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An inside look at Callaway's new golf balls

Callaway Big Bertha Diablo golf balls
Callaway Big Bertha Diablo golf balls

Callaway's golf balls are easy to spot in a crowd. Instead of traditionally shaped circular dimples, they have interlocking hexagons (that's six sides, for those of you who've forgotten your geometry). The company says those little hexagons give their balls more stability the air.

Here's the scoop on two new Callaway balls, as well as information about the company's super-premium models.

Big Bertha Diablo, $24/dozen (New)
Designed to go hand-in-hand with the new Big Bertha Diablo line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, Callaway's new Big Bertha Diablo golf ball is a two-piece design made for players who unapologetically want more distance and accuracy off the tee. Callaway says it achieved this by using a highly-resilient proprietary rubber in the core that increases the ball's velocity off the tee and reduces spin. That should mean more yards off the tee to go along with a softer feel, but less spin on short game shots. The softness comes from the cover, which is a scant .043" thick.

HX Hot Plus, $28/dozen (New)
A three-piece ball designed for mid- to low-handicap players, the HX Hot Plus generates similar ball speed to HX Hot, but with less spin off the long clubs. This tweak should give you improved distance. The rubber core is lower compression than the HX Hot for improved feel. A thicker inner cover than the HX Hot adds to overall softness.

Tour i and Tour ix, $46/dozen (Super Premium)
These four-piece balls are the model of choice for Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. The inner and outer cores are made from synthetic rubber, which is then encased within an Ionomer mantle and surrounded by an injection-molded cover that is just .5mm thick. According to Steve Ogg, Callaway's vice president of golf ball research and development, "We have taken the high-density materials out of the inner core and placed them in the outer core. That moves weight toward the outside of the golf ball, which increases the moment of inertia of the golf ball." Translation: The Tour i and Tour ix balls will spin less with your driver and more with wedges and short irons.

According to Ogg, the real difference between the two is that the Tour ix emphasizes distance-enhancing qualities more than the Tour i, which places a slightly greater emphasis on control. "We want to give people a choice as to how much control they want," he said.

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