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Callaway Chrome Soft: Building a better golf ball



“Changing a tire on a bus while it’s moving.” That’s how Callaway’s Norm Smith, Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Engineering, and Quality at Callaway describes the never-ending process of upgrading and improving operations while continuing to produce golf balls and equipment to satisfy current demand — which, for Callaway, like the rest of the golf equipment world, is at record highs.

While Smith oversees operations, including Callaway’s Chicopee, Massachusetts, ball plant, which produces all the company’s Chrome Soft and Truvis golf balls, Jason Finley, Callaway’s Global Director Product Strategy, Golf Ball and his team are locked into the 18-month process of developing the next generation of the company’s flagship ball offerings.

This delicate dance can take the form of identifying opportunities to bring new products to market — such as this year’s Chrome Soft X LS golf ball — researching new technologies — such as graphene, which Callaway uses in the core of Chrome Soft balls — and looking at every element of the previous product to see what can be optimized and enhanced.

In developing the current Chrome Soft line, engineers were faced with the challenge of taking a product that has done well both on tour and at retail and determining what can be improved upon. This process relies on feedback from everyone from tour pros to retail consumers and a look at the Chrome Soft line through the lens of a few questions: What tools do we have at our disposal? How can we make it faster? How can we optimize spin? How do we cater to a range of spin profiles? How do we increase quality?

According to Norm Smith, Callaway’s well-documented Chicopee ball plant upgrades have included night-and-day changes in just the past six months. More broadly, in recent years, from start to finish, the entire process and the machines involved therein have been assessed and upgraded. Indeed, the company has improvements to the packaging operation in its sites next as it is both literally and figuratively the end of the Chrome Soft production process.

In addition to new cover molding equipment, Truvis equipment, and paint lines, as we detailed in this piece, Callaway’s $60 million-plus investment in the Chicopee ball plant includes.

  • State-of-the-art rubber mixer: This giant mixer is a four-story tall machine built for absolute precision mixing batch after batch. It precisely measures chemical compounds and polymers needed to build each layer. It also regulates multiple parameters during the process to make sure the final product meets strict quality control measures.
  • New 3D X-Ray system: If for some reason a bad golf ball gets past the first steps of the quality control process without fault, the 3D X-Ray system will prevent it from going any further. As Callaway has stated, “these machines can’t make the ball pieces more centered, but it prevents ones that aren’t from ever leaving the plant.”
  • New core-molding tools: Balls are built from the core out, and without consistency, the rest of the pieces don’t quite matter as much. Even with automation already a huge part of the process, Callaway is adding more to not only help respond to ever-growing demand but to ensure quality core to core.

Now, a refresher on the Chrome Soft line being produced in western Massachusetts.

Chrome Soft

Callaway’s latest Chrome Soft golf ball features a Dual SoftFast Core with a 34 percent larger volume inner core. It’s also equipped with a thinner, graphene-infused outer core for better wedge spin and faster ball speed.

Beyond the Dual SoftFast Core, inside the Chrome Soft is a new mantle system made of proprietary, high-energy ionomer to promote fast ball speed.

Chrome Soft’s 10 percent thinner urethane cover is designed to promote less spin on full shots and added distance — without sacrificing soft feel and excellent greenside spin and control.

The final element of the new Chrome soft is a new lower drag aerodynamic dimple pattern that promotes higher launch, higher flight, and ultimately, longer distance.

Lower spinning than the Chrome Soft X, the Chrome Soft is the highest launching, softest ball in Callaway’s CS lineup.

Chrome Soft X

Designed to promote faster ball speed, the Chrome Soft X ball contains a significantly larger SoftFast core than its predecessor, and a 15 percent thinner cover to produces lower spin on full shots (and added distance).

Inside the Chrome Soft X is a new mantle system combines a softer inner mantle with a firmer outer mantle. Both elements feature proprietary ionomer blends.

This firm outer mantle works with the a new, thinner cover that yields increased greenside spin and control. A lower drag aerodynamic dimple pattern is also new in the Chrome Soft X. It is designed to produce penetrating flight and longer distance.

Higher spinning than the Chrome Soft with driver and irons, the Chrome Soft X features the highest wedge and greenside spin and is more workable overall, in addition to offering a firmer feel.

Chrome Soft X LS

The most recent addition to the lineup, the Chrome Soft X LS features four-piece, single-core construction engineered to increase speed through a SoftFast Core, a Dual Mantle System, and a refined urethane cover.

According to Callaway, players see a 300-400 rpm decrease in spin from the X with the LS ball on mid-irons.

The LS contains a significantly larger high-speed core design that aims to provide more distance through the bag. It functions in concert with the mantle system to deliver high resilience and speed.

The Chrome Soft X LS is equipped with a thin proprietary urethane cover for high spin, low launch, and excellent feel in a player’s scoring clubs — without sacrificing greenside control.

Higher launching with driver and irons than the Chrome Soft X, the LS is, not surprisingly, lower spinning than the Chrome Soft X across the board while offering similar feel.

The Callaway Chrome Soft family of golf balls are at retail for $47.99 per dozen. All three models are available with Callaway’s Triple Track Technology.

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  1. Richard Douglas

    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:36 am

    Are they still making balls with off-center cores? The article–which reads like a press release (because it is) wasn’t clear about this.

    This is my favorite ball, but I won’t buy it again until that little quirk is addressed candidly.

    • Mac

      Jul 17, 2021 at 5:44 am

      They are not. Did you miss that part of the article?

  2. Lou

    Jul 14, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Seeing “All three models are available with Callaway’s Triple Track Technology” gets me every time. Painting three lines on the ball is not any kind of technological advancement and it’s another in a long line of ideas Callaway has stolen from other companies. Though I’ve gotta admit I didn’t expect anyone to steal design ideas from the Kick X Tour Z.

  3. Larry

    Jul 14, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Pretty skeptical until there’s some evidence. I tested golf balls last year and Callaways were in the Oncore category (i.e. they suck). The investment is only good if it goes to the product and not the marketing. Cally/TM lead the way imo of “we make bold claims that you’ll never actually experience after you buy it”.

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Mizuno’s new T22 wedges at the Open



At this week’s Open Championship from Royal St. Georges, Mizuno has teased its new T22 wedges, which will be at retail later this year.

The wedges will arrive in three different finishes, with satin and raw being accompanied by the all-new denim copper finish.

Check out the video below from the Mizuno Workshop at this week’s Open.

Mizuno’s T20 wedges dropped in 2019 with an emphasis on feel and spin, and per the company’s social media regarding the new T22: “We think you’ll like the changes.”

Stay tuned for more information soon!

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Playing without irons? – GolfWRXers discuss



In our forums, our members have been discussing the prospect of playing golf without irons. WRXer ‘nostatic’ has been pondering using only a combination of hybrids and wedges, saying:

“Perhaps heretical and insane (guilty), but given the prevalence of good hybrids and good wedges, I’m wondering if anyone has forsaken their irons (or almost all of them) and gone with a combination of head covers and wedges.
Some of it is semantics (when is a 9i a 9i?), but you can get almost any wedge of your choice (I’m loving my Fourteens),

60/56/50/45 (the 45 is a 46 bent 1*). You can do something like G425 hybrids 34/30/26/22 (then on to woods of your choice). For those with slower swing speeds, 4*-5* between clubs can work for gapping. And the hybrids are adjustable, so you can hit the 34 at 35. Then you really only need a 40* club (pick your favorite 9-ish iron).”

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • NHenson815: “I am actually thinking about doing this in my next round. I am so bad with short irons and wedges that I’m better off attempting to distance control my 11 wood instead. I’ll carry a 64 degree wedge for short shots (odd that I have confidence in that but not a 7 iron – I know), but that will be the only non-wood/non-hybrid in the bag.”
  • 596: “I have more covers in my bag than not. Head covers for woods and hybrids down through 7 iron. 8 is the longest iron in my bag. You just have to get over hitting a 32* hybrid from 155. It feels weird. I’m a high single-digit handicap. Shot even par for 9 holes yesterday. Which seems to be the case lately. I’ll shoot 36 to 38 on the front, then 40 or 42 on the back as my back goes south and the heat gets crazy.”
  • Obee: “I’m not a “great” player, but thank you for the thought. I do carry 8-iron, 9-iron, and 4 wedges, so not exactly “all” hybrids/woods, though I could make that work, I’m sure.”

Entire Thread: “Playing without irons?”

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (07/16/21): Callaway Mavrik Max head



At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that 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 we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Callaway Mavrik Max head

From the seller (@rcochies4580): “Mint Callaway Mavrik Max head, 9 Degrees….$235. Graphite Design MAD driver shafts, 44” and 45”, Callaway adapter. With the stiff tip section, these play firmer than stated flex….$110 each.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Callaway Mavrik Max head

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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