You asked for it, you got it. Head to head testing with ProV1x vs Chrome Soft-X vs B330s vs TP5x. I did the testing in November/early-December, in the California Central Valley over 5 rounds at about 60°f. I know those of you in the snow have no sympathy, and you shouldn’t.
Here is how I rank the balls above based on my personal sense of softness, what I consider long off the tee, stopping power on the green, and just how confident I am in the ball.
- Taylormade TP5x (Dustin’s ball)
- Titleist ProV1x (Jordan’s ball)
- Callaway Chrome Soft X (Phil’s ball)
- Bridgestone B330s (Tiger’s ball)
Surprise, Taylormade! I really did not think this one would be my winner going in. I have reviewed the TP5x along with the TP5 earlier this year but I didn’t think it would top my list in a head-to-head comparison, but I was wrong. I should not be too surprised since it is basically a newer version of the Tour-X, and Lethal from a few years ago. I have always liked Taylormade’s 5 piece balls and the TP5x does not disappoint. It is softer on all shots than I was expecting, but it is not really in the soft ball category. It is also really long with the driver. I can see why Dustin and Jason use it, a bomber could do some real distance damage with them. The only down-side here is spin. While I can drop and stop these, I cannot seem to spin them back as far as balls of previous years. Actually that was true for almost all the balls I tested in this review, spin on approach is down across the board. I rarely spin the TP5 or TP5x back on the green. That said, they will stop, you may have to plan on a bit more roll out with your 8 and 9 iron than the B330s. The one big difference with the TP5x is how high it launches. This ball for me flies noticeably higher with the driver, 3 wood and 7 iron, than any of the other balls in this review.
My number two ball should be no surprise, It’s Jordan’;s ball the Titleist ProV1x. I haven’t played the Prov1x much in 2017, but just like the TaylorMade balls, ProV1x gets better as well. Surprisingly soft, fast off the driver face, and easy to stop with a wedge, it is a very close second. In my opinion, the x is the best of the Pro-V balls. It is a fast ball. To me it feels lighter, and less dense feel than the TaylorMade and Bridgestone balls. It has the longer driver distance that most players want without giving up much spin or feel. As with the TP5x, the Pro-V1x does not spin back as they did in prior years, but as with the TP5x, it will hop and stop with wedges, but will roll out a bit with a 9 iron.
My third place ball is Phil’s ball, the Callaway Chrome Soft X. The Chrome Soft X is the less soft version of the very popular Chrome Soft golf ball line. As with the Chrome Soft, the X has a very soft active core that makes it feel buttery with a wedge or 7 iron, but is firmer giving it better driving distance that the original. I found it to be a great ball that I think will fit a lot of different golfers. For me it did not have the stopping power around the greens and tended to roll out more than the other balls in this review. That said, the soft feel and distance gain with the driver could make that trade off an easy one to make. This ball for me felt the best with the putter, of all things. I love the way this ball feels and sounds on the green with a putter.
In fourth place but definitely not last in anyone’s review, is Tiger’s ball the Bridgestone B330S. The S has the best green side spin and feel of any of the balls in the review. I can routinely back these up on short par 3s or wedge approaches. They have a soft feel but a denseness that the other balls have moved away from. While they have lots of spin around the green, and are workable with a long iron and driver, they lack distance compared to the others in the review. Now, I am a guy in my 50s, so I am no long drive threat, but I also don’t want to give up 5-10 yards with a driver either, but I just could not hit them as far as the others.
There has been a real leveling out of performance in the golf ball market. Each ball in this review is just slightly better than the other, and if I was stranded on a dessert island with only one of these brands, I would be fine with any of them. The funny thing about the B330S coming in last is that I hit a hole-in-one with one, during testing. OK, it was a hole-in-two because I had hit a TP5x to within 10 feet of the same pin the shot before. Completely not legal, no drinks were purchased for the club-house, and it still didn’t give the B330S an edge.
This time of year is always the best time to stock up on the best balls from the current year. I know that in January and February we see new equipment, and golfballs, and they are always better. But I also make it a point to pick up at least a dozen of my favorite balls of the year to play next spring.