I have been yelling at the top of my lungs to anyone that will listen that Callaway has the best golf ball on the market. To take it a step further, I’d even go as far as doing a nationally televised competition against all comers, and I’m 100% sure we would win the overall.
Disclaimer: This is me talking and the comment is not approved by the brass upstairs LOL!!!
Well, for starters, I’ve tried every major ball out there, in earnest, on and off the course. The ball market is ridiculously competitive, and in all honesty, all the top brands do all the things that players like. They are all long, they are all solid around the greens, they all fly decently in the wind, and they all make a ball that compliments certain players.
So how do we separate them? The answer is in the nuance. We can’t look at golf balls from a macro view anymore, we need to focus on a shot to shot performance metric, just like the players on Tour.
Going into this year’s Players Cup, which is a yearly Ryder Cup-style event hosted by @bryangolf and his wife @melshelgolf. It’s an unbelievably fun event held this year at Orlando’s Reunion Resort (Watson, Nicklaus, Palmer). 28 players, 2 teams, 2 captains (myself and Bryan) going head to head over three days.
We got our butts handed to us on the back 9 of singles and went from even to down 6 and ultimately lost 17-11. Disappointing yes but I had two goals coming into this thing.
- To win (FAILED)
- To infiltrate Chrome Soft Golf balls and get some honest conversions. (Success)
To be fair, I did supply each player with a dozen CSX and CSX/LS balls to start. However, I did a pre-tournament poll of who played what ball and why. I discovered a good portion of the players going in were devoted to their current ball—only 4 Callaway players, including Bryan and me.
Of the players in the field there were 27 Americans (all over the country) and one American (me) masquerading as a part time Canadian. Handicap ranges from +2 to 14.
So how did I convert 12 new players into CSX and CSX/LS?
Very little. I didn’t need to; my goal was to be the dealer and let the product speak for itself. The conditions were ripe for it as well. Cold, windy, and the greens were quick. You needed a ball that was stable in the wind, spun in the right places, and didn’t fall out of the sky on three-quarter shots.
Friday was a rainout, so that was a wash, but it was the comments I got after Saturday’s 27 hole extravaganza that really got me jacked up. MULTIPLE players came up to me and said they tried the ball out of curiosity and were astonished at how well it held up in the tough conditions. One payer told me that he couldn’t believe some of the shots he could hit into and downwind.
“When I was downwind, CSX went up, held its line, and landed softly, into the wind. It punched thru the wind, stayed in the air, and had a ton of spin on it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
-Player CSX (6 Handicap)
The funny thing is that this players experience mirrors the feedback we get from the likes of Rahm, Phil, Burns and the X-Man.
One player (Player CSX, 2 Handicap) went on to say that he was trading his low spin ball for CSX because he was only giving up 5 yards in the total distance but gained multiple shots after the driver that he simply didn’t have before.
It’s funny how much distance comes into the convo when players talk about their golf balls. Of the 28 players I polled, distance was reason #1 for 23 of them. That’s NUTS!!. The 5 that didn’t were all scratch to + handicap players that favored control first. BTW 2 of those 5 converted to CSX/LS with the other 2 being myself and Captain Laroche.
So what did I learn?
Our two “better player” golf balls (CSX, CSX/LS) are legitimately different. A great golf ball combines spin, wind stability, short-game control, and, yes, distance. This experiment further confirms that given a chance on a grand scale, the Chrome Soft golf balls are a legitimate threat to gain massive market share.
Like I mentioned earlier, all of the major balls on the market are long, spin enough, don’t fly off the map in the wind, etc. That’s just how good technology is. But for you, the golfer, when you are testing golf balls, pay attention to the little things, the nuanced parts of a round that you never really noticed before. That’s where a ball makes its money.
Check out this video for the full breakdown of the Chrome Soft family:
For this Players Cup exercise, all I did was supply the balls; that’s literally it. No chatter beforehand, no standing on the range shoving CSX in people’s faces. I wanted our product to do what I know it can. It did.
We didn’t have the ball two years ago. I’m totally comfortable saying that.
WE DO NOW. Game on.