M and an Odyssey Metal X #9. Currently playing off of 3. My go to ball most recently has been the Bridgestone B330 followed closely by the Chrome Soft X, so I have a good amount of experience with the Chrome Soft's. In the past year I have played the B330, B330S, Chrome Soft X, TP5X, ZStar, Pro V1x, Snell MTB and Oncore Elixer. I had settled on the Bridgestone and/or based on the performance as well as cost. I loved the feel of the TP5x and it's wind performance was great but the cost has made me not want to game it, same goes for the Pro V. For me personally I have come to find the B330 as the best mix of performance and value.
When I first inspected the 18 CSX vs the 17 is that it feels a bit softer and tackier than the 17 version and was slightly more matte in appearance. Otherwise the two are pretty similar in appearance.
CSX 2018 vs 2017
The course I was at doesn't have a range but does have a small putting green. I hit a few putts before going out for the round but could not feel a noticeable difference between the 2017 and 2018 versions.
The first hole is a par 4 that plays about 350 yards with a slight dog leg to the right and the hole fairway slants left to right, so it is easy to lose your ball off to the right side which has trees and thick grass on a steep hill.
I hit driver off the tee. The CSX 18 felt and sounded really nice off the driver. Had a firm feel and a decent sound. Ball flight was high but penetrating with a soft fade. Ended up on the right edge of the fairway with about 85 yards in. I also hit one with the 2017 CSX and lost it a bit too far to the right and got a bad kick into the thick grass. I hit a knockdown 56 for the approach shot and ended up 20 feet left pin high with the 2018 CSX, I also hit the 2017 CSX from here and was about 25 feet long of the pin. Both had decent amount of spin with the 2018 backing up about a foot and the 2017 ball spinning back a bit more which I would attribute to me hitting it a bit harder.
Second hole is a short par 4 elevated tee and an elevated green. Listed around 325 yards but plays longer due to elevation changes. I hit 3 wood off the tee and loved the feel and ball flight from the 2018 CSX. Mid height and penetrating ball flight with the slightest rise and the end. Hit it dead in the middle of the fairway and had 90 yards in to the pin. I hit another knockdown 56* and ended up about 10 yards short of the green. I chipped with the 52 wedge and came up shorter than I had wanted. The CSX checked up pretty quick and didn't roll out as planned. Ended up with a bogey (only one on the front).
Third hole is a downhill par 4 that has a slight dog leg left. There is trouble on the left side with OB and the grounds crew facilities as well as trees. The miss is to the right when you can land in the 6th fairway but still have trees to deal with coming back. I missed this tee shot off to the right and ended up in the sixth fairway. The trees are tall so you have to punch it low unless you get lucky with a hole up high. I punched a 6 iron through the trees to about 40 yards short of the green. I had a shot in to a left pin over a bunker. I hit a flop with the 60* that took i bounce and rolled up to about 18 inches to save par.
Fourth is a par 3 at 158 yards into a strong wind. A narrow hole with tall trees all along the left and a big tree on the right just short of the green that you can go over if you have a high ball flight. This hole forces you to hit a fairly straight shot so can be trouble for someone who hits draws or fades. I went with a 7 iron going high over the tree on the right. The 2018 CSX felt great off the iron, very crisp giving you nice confidence. At this point though I was not sure if I could notice much difference between the 2017 and 2018 versions. I ended up a few yards long and right with a slick little chip to a tight pin with the green running away from me. I hit the 52* landing it a few feet inside the fringe and it rolled up to about a foot for a par save.
Fifth hole is straight par 4 with an elevated green. I hit 3 wood again off this tee with a nice high ball flight leaving myself about 90 yards in from the right side of the fairway to a pin middle left of the green. This green is elevated and slopes back to front. You can't see the surface from the fairway. I hit a 56* and ended up just off the left back side of the green. I had about a 30 ft chip and the ball checked up nice and left me about an 8 footer for par.
Sixth hole is a long par 5 with a sharp dogleg left going into an elevated green. It plays about 580. My drive was pushed a bit to the right and ended up hitting a tree but got a friendly bounce back into the fairway though too far back to try to get close on the second shot. I hit a 5 iron to leave myself about 130 yards in for my third shot. I had some wind at my back and hit a pitching wedge. This one had a great feel and high flight with a little fade. Landed pin high and it rolled out a bit with the slope of the green. Two putt par.
View from the right side of the green with the fairway to the left of the image. You can see my pitch mark where my divot tool is located in comparison to the ball.
The 7th hole is a straight and narrow par 4 with tree trouble both left and right. The fairway is wide at the beginning but tightens up around 250 yards out by large trees with overhanging branches. If you are left or right sides of the fairway you can be blocked out by these trees. I hit a terrible snap hook off the tee leaving myself with a tough chance of hitting the green from 156 on the left side of the fairway and a large grove of tall pine trees to get around. The green is elevated with a hill going up to the right and bunkers left that then slopes downhill to the 8th tee box. I decided to hit a 7 iron. Ball above my feet so it was helping to promote a draw ball flight. I setup for a high draw. I was surprised by how much ball movement that I got with the 2018 CSX on this shot. I was aiming about 15 yards right of the green hoping to hit a bit of a draw and either hit the slope above the green or land on the front. It ended up moving about 25 yards in the air and I missed the green left. I decided to try the same shot with the 2017 CSX and on the same line I ended up just short of the green right on line with the pin. I would say the 2018 moved twice as much on that shot as did the 2017 CSX.
The 8th is a downhill par three playing 153 to the pin. Hit a 9 iron fading it back into the breeze off the right. This is a large green with a healthy left to right slope with the pin to the right side. I hit one ball each with the 2017 and 2018 CSX.
Both hit the green to the left side with a good amount of spin, both backing up a fair amount and rolling out to the right about 20 or so feet.
You can see the two pitch marks where I put a tee in on the left of the image and the balls on the right where they finished. The ball further to the right is the 2018 CSX which appeared to spin a touch more than the 2017 version on this shot, I did catch it a groove lower though.
The 9th hole is a par 5 dog leg left and uphill into a healthy headwind. I hit a decent drive up the middle with a fade. Ended up on the right side of the fairway with the ball a bit above my feet. Had 245 left into the hole uphill into a strong wind. I hit 3 wood and it was a lovely penetrating ball flight straight at the pin. Came up 30 yards short right on line. This green is a long two tiered green. The pin was on the top tier. If you don't fly the ball all the way it will roll back down and off the front of the green. I hit the 60* high and landed soft with about 2 feet of rollout to about 10 feet.
After nine holes I was mostly enjoying the ball though to be honest I was having difficulty noticing much difference between the two versions of the CSX. I did notice the durability to be very good. Just a slight scuff and no cut marks. I feel like the CSX is superior to the Bridgestone balls in this regard.
The back nine I decided to play the B300 along side the 2018 CSX for some of the shots.
The 11th hole is a short par 4, reachable but hard to hold the green. I hit driver and landed just left of the green then rolled across and was 18 yards long off the back left of the green with a long chip running away from me. Chipped with the 52* and the ball again checked up quicker than I had anticipated and ended up with a par.
Not much else to report for the rest of the round. The course is nine holes but plays as 18 with different tee boxes. So no use in more photos. I wasn't playing great today, one over on the front and 4 over on the back (which usually plays a bit easier).
I will try to do some more testing with the ball and how it compares to the 2017 CSX, right now I am having a tough time noticing many differences for better or worse over the previous model, perhaps it will end up being more durable. I would like to hit a bunch of full shots on it with my 52* Nike wedge which has some really sharp grooves that love to cut up my Bridgestone balls. At this point I don't know if it will replace my current favorite (B330) but it will probably come down to price point between the two when purchasing next. I currently have a pack of B330's and 2 packs of the 2017 Chrome Soft X, so it will be a while before my next purchase.
Thanks for letting me test these balls out and I am happy to answer any questions.