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Callaway Chrome Soft X LS golf ball: A low spin addition to the Chrome Soft lineup

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Callaway is setting out to deliver maximum distance and premium low spin performance with the release of its all-new Chrome Soft X LS (low spin) ball for 2021.

The new ball has been specifically developed for players who not only want the extra distance available by lowering spin—but who also seek to hit low launching, higher spinning shots with their scoring clubs to attack pins.

The four-piece ball is built around a single core, dual mantle layer system designed for speed and paired with a proprietary urethane cover to maximize control along and optimize aerodynamics for consistency in flight, according to Callaway.

Callaway Chrome Soft X LS: Technology and features

To make a golf ball longer, it needs to retain as much energy from impact as possible—and soft golf balls don’t do that as well as harder ones. The more a golf ball deforms during impact, the more energy is lost, and in the simplest form, it won’t go as far.

To be able to produce a soft distance ball (it’s called the Chrome “Soft” after all) Callaway wraps the softer inner mantle with a highly resilient firm outer layer. It’s kind of like coating a marshmallow with chocolate—the inside maintains its soft properties but is now coated in a layer of hard chocolate. To round out the poor food analogy, let’s call the final coating of sprinkles the urethane cover.

The end result is a ball that produces less spin on shots at the highest speed and with more direct force caused by lower lofted clubs while still being able to maintain high spin and soft feel on shots hit around the green and at lower speeds.

The final part of the equation is the ability for engineers to optimize the ball’s aerodynamic performance at lower spin rates and the highest speeds. If you have ever hit a shot high on the toe only to watch it fall from the sky, then you have experienced what happens when a ball doesn’t spin enough to maintain lift.

The Chrome Soft X LS keeps the proven Hex dimples shape, but on a granular scale, the dimple depths and dimensions have been altered to produce a penetrating and stable flight.

Price and Availability

The new Callaway Chrome Soft X LS ball will be available starting March 18 and will retail for $47.99 a dozen in White, Triple Track, and Tripple Track yellow.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Brian

    Mar 3, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Their counter to the AVX finally??

    • Shooter

      Mar 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

      AVX was the counter to chrome soft. This is a tour variant that was made for public release. Closer to the left dash end of the spectrum.

  2. Tour BX

    Mar 2, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    Hey Bridgestone, look, another YELLOW option…

  3. Chuck

    Mar 2, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for this, Ryan. Interesting product, and an interesting review from you.

    As always, one of the most informative pages from any golf website or any golf magazine is the annual review and charting of spin rates and launch angles of various leading retail golf balls. For the 99.9999999% of us who buy golf balls based on anecdotal experience and word of mouth, rather than lengthy launch monitor testing with every ball on the market.

    But moreover, it is good to see once again how it is that equipment manufacturers can continue to refine and develop lower-spinning (off driver) golf balls that essentially allow elite players to swing harder, and produce more distance, even when the Ruling Bodies’ ball testing specifications remain static.

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Whats in the Bag

Jordan Spieth WITB 2021 (April)

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Jordan Spieth what’s in the bag accurate as of the Valero Texas Open.

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95 X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)


Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

 

 

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Equipment rewind: A deep dive into the Cleveland HiBore driver legacy

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I have always been fascinated by product development, specifically the development of unconventional products. Now in the world of golf clubs, one of the most unconventional designs ever introduced was the Cleveland HiBore driver, which during its lifespan, experienced tremendous success through a number of generations, including the HiBore XL, XLS, and finally, the Monster XLS, which, as you may remember, hid the acronym “MOI” on the sole, alluding to its massive level of forgiveness.

As a golfer, I played the original HiBore, along with the XL Tour for a period of time and was always curious about the story behind the “scooped out crown.” In a search for answers, I reached out to Cleveland-Srixon to get the lowdown on the HiBore and discuss where it sits in the pantheon of drivers.

Ryan Barath: Considering how engineers are continuing to do everything they can to increase MOI and push the center of gravity low and deep in driver heads, it feels like the original HiBore and the subsequent models were well ahead of their time from a design perspective. 

It makes logical sense the best way to save weight from the crown is to make the crown “disappear” compared to traditionally shaped drivers, am I correct in assuming that?

Cleveland design team: You nailed it.

At the time of the HiBore, there were really only two solutions to create a low and deep center of gravity:

    1. Make the crown lighter – by either replacing the crown with a lighter-weight material such as a graphite composite or magnesium or by thinning out the material on the crown. Thinner crowns were possible thanks to advances in casting technology and using etching techniques to remove material.
    2. Make the driver shallower – this change in geometry created a very forgiving low profile design, but the downside to this was that you ended up with a very small face that looked intimidating compared to the larger-faced drivers on the market.

The HiBore took a new approach and inverted the crown geometry so that all the crown weight was moved lower. By inverting the crown the HiBore design allowed for a very long and flat sole, therefore there was space in the head that was really low and deep to put the weight.

The HiBore was really the first driver to eliminate, or nearly eliminate the tapered skirt. Almost every modern driver in the market is inspired by the HiBore in that respect. It was a two-part solution where we lowered the weight of the crown and simultaneously created a low/deep location to put any extra mass.

The lower and deeper CG of the HiBore improved launch conditions significantly, but also made the driver much more consistent across the entire face. The deep CG increased MOI resulting in tighter dispersion since the sweet spot was in the center of the face. Misses both low and high performed exceptionally as opposed to having a small hot spot high on the face.

RB: In every conversation I have ever had with engineers, there is always this give-and-take mentality from a design perspective to get to the final iteration. Was there anything that was given up or sacrificed for overall performance with this design?

Cleveland design team: The hardest part about the HiBore design was the sound. Prior to the HiBore, internal ribbing in a hollow golf club head was nearly unheard of. To make the HiBore sound acceptable, we had to design a ribbing structure to control the sound and design an entirely new manufacturing process to produce those internal ribs. To this day, most drivers include some form of internal ribbing to control sound or improve ball speed and that ribbing technology can be traced back to the HiBore.

In terms of tradeoffs, the major one was the low spin nature of the driver made it more difficult for low spin players to use. If a golfer is already low spin, this club would be too low and drives would just fall out of the air. Low spin golfers tend to be low spin because they hit the ball high on the face. Since we lowered the sweet spot, a high face impact was further from the sweet spot so ball speed fell as compared to a higher CG driver. Fortunately for us, in that era most golfers were fighting too much spin or way too much spin, this wasn’t a real issue.

RB: Do you have any final words on the HiBore drivers and the legacy they have left behind?

Cleveland design team: We are very proud of the HiBore driver family and the success it had at the time, but we are also proud of its legacy.

In the same way that you can trace nearly every modern band back to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you can trace nearly every modern driver back to HiBore either through the internal structure that is prolific across modern drivers, or the long, flat sole that is a must-have in a high-performance driver.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/03/21): Tiger Woods spec’d irons

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals who all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing, including equipment or, in this case, a sweet set of irons!

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for Tiger Woods spec’d TaylorMade P7TW irons, or as they are also known: the GOAT irons.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade P7TW **TIGER SPECS* 3-PW

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules.

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