Callaway HX Pearl Golf Balls:  Are They the Perfect Ladies Ball?

Currently discontinued but still being sold at some locations, Callaway HX Pearl golf balls have been popular with female golfers since they were first released (in 2006, I think). These balls are so nice, they made some ladies think they'd died and gone to heaven as soon as they hit their first drive. Their place in Callaway's lineup of balls has recently been usurped by the Solaire, but many are hoping that dropping the Pearl won't be permanent. Women have been contacting the company, trying to get them to bring their beloved Callaway HX Pearl golf balls back onto the market. We'll see what happens.

The luminous, lustrous "pearlized" finish on the cover makes these balls stand out visually. In fact, their distinctive appearance makes it difficult to hit someone else's ball accidentally. Although the difference in their appearance is subtle and doesn't shout at you the way a yellow or pink ball would, you can literally distinguish your ball from everyone else's from 20 or 30 yards away. And, every woman I've played with that uses these balls loves the way they look.

Looks aren't everything, though. Performance is what really counts when you're talking about golf balls. And these balls deliver the type of performance that matches their pleasing appearance. They were Callaway's first ball designed specifically for lady golfers, and they were a resounding success - so much so that I've seen several distance-seeking men playing them even though their looks probably appeal more to women.

Despite their somewhat feminine appearance, they are essentially a softer adaptation of Callaway's popular HX Hot ball. Both the Pearl and the HX Hot are three-piece "distance balls" that incorporate a large, soft synthetic rubber core, a mantle layer (inner cover) and a firm ionomer outer cover designed to increase distance off the driver and resist being cut on iron shots. The company's innovative "HEX Aerodynamics" is also an important part of the design of Callaway HX Pearl golf balls (as well as the HX Hot).

HEX technology uses a pattern of hexagonal indentations on the ball's cover instead of conventional round dimples. Callaway developed this "HEX pattern" to reduce drag and encourage long, straight shots even when it's windy. It works, in my experience - and I live in Florida, where 20 mph winds are common. When I'm playing Callaway HX Pearl golf balls, I get respectable carry and a lot of roll under a variety of weather conditions, including high winds. A nice additional benefit of HEX Aerodynamics is the virtually seamless ball it creates. Seamless balls permit greater ball-striking consistency.

The end result of all this technology is a ball that makes it easier for players with slower swing speeds to hit the ball longer and straighter. But that's not all that Callaway HX Pearl golf balls have to offer.

The HX Pearl feels and sounds soft - every bit as soft as one of my other favorite balls, the TaylorMade/Maxfli Noodle. Well-struck balls feel like you're slicing through butter, and it comes off the putter face smoothly. However, instead of the ball spinning back on a wedge shot it tends to release on the green. Luckily for me, my favorite chipping style is the bump-and-run, not a high lob I want to check up wherever the balls lands on the green. This ball pulls the bump-and-run off perfectly by releasing nicely.

Callaway HX Pearl golf balls are also forgiving, both distance-wise and directionally. Their ability to reduce backspin and sidespin off the driver makes them longer and more accurate than many other balls. That makes them an excellent choice for players - men or women - who have problems striking the ball consistently.

These balls are even pretty durable. The only time I scuffed them was when they struck a cart path on the fly, and even then they were still playable.

The Bottom Line: For the type of player they're designed for, Callaway HX Pearl golf balls could be perfect. If you're looking for exceptional distance with a soft feel, buy these whenever you can. They've recently been discontinued, so if you like them you might consider stockpiling before they disappear. This is one of my all-time favorite balls, and it's not because I'm a woman. It's just a great ball overall. Sure, I'd probably prefer playing a Titleist Pro V1, but not when they're twice the price of Callaway HX Pearl golf balls!

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