The early April is to tax accountants what early January is to Golf equipment writers- every minor, major, and wanna be Golf company has something new to read about.
Golf balls get lost in the shuffle if it’s not a major brand to update. Srixon is a major brand its Q-Star tour line of balls is in that nether region between Tour-level balls and garden variety two or three-piece ionomer balls.
Q – Star Tour is an interesting ball in a weird category.
Not Quite Tour Level
Tour level balls are clearly Tier – 1. The tier 3 balls are $24 – $26 per dozen ionomer balls with some firmness and spin tech built-in, while tier 4 balls are basic, soft, two-piece ionomer balls in the range of $ 20 per dozen. Tier- 2 is a bit weird.
You will find the likes of Taylor made a project (a), Titleist Tour Soft, Wilson Duo Professional, and others. Some have urethane covers, others ionomers, but all are softer than Tier 1 balls while touting enough spin for the average Joe. They are also costing $30-$ 35 per dozen range.
Consumer Tour brands like – Snell is less expensive than Tour-level balls, no doubt, and sells you Tour-level balls in bulk for the price of a Tier 3 ball. It is a weird category.
Q – Star Tour was first introduced by Srixon, 3 years ago as a three-piece, urethane ball for those who don’t swing it like Shane, Keegan, or Hideki. Compression was the biggest difference. The most recent Z Star has a compression of 90. Z Star XV is at 102.
The original Q Star tour had compression of 75 (new version like General 2 is 72) Srixon could have called it Z Star Soft because of its performance characteristics.
The most recent Z-STAR technology is Generation 3 of the Q – STAR Tour – specifically FastLayer Core of Srixon and the latest version of Spin Skin – with a new alignment aid.
Cores, Skins, and Arrows
SRI stands for Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the Japanese tire, and rubber giant that owns Dunlop Sports, Ltd, and Srixon – Cleveland – XXIO. To develop new core technology like it’s Japanese itoko Bridgestone, Srixon leverages its homegrown rubber engineering juice.
As is consistent in the ball industry, Tour-level technology works its way into Tier 2 offerings. With Q- Star Tour, the Fast layer Core, and Serm coating.
Fast layer made its debut in the current generation Z – Star Line. The fast layer is relatively soft on the inside and gets slowly firmer on the outside.
Srixon and other ball makers get there through a combination of rubber chemistry with time, pressure variations, and temperature during the baking process.
Srixon’s marketing director Brian Schielke says that” the core acts like it’s been from thousands of really thin cores. “
With the Z – star, the FastLayer core allows Srixon to make it just a bit larger in the Q Star Tour, than the previous model which showed Srixon’s older energetic gradient growth (ECG) core.
According to Srixon, the result should be all distance and short game spin the same as its Tour balls with a softer feel at 72 compressions.
Schielke says – “Software does produce lower ball speeds, but ball speed isn’t the only thing that impacts distance. The Fast Layer Core helps Q – Star has high launch and low spin relative to compression, it’s really long off the driver and irons, even the actual ball speed might not be as high as Z – Star.”
The new Q – Star Tour ball also has the latest version of citizens Spin Skin with SeRM or Slide Ring Material. The cover is of urethane and SeRM is an additional urethane coating bonding the cover on a molecular level.
Serm crosslinks urethane molecules, making them more flexible and stronger at the same time, enhancing both spin and durability.
“SeRM is ultra – elastic for more greenside control and spin; it gives us that one happened stock performance on the green, ” says Schielke.
Srixon is adding a bold alignment side stamping to the Q – Star Tour.
Price, Availability and Final Thoughts
The new Fast layer Core and SeRM coating are adding to Q – Star Tour’s price of $3 per dozen increase from $ 29.99 – $32.99.
” These are the same technologies as used on Z Star Tour Level balls, they are not easy to manufacture. says Schielke.
This price tag is right with other Tier – 2 balls, also in the wheelhouse of direct to consumer brands like Vice and Snell, which offers Tier 1 balls at the same price, or if bought in bulk. Srixon stands on its performance, consistency, and quality to justify its asking price.
Since 1930 Golf balls have been engineered with the focus to get better each generation, all those years of improving, testing, and perfecting each aspect of the Golf ball has resulted in high quality, top-performing balls today.
Direct-to-consumer is growing, most Golf balls are sold by the major brands either online or at retail- it is a comfort level thing. Titleist dominates the field with Callaway at second. After that is a horse race between Bridgestone, Taylor-made, and Srixon.
Srixon leaped Bridgestone into 4th place in units sold in the bull market last year, nearly a month, it was due to Bogo promotion on the Z Star line.
It again slid back to a fifth-place once the promotion was over, but the promo did its job as Srixon’s overall market share increased. Srixon has never been bashful about sales promos, another Z- Star deal this summer or spring will not be a shock, as well as late-season promo on the new Q – Star Tour.
The new Q Star Tour will cost $ 32.99 per dozen and available in pure white and Tour yellow and will hit the stores and the world wide web.