Pros: The HEX Black Tour is one of the longest, lowest-spinning tour balls on the market. The Chrome + feels a little softer and produces more spin on full shots. Both models are exceptional in the wind and provide plenty of greenside spin.

Cons: Both struggle in the durability department. The HEX Black might feel “clicky” to some golfers, and high-spin players might struggle with the tendency of the HEX Chrome + to spin back too much.

Bottom line: For $31.99, the HEX Chrome + is by far the most golf ball for the money golfers can buy. Golfers who spin the Chrome + too much will love the HEX Black Tour, which kills spin off the tee but still manages one-hop-and-stop performance with shorter clubs.

Overview

The HEX Chrome + has four layers. The core and the inner mantle are designed to create high ball speed and more distance, while the outer mantle reduces driver spin. The cover is made of thermoplastic urethane, and like the HEX Black Tour it is designed with Callaway’s patented HEX aerodynamic dimple pattern to reduce drag.

hex-chrome-plus-12-ball-box-2013

The HEX Black Tour has five layers and a dual core to provide both distance and the right amount of spin on approach shots. Its inner core has a very low compression, which allows it to be lower spinning with the long clubs than the HEX Chrome +.

hex-black-tour-12-ball-2012

Performance

callaway_hex_black_tour_layers

The HEX Black Tour has a dual-core construction, with an extremely low-compression inner core (gray) for low-spin shots off the tee and a higher-compression outer core (black) to give golfers more spin with shorter clubs.

Driver/fairway woods: Both balls performed consistently off the tee, with the HEX Black Tour being around 5 yards longer. The trajectory control with both balls was particularly impressive. One could easily hit shots with a low flight without fear of ballooning, and shots lofted up high in the air were reluctant to be thrown offline by crosswinds.

Long/Mid irons: The long and mid irons is where I noticed the least different between the golf balls. Both seemed to produce a medium trajectory that had a stable, penetrating flight in windy conditions. As I got through the bag, the differences in the two balls became more apparent. Around my 7 iron, the HEX Chrome + had a higher peak trajectory and stopped much quicker on the greens. The HEX Black Tour maintained its more penetrating flight and produced more forward rollout on the green.

Short Irons/Wedges: With short irons and wedges, the differences between the two balls are the most obvious. The HEX Black Tour is prone to stop where it lands, while the HEX Chrome + likes to spin back. If you’re a golfer who struggles with controlling spin, the HEX Black Tour is for you. If you’ve dreamed of spinning the ball back, you’re a HEX Chrome + type of guy.

Putting and chipping: No difference.

Looks and Feel

hex-chromeplus-specs-new2

Above: A breakdown of the features of the HEX Chrome +, which has a higher compression than the HEX Black Tour.

Both balls have a classic look. The HEX Chrome + has red numbers, while the HEX Black Tour’s numbers are black. The hexagon pattern makes Callaway balls stand out from every other ball on the market, but that’s nothing new. Golfers can also buy the Chrome + in Callaway’s “Optical Yellow” color if that’s there thing.

As for feel, the HEX Black Tour is going to feel firmer than HEX Chrome + for most golfers.

The Takeaway

Callaway-Hex-Black-Tour ball

Golfers can make golf ball selection very complicated, but Callaway’s premium golf ball offerings for 2013 make things simple for golfers. If you need less spin or play golf courses with soft conditions, you’re probably going to be a HEX Black Tour player. If you need more spin or play firm golf courses (or golf courses with thick rough) you’ll probably score better with the HEX Chrome +.

The price point of the HEX Chrome + ($31.99) makes it one of the most interesting product releases of 2013. There’s certainly not an $8 differential in performance between it and the HEX Black Tour ($39.99). For many players, the HEX Chrome+ is actually going to perform much better than Callaway’s most expensive golf ball.

Dedicated golfers are going to take the time to find out what ball is best for them, and they likely won’t be troubled by paying $8 more for a dozen of golf balls if they perform better.

But for the golfer who is more price conscious, the HEX Chrome + makes a lot of sense. They can buy a mid-priced golf ball (something in the $20 range) from another ball manufacturers that no PGA Tour player has ever used in competition, or they can spend a few extra bucks and game the model that was used by Gary Woodland, Sang Moon Bae and Phil Mickelson to win on the PGA Tour in 2013.

That’s not a very tough choice.

Your Reaction?
  • 50
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW8
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Previous article10 things to do (and not to do) before your next fitting
Next articleWoods wins 11th Player of the Year Award
Evan is an attorney licensed to practice law in Michigan. He's also a dedicated golfer with an obsession for the latest golf equipment, and frequently gets caught in public examining his swing in any reflective surface.

27 COMMENTS

Not seeing your comment? Read our rules and regulations. Click "Report comment" to alert GolfWRX moderators to offensive or inappropriate comments.
  1. I recently played with the Hex Black and Pro V1X,,, same flight and green spin, but the Hex was chewed up after 9 holes. Now, I know we have so many ” Pro’s” commenting here, but The Hex Black is what I’m sticking with, but i prefer going and buying off of Lostgolfball.com. My game is not at the level yest to buy Brand new out of the box…

  2. I played the Hex Black Tour all of last year and i cut them up so bad with my wedge shots. I play the Hex Chrome + now and i love them great combination between great distance and great short game spin. Love all the guys in the R&D Dep. for this great Ball.

    • Tad,
      I noticed the same thing about the Hex Black last summer. I got some gently used PING S59 irons and tour wedges at the beginning of the year and they have much sharper grooves than any of my previous irons, and the Hex Black, Titleist ProV1, Nike 20X1 S kind of fish scale badly on good mid to short iron shots. Just a month or so ago, I got a dozen Hex Chrome+ at a local course for $20. Just as good as the Hex Black and 20X1S and way better than the ProV1 in performance and better in durability. I know that its the vogue to bring out new model balls every year or so, but Callaway, please keep these in your lineup?

  3. vokey sm4 & hex chrome+ is the ultimate combo of spin and durability. i have played all callaway balls and this is the best combination of driver distance + iron control.

    BTW- sang moon bae’s victory was with a stock golf ball

  4. This fluff piece needs to be set straight.

    This ball (Chrome +) is fantastic off the tee and off the putter. It WILL NOT hold a green like a much better premium balls (TP, PROV, Zstar, 330, etc). I loved the price point, but I need approaches to hold and chips to check. Damn shame too, because distance and accuracy is very high and the way it feels on a putter is fantastic.

    Would I buy it again…ehhhh. It’s so hard to say. Part of me thinks maybe the next 12 will be better, but the realist knows it’s discounted for a reason and maybe a little tweak next year will fix it.

    As to the other posters talking about the cover.

    1.) Yes, chewed up is right, which again made me question the lack of spin when you figure that should put some serious zip, or at least bite on the ball.

    2.) This is NOT the tour ball. There’s no way pro’s would play this unmodified.

  5. All the pros mentioned use a prototype version of the Chrome +, so you’re really not playing the same ball they are. That said, very good ball and for most golfers you can switch between the Chrome and Chrome + depending on the course, weather, etc. too. Nice to have a pro caliber ball for a lot less than most others (re: Pro V1).

  6. full dimple coverage is great for consistency on full swing shots.
    that said, i have never played a hex ball that i could putt with or like many have said…didnt shred way too easily. not a fan of hex balls.

  7. I used the Tour iZ for a longtime and ran out of them. Tried teh Hex Tour Black and they are OK, but the covers wrip every full wedge shot.

    Tried the Chrome+ today and wow, it’s long and spins.

LEAVE A REPLY