Srixon Z Star versus Srixon Q Star/Q Star Tour
Check back for a review of the Srixon Q Star Tour Divide which is coming soon….
Srixon has recently decided to market their Q Star line of balls in Europe. This brings the models into line with the North American market.
I first came across the Q Star ball during a visit to Canada a couple of years ago. This was well before the Q Star branding became available in the UK and so I was intrigued to try out this ball in comparison with my regular ball, the Z Star.
Based on the packaging and the pricing I assumed it was the US equivalent of the AD333 which I knew at the time was one of the most popular balls in the UK.
|Z Star||Q Star Tour||Q Star|
|Construction||Three-piece urethane||Three-piece urethane||Two-piece ionomer|
|Greenside spin||Highest||Very high||High|
As I discussed in my golf ball buying guide, manufacturers produce a variety of golf balls each offering different attributes. Each model will target different types of players.
The Q Star is a two-piece ball primarily designed for mid to high handicappers looking for distance and value for money.
The Q Star Tour is a halfway house looking to provide similar performance to the premium Z Star ball but for a lower price.
The information in the table above would suggest that it will be difficult to tell the Q Star Tour and the Z Star apart. The biggest difference is their compression. Many players would probably be able to detect the difference when hitting shots.
It’s likely that any other differences would only be detectable with the use of a launch monitor.
The Z Star is my preferred ball so I am undoubtedly a little biased but here is a quick rundown for each of the balls.
Srixon Z Star
It is designed to give the best possible distance off the tee while still maintaining a soft feel around the greens. To help achieve this, the latest model of the Z Star features what Srixon calls their “fastlayer” core. “A special heat treatment bakes speed into the outer portions of the core yet leaves the center satisfyingly soft”.
The cover is designed to generate maximum spin. It features an extra-thin urethane cover. In addition, Srixon has developed their Spin Skin coating and slide-ring material (SeRM). This helps to increase friction to maximize spin on pitches and chips.
The ball offers “exceptional flight performance in windy conditions”
The Z-Star is an ideal premium choice for anyone within “average” (male) amateur swing speed. Around 90 to 100 mph.
The only con with this ball is the price. Although compared with Pro V1s they are still relatively cheap. If you are prone to losing multiple balls per round then you might find these balls are too expensive.
Srixon Q Star Tour
This ball is aiming to be a halfway house between two-piece distance balls and the premium Z Star range.
Similar features to the Z star including:
- Urethane cover
- Three-piece construction
- Good distance
- High spin
- It has a lower compression which would suit players with slower swing speeds for example 75 miles an hour to 90 mph.
- Its recommended retail price is around $5 cheaper than the Z Star.
- Would probably feel a bit too soft if your swing speed is “average”
Srixon Q Star
This is a two-piece ball and is primarily designed for mid to high-handicap golfers. They tend to prize distance and durability more highly than feel or spin. In the UK it used to be known as the AD333.
- Probably the biggest pro is the cost. Approximately $15 cheaper than the Z Star.
- Durability. The ionomer cover should last longer than the urethane cover on the more expensive balls. It should also cope better with any mishits. An important factor for the type of player this ball is targeted at.
- It is a fairly low compression ball so could be used by players with slower swing speeds which again matches the type of player the ball is being aimed at.
- Will probably feel too soft unless you have a slowish swing speed.
Value for Money
Based on their relative recommended retail prices the case could be made either way for the urethane-covered models.
Over the many years that I have played the Srixon Z Star, I have generally found it to be available at a significant discount.
Assuming you are able to secure a significant discount I would still veer towards the Z Star unless your swing speed is better suited to the Q Star Tour
Difference Between Srixon Q Star and Z Star
The main difference between the two balls is their type of construction. The Z Star is a premium ball aimed at more skilled golfers and is a three-piece construction with a urethane cover.
The Q Star is a two-piece ball with an ionomer cover that is aimed at higher handicappers or those looking for a cheaper alternative to premium balls.
The Q Star has a lower compression rating meaning that golfers with a slower swing speed should feel that the ball is softer in comparison to the Z-Star compression.
Srixon Q Star Tour vs Pro V1
The Srixon Q Star Tour is a 3-piece urethane ball so is a similar construction to the Pro V1. However, the compression rating is significantly lower so would suit golfers that prefer a softer feeling ball and don’t want to compromise too much on spin. It’s also a bit cheaper than the Titleist Pro V1. Although it isn’t really aimed at exactly the same market segment.
Z Star Diamond
Srixon has launched a new ball in the Z Star range called the Z Star Diamond. This is meant to offer greater spin on approach shots with long and mid irons. Brooks Koepka has signed up to play this ball. I will attempt to do some testing in a Z-Star Diamond review.
Srixon Z-Star vs Z-Star XV
The Z-Star and Z-Star XV are the Srixon equivalents to the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. They are tour quality balls using either 3-piece or 4-piece construction with urethane covers. The XV like the Pro V1x has a higher compression rating making faster swingers more likely to use it.
Srixon Z Star versus Srixon Q Star/Q Star Tour: Conclusion
The Srixon Q Star Tour offers a reasonable alternative to the Z Star without any massive performance sacrifices. Those of you with slightly slower swing speeds or those who prefer a softer feeling ball may find that the Q Star Tour is the right fit for you.
If you have a higher swing speed (90+ mph) then you would probably find the Z Star a better fit. For those with swing speeds above 105 mph then the Z Star XV could be the ball for you particularly if you want to bring your spin rates down.
If like me you are a bit of a golf snob then you may decide to play a premium ball even if it doesn’t necessarily suit your game.
Whenever you are choosing a golf ball it really comes down to 2 factors.
1. Price. If you can’t afford to pay $40-$50 for a dozen balls then there’s no point considering balls in that price bracket. Similarly, if you are losing multiple balls per round it’s probably not worth splashing out on top-end golf balls.
2. Matching your golf game to the specifications of the ball.
Most golfers are probably looking for that magic combination of huge distance and tremendous spin. In reality, they will be better off finding a ball designed to suit their particular game. Try to get your swing speed measured on a launch monitor and use that as a guide for the sort of balls you should shortlist.
I would also suggest going for a ball that you feel most comfortable with around the greens as this is where the lion’s share of your shots will take place. You don’t want to be using a ball that feels way too hard or way too soft. Unfortunately feel is a very subjective thing and varies from player to player.
Take a look at my alternatives to the Pro V1.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
Who are Srixon?
Srixon is one of the biggest golf ball manufacturers in the world. They are also manufacturers of a wide range of clubs and other golf equipment. Their parent company Sumitomo Rubber industries also owns Cleveland Golf and XXIO brands.
Does Star Mean Anything?
This is actually an acronym. It stands for “Spin, Trajectory, Acceleration, and Responsiveness.”
What is the difference between Srixon Q Star and Q Star Tour?
The Q Star Tour is a three-piece urethane-covered ball that attempts to fill the gap between premium balls and the mid to high handicapper balls.
Is Srixon Q Star a good ball?
There is no such thing as a one size fits all golf ball. Some balls are better suited to players with high swing speeds, others to those with low swing speeds. Some golfers prefer a softer feeling ball when chipping and putting others are less concerned with the feel.
The Q Star offers a good compromise between distance and spin and offers all of this at a lower price point. It is a good choice for a typical mid to high handicapper.
Low handicappers and those with higher swing speeds are likely to fare better with either of the Z Star models or perhaps the Q Star Tour.
Q Star Tour vs Z Star: Which is best?
The Q Star Tour has a much lower compression than the Z star (72 compared with 90) so the Q Star Tour is likely to be better for players with a slower swing. Both balls are a three-piece urethane construction so will offer similar levels of performance in terms of spin.
Q Star vs Z Star: Which is best?
The Q Star is a two-piece ball with an ionomer cover. It should suit players with slower swing speeds due to its lower compression compared to the Z star (77 versus 90).
Its construction means it is likely to spin less than the Z star. The Q Star should be quite a bit cheaper than the Z Star.
What Is The Srixon Z Star Diamond?
This is a new ball from Srixon trying to offer a “balance” between greenside control and long-game distance. It is a relatively high compression ball with a rating of 102. Three-piece construction with a urethane cover to generate lots of greenside spin whilst remaining long off the tee.