Callaway Diablo Review – Who Is This Golf Ball Ideal For?
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on December 12, 2023

You’ve likely heard that the Callaway Supersoft is the brand’s flagship ball for slow swing speed high handicappers.

However, in this post, I introduce you to its lesser-known relative as I conduct an honest review of Callaway Diablo (also known as the Hex Diablo) golf balls. I’ll explain why I actually prefer it to the Supersoft as a moderate swing speed golfer.

After walking away from this review, you’ll know what components comprise the Diablo. I’ll also reveal its spin rate, ball speed, distance, and launch from tee to green for a complete overview of its performance. Finally, I’ll explain how the ball worked for my moderate swing and whether slow or fast swingers can excel.

callaway hex diablo golf balls

Features

Two-Piece Ball

Callaway employed two layers to create the Diablo golf balls, settling for a Large Center Core and a Soft Ionomer Blend Cover. Together, these features restrict spin on long game strikes, accelerate ball speed, and encourage a high, powerful-looking shot.

Distance aside, the two-piece design is typically softer, easier to compress, and offers limited greenside spin. The reduced short-game control and feel aren’t suited to low handicappers. However, mid and high handicappers will still enjoy the shot-stopping power prompted by its high launch and ball flight.

Large Center Core

I felt the Large Center Core was the brains behind the golf ball, optimizing energy transfer for maximum rebound and compression. The enhanced compression helped me accelerate ball speed and minimize spin on metal woods and long iron strikes.

The optimal spring off the clubface encouraged an effortless launch and consistent distance off the tee and on approach. A trait most slower swing speed high handicappers will welcome.

Soft Ionomer Blend Cover

Ionomer is traditionally a harder material than urethane, providing superb durability and low spin off the clubface. I was impressed with the reformulation of the Hex Diablo cover, which proved softer and more responsive than the average ionomer material.

I was amazed by the feel and feedback of each strike considering the ionomer cover. However, in the interest of managing expectations, it didn’t feel as soft as the Chrome Soft X I tested on the same day. But it was impressive for a 2-piece golf ball.

As expected, the low spin rate remained the theme when I pulled out my wedges. My backspin rpm was low, but the mid to high flight caused the ball to bite quickly on short approach shots, providing an element of control.

Hex Aerodynamic Pattern

Callaway applied their famed Hex Aerodynamic dimple pattern to the Diablo, which performed as expected. It minimized drag on the take-off and boosted lift to extend my ball flight and carry distance. The same characteristics I experienced with the Callaway Warbird, except the Diablo felt softer and was a pleasure on short shots in comparison.

Callaway touted the ball as delivering penetrating flight, but I produced a medium to high apex, which suits my game.

Alignment Arrow

The alignment arrow was underwhelming in my eyes. The words “Diablo” are flanked by two thin lines to point your clubface in the direction of the fairway or the cup. You may prefer a robust alignment arrow like the one found on the TaylorMade Distance + if you’re not operating with 20/20 vision.

Colors

The Hex golf balls are only available in the traditional tour white finish, which worked for me since I’ve always played the standard option. Despite my satisfaction, the range isn’t ideal for players with visual impairments seeking a design to trace in the air and detect in the cabbage patch.

It also doesn’t suit stylish golfers who enjoy adding color into their game in the form of orange, yellow, green, or red golf balls.

Performance

Price

When I compare a Callaway Diablo to the Chrome Soft X price-wise, the former is a bargain. However, they’re different balls. The Diablo consists of 2 layers designed to launch effortlessly, spin low, and fly far. However, its greenside play is far off a premium golf ball’s metrics.

Overall, I found the Diablo expensive for a 2-piece golf ball, with a box setting you back $10 more than the Warbirds. But, its feel and feedback were worth the extra spend in my mind, and it was an easy launching golf ball for my moderate swing speed to control.

Feel

I thought the Diablo felt soft in hand and off the clubface compared to my experience with the Warbird range. I especially enjoyed the sensation as my iron, wedge, and putter face struck the ball. The Soft Ionomer Cover showed why Callaway charges more for the Diablo than their other distance balls like the Supersoft.

Sound

The sound was clicky on iron and wedge shots as well as off the putter face. I didn’t expect anything different, as it seems to be a theme with most distance golf balls I strike. Although not suited to my ears, the sound of the ball had little impact on its performance.

High Compression

I wasn’t able to determine the exact compression score of the Diablo, but I’d place it in the realm of a low to medium-compression ball. My energy transfer was outstanding on long shots, and I produced superb ball speed and low spin for maximum distance.

It proved an easy golf ball to launch with my moderate swing speed, ideal for boosting flight and distance consistency.

Spin

Driver

I produced 400 rpm less spin with the Diablo off the tee box, averaging just over 2100 rpm. It didn’t look like it made a world of difference to the naked eye, but it turns out that I produced more roll than usual after landing.

Irons

My long and mid-iron spin rate was impressively low, which I attributed to the added rebound at impact and accelerated ball speed. My 7-iron dipped under 5000 rpm which is 600 rpm lower than my average. The low spin combined with my rapid ball speed to optimize my distance on approach.

Wedge

Low spin was the order of the day as I tested the Diablo’s short-game ability. My pitching wedge conjured 8700 rpm, making it close to 1000 rpm below my average spin rate. Luckily, the ball still stops rapidly on short approach shots and pitch shots, owing to its mid-to-high launch.

The ball didn’t bite immediately, but I never rolled more than 2 to 3 yards further than the landing zone.

Ball Speed

Driver

The Callaway Diablo golf balls generated increased driver ball speed thanks to its reactive core, supercharged rebound, and low spin. The radar clocked my ball leaving the driver at an average of 141.3 mph, which is over 1 mph higher than my average.

Irons

The powerful launch and rapid speed continued on my long and mid-iron shots. My ball generated 117.5 mph of ball speed during the 7-iron test, which is 1.5 mph faster than my average. Again, the highly compressible, easy-launching design was a suitable match for my clubhead speed.

Distance

Driver

I welcomed the distance delivered by the Callaway Diablo balls on tee shots as they surpassed my standard yardage. I notched up 276 yards with the big stick, which is 2 yards farther than my average results. The optimal rebound, rapid ball speed, and low spin joined forces to produce exceptional distance.

Irons

My distance on approach continued to impress, as I surpassed my 7-iron average by 1.5 yards. I sent the ball 150.5 yards thanks to the responsive core, spin-restricting cover, fast core, and aerodynamic dimple pattern.

Launch and Flight

The box suggested that the Diablo produced a penetrating trajectory, which suits skilled golfers seeking greater control of their golf ball. However, I discovered the ball launching along a pleasant medium to high trajectory before stabilizing and maintaining altitude for optimal carry distance.

I found it easy to get the ball airborne, which enhanced my long and mid-game distance and consistency.

What I Like About The Callaway Diablo

Aerodynamic

I loved the high-quality performance of the aerodynamic Hex dimple pattern. It cleared drag as my ball left the clubface for a smooth ascent and medium to high flight trajectory. I thought the aerodynamics also performed well at the back end of the flight, as it increased left to extend my carry distance.

Low Driver Spin

I welcomed the reduced driver spin delivered by the Diablo. It helped me preserve ball speed and generate a consistently powerful launch. It also contributed to my additional roll after landing, which totaled 12 yards with the driver.

Highly Compressible

My moderate swing speed appreciated the compressibility of the Callaway Diablo, leading to superb long and mid-game launch and distance. The ball rebounds smoothly off the face on high-impact shots, leading to accelerated ball speed, low spin, optimal launch, carry, and total length.

Shot Stopping Power

Despite the lack of iron and wedge spin, I thought the Diablo produced acceptable shot-stopping power. This was mainly thanks to the increased lift from the aerodynamics, which created a sharper descent angle, causing the ball to sit quicker than other distance balls.

I seldom saw the ball rolling beyond 2 yards on approach, which still kept me in the vicinity of the cup.

Moderately Affordable

Although marginally more expensive than other Callaway 2-piece golf balls, I still find the Diablo an affordable option. Especially for mid-handicappers like myself, who want that extra bit of long game distance without playing a rock-hard ball like the Warbird.

What I Dislike About The Callaway Diablo

Minimal Greenside Spin

Naturally, I’d love to have produced a higher spin rate around the green, but that’s the nature of the distance golf balls. They’re easy to launch and generate consistent distance. On the downside, you sacrifice spin and control around the green.

No Alternative Colors

The lack of alternative colors doesn’t impact me directly, but it’s less than suitable for golfers with visual impairments. If you’re looking for a colorful golf ball that’s easier to trace in the air, I suggest the Callaway Supersoft range.

Conversely, if you’re content with a standard white cover golf ball and demand increased long-game distance, think about the Callaway Diablo.

 

Overall Rating and Thoughts

My Callaway Diablo golf balls review revealed an easily compressible, low-spinning, and high-launching golf ball for moderate swing speeds. It’s not the cheapest distance ball on the market, but it delivered impressive yardage off the tee, and consistent flight make up for it.

I didn’t produce much approach or short game spin, but the Soft Blend Ionomer cover helped the ball bite faster than other 2-piece designs. In my experience, the Callaway Diablo golf balls work for moderate swing speed mid-handicappers. They boost distance and provide a softer feel than other entry-level products.

Overall Score: 8.6/10

 

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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8