For my first product review, I’ll be letting you know about some recent experiences I had with the Callaway Tour i(s) golf ball. Last week I had the privilege of using Callaway’s new tour level balls for a round of 18, and Ill do my best to relay my experiences to you in this article. I’ll try and break down the review into several sections that I thought most users would be interested in.
First, and probably least important to 95% of golfers, I want to go over the technical aspects of the golf ball. Callaway boasts their Tour series golf balls as 4 piece golf balls with dual core technology. The dual core technology refers to the two cores inside the golf ball, a soft inner core and harder outer core. The build of the golf ball is very similar to the more popular Titleist Pro v1x; however, the dual core build is not utilized in Titleist’s Pro v1. As many may know, Titleist markets the Prov1 as the softer ball aimed at creating more spin and feel against the Pro v1x as their choice to maximize distance and still provide tour level spin and feel. The Pro v1 is built with a single softer core to maximize the spin and feel of the golf ball on all shots. The dual core technology used by Callaway in the Tour i(s) is structured to maximize spin on wedge and iron shots while maximizing distance when struck with a driver or wood.
The other technological aspect of the golf ball highlighted by Callaway is the hexagonal dimples used on the entire face of the golf ball. I am the wrong person to ask about the actual difference that those dimples make on a golf shot, but Callaway does claim that the dimples help keep shots straight. When using the golf ball, I didn’t notice any difference in the balls straightness than other tour level golf balls.
I may be biased, but I have never been a fan of Callaway’s logo on golf balls. I have always been a fan of clean and simple logo’s and lines on golf balls, and Callaway’s balls have never given me that impression; however, the tour series balls seem to be the most clean and traditional ball available with the Callaway name on it. Although I may not be a believer in the hexagonal dimples ability to straighten out shots, I do enjoy the look of the dimples…again they create pretty clean lines on the golf ball.
In my opinion, the cover of the ball was more durable than most competitor’s tour level golf balls. The cover on most tour level golf balls is relatively soft so that wedges and irons can grab the ball and generate more spin; however, the cover on the ball lasted several holes and several aggressive wedge shots before it started to look significantly worn out, whereas the Pro v1 and Pro v1x seem to get marked up significantly easier.
Although Callaway markets the Tour i(s) as the softer ball with more feel and spin around the greens, I thought it felt more like the Pro v1x than the Pro v1. That may be because the balls structure is much more similar to the Pro v1x than the Pro v1. On drives, I definitely felt like I was hitting a harder ball that is meant to fly off the face. In comparison to the Pro v1, I failed to experience the soft feel claimed from Callaway on irons, wedges, and pitch shots.
The ball definitely delivered on most of the claims made in Callaway’s marketing efforts. The golf ball felt hard and went far when struck off the tee with the Driver or hit out of the fairway with a wood. Furthermore, the golf ball did deliver some on its feel and spin when necessary. I was able to hit several 60-100 yard wedge shots on a few holes and the ball spun consistently without a problem; however, as mentioned above about the feel of the golf ball, I did not experience the spin around the green that is capable with the Titleist Pro v1.
Priced at $42.99, a dozen Callaway Tour i(s) balls will run you a few bucks less than its Titleist or Nike counterparts priced at $45.99. Bridgestone’s tour level golf ball is priced identically to Callaway’s, while Taylormade’s tour level golf ball is priced at $39.99.
For a few bucks less, the Callaway Tour i(s) delivers on every aspect that 95% of golfers need. The ball is as long off the tee as any ball you will find in stores and generates more than enough spin and feel for most golfers. Let’s put it this way, if Ernie Els has no problem putting the ball in his bag, it probably performs well enough for you and me. If you enjoy the super soft feel of the Pro v1 you may be disappointed with a dozen of these, but I usually play Pro v1x balls and the only problem I have with the new tour level balls from Callaway is the bulky logo on the ball, which is much less bulky than I was expecting after seeing some of Callaway’s other golf ball offerings.
I believe that most tour level golf balls are interchangeable for weekend golfers, and the only thing that a weekend golfer needs from a tour level golf ball is the confidence that its going to end in the fairway after every tee shot and in the cup after every putt. I know several people who play these balls and they love them; after playing them myself, I can see the performance is nearly identical to the ball I prefer playing. If you have the confidence that these balls may help lower your score, they just may provide the spark you need to drop a stroke or two off your last outing.
For my next product review I’ll be testing out a glove that is supposed to be the best at keeping sweaty hands and wetness from affecting your shot. I tend to be significantly more sweaty than most on the course, so hopefully I’ll provide a pretty good measuring stick for this new glove. I’ll get back to everyone when I have a pretty good idea of the glove’s ability to stand up to its claims..
Follow me on twitter @mackgolfblog to get updates on products in real time as I review them as well as other chatter about the golfing world in general..
Until next time..Go Heat.