I played a round with the new Callaway HX Tour 56 this week. The HX Tour 56 is an “extension” of their HX Tour ball. The HX Tour 56 is softer and has a little more spin than the HX Tour.
Callaway has been making hex dimple patterned golf balls for quite a while. The hex pattern contributes to a more stable golf flight, especially in the wind.
The “56″ also has 6 deeper dimples which are quite noticeable (see pic). Callaway calls this the “sub hex” design and says it provides even more consistent ball flight than the Tour. Callaway utilizes their “Concentric Core Technology” to more consistently center the core and create and more uniform cover thickness.
On the course
I played the 56 in a tournament during extremely windy conditions. I found the flight of the ball to be excellent, especially in heavy wind. I was able to hit high shots that rode the tail wind well, while shots dead into the wind did not “balloon” at all. Low punch and distance control shots were spot on.
Off the driver the ball is fairly long. My playing partner is a very long hitter who plays ProV1X balls. When both of us hit comparable drives, the 56 was almost as long as the V1X, perhaps 5-10 yards shorter. The 56 is plenty long.
Short game shots didn’t spin a ton like I thought they would. Full wedges would hit and stop, rather than backing up a few feet. Chips and pitches would check nicely and roll. It was easy to get the feel for distance control around the greens.
Off the putter the 56 feels much better and softer than the Tour. I did smash two putts way long which resulted in 3 putts. Chalk those two up to player error.
I believe this ball made me some money in the tourney. I was able to fire a 73 and birdie an extremely difficult par 4 by knocking a 9 iron to two feet dead into the wind. The ball flight on that shot was like a laser and the line of the shot was not affected by the head wind.
The new HX Tour 56 is an excellent ball which makes up for what was lacking in the HX Tour. The few yards lost between the two balls is negligible and worth the extra control you’ll have in your short game.
One of the biggest gripes I have about the HX Tour is the lack of durability. A few full wedges or short iron shots and I have to take it out of play. The cover shears very easily. I noticed the same shearing on the 56, but to a lesser degree. The 56 is improved in the durability category, but I’d still not rate it “durable.” You can see the wear from one round of 18 in the pic at top of the review.
A rumor around my Hogan and Callaway pals is that Phil Mickelson was actually playing the Hogan “Tour Deep” ball during the testing period of the 56. Those balls simply had the Callaway logo stamped on them.
If you were to take a look at the Hogan Tour Deep, you’d notice the same 6 deeper dimples but no hex pattern. Since Callaway owns Hogan, you can bet these two balls are stamped, er…a “made” from the same basic molding process with one getting hex dimples and the other not.