At $29.99 per dozen, Srixon calls the Q-Star Tour golf ball the most spin for your money. And who’s to argue?
It’s a three-piece golf ball with a urethane cover that has the same core technologies as Srixon’s tour-caliber Z-Star and Z-Star XV golf balls. The difference is that the Q-Star Tour has a lower compression and a new dimple pattern to help slower swing-speed players maximize distance. The balls also sell for $10 less than the Z-Star and Z-Star XV. Sound almost too good to be true? We put Srixon on the hot seat to get the scoop in this Q&A.
Editor’s Note: Srixon also allowed GolfWRX members to ask anything they wanted about its Q-Star golf balls in a forum thread. Read the “Live Q&A” here.
GolfWRX: What’s the significance of offering a three-piece golf ball with a urethane cover at this price point?
Michael Ross, Senior Product Manager for Golf Balls at Srixon: Real value for golfers. That’s what this is all about. Golfers can now purchase a premium golf ball that offers tremendous performance at an incredible value. We believe that, if golfers are going to spend $30 on a dozen golf balls, they deserve a ball that performs from anywhere on the golf course. Not just off the tee, not just around the greens, but total performance, from tee to green. And we deliver that performance and value with the new Q-Star Tour, which is a soft-feeling golf ball with a urethane cover that flies long and straight off the tee and off your irons and delivers tour-quality spin control around the greens. We strongly encourage anyone to play this ball against their gamer and see which ball provides the best performance for their particular game. We believe that golfers will be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Q-Star Tour.
In comparison to the Z-Star and Z-Star XV golf balls, what kind of golfer is best suited for the Q-Star Tour?
A: The Q-Star Tour is a great option for many golfers because of its great feel, tremendous combination of driver and iron distance and its tour-caliber greenside spin. It was designed primarily for good players with moderate swing speeds. The problem we identified is that these golfers aren’t optimizing their performance by playing a high-compression tour ball because they aren’t able to compress it, so they end up sacrificing distance off the tee and with their irons. There are a ton of great golfers like this around the country. They don’t have high swing speeds but can get up and down from anywhere because they are great wedge players. These golfers don’t need to play a high-compression tour ball just so they have the excellent greenside spin performance that they’re used to. They would benefit greatly from playing a ball that offers the same great greenside performance, but is easier to compress. That’s why we developed the lower-compression Q-Star Tour. It delivers excellent greenside spin performance and, equally as important, golfers with moderate swing speeds will also see a nice increase in their driver distance and especially their iron distances. One additional benefit is that the Q-Star Tour has very low spin off the driver, so not only will their drives go farther but they should find that their drives are more accurate as well. That won’t hurt your score!
Will golfers who played the old Q-Star likely upgrade to the Q-Star Tour, or will they need to switch to another model golf ball?
A: Golfers who play the old Q-Star will quite possibly choose to play the Q-Star Tour, or they might move to the new Q-Star when it launches in August. Either way, they are going to get a golf ball that offers excellent, balanced performance from tee to green. Both of these balls deliver this. The choice will depend on factors such as what price point they are more comfortable with and also which type of cover they prefer: an ionomer cover, which is more durable and will last longer, or a urethane cover, which is softer and will generate more greenside and approach spin. It really depends on what golfers are looking for in their golf ball and how much they want to spend. Everyone has different goals on the golf course in terms of performance. Our goal is to offer great golf balls for players at every level, and I think both the Q-Star and Q-Star Tour accomplish that goal.
What’s the relationship between compression and spin? How can a lower compression golf ball produce similar greenside spin to a Tour golf ball with higher compression?
Compression doesn’t play a factor in greenside spin. Greenside spin is determined mainly by the softness and elasticity of the cover of the golf ball. At impact, the cover of a golf ball deforms and spreads out across the clubface, creating friction with the clubface, which in turn generates spin. More greenside spin is produced when the contact surface area between the ball and the clubface is greater. Urethane cover golf balls create more spin because urethane covers are softer and spread out across more of the clubface. Thus, a low-compression golf ball can produce the same amount of spin as a higher-compression ball if it has the same cover material and technology. That’s why the urethane cover Q-Star Tour is able to produce similar greenside spin to a higher-compression Tour golf ball.
Where a low-compression ball differentiates itself from higher-compression balls is with driver spin. As a general rule, lower-compression golf balls have less driver spin than higher-compression balls because they compress more at impact, resulting in a smaller moment of inertia arm and less torque than a high-compression ball, and therefore less spin.
It seems the Q-Star Tour golf balls are very similar to the Z-Star golf balls in terms of premium materials and construction. What is different about the Q-Star Tour that allows it to sell for $10 less?
The only real difference with the Q-Star Tour is that it has a lower compression. It’s very similar to the Z-Star golf balls in terms of premium materials and construction. When we analyzed the market and the size of the demographic that would benefit from playing the Q-Star Tour, we realized that we were tapping into one of the largest demographics out there. There are so many golfers who stand to improve their performance by playing this golf ball. Therefore, in determining pricing, our primary objective was to provide excellent value to golfers by offering the Q-Star Tour at a very competitive, aggressive price.
Golfers have different pain points when it comes to how much they’ll spend on a dozen golf balls, so we wanted to ensure that we priced the Q-Star Tour in a comfort zone for a very large segment of golfers. Is the price a market disruption? I suppose it could be looked at that way, especially given the exceptional performance of the Q-Star Tour compared to similarly priced and more expensive golf balls. But for us, what’s most important for our growth is to provide golfers with excellent performance and excellent value at the same time with all our golf balls. We want golfers to play the best ball for their game because that will help them improve, which in turn creates greater enjoyment and more interest in the game. Now, if golfers want to spend $10 more or close to $20 more per dozen on a golf ball because they believe it’s the best option for them, they still can. However, with the Q-Star Tour, now they can spend less and potentially gain better performance for their game than they might from a more expensive, higher-compression ball that wasn’t designed for their swing speed. That’s the objective with the Q-Star Tour – to help golfers with average swing speeds optimize their “full game” performance.