This is a shot for shot comparison, I have been wanting to do all season. I have been playing the Callaway Chrome Soft most of the time this season, when I was not, I played the Titleist Pro V1. Over Labor Day weekend, I got a chance to play a shot for shot round with each ball. I played 18 holes hitting each ball from every hole, there was nobody on the course so I didn’t hold anyone up, alternating which ball was hit first. The day was very windy, 15 mph sustained with gusts to 20 mph.
Driver and long irons
Both balls are really great, that has to be said up front. I found that both balls performed equally well in the wind. The Pro V1 had a slightly higher flight into the wind but did not loose any distance compared to the Chrome Soft. On average, they were equal in distance off the tee with driver and long irons. Feel is where they differ as you would well imagine. The Chrome Soft is indeed softer, but it still has feel. The Chrome Soft compresses and has a satisfying acceleration off the face. It is not mushy, it is just quieter, and offers a bit less resistance. The Pro V1 is also soft, but it has a more pronounced, “pop” off the face of the driver. The sound is the big difference to me. The Pro V1 definitely makes my TaylorMade R1 ping more than the Chrome Soft. As I said earlier distance differences are negligible, I personally prefer the ball flight of the Chrome Soft, because it was just a bit lower and more penetrating.
This is where both of these balls earn their marks. When you think soft around the green and pro ball, most folks will name the Pro V1 as their top pick. The Chrome Soft, as it’s name says, is soft around the greens. Both balls check about the same, and I can spin both balls back with a wedge. Where there is the biggest difference between them is in their sound off the club. They both have a satisfying feel off a short wedge but the Pro V1 has a definite, “snap” sound you don’t get with the Chrome Soft. The Callaway, has more of a deeper crack, like someone cracking their large knuckles. Ouch, I know, but it is the closest thing to the sound.
I wanted to do some additional testing chipping with both balls, so after my round I hung around on the chipping green and hit a bunch. While the sound is just that, the Pro V1 feels a little lighter on the face, probably due to the harder nature of the ball. On the putting green, both balls have great alignment aides and both putt about the same. I did not feel a great deal of difference in how hard I had to hit one over the other. To me this is the one aspect where they are almost identical.
Both balls are great choices for the better player.
- The Chrome Soft is a more affordable ball, at $37 a dozen compared to the Pro V1 at $47 a dozen, advantage Chrome Soft.
- Overall I prefer the Chrome Soft to the Pro V1. It might sound surprising, but the overall feel of the ball is outstanding. Where the Chrome Soft outperforms the Pro V1 in in the middle to long irons. My 5 iron feels amazing from the fairway with the Chrome Soft. While the Pro V1 on an equally well struck ball, did not feel as smooth and just plain fast.
- For me this was a wash, both balls were equally long, and I don’t keep a different yardage book for each. That said, I do feel like I can hit the Chrome Soft just a little longer when I really catch one right.
- The Chrome Soft is quieter with the driver and putter. I like the sound of the Chrome Soft just a bit better.
Overall, I would recommend the Chrome Soft golf ball, over the Pro V1 and here is why. Price for performance. In the past, the Pro V1 was substantially different from other balls to warrant the higher price. Callaway has come a long way in the balls they make, and I have watched them get progressively better year in and year out. They have been on my best ball list for the last 4 years. The Chrome Soft is the first of the Callaway balls that is truly soft and performs as well as or better than, the Pro V 1 and other premium balls. Quite a feat for Callaway, and you can save $10 a dozen.
I say play ’em!