Ball Review – Srixon Z-Star X

| April 21, 2009 | 7 Comments

srixon z-star xSrixon has been selling golf balls in the US market for a number of years now. Srixon is a spinoff from Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. SRI is a Japanese company also selling equipment in Japan under the market leading Dunlop/XXIO name. They started manufacturing tires in 1913, and then golf balls in 1930. In 1997, SRI founded Srixon USA and started marketing golf equipment.  In 2004 SRI Sports was formed to be the parent company of Srixon, and they acquired equipment companies Cleveland Golf and Never Compromise in 2007. Srixon’s golf ball offerings have been gaining ground in the past years with the ZUR line. Jim Furyk switched a few years ago, and several other pros have now joined and play the new Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star X. Some of the names include Tim Clark, Robert Allenby, Boo Weekly, Steve Flesch, John Rollins, Fuzzy Zoeller and Karrie Webb. This year, Vijay Singh switched to the new Z-Star X, leaving Titleist after many years, and he proclaims this fact in a new commercial we are seeing during weekend golf broadcasts.

Let’s test one of Srixon’s latest offerings, the Z-Star X. Geared towards better players, this golf ball features a super-thin (0.5mm thick) urethane cover that allows for a larger core for more distance and spin potential. The Z-Star is the softer of the two models, producing a slightly higher ball flight and more spin on iron shots. The Z-Star X has a firmer feel and lower ball flight for more distance off the tee and is designed for swing speeds over 105 MPH.

Having played the previous versions of these balls, the Z-URS and the Z-URC, I can see there is a big difference. The first difference is the lack of a discernible seam in the cover of the ball. The URS and URC had a pronounced seam marking the two halves of the cover, leaving a small strip around the equator lacking dimples. What effect that seam had on performance is unknown to me, but the new balls are seamless, and that can’t be a bad thing! The new Z-Stars also have 6 fewer dimples than the previous model at 324. By comparison, the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x have 392 and 332 respectively.

I have to preface this by repeating that I have played Srixon golf balls for over a year, and in that time I found myself switching back and forth between the Z-URC and Z-URS. I thought the Z-URC was too firm around the greens, and the Z-URS felt too mushy and spun too much off the driver. Then, just as I was preparing to run back to the Titleist Pro V1, Srixon introduced the Z-Star and Z-Star X. Since I was previously leaning towards the Z-URC, I picked up a sleeve of the new Z-Star X and put them through their paces. So how does the new Srixon Z-Star X perform? In a word – Brilliantly!

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The first thing I noticed with the new Z-Star X is the fact that they have made it softer than the old Z-URC. This is a welcome change for me, as I prefer a soft feel for chipping and putting. It still feels on the firm side, coming off the putter face with a little click, but it is far from the feel of a harder ball like a Pinnacle or even the new Callaway Tour i. The cover feels very soft to the touch and I worry about what modern grooves will do to this ball. More on that later.

I moved from the putter to the wedge and started chipping, and I noticed that this ball really grabs. I crisply hit chip shot skids and checks, then rolls out gently. Flop shots from a tight lie spin furiously, coming to an immediate stop. Balls chipped out of the rough behave predictably.

Moving to the tee box, I was wondering how the thin cover would behave with the driver. Most players demand spin around the greens but want more distance off the tee. In the past with wound golf balls this was a trade off, spin or distance. You couldn’t have both. Nowadays with the advent of 3 piece and even 4 piece balls, it is possible to get high spin around the green and low spin from the driver. The Srixon Z-Star X is a great example of what the new golf ball technology can provide. This ball rockets off the driver with a mid to high trajectory and low spin. It is hard to say if I picked up any yardage compared to the old model. I would need a launch monitor to measure impact conditions and determine if it spins less than other golf balls. What I can confirm is that this new ball performs very well in the wind, especially crosswinds. I hit numerous balls into winds from all directions and the flight is very steady. I hit some cuts and draws into cross winds and the ball stays on line.

Iron shots come off the club with a mid trajectory, and plenty of spin. A solid iron shot will stop quickly on anything but the most severe greens. I am not known as a high-spin player, but this ball can be drawn back with wedges and stops dead with other clubs. I didn’t see too much ballooning into the wind, not as much as the Titleist at least. I have always despised the Titleist Pro V1’s wind performance, so the Z-Star X’s wind performance is a big bonus. As far as durability is concerned, I was pleasantly surprised. I played 18 holes with the same ball with only minor scuffing and wear on the cover. I could easily go another 18 with it, provided I didn’t lose it or hit a cart path!

I am very glad that Srixon released this new golf ball to replace the old Z-UR line. I am making the switch and now play the Z-Star X. It durable, holds it’s line in the wind, I love the way it spins and it feels softer than the previous generation. Overall it’s a great ball for aggressive swingers or players that like a high-spin ball with a slightly firmer feel. The price point is also good, at $39.95/dozen it is unchanged from last year and about $5 less than the Pro V1x, the Srixon’s main competition.

Those who play the Pro V1 and prefer a softer ball will love the Z-Star, which I’ll try to cover in a future post. I will stop short of saying that I hit this ball further, because a recent driver upgrade has helped me also. But for good measure, between the new driver and this new golf ball, I’ve regained 15-20 yards that I lost last year off the tee.


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Comments (7)

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  1. John Duval says:

    Update – Srixon Z-Star golf balls – I have been playing the Z-Star X for some time now, but I recently tested the Z-Star for comparison. The Z-Star is the softer of the two golf balls, and it is geared for slightly slower swing speeds than the Z-Star X. The X is for tour-level swing speeds of 105+. The Z-Star is aimed squarely at the Titleist Pro V1, Taylor Made TP Red and Callaway Tour i and others. I found this ball to travel about the same distance, but felt softer on all shots and seemed to spin more, especially around the greens. I would recommend either of these fine golf balls, but of you want a softer feel and more spin than the Z-Star X, try the Z-Star. For maximum distance with a firmer feel, plenty of spin and better wind performance, go with the Z-Star X.

    Some retailers are also throwing in a towel or hat with a purchase of the Z-Stars. I have several bag towels, a floppy rain hat and a winter tuque in my free Srixon giveaway collection…

  2. Jim Northwing says:

    I recently picked up a sleeve of z-star golf balls, and was curious how srixon makes the ball seamless? The idea makes sense, but wanted to know how they make the ball.

  3. John Duval says:

    I’ll reach out to my friends at srixon for an answer!

  4. John Duval says:

    Jim,
    Here’s the answer I got from our friends at Srixon! – JD

    The Z-Star and Z-Star X golf balls from Srixon are the first Srixon balls to incorporate the Invisiseam technology. This technology eliminates the traditional seam associated with golf balls. By creating a more complicated and intricate tooling process the traditional straight seam is converted into a migrating seam that tracks between the dimple patterns. This non-linear seam eliminates the flat surface between the two halves of the ball. In the past, that flat surface created inconsistent performance based upon its orientation. By removing that seam, the Z-Star golf balls provide impressive consistency regardless of the orientation of the ball.

    John Rae
    Manager – Performance Research Group
    Research and Development
    Cleveland Golf/Srixon

  5. Blake says:

    been at msty a stay at home Dad the last 2 years. I was on staff with them for gkive an ballm both seemed to be just as good if not better then other brands. had the longest Cary ball at remaxbthat carried 396. to bad for me I didn’t know enough about shafts swjng a 308 com 4 degree at 46 1/2 inch. move to FL after 2 years switched to the x. straighter then any ball.I have nalled but rock hard..when I went to the z star I played my best. yardage wjse they didn’t jump liken prov and provx. they were just as soft. not worried about distance .might have been3-4 yards shorter but knowing distance is name of game ,fake half the guess work out. is open local I one hopped a 5 iron from 225 for a hike in one. also knocked it over 18 at metro into the wind, next to daly’s plaque. the spot he drovebthebgreen from 350 all carry. put my tee ball off the tree behind some 40 ft in the air . killed out a very hard touch shot and taooed in for a playoff. putter cost me that day. my avg dropped almost 2 strokes from 71.9 to 70.1…they changed there program and I went back to titliestb.mistake… first small event back,had to buy balls first in long time.since I had to buy I went with the best for me ..zstar. Pros are payed and titiest pays the highest for ball , glove deal in the 150 range.hard to pass for first time PGA player.covers travel. no one should be playing the x on tour. just to hard around the greens.. rather control full shot spin then a rock sitting down 4 ft off greens that roll a 13. wish they mad better stics .celevland makes good stuff and tech is going back words tobsmall heads matched with high tech shafts. all boit speed and 460 cc doesn’t create speed . love to see the lamcher 400 make a comeback or the 400 cc highbore sold in shops. wedge wise it would be nice to see them change thebkead wdge go more old school with a flush round edge and bounce . similar to scratch golf love to see srixon and scratch link up. scratch will be around to good not to be . just cause your favorite players wedge is a scatchbdoesnt mean they are no the best. if polled scratch and murimim would bebthe best . hand made sticks compared to mass made vast sticks they called forged.. what we swing isn’t what your getting..drivers are way Hottwr with super thin faces. I need 4 just to get through the week..buy what looks good to you no jJordan is swinging .. I also think TPS powerbuilt should make a comeback. namenisnused for cheap shit now but in the early 9%s the we’re the best 0-12 hnvp iron ever made. facebalanced with a trampoline effect when hit right.. also lovebto see the apex blades make a come back and the higan edges another 0-12 hcp iron that was pure. low flight high kick shafts will go MIA.. who wants to feel it twist and turn 6 inches from your hands. in the 80-90 everything was low kick point. with track man there is no need to spend 400 on a whiteboard or shit board as I call them… z star best ball n gof. if offended or think you know better..let tee it up .. my shit is documented. clubs should be simple and pattern and flight can’t be bought secret is in the dirt .. but a ball that goes the same distances and is seemless without crazy calaway dimples ..doesn’t get better… imagine phil of he never signed with calaway.. might have won 8-9 more majors. he could also put before going to that crap ball.. in Orlando will play for your money , or down to help a fellow truth hunter if needed.if your coach teaches one way like bender, ledbtter, stack an crap. run..if they went to PGCC.. run . find a self taught player if you want to know the truth …

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