Callaway golf balls might not differ wildly from the golf balls of other brands, but that's certainly not to say
Golf ball manufacturers all seem to be following a very similar format these days. They offer the same four or five variations of golf balls, the quality is very similar right across the brands and the prices don’t tend to vary too much either, unless you go down the 'direct to consumer' golf ball route which is considerably cheaper.
Whatever you think the best golf ball is, the one thing you can be sure of right across the board is that there are almost no bad golf balls anymore. In the past companies could get away with producing sub-standard gear but such is the detail applied to testing and reviewing these days there is just no place for an inferior product to hide. A bad golf ball will be exposed immediately due to the state of the art technology now available to golf 'influencers'.
High end launch monitors allow golfers to access every little detail of a golf ball’s performance. Comparing one ball with another is as simple as hitting a couple of dozen shots into a net and then analysing the data. Distance, spin rate, launch angle, it's all there. The same technology allows us to decide on the best driver.
This has raised the bar considerably and it’s great news for golfers. You don’t have to worry about buying an inferior golf ball, but you do need to ensure you select one that best suits your game. Despite the huge amount of different balls available, the choice isn’t as difficult as you might think and our handy guide to what type of golf ball you should be playing will help to explain this.
To briefly sum up, most brands produce a tour quality ball and usually an ‘X’ variation of it. They almost all then offer a premium, 3-piece ball aimed at average golfers and then lower priced, 2-piece options (usually one high compression and one low) for medium-high handicappers as well as those new to the game.
Callaway are no different, as you will see below. As you’d expect from one of the leading names in golf, Callaway golf balls can be found in the bags of some of the world’s leading players, including Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and the living legend that is Phil Mickelson.
While the pros only use the absolute best that the ball boffins can create, keep in mind that those same golf balls aren’t necessarily going to be the best option for you. Golfers have different swings, different preferences and different needs.
The best way to find out the ideal golf ball for you is to be guided by the information as to who each specific ball is aimed at, and then 'play the field' a little until you find your golf ball for life.
You never know, it might just be a Callaway!
As mentioned above, most golf ball manufacturers have a premium golf ball and an ‘X’ variant of it which is usually favoured by tour professionals. The Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X are tour quality golf balls packed with technology.
It has four layers starting with a larger inner core that creates higher launch and lower spin. The thinner, firmer outer core is reinforced with Graphene for better durability and more wedge spin.
Next is the high-speed Dual Mantle System. A soft inner mantle and a firm outer mantle work together to generate fast speeds off the club face. Finally you have the urethane cover which aids feel and spin control.
The difference between Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X is that the X variant is a little firmer. You will notice this especially with the putter or just by bouncing the ball on the face of a wedge. It feels firmer and sounds different.
There are subtle differences in performance too, such as a slightly higher ball flight and increased spin but these are things 99% of golfers aren’t going to really notice without launch monitor analysis. So the main difference is in feel - the X is just that little bit harder.
To complicate things a little further, this year Callaway also introduced the Chrome Soft X LS, which is a low spinning variant aimed at single figure handicap players looking to bomb it off the tee.
There are different designs available in all of the Chrome Soft variants including Triple Track (more on that shortly) and Truvis, which you have probably seen as it’s ‘soccer ball’ design is very distinctive.
The Truvis design looks great and judging by the amount of them I’ve found on various courses while looking for my own wayward shots, they seem to be very popular in the UK. They certainly look cool but I just couldn't hit any good shots with them. There is no logical reason for that as it is no different to a regular Chrome Soft, but golf and logic do not sit well together. Superstition runs wild in most golfers!
Even though I love the Chrome Soft ball, when you disguise it as a football, for whatever reason I would usually hit an awful shot and it then become a self fulfilling prophecy. It's in my head. I know that. Obviously it’s the same ball just painted differently, but the scar tissue is there from those bad shots and nothing will change that now. Stupid, I know, but as golfers we've all been there.
If you find a ball that gives you confidence and allows you to feel comfortable at address then half the battle is won. It won’t guarantee a good shot of course, but if you aren’t comfortable over the ball that will almost guarantee a bad one.
This 3-piece ball features a high speed mantle and high energy core, as well as a new Hybrid Cover featuring an innovative PARALOID Impact Modifier made by DOW Chemical.
This is how Callaway can combine fast ball speeds from high launch, with low spin, soft feel, durability and excellent green side control.
Callaway describe the E.R.C. as their “longest golf ball with soft feel”. It has a medium compression rating (60) which is almost double that of the Callaway Super Soft (38) and it is almost double the price too, which goes some way to explaining the huge popularity of the Super Soft.
The E.R.C. is available with Triple Track, which is a three lined design that is much more than just a novelty paint job. Triple Track can be extremely useful as a putting aid, especially when paired with an Odyssey Triple Track putter. It works by positioning the lines on the ball so they are pointed along the intended line of your putt, so if you are also using the Triple Track putter then it makes it easy to square the putter up on the same line.
In theory it should make life much easier but it doesn’t work for everyone and it can also cause slow play as golfers obsess about lining up the ball correctly.
Personally I found it to be very helpful on short putts of five feet and less, but for anything longer than that it did not work for me as after painstakingly lining the ball up on what I thought was the correct line, I would get over the ball and the doubts would creep in as to whether it looked right or what if I'm hitting it on the wrong line?
You don’t need any negative thoughts in your head when trying to make a putt, so Triple Track is very much down to the individual's personal taste. If you aren’t using the Triple Track as an aid though then the lines may be distracting to you and it’s therefore best to stick with a plain ball.
This is one of the most popular 2-piece balls with amateur golfers and has been for several years. In their description of this ball Callaway say that many golfers “like it so much that they won’t play anything else”.
Such marketing spiel can usually be taken with a mountain of salt but I can vouch for this particular claim as a good friend of mine has just started using this ball and he’s been absolutely giddy about it. He claims to be hitting the ball significantly further than he ever has and is now swearing undying loyalty to the Super Soft.
The strange thing is, although there is very little difference between us in terms of swing speed and ability, I personally had better results with the Chrome Soft ball even though on paper the Super Soft should have been a much better fit for me. I really liked it, I have nothing negative to say about it but for whatever reason, it just wasn't the one for me. My search goes on!
My pal has played dozens of different golf balls in recent years, including all of the “tour” balls, but it’s only since stumbling upon the Super Soft that he feels he is finally achieving his maximum distance. He loves the feel of it around the green as well as the high launch he gets with his approach shots. The moral of this story is that sometimes you need to kiss a lot of frogs until you find your prince.
What makes the Super Soft so successful then? Well, as you’d expect, it’s soft. If you don’t like soft feeling golf balls then this is obviously not for you and you should be looking more at the Chrome Soft X. For everyone else, this ball could be a game changer and is priced so reasonably that you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
The latest Super Soft has seen some significant changes on previous versions. It now features the same Hybrid Cover and Paraloid Impact Modifier as the E.R.C. Soft ball.
The HEX Aerodynamics dimple pattern is designed to reduce drag and enhance lift for increased carry and higher flight, while the low spin will increase roll and provide more forgiveness on slices and hooks.
This ball has a really low compression rating of 38, which isn’t quite as soft as, say the Wilson Staff DUO, but it is certainly one of the lowest compression balls on the market. This makes it an excellent choice for slow swingers of the club and seniors, a fact I’m never slow to point out to my pal!
Basically though, anyone who is 95mph or less with the driver should see good results from this hugely popular golf ball.
The Super Soft is also available in the Super Soft MAX variation, which is 3% larger than a standard sized golf ball (but still conforms to the rules of golf) and has a Tri-Blend Ionomer cover which is built for maximum ball speed with high launch and low spin.
The MAX ball is designed for developing golfers and higher handicap players looking to hit the ball further without having to sacrifice that softer feel.
The Warbird is a 2-piece ball engineered for long distance and maximum speed from a high energy core. It promotes high launch with feel and is an ideal ball for mid-high handicappers and new golfers with a medium speed swing.
As with most 2-piece balls it doesn’t spin much on iron shots into the green so it isn’t suited to lower handicap golfers who tend to be very good ball strikers and therefore demand more spin and control.
If you are new to the game and tend to lose a lot of golf balls, then this could be a good choice for you due to the specs and the price tag.