A good swing technique is the most important thing for any golfer, but it will only take you so far. You also need the right clubs, the right accessories, and a decent set of golf balls. If we want to push our golfing performance to its absolute limits, we must first acknowledge one simple fact: not all golf balls are created equally.
The Srixon Z Star – a premium golf ball – has been designed to fly right alongside the best of the best. But does it live up to its premium expectation? Can it enhance the game of the average golfer? Find out in this Srixon Z Star review.
Things to Consider Before Buying Golf Balls
They may be small, but golf balls are complex little things, and there are a few things to consider before making your selection. We recommend judging these factors against your budget, your handicap, and your technical needs.
Pretty much all golf balls are designed with distance in mind, but some are designed to go that little bit further. Golf balls that promise superior distances tend to be harder, allowing them to react and launch extra quick when struck by a golf club.
However, these harder balls can come at the expense of control. There are many situations in golf which call for a touch of finesse, and the harder balls can certainly make such situations a bit more taxing.
Some golf balls are designed to grant the player maximum control by employing a softer overall construction. These types of balls may come at the cost of distance or spin, but they can very effectively negate hooks and slices. They are especially useful on greens, offering a superior feel and an element of forgiveness.
Once a player advances their game to a certain point, they may want to start purposefully incorporating spin into their shots. Some golf balls are specifically designed to help with this, containing certain attributes to responsively spin at the player’s command.
In the right hands, these golf balls can easily stop in a tight space on the green, or spin left and right to aid subtle directional play.
Golf balls can be made of one piece, two pieces, three pieces, or four pieces. The number of pieces used determines the basic attributes of the ball.
One-piece balls are what you usually find on the golf range, and are most often used by beginners. These balls are inexpensive and durable and tend to have a softer, more forgiving feel. They do, however, significantly lack in distance compared to other balls.
Two-piece balls also offer a good amount of durability, while providing a firmer feel. Since they provide more distance, they are among the most popular types of golf ball. However, they are slightly harder to control than one-piece or three-piece balls.
Three-piece balls are softer, affording the most amount of feel and control, but without sacrificing too much distance. The Srixon Z Star is a three-piece ball.
Four-piece balls are similar to three-piece balls but provide just a little bit more feel and control.
Since you’re going to be whacking them time and time again, you need to be assured that your golf balls aren’t going to fall apart after just a few hits. Gradual deterioration is inevitable, but some golf balls are designed to last significantly longer than others.
Depending on how many you lose in a round, golf balls can wrack up to be quite the expense. Premium golf balls are particularly pricey. As a general rule, you could probably buy double the amount of standard balls than premium balls for the same amount of money.
When trying out a new set of premium balls, we recommended that you just start with a single sleeve (three balls). That way, if you quickly lose them or don’t like the feel of them, the loss won’t be too great, and you can move on to something else.
Higher handicapped players would be wise not to sink large chunks of their budget into premium golf balls. The effects of premium design are only fully realized at the higher levels of the game. It would be far better to spend money on green fees and lessons.
The fifth generation of the Z Star is packed full of the quality craftsmanship that we have come to expect of Srixon golf balls. Its technology and design has been subtly refined since the earlier models, granting cutting-edge levels of feel and control. We have no reservations in comparing the quality of this ball to that of the Titliest Pro V1.
This is a three-piece golf ball which, quite simply, is one of the softest balls we have ever tested. It is extremely soft off the putter, with a soft sound to match. On the greens, these things were a joy to hit; we felt totally in control of our putts.
Stepping off the green to try out some chips and pitches, we were treated to some seriously high levels of spin. They don’t spin quite as much as their Z Star XV counterparts, but they are more than capable of providing you with good stopping action for some precise pitching.
With regards to iron and wood play, you might think that the softer structure significantly affects distance. While it’s true that these golf balls won’t go the absolute furthest, we couldn’t help but notice that these things are still capable of some serious distance.
In terms of durability, the Srixon Z Star truly lives up to its premium status. After a few joyful sessions of smashing these things around with wedges, irons, and drivers, the wear and tear was minimal.
And of course, they look great. The pristine cover is dressed in the simple and sharp Srixon design which we know and love. It also features the oh-so-helpful double-arrowed line-up graphic.
If you’re the kind of player who favors a soft golf ball, who is really looking to push their game into new realms of control without sacrificing distance, the Srixon Z Star could be your perfect match. Higher handicapped players are welcome to give these balls a whirl, but they probably won’t get as much game advancement out of them as a lower handicapped player.
Features and Benefits
Fast Layer Core
As three-piece golf ball designs go, this is about as good as it gets. The FastLayer Core consists of a soft center that gradually becomes firmer towards the edge. This is targeted mostly towards fast-swinging players, allowing them to get good feel whilst achieving decent ball speeds and distances.
We can certainly attest to the exceptional feel of this ball. It is not as noticeable with the long-game, but the ball speeds and distances we recorded speak to the excellent design of the Fast Layer Core.
4th Generation Spin Skin with SeRM
The cover of the Srixon Z Star is crafted with a special urethane coating, containing flexible molecular bonds that enable it to dig into the grooves of wedges and irons. The goal is to achieve maximum spin, control, and stopping power.
Mission accomplished. These things can spin like crazy, wielding a stopping power the likes of which we rarely see. We are new to urethane covers, but we would welcome their use in future golf balls.
In order to combat the distance-lowering consequences of a softer design, Srixon has built this golf ball with 338 speed-enhancing dimples. These dimples promise to offer less drag and more lift, encouraging straighter flights and greater distances. They also work to counteract the wind.
These certainly flew further than we were expecting, given their softness. And from where we were standing, they flew like a charm, undeterred by drag and wind.
If these golf balls aren’t quite the right match for you, not to worry. Here are some alternatives which you could also check out.
1. Titleist Pro V1
Pro V1s have dominated the market for almost two decades, and their latest incarnation shows no signs of letting up.
Having now entered a new technological space, these balls feature a 17 percent thinner cover than their predecessors – part of a full design aimed at creating more distance than ever before.
No doubt about it, these things truly go the distance – usually further than the Z Stars. Like the Z Star, the cover is made from urethane, meaning decent levels of spin can of course be achieved.
However, since the entirety of the ball has been designed with distance as the priority, it doesn’t offer quite as much control as the Z Star.
Regardless, these balls are used by countless pros, and in the right hands, they can produce some extraordinary results.
2. Callaway Chrome Soft
The latest Callaway Chrome Soft ball pretty much ticks all of the premium boxes. Its four-piece construction features a dual-core, which works to provide a strong and stable ball flight.
It can achieve remarkable distances, even when faced with some tricky winds.
With irons and wedges, they can be struck with the confidence that they will stop to attention, meaning you can be aggressive with your lines.
In fact, the spin and control is almost equal to that of the Z Star, granting some of the best short-game potential in the market.
3. TaylorMade TP5
Continuing their unique heritage of using a five-layer construction, TaylorMade have once again, quite literally, hit it out of the park with the TP5.
This time, special attention has been paid to the layer just below the cover, which is made of the “fastest material that TaylorMade has ever used in a golf ball.”
Needless to say, the distance potential of this ball is up there with the best; it can match the likes of the Pro V1 yard for yard.
Additionally, thanks to the varying levels of firmness in their other layers, the TP5 has a lot to offer in the way of control. It’s not quite the spin king that the Srixon Z Star is, but its overall performance is undeniably brilliant.
Srixon’s goal with the newest Z Star golf ball was to combine a soft feel with superior distance – a feat not easily achieved. However, we can say with confidence that they succeeded. These little gems are among the softest balls we have ever played with, and yet they are still capable of some serious yardage.
On the greens, we had maximum control. When pitching, we were greatly encouraged by the stopping power. When driving, we had accuracy and distance. We can only imagine how good these balls feel in the hands of a scratch golfer.
Of course, balls of this quality don’t come cheap. If you’re a high-handicapper, you’ll want to think carefully about whether or not these golf balls are worth your hard-earned cash. Sure, they’re amazing, but you might not notice much of a difference compared to standard golf balls.
If you’re a more advanced player, however, go nuts. Offering unparalleled levels of control and spin, without sacrificing any significant amount of distance, the Srixon Z Star golf balls could be the key to unlocking the next levels of your game.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.