Callaway Chrome Tour and Chrome Soft golf balls: 5 things you need to know

callaway chrome tour golf balls

Chrome Tour is a new addition to Callaway's ball lineup for 2024.

Callaway Golf

Realizing not everyone has the time to consume endless content on gear launch day, we’re trying something different and offering a fresh version of our detailed tech write-ups that hits the high points. Here’s what you need to know about Callaway’s Chrome Tour and Chrome Soft golf balls coming to retail on Feb. 2.

What’s in a name?

The most obvious change to Callaway’s flagship golf ball is the addition of one word: Tour. Even with an increase in usage across the board, Jason Finley, Callaway’s global director of brand management for golf balls, admitted the Soft name didn’t always land with the better player — a key target for the manufacturer heading into 2024.

“One of the areas we definitely view as our biggest opportunity is with the better player,” Finley said. “We’ve done a great job with Super Soft and Chrome Soft — just looking at the share you can see that — but one area that we’ve unperformed, in our mind, is with the better player. There’s a little bit of hesitation to the Soft name with the better player — and that’s part of it.

callaway chrome tour golf balls
Callaway’s Chrome Soft Yellow with 360 Triple Track technology. Callaway

“But we’ve gotten better Tour adoption of our products in recent years. If we’d had this conversation four or five years ago, we would’ve had maybe half our staff playing our golf balls. Their confidence in our products has grown since then, to the point where everyone but one staffer is playing the ball.”

Chrome Soft will remain in the lineup, but Chrome Tour and Chrome Tour X will replace the previous Chrome Soft X and Chrome Soft X LS models that were marketed for better players with more speed. With a new name comes a multitude of construction changes to key components, including the core, inner and outer mantles, cover formulation, and aero package.

NEW – 2 colors

Callaway 2024 Chrome Soft 360 Triple Track Golf Balls

$54.99
Chrome Soft is better for everyone, from amateurs to major winners. Now with our proprietary new Precision Technology, the Chrome Soft Golf Ball is longer through the bag while providing the signature soft feel that golfers love.

Golfers will initially pick up on the name change, but as they’ll soon find out during subsequent testing, there’s more to Callaway’s Chrome Tour and Chrome Tour X than a simple rebranding.

“In these new golf balls, it’s been a complete overhaul on every component inside of the ball,” said Eric Loper, Callaway’s senior director, golf ball R&D. “It’s those little details that really matter when a player opens the box and looks at the ball. Ultimately, we want them to feel like they are playing a premium product because it is.”

Precise precision

Callaway calls it Precision Technology, a three-headed monster anchoring Chrome Tour and Chrome Soft. At the center of the design is a proprietary core system featuring a new rubber and base polymer, with special ingredients, that give Callaway’s ball team the ability to push the limits of performance at targeted compressions.

“The core is a primary component to how the golf ball is going to perform,” Loper said. “It enables us to manage spin rates through the bag, it changes the feel of the golf ball, but ultimately the core is designed to give us ball speed, particularly driver ball speed. If you have a slow core, you’re going to have a slow golf ball, so we set out to make our core much faster than we have before, capitalizing on what we’ve done in the past and building on that.”

callaway chrome tour golf balls
A look at the cover and core construction of Chrome Tour and Chrome Tour X. Callaway

Enveloping the core is a reformulated tour urethane soft cover that adds a new level of short-game spin to shots from 50 yards and in. Callaway’s internal robotic testing confirmed Chrome Tour X, for example, added 250-300 RPMs on the shorter shots when compared to Chrome Soft X, but the number jumps to anywhere from 300-600 RPMs when real golfers enter the equation. It’s a significant number that should make golfers stand up and take notice.

“We had to change the substructure to give us those low spin rates off the driver and irons,” Loper said. “By using a softer cover, it makes the ball feel softer which the best players have noticed after a few shots, they’ve noticed on the 15-20 yard shot the ball is going to launch lower and bite more than it has before. It’s centered around softer covers.

NEW

Callaway 2024 Chrome Tour X Golf Balls

$54.99
Chrome Soft is better for everyone, from amateurs to major winners. Now with our proprietary new Precision Technology, the Chrome Soft Golf Ball is longer through the bag while providing the signature soft feel that golfers love.

“Even with an iron shot, if you have a better connection with the ball and the club face where there is less slippage, you get more consistent launch conditions. So it does result in a reduction in variation from a launch perspective and from a downrange dispersion perspective.”

Hex marks the spot

callaway chrome tour golf balls
Look closely and you’ll see the new spherical dimples on the cover. Callaway

The aero package on a golf ball rarely garners the attention it deserves, but Callaway’s hoping to flip the script with something it’s calling “Seamless Tour Aero.”

“Each ball will have a uniquely designed aerodynamic pattern, and it’s completely different from anything we’ve ever done, bringing our aerodynamics into a completely different zone,” Loper said.

Callaways’ hexagonal dimple design remains a key part of the aero package, along with something else that won’t immediately stand out: a strategically placed spherical dimple that adds consistency throughout the flight.

“By managing each dimple, it enables us to focus on the ball flight from start to finish, where the ball starts off fast but as it approaches the ground the speed has significantly decreased,” said Loper. “This has led us down this path of developing an industry first, it’s a combination of Callaway’s hexagonal surface geometry with strategically placed spherical dimples that provide stability through the entire ball flight. We’ve ended up with model-specific patterns that maximize distance and improve stability over the entire ball flight, which the player will see in a variety of conditions.”

To ensure the aerodynamics matched the launch properties, Callaway developed in-house computational fluid dynamics to provide a visual of the flow around the ball, which is key for drag and lift.

“It helps us understand what the flow is doing over each dimple,” said Loper. “It’s something that we’ve benefited from by merging with Topgolf, we’re utilizing a 9-camera Toptracer system that gives us the ability to track the ball from start to finish with high-level resolution. This has helped us validate this performance downrange with over 10,000 shots to capture real-world results, to ensure that this pattern is going to deliver the performance that we expect for the best players.”

Pick and choose

callaway chrome tour golf balls
There’s a model for each golfer in the new Chrome Soft and Chrome Tour ball lineup. Callaway

With three different models in the lineup, golfers will no doubt want to know which one is right for their game. According to Loper, Chrome Soft “is in the same general space as it currently resides in terms of feel, and we’re giving that ball more distance for player benefit.”

The Chrome Tour X “is in its same general feel space because that’s what most of our Tour players are using, and we have increased the greenside performance as well as a Seamless Tour Aero package that helps give it a more penetrating ball flight. That’s for the player who likes to have more spin on their irons and wants to be able to take spin off when they want to and have more workability.”

NEW

Callaway 2024 Chrome Tour Triple Track Golf Balls

$49.99
Chrome Soft is better for everyone, from amateurs to major winners. Now with our proprietary new Precision Technology, the Chrome Soft Golf Ball is longer through the bag while providing the signature soft feel that golfers love.

Chrome Tour is the newbie in the trio and features a slightly softer feel than Chrome Tour X with a lower spin package. As Loper noted, “it’s designed for players who want to go after the ball and don’t feel like they have to pull back on decreasing their spin rates.”

Visual benefits

callaway chrome tour golf balls
Callaway’s Tru Track technology is a visual option on the Chrome Tour X ball. Callaway

One of the earliest adopters of visual technology, Callaway plans to expand the list of offerings in 2024 with Tru Track, Triple Track and 360 Triple Track on Chrome Soft, Chrome Tour and Chrome Tour X.

“What we’ve done in that space and the offerings we have have obviously matter to our business,” Finley said. “We’ve led the way there and seen others jump on board. The goal is to continue to stay ahead of that.”

NEW

Callaway 2024 Chrome Tour X TruTrack Golf Balls

$54.99
Chrome Soft is better for everyone, from amateurs to major winners. Now with our proprietary new Precision Technology, the Chrome Soft Golf Ball is longer through the bag while providing the signature soft feel that golfers love.

Finley hinted some other things are currently in the pipeline for ERC Soft and Super Soft but for the moment, it’s all about offering game-changing visuals on its Tour-level products.

“That space is too large for us to not support with as many resources as possible,” Loper said. “It’s incredibly important and we want to continue to grow it and make sure golfers are seeing benefits from the visual technology we’re providing.”

Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.