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Friday, January 2, 2015

The Skinny on Callaway's New Miracle Ball

No doubt you've already seen the commercial with Phil Mickelson hawking Callaway's new supersoft golf ball that's due out on January 16. Golf.com ran an article about it -- with a couple of videos -- a couple of weeks back but I just found it. And after reading it I decided it was worth doing a post about, since trying this ball could change your game in ways you don't anticipate.

First let me give you the basics. The ball is called the Chrome Soft and it's a 3-piece urethane covered ball -- available in white and yellow -- that's supposed to let amateur players feel the same sort of compression that a Tour player gets. (Translation: Since Tour players swing faster, they can compress -- or distort the shape of -- the ball more than a weekend player. That lets them impart more force to the ball, thus creating higher ball speeds which result in more distance while still creating spin.) It does this by being supersoft -- only 65 compression as compared to the 85-and-higher compression balls we've traditionally used.

The reason this is a big deal is that, at least in the past, supersoft balls went supershort distances. Just about every weekend player is familiar with this -- softer balls spin a lot more which creates a lot more lift and thus the ball flies a shorter distance, kind of like a pop-up in baseball. If you wanted more distance, you went for the harder balls that flew really long but didn't spin much at all... which meant you couldn't make the ball spin enough to stop unless the green was made of quicksand.

Callaway claims that the Chrome Soft is supersoft BUT DOESN'T SPIN AS MUCH as most soft golf balls. This will supposedly allow you to hit the ball farther with all of your clubs -- not just the driver -- but still give you enough spin to stop the ball around the green. And they say they were shocked to learn that Tour pros also gained an advantage.

Here's a 10-minute video Callaway made explaining the basics:



Something that jumped out at me when I watched the video -- but that the Callaway guys didn't expound upon -- is mentioned right around the 7:00 minute mark. Both men say that, after playing the new Chrome Soft for a while and getting used to it, it's very hard to go back to the "old balls" because they feel like rocks. Yes, I realize there's possibly some hyperbole there... but how much? Harry Arnett (the interviewer) sounds very matter-of-fact when he says it.

While I don't think that's a reason not to try the new ball, I have to wonder what happens if the ball doesn't gain enough market share to stay on the market. It's not unusual for revolutionary technology to stumble in the marketplace initially, even with the starpower of a player like Phil behind it. I'll be interested to see how the Chrome Soft does when it's released.

Golf.com says the Chrome Soft will retail for $37.99/dozen if you're anxious to try them. And if you're not an early adopter... well, Kevin Hart's new movie The Wedding Ringer will also be released on January 16. Isn't it nice to have options? ;-)

2 comments:

  1. Getting Phil to go out and promote and use this ball was probably easy considering his relationship with Callaway and where he is placed in the men's game right now. Now if I were see Ko their #1 LPGA player teeing up with one in 2015 that would mean something....

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  2. Excellent point. Could this ball give Lydia extra distance without messing up her short game? That would be more indicative of what a weekend player could expect.

    Of course, if this ball is as revolutionary as they claim, it's hard to believe Callaway isn't working on a ladies version, isn't it? Stay tuned...

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