|Callaway HEX Chrome Review|
Callaway HEX Chrome Golf Ball Review
Earlier, I wrote a review involving the Callaway HEX Black Tour. I thought that it would be only appropriate to do the same with the Black’s sister release. The Callaway HEX Chrome. The difference between the HEX Black Tour and the HEX Chrome is that Chrome is “only” a 3-piece ball. Remember when a 3-piece golf ball was Earth shattering. One of the other differences is that the HEX Chrome is geared towards moderate swing speeds. So my testing would be interesting just from the standpoint that it’s a bit faster than moderate. Callaway's new line of golf balls has received a lot of fanfare but the Black has garnered more of the attention. Not like the HEX Chrome is the ugly step-sister. Truthfully, I was more intrigued for whatever reason with the HEX Chrome than the HEX Black Tour. I was merely just another golfer awaiting the release of the HEX Black Tour and HEX Chrome. There was a lot said regarding the balls and I was intrigued. Especially all of the talk of huge distance gains.
These are my conclusions and results will vary. So waiver aside without further delay here are my results.
Cost- At the time of writing the HEX Chrome had a MSRP of $35.99 USD or $36.99 CAD
Putting- I conducted putting tests using putters that had an insert and without. I figured this was in the interest of fairness because not everyone is like me and uses a putter with an insert. When it came to the Callaway Hex Chrome I found it to be softer than the Black. So if you like a more muted non-click with the putter look at the HEX Chrome. Today was borderline frigid and the HEX Chrome still maintained its soft feel. The HEX Chrome rolls as true as the Black does.
Short Game Spin - This is a huge part of my game as it is for many us whether you're a 25 handicap or a low handicap player. Short game isn't just about trying to fly the ball to the hole and stopping it dead. There are right times and wrong times for that type of play. The bump and run is a huge part of the short game as well and truth be told I tend to bump and run more often. The bump and run in general is a safer shot than a lob, flop, or pitch. The HEX Chrome was expected to release. On executed pitch shots the HEX Chrome lands, checks and releases a little bit. Not as much as I expected. Out of the sand the HEX Chrome reacts the same as her sister ball. It stops dead! When it came to the bump and run the HEX Chrome performed as predicted. It checks and does provide roll out. But not nearly to the extent that you would be inclined to think.
Full Iron Spin – In my HEX Black Tour review I mentioned that distance control is paramount. As important as it is to know how far you fly each club it's equally as important to know what your ball will do when it hits a green. Is it going to hop and stop or is it going to back up. Last year, I struggled to find a ball that wouldn't back up. On more occasions than I care to remember I would land pin high within 5 feet and get to the green and see that it backed up some 25 feet. The worst was on a par 3 from 163. I hit a beauty of an 8 iron. My ball mark was 4" from the cup. Unfortunately, the ball backed up and left me 18 feet. Did I mention it was a Srixon AD 333? Birdie opportunity wasted. The HEX Chrome was used on greens that were a little more firm in Florida than in Niagara. On those firm greens surprisingly enough the Chrome landed hopped and stopped. I was real impressed with it. Especially, when I hit a hybrid on a par 3 from 223 yards. The HEX Chrome landed 5 feet from the pin and stayed right there 18" from the ball mark. I guarantee that my Callaway Tour i(z) from 2011 would have released. I expected the Chrome to hop and stop on softer greens and it did not disappoint. On average I would find the ball mark about 16" to maybe 18" from the ball (please see photos for reference).
Distance – Prior to the HEX Chrome being released there was talk on the internet and at the Callaway Performance Center from a tech guy that there were a lot of distance claims being made. That made this ball all the more intriguing. We all love the big stick and hitting the long ball. Golfers love the sound of the ball leaving the face of the club. Distance can help reduce scores. Let's face it 5 yards doesn't sound like a lot unless you're talking about the difference of hitting 6 iron or 7 iron. I alluded to the fact that the HEX Chrome is geared towards golfers with moderate swing speeds. My swing speed is on average 108 mph but I can top out at 115 mph. Would this prove to be detrimental? The HEX Chrome had numerous claims like I mentioned. There of course was the afore-mentioned distance claim but in the same breath it has been said that it has a heck of a lot more sidespin. Here is what I observed. The ball is long and is longer than Black. I would say the apex of the ballflight of HEX Chrome is about on par with the HEX Black but because it is less spinny it allows for more roll out. Or at least that is my theory. So yes it is longer than HEX Black. That said, I hit the longest drive of my life down in Florida. My playing partner (broseph and Florida caddie) hit a beautiful drive. A lovely draw that ended up going about 285 yards down the middle of the fairway. I was playing the tips and hit one well. I knew it was a beauty at impact. I flew his by some 50 yards it landed the proceeded to roll into a water hazard where Mr. Gator was waiting. Okay so I got penalized but that hazard was 365 yards away. Wind was not a factor. I mentioned reports of sidespin and I would say that if there is sidespin causing slices then I didn't observe this. The HEX Chrome also holds the line well in the wind. Iron distance was a shade better than Black and Tour i(z).
There have been knocks on the HEX Chrome regarding durability. Callaway made a new cover improving on this. Maybe there have been some bad batches but unless you're pounding tree or cart paths these balls hold up real well. I have yet to shred covers with my few month old Jaws CC wedges. Wish I could say the same for range balls.
Overall, the HEX Chrome balls are fantastic. If this was April 17th I might very well start my season using the HEX Chrome. Especially considering that this ball performed very well today in very frigid weather. The ball is soft, long and has plenty of short game spin. Try a sleeve.
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