Srixon Z-Star/Z-Star X Ball Review

The new Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star X come close to other premium balls in distance and spin but lack in feel.

Z-StarWhen the 800-pound gorilla in the market (see: Titleist) releases a new version of their premium balls, what are their competitors to do? Srixon has answered the challenge with the release of their newest balls, the Z-Star and Z-Star X.

With names like that it is pretty easy to see that Srixon wants to directly challenge Titleist and take the gorilla head on. Some PGA Tour pros, including Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and Tim Clark have been using the Z-Star line of balls since they came out. In a short time, the Z-Star and Z-Star X has grabbed a decent chunk of the premium ball market on the PGA Tour.

The question remains: will it be enough to convince the rest of the golfers out there to not only give the new Srixon’s a try, but to convert? Read on to find out if it could convert this long-time Pro V1x user.

2009 Titleist Pro V1/Pro V1x Balls Review

The Pro V1 and Pro V1x have had a makeover, creating a slightly longer and more durable ball.

Pro V1/Pro V1x HeroTitleist has had the number one ball on the market for as long as I can remember, and I have a few gray hairs. Every two years Titleist releases a new version of their high-end balls. I sometimes think that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Titleist seems to use the mantra of “every moment we rest gives our competitors a chance to catch up.”

With that, Titleist has released all new versions of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x in an attempt to keep their competitors at an arm’s length and keep a tight grip on their tremendous market share. So how do you improve the number one ball on the market? Well, there are a few ways but you’ll have to read on to find out what those are and if it made a difference to this long-time Titleist player.

Callaway and Titleist’s Legal Battle, Round 38

Short answer: you’ll still be able to buy Pro V1s this year. Don’t believe everything your buddies at the club tell you – there’s a lot of misinformation about this lawsuit. Here are some of the facts.

Recently Callaway celebrated a minor victory in their long-running legal battle with Titleist over patents related to the manufacturing process used to create Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. A few weeks back, Titleist celebrated their own small victory when the U.S. Patent Office ruled the four applicable patents invalid.

Despite the now invalid patents, a Delaware judge recently granted Callaway a permanent injunction against Titleist for the sale and distribution of Pro V1 golf balls manufactured under the patents in dispute in the U.S.

However, Titleist quickly responded to point out that since September, they’d shifted their manufacturing process to a new one clear of these patents, and that production, distribution, and sale of Pro V1 and Pro V1x will not be hindered. This shift in manufacturing has been planned for quite some time and is not the result of the lawsuit. Please see paragraph two of Titleist’s official response (below) for more on that. If you were wondering whether there would be new Pro V1s in 2009, you’ll also want to read the response.

Titleist Boxes

For those deeply interested – or for those who are as confused as I am about how what are now invalid patents can be used to form an injunction – I recommend you check out David Dawsey’s in the coming weeks.

Caesar Featherie Dimpleless Golf Ball Review

There’s no other golf ball like the Caesar. Find out why in this review.

Ceasar Dimpleless Golf BallA baseball pitcher can make the ball curve because the stitched seams disrupt an otherwise smooth surface. The seams “grip” the air when the baseball is in flight and can cause the ball to curve, dip, rise, and dive on its way to the plate, frustrating batters.

The golf ball’s equivalent of seams are dimples. Every reasonably well-struck shot in golf has backspin, and backspin creates aerodynamic lift, which keeps a golf ball climbing in the air well beyond what would be its maximum height without the aid of lift. The dimples, like the seams of a baseball, provide a little “grip.”

Of course, the downside is that the same is true in the horizontal direction as well: any sidespin applied to the golf ball will result in the dimples “gripping” the air and turning the ball to the left or right. Good players can play draws and fades, but bad players are plagued by hooks and slices.

The folks at Caesar Golf Company have eliminated the problems of hooks and slices by – get this – eliminating the dimples. Their ball, the Caesar “Featherie,” is round like a pool ball. Unfortunately, eliminating hooks and slices also eliminates the aerodynamic lift, so the Featheries are also a shorter golf ball.

We played several rounds with the Featherie. Read on to see if we feel the tradeoff is worth it.

Titleist NXT Tour/Extreme Balls Review

If you think Ian MacCallister was miffed with the old Titleist NXT line, he’s really going to be stark raving mad with the new ones.

Titleist NXTUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen quite a bit of Ian MacCallister expound on the evil virtues of Titleist’s new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme golf balls. While the ads are quite humorous, Titleist seemed to be quite serious in giving the NXT line a facelift, which is pretty impressive since the older versions both were rated Gold on Golf Digest’s 2007 Hot List.

I’ve been using the first generation of the NXT Tour for the past several years. The original NXT Tour was a good all-around ball, and I didn’t have to worry quite so much about losing them as I would a $5 ball. They were, in short, a great blend of value and performance. They were also quite durable… and durability matters when you scrape your ball around the trees and off the cart paths. My only real complaint with the original NXT Tour was how soft it felt off the putter.

Ian MacCallister Launches

Ian MacCallister had a chance to break a course record before. What will he do with the new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme?

Ian MacCallister, Titleist NXT-hater extraordinaire, recently registered the domain name “” and has launched an anti-NXT blog. Ian, the chairman and founder of Golf Designers Against Distance (GDAD), tells us that the site will feature a blog, persuasive video anti-technology rants from his mother’s basement, and will spread the word about how easy the distance and feel of the new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme make the game of golf.

MacCallister has put a lot of energy into educating consumers about the dangerous golf balls from Titleist, but is apparently ramping up efforts in light of Titleist’s new releases. The updated versions of Titleist’s NXT duo will launch worldwide Monday, July 15.

Nike One Black/Platinum Balls Review

The Nike Platinum and Black balls improve on their previous versions but still fall a bit short of the other premium balls in the market.

Nike one Black/Platinum Balls HeroNike jumped into the golf ball arena a few years ago and has not looked back. The Nike Platinum has enjoyed some success on Tour, and not just by way of Tiger Woods, but other top players like Rory Sabbatini, Stewart Cink, Trevor Immelman, and Paul Casey as well. While Nike’s balls may be lagging market leaders Titleist and the Pro V1 duo, the Portland, OR based sports equipment behemoth has fully established themselves in the ball market with no intention of leaving.

With Tiger at the helm they have designed two premium balls for better players: Nike ONE Platinum and the Nike ONE Black (the ONE Gold having been ditched for 2007). Both have gone through a recent makeover to improve upon an already popular ball. I’ve been a loyal Titleist ball player for years, so I was eager to see how the Nikes would stand up. Read on to see if I’ll be playing balls with a swoosh instead of cursive this year.

One Ball to Rule them All?

The OGA’s uniform ball experiment was not even a success in the eyes of the anti-ball crowd.

OGA Uniform BallA few months back, the rebel Ohio Golf Association (which once legalized the tamping down of spike marks) bucked the rules once again and played their “Champions” event with a uniform ball. The results? OGA officials came to realize that golf ball technology is a complex science.

What’s more, they came to realize that a uniform ball is decidedly not the way to solve the distance dilemma some believe exists in modern golf.

Nike Juice to Launch in November

The Nike Juice ball arrives at our offices and plays off Viagra and other ED medications, among other things. Have a look.

Nike Juice LogoNike will introduce a new golf ball on November 1. The “Juice” is a 312-dimple surlyn-covered golf ball designed for more carry and distance for the low- to mid-head speed player who “needs a little more Juice.”

Nike sent The Sand Trap a unique teaser promotion for the new ball, and though it doesn’t quite suit my game (I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Pro V1x kinda guy myself), I’ve got to give the marketing and sports equipment giant props for thinking outside the box on this one.

We’re bored today, as the Ryder Cup is still a few days off, so we’ll give this little deal the full treatment. Read on for pictures and more information.