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CALLAWAY HX Pearl Golf Ball
Teacher’s Comments: A decent ball, but I didn’t like it as much as much as Callaway’s other mid-priced ball, the HX Hot.
A couple of years ago, I was visiting a local pro shop when the owner approached me like a dealer with dime bags for a junkie.
“I’ve got something you’ve got to try,” he said in a half-whisper, handing me a ball. “I gained twenty yards off the tee playing this one.”
I took the ball and gave it an inspection. “It’s a lady’s ball,” I noted. “It says so right here on the cover.”
“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “When you blast it past your partner, he’ll want to play it too. Trust me. In another month, every guy on the course will be playing these things. But you had better buy them now. Word is that they didn’t make enough to go around.”
I decided that this was his idea of a marketing ploy and took a pass.
But he was right. A month later, every guy I knew was playing the Precept Lady, and you couldn’t find them on the shelves. The balls were going for twice the MSRP on EBay. And the Lady started a revolution in golf ball design, with every company producing lower compression models.
So when I heard that Callaway was producing a new lady’s ball based on the HX Hot that I like so much, I decided to get ahead of the curve.
The first thing you notice about the ball is it’s pearlescent cover. It’s still white, but it shimmers a bit. For a lady’s ball, it’s certainly not as noticable as those hideous pink things, or even the clear covers that so many companies are putting out these days. When it’s sitting on a tee, it’s entirely likely that no one will even notice.
In its design, the HX Pearl is an awful lot like the HX Hot. It’s a three piece ball with an identical core diameter, mantle thickness and cover thickness (in contrast, the HX Tour has a much larger core). The difference is in the composition of the materials. The HX Pearl has been designed to feel much softer (and it does). The Pearl also shares the same hex cover design, although it apparently lacks the deeper dimples that were added to this year’s HX Hot and Tour.
I played two balls in an early morning round last week, using both the HS Pearl and the HX Hot—a ball that I very much like. My impression is that the HX Pearl is softer, and flies higher than the HX Hot. The Hot, however, went further on every shot (I alternated which I hit first), thanks to the lower trajectory and greater roll. I hit my shots very high anyway, so I think I’m better off with a ball that keeps it down a bit.
I did not notice any appreciable difference in accuracy.
Around the greens, though, I preferred the softer feel of the HX Pearl. I am also sure that it spins more on those short pitch shots. I also slightly preferred the feel while putting.
In the end, I decided that overall I prefer the HX Hot. I preferred what was, for me, the lower flight and extra distance of the Hot. The Hot also is by no means a rock, so the difference in feel was on the margins.
If, on the other hand, you need help getting the ball in the air, and the Hot is too hard for your tastes, the Pearl is worth trying.