|Callaway HEX Black Tour|
Callaway HEX Black Golf Ball Review
With the release and success of HEX Black right away with Phil Mickelson's win earlier this year Callaway's new line of golf balls have received a lot of fanfare. Late last season I became a convert to Callaway golf balls. Previously, I had never touched a Callaway ball and for the most part I considered all things Callaway the root of all evil. Well… things change and people change. Suddenly with word filtering out all over the internet about a new release of Callaway balls I was one of the many golfers waiting for the release of the HEX Black Tour and HEX Chrome. There was a lot said regarding the balls and I was intrigued.
I took a sleeve of HEX black Tour balls down to Florida and started doing comparisons between the new HEX Black Tour and my ball late in 2011 the Callaway Tour i(z). My testing would continue up north when I returned home as well. For the most part my bag is settled for 2012 but I had to consider the new line at least a little. In 2011, it took me almost all of 2011 to find a ball that performed to my expectations and act like I wanted. That issue (often overlooked by golfers) was a huge problem for me and it did lead to inconsistent scoring at times. These are the results that I have discovered through several rounds of comparisons. When I say rounds… I would be remiss in stating that they weren't scoring rounds but rounds where I practiced every facet of the game. This included tee shots (driver and irons), approach shots from a variety of yardages, short game (including bunker work) and putting.
These are my conclusions and results will vary. So waiver aside without further delay here are my results.
Cost- At the time of writing this review the HEX Black Tour retails at $45.99 USD or $46.99 CAD
Putting- The HEX Black Tour was tested with putters that had an insert and non-insert. I figured that way it would yield the best results. I found the HEX Black was soft off of the putter face yet it still had a hint of a click. I would say that it putted real similar to the Tour i(z) from last year. Sometimes balls have a wobble when first struck with the putter but these balls roll true. Overall the ball feels real good. Insert putters of course will feel softer than say a PING Zing.
Short Game Spin - I tried the HEX Black Tour balls everywhere from a 3/4 wedge to greenside. Does the HEX Black Tour spin and check? Absolutely! Does it back up on a greenside pitch? Not for me. Remember though, the spin and check will not occur unless impact is correct. But what it does do is land...bounce and check. When it came to bump and run type shots I found the spin was almost too much as I was robbed on a few occasions leaving my ball much shorter than I intended for scrambling pars. Out of the bunker the HEX Black Tour stops on a dime.
Full Iron Spin- 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. What’s worse is that I simply couldn’t trust a ball. On more occasions than I care to remember I would land a shot 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? Guess who missed what should have been a sure fire birdie? In Florida the greens were more firm than when I arrived home. So please bear that in mind. In Florida, my approach shots with irons and wedges did what I expected it to do. Land... hop and stop. When I got home the greens weren't soaked but they were soft. In those cases my initial thought was land... hop and reverse. So I played my shots and used appropriate clubs to go past the pin land and reverse. Instead I received a very pleasant surprise. The HEX Black Tour hit, hopped and stopped. On average the ball mark was 14" from the ball.
Distance - Okay we all love the big stick and the long ball. We love the sound of the ball leaving the face of the driver. 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 should add that my driver swing speed is on average 108 mph but I can top out at 115. I have never really had much issue of holding my line in the wind. But the HEX Black Tour was used in some pretty high winds both in Florida and when I got home. The crosswinds were brutal and this ball holds the line in the wind extremely well. Into the wind it was like a "wind-cutter" and penetrated the wind. I think when Phil won this year he alluded to the same thing. I noticed it as well. I would say the distance is on par with the Tour i(z) which I might add is no slouch. There was no evidence of ballooning and that is always a good thing. Roll out was moderate I would say.
There have been knocks on both new balls regarding durability. Callaway made a new cover improving on this. Maybe there have been some bad batches but unless you're pounding the ball off of a tree or cart path 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 Black Tour is a great ball. I would never hesitate to put this ball in play. If you haven’t tried one and are in the market for a new ball… try a sleeve. You may like it.
( 101 Votes )