Though perhaps not as many wins each year as Titleist, there are dozens of PGA and European PGA Tour playing Callaway balls. Callaway offers six different golf balls: The HEX Black Tour, HEX Chrome, HX Diablo Tour, HX Diablo, Solaire, and the Warbird Plus. Most professionals are playing the HEX Black Tour ball, though others including Mickelson, Jacobson, and Janzen, are still using older models (the Tour i(s) for Phil, Tour i(x) for Jacobson and Janzen).
The HEX Black Tour ball is marketed as Callaway’s “Tour performance” ball. What does that mean? None other than low spin off the tee (with a soft feel), plus high spin on approach shots and around the green for stopping power. Did you expect something else? And you know this ball has to be good – it makes the Golf Digest Gold Hot List! You know the List…the one that doesn’t actually rank the different balls in order, and doesn’t provide quantitative data to show the differences in balls. C’mon guys…help us all out…publish your testing data from the range!
HEX Chrome is targeted at players with more “moderate” swing speeds (which we are guessing, though it doesn’t say on the Callaway site, probably equates to a ball speed of around 130+ MPH). Of course, if you don’t know what your swing speed or what they consider moderate, then the Chrome is really targeted to those who know they don’t swing at less than Tour or high-amateur swing speeds. Did you guess that its benefits include high spin around the greens and penetrating distance on long shots? We bet you did. The HX Diablo Tour ball, the other Callaway performance ball, offers, and you’re never going to believe this…exemplary distance off the tee, alone with more spin and pinpoint control on approach shots! As we’ve mentioned before, really the only way to start differentiating between balls is to get a sleeve of a few different that suit your game (or you are simply interesting in trying, regardless), and head to a short-game practice area to spend some serious time. Following that, take ’em to the course and start alternating between them on the course.
The last three Callaway balls in the lineup, the HX Diablo, Solaire and Warbird Plus, are the least expensive available. Not surprisingly, Callaway doesn’t provide pricing on their website, nor do they sell them on their online store, instead letting the retailers fulfill this role. Callaway actually compares the HX Diablo to the rest of their offerings in one respect, noting that it promotes the lowest driver spin in their ball lineup. Yes, more distance! The Solaire, though targeted largely toward women, is the ball that performs best at slow swing speeds. If you’re a guy with a slow swing speed though, don’t worry…there is a Solaire in white. Hey, get over it the naming – it’s all about finding the ball that provides the best performance for your swing. Lastly, the Warbird Plus. It’s the longest Warbird Callaway has made. This doesn’t mean anything to us, however. Callaway doesn’t compare the Warbird distance to other balls in the current lineup or to past Warbird balls. Alas.