While Titelist may be the Number One Ball in Golf, there are plenty of other manufactures that make quality tour level balls, and in many people’s opinion, Callaway has had one of those balls for quite a while. The Tour i/iz balls were very popular as were its most recent successors, the HEX Black Tour and HEX Chrome and Chrome +. With Those balls, Callaway gave golfers of differing abilities balls that would fit their game well. This year, the company is updating its ball offerings and is heading a slightly different way. Following the model that has be popularized by Bridgestone over the last few years, Callaway’s new tour level balls will come in a few different models, with each one optimized for a particular swing speed. In addition to the new premium balls, the company is also debuting its softest ball to date with the new SuperSoft ball.
Alongside the new balls are new flat sticks from the companies putter division, Odyssey. For those wanting to make a move to an Odyssey putter but not wanting to give up a milled face, there are the new Metal-X Milled putters. In addition to the new putter line, Odyssey has added to both the Versa and White Hot Pro family of putters with the Jailbird and the Hacok.
First up are the new Speed Regime balls, which come in three different models, the SR 1, SR 2, and SR 3. The golf ball R&D team has realized that golfers with different swing speeds need different performance characteristics out of the ball they play. The SR1 is targeted at those with swing speeds of 90mph or less while the SR 2 will fit those between 90mph and 105mph. Those who swing faster than 105mph will want the SR 3. That’s all great, but, what are actually the differences between the three models? Well, part of that starts with the balls cover. The HEX Aero profile of each ball is different; for instance, with the SR3 ball, it is designed to reduce drag at high speed. According to Callaway, this is something that is really important for those with really fast swings but not so much for those with slower swings. The SR 2 ball falls into the middle and is essentially a balance between the 1 and 3. The ball still has a focus on reducing drag at high speeds (at the start of the balls flight) but also gives gives good lift at lower speeds. Callaway believes that they have got the balance between the two right to give golfers in that range maximum distance. With the SR 1 ball, the need to focus on reducing drag isn’t there because the ball is never going too fast; instead, all the focus is put into designing the ball to increase lift at lower speeds; this keeps the ball in the air a bit longer and increases distance for the slower swinger.
Of course, not all golfers are going to want a “tour” level golf ball. For those wanting what would be classified as a distance ball, Callaway has the new SuperSoft Golf ball. Callaway says that this is the softest ball that it has ever created, and that is no surprise considering it has a compression of 38, which is 20 points lower than the HEX Diablo. The low compression of the ball significantly reduces spin and helps the ball be long and straight. The company says that it will reduce hooks and slices giving golfers more distance and a tighter dispersion. .
The new Speed Regime balls will hit the shelves on January 24th while the SuperSoft is already available in stores.
Also around the corner for the company are some new putters. Last year, the company introduced the Metal-X putter which featured a first of its kind metal insert comprised of oval depressions on the face. The company is now debuting a milled version using this same technology. According to the company, the Metal-X Roll Technology uses oval depressions in the face to maximize the mechanical lock with the ball’s dimples; this increases friction and produces a more consistent roll. The new Metal-X milled putters also come with adjustable weights so players will be able to fine tune their putter based on varying conditions such as green speed. The putters also have a crossbar that is visible from the back; this stiffens the face. This stabilizes the sound and feel of the putter but doesn’t add much weight.
Odyssey is also adding to the Versa line of putters with the new Jailbird model. The new mallet has the high contrast black and white alignment system, and uses an updated and improved version of the number one insert on tour, which produces consistent sound, feel and performance.
The White Hot Pro line of putters is also getting a new member with the addition of the Havok. Like the Jailbird, the Havok uses the tour proven White hot insert. The new model has a high MOI which gives the putter more forgiveness. The putter also has a lower, deeper center of gravity that helps create forward roll and helps to improve distance control and accuracy.