There’s a world of difference between swinging your clubs in a high-ceilinged room over the winter, and taking that carpet-grooved, no-worries swing to an actual golf course and observing, um, the ball flight that swing produces.
In other words, I came in for a huge reality check last week at Reynolds Plantation.
In addition to grooving my indoor swing, I had of course planned ahead for my Golf Road Warriors experience. I packed suntan lotion. Extra gloves. Enough tees to start a matchstick factory. And of course golf balls.
But not just any golf balls. I packed “early season” balls. Not mid-season, tour-quality balls. But the less expensive, lower compression models. In other words, the ones I wouldn’t mind losing in the woods. in the water, wherever.
Thankfully, Jeff Wallach, our Chief Warrior, handed me a sleeve of Callaway’s HEX Black Tour Golf Ball.
I’m here to tell you, there’s a difference between a tour-level ball and a $21.99 per dozen ball. Even for a guy like me who used to be a reliable 10-handicapper but who now hits it all over the place, the difference was noticeable.
When I made solid contact with my driver and irons, the sound produced—a rich, resounding “click”—was very satisfying. The distance was about what I expected, and the ball held its line in the wind, but what I most liked about the HEX Black Tour was the way it felt and performed around the greens. The ball was soft, almost pliable on the clubface. I felt I could really control my pitches and chips. I was also able to spin the ball out of the sand with no problem. However, the ball was at its best on the green. A good feel and consistent roll every time I putted.
I was also impressed with the ball’s durability. I hit trees, cart paths and more than my share of bunkers during the round, yet the ball remained unblemished. This is a ball that can do it all.
I thought Callaway Golf staff pros and brand ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els were blowing smoke when they sang the praises of the HEX Black Tour in their promotional videos. Even with my rusty snowbird game, my experience with this ball was positive in all departments. Now I have to get good enough to earn the right to use it on a regular basis.