Need To Know
If you want to drive ‘big’ and make the game look as ‘easy’ as possible this season, you’ll probably want to get your hands on the brand new Callaway HEX Black Tour ball that was used so clinically by Open champion Ernie Els last month.
The Callaway staffer, who led the field in greens in regulation on 80% at Royal Lytham & St Annes, clinched the first major victory for the new Callaway HEX Black Tour.
Els’ victory also marked one of eight victories for the HEX Black Tour this season - a ball that has made giant strides since launching at the end of February 2012.
Regarded as the best-ever ball designed by Callaway, we thought it was a better time than any to give it a go…
On first glance, this five-piece ball oozes class and durability as it sits in the palm of your hand. It inspires confidence as soon as you pluck it from the sleeve.
Ball on tee, daunted by the prospect of losing my first Callaway HEX Black Tour on a tricky dogleg right par-4, I played safe of the gorse and striped one down the left-hand side of the fairway.
Long drives were the story of my round. In fact, I crushed one drive on the outward nine close to a PB of 280 yards.
And my iron play and short game wasn’t too shabby either. I might not have benefitted from the Tour level spin of the HEX Black Tour with my long irons – given I can hit a 4-iron under all ten hurdles of the 110m - but I certainly took advantage when it came to my wedge play.
Callaway’s i-Core Technology has created a dual-core construction that helps maximise the difference in compression between the inner and outer layers - the soft inner core helps reduce spin off the tee, while the high-compression outer core increases spin closer the green.
With the dual-core feeling ever so soft, my clubhead speed was able to access the core, deform and then provide me with very low driver spin for ultimate distance.
At the other end of the spectrum, the firm mantle reacted with my wedges to create friction and generate Tour level spin and control.
As for the HEX aerodynamics, this is something that is truly unique to Callaway in that it produces 100% surface coverage. With an enhanced surface contour and a more consistent finish system, this pattern reduces drag and promotes a stable, penetrating ball flight.
And after signing my card, I observed the state of my ball - which incidentally had lasted me the whole round - and there wasn’t a single scratch or mark to be seen.
The HEX Black Tour has been designed with improved durability thanks to Callaway's DuraSpin cover. Using a unique thermoplastic urethane blend, the ball is able to fight against dents and scratches with ease.
An innovative dual-core construction, durable cover material and HEX aerodynamics combine to produce a five-piece ball with better spin separation and all-round performance than any other ball Callaway has released.
Spin separation refers to the ‘holy grail’ of golf ball design - creating a ball that has a measured difference between the high spin generated by shorter approach shots and the optimal low-spin rates from the driver.
From powerful ball speeds to penetrating ball flight and soft feel, this ball offers the ultimate blend of Tour distance with Tour control - something big Ernie attests to.
“I think there’s five yards extra in the Callaway HEX Black Tour, so that’s music to my ears,” said Els, who uses the HEX Black Tour alongside the likes of fellow four-time major champion Phil Mickelson, three-time 2012 champion Branden Grace and GM scribe and European Tour player Gary Boyd.
“I love the feel, it’s soft and I can control it around the greens.”
In our opinion, this is Callaway’s best ball to date. The HEX Black Tour is definitely a ball that is worth a try. Don’t just get a sleeve. Get a dozen and give it a serious shot!