Srixon Golf has quietly gone out and added some pretty hefty firepower to their tour lineup and now they are gunning for premium ball supremacy with their new Z Star lineup.
Featuring two distinct balls, the Z Star and the Z Star X, Srixon is boasting about "switching to a better ball" with its marketing and by looking at the technology behind the Z Star line, they very well could have a contender for best in class for the premium ball category.
Read on as we check out what makes the Z Star tick.
So how did they come up with Star? The clever folks at Srixon came with Spin, Trajectory, Acceleration, and Responsiveness. The Z Star is a three-piece ball with a very thin urethane cover (Z-Coat Exterior Layer) to help provide spin and control on approach shots to the green. An elastic ionomer mid-layer "creates a smooth transition to the core for greater control and distance." Smooth is a good thing. The core is where it's at though. The Energetic Gradient Growth Core (clever, clever) is a design which features gradual compression from the center of the ball out to the perimeter (goes from soft to firm) in order to create lower spin and high ball speed.
The trajectory for that every popular "aggressive" ball flight is aided by the Powershear Dimple Technology. The older Z-series balls had 330 dimples while the new Z Star has 324 "low drag with high coverage" dimples to give you the best amount of spin through your ball flight. Also, the Invisiseam Technology makes sure of the uniformity of the dimples across the entire surface of the ball to give you consistent flight and performance.
You can thank the Energetic Gradient Growth Core for the acceleration given to the Z Star with it's gradual compression which works with the ultra-thin cover to help transfer the energy to the core to improve distance as well as to help reduce energy that is lost in the cover. That exterior layer is softer which provides you with added feel and control on the "touch-shots" around the green as with the putter.
Z Star X
Like it's sibling, the Z Star, the X version is three-piece construction as well and shares many of the same design characteristics (dimples, thin cover, etc). However, it more designed for the higher swing-speed golfer +105 mph) who is gunning for "extreme tour distance."
The main difference is a slightly firmer cover as well as a firmer core (104 compression) than the Z Star in order to accommodate the big hitters of the world. Figure the Z Star X for more distance and the Z Star, which is a bit softer for a more feel.
Availability and Price
The Z-Star line is available now and carries a price tag of about $40, which now seems to be the lower end of the premium ball category.
Final Thoughts (plus rant)
I haven't played Srixon balls with the exception of the few I've found on the course so it's hard for me to determine how they stack up to the rest of the premium category. That being said, I'll be sure to pick up a sleeve of each to try out as it's always fun to to try out the latest and greatest from the ball companies. Bring on spring!
Short Bag Drop this week which gives me an opportunity to throw out some thoughts about having been out wandering through the aisles at some sporting goods/golf shops in my neck of the woods.
The amount of inventory on the sales floor is mind-blowing. You really have to carefully navigate the stores as seemingly every square inch of sales floor space has been taken up by a display rack of the latest and greatest.
The sheer amount of equipment that sits around unsold is really quite insane and the prices these are listed at makes me wonder just who thinks this stuff up. I realize you want to make a couple of bucks to pay for the R&D, etc. but to ask $150 for a driver that came out in ahem, 2002 is just plain dumb (so is having six different displays for the same company).
Technology does change a bit from year to year but one has to wonder about having four (or more) drivers on display at the same time and then dropping the price from last year's $400 model to $199 and thinking that I'm going to run out and pay that price when I can just wait a bit longer and it will go down even more. Why anyone buys at full retail when a new driver comes out is beyond me. For the average golfer, we're talking about adding a few yards at most, which you would get if you properly fitted in the first place.