Callaway Hex Black ball

There's an amazing amount of technology inside every one

By: James A. Frank

The hardest thing to write about in golf is the ball. What does one say? On the surface they’re all pretty much the same: round and (mostly) white.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll be amazed at how much technology goes into every ball. Millions of dollars are spent on materials, aerodynamics, core and mantle construction, dimple design, abrasion resistance, and more. Today’s golf ball really is rocket science.

Which is why I suggest you do a little homework before ball shopping. They are not all the same. Don’t just read the price sticker: Read the box and think about how the specifications, usually listed in great detail, apply to your game.

And experiment with different balls from time to time. Try some new ones to see and feel how they work for you.

Put this one on your list: Callaway’s Hex Black. It’s the ball Phil Mickelson is playing, but it’s not just for pros. I’ve been playing it extensively the last few months and like it.

Hex Black is a five-piece ball (they're all there to the left) with interesting mixes of materials. At its heart are two cores with different compressions: the inner core is very soft, to reduce spin on tee shots; the outer core is harder, which means more spin on iron and wedge shots. This seeming dichotomy occurs because the harder the ball is hit—and it is hit hardest with the driver—the more the innermost core has an effect.

There’s also duality in the mantles—soft inner and firm outer—to protect the core and generate good ball speed no matter how powerful the swing.

Piece number five is the cover, what the company calls DuraSpin. It is, the engineers say, significantly more durable than previous Callaway covers while also producing short-game spin and good feel. (I’ve been very pleased on and around the greens.)

And Hex? That refers to the dimples, which are six-sided rather than round. They cover 100 percent of the cover’s surface for aerodynamics—specifically a penetrating ball flight in all weather, which I can attest to having played the ball recently in windy, rainy Scotland.

It performs well and feels great. The best thing I can say is this: Give it a try.


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