The sixth generation Z-Star from Srixon will suit a wide variety of players who opt for premium model golf balls, while the Z-Star XV will appeal to higher swing speed players and those who enjoy a firmer feel.
COST: $59.95 (dozen).
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: As one would expect, Srixon hasn’t reinvented the wheel from a visual aspect with the new Z-Star, staying true to their bold lettering and simple side stamp. But changes to both models’ performance was instantly noticeable.
Hitting a few putts first to gauge the feel difference between the standard and XV models, the XV was still slightly firmer than the Z-Star but less clicky off the putter face than previous versions. While the Z-Star felt great, the right mix of soft but solid.
Once into the wedges and full shots the feel of the firmer XV continued to standout as one of the big improvements for mine, while the Z-Star proved itself to be a very worthy option for me despite my typical preference for the firmer version of premium model golf balls.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Chipping and pitching with both new Srixon models was a great deal of fun, the balls responding exactly as I would hope when hitting a variety of shots. With a slight, but noticeable difference in the two models’ performance.
I have more experience with the previous Z-Star XV than the Z-Star, and my only critique would be spin being occasionally inconsistent. Srixon has certainly addressed this in the new XV, with the spin, although less than the Z-Star, certainly increased from the previous model.
Around the green, the Z-Star was without fault. Low and high shots were both easy to achieve and the stopping power was outstanding, allowing me to confidently throw the ball close to the hole where I would typically hit a lower running shot.
The further I moved away from the green the more noticeable the variation in the two models became. The XV was very easy to flight down throughout the bag and typically it was a few metres longer with every iron. Whereas I found the XV easier to vary in height, the Z-Star proved to be more workable right and left, which also meant my misses although not dramatic were slightly wider too.
One of the reasons I have preferred the XV over the Z-Star in previous years is its performance with the longer clubs, but this year’s versions might cause a change for me.
During my testing I did manage to hit the XV slightly further with the driver and 3-wood, but the flight of the Z-Star suited my eye a little more and the distance seemed better and more on par with the firmer XV than in previous models. The feel off the driver face was also a real standout feature.
Both balls were very durable and the new ‘Spin Skin’ lasted as well as it performed, with Srixon again producing a premium ball that seems to be a brighter white than some others.
Overall I enjoyed the performance of both models, with the standard Z-Star slightly pipping the Z-Star XV, which has always been a favourite model of mine. The all-round performance of the standard model and its improvement off the tee make it a great golf ball for a wide range of players, while the XV continues to offer a firmer feeling option that performs well at high swing speeds.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: The Z-Star will suit a wide variety of players who opt for premium model golf balls, while the Z-Star XV will appeal to higher swing speed players and those who enjoy a firmer feel.
SRIXON SAYS: The sixth generation Z-Star series features the all-new ‘FastLayer’ core. It starts soft in the centre and gradually becomes firmer around its edge, greatly enhancing ball speed for maximum distance, while maintaining exceptional feel at impact.
The new Z-STAR Series golf balls feature new Spin Skin technology with ‘Slide-Ring Material’ (SeRM), a urethane compound that coats the cover of every Z-Star golf ball. By taking unprecedented levels of shearing force without breaking its molecular bonds, Spin Skin with SeRM is able to dig deep into your wedge and iron grooves, dramatically increasing friction and maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power on every shot.
The 338 ‘Speed Dimple’ pattern on each Z-Star improves overall aerodynamics for better flight performance, even in the toughest wind conditions.
The Z-Star XV features a softer urethane cover and Spin Skin with SeRM. It utilises a four-piece construction with a smaller inner core and larger outer core for more distance off the tee, while the Z-Star employs a three-piece construction and slightly increased compression with a harder mantle layer for more ball speed, reduced spin and more distance.
For more information visit www.srixon.com.au