The Srixon Q-Star Tour golf ball promises premium tour-level performance at a compression and price to suit amateur golfer's swing speed and budget... but how does it perform against the market-leading Titleist Pro V1?
It wasn’t that long ago the choice of golf balls for club golfers was pretty limited. Players who’d reached a reasonable standard and weren’t put off by the price plumped in their droves for the gold standard of golf balls, the urethane-covered Titleist Pro V1.
If that was out of reach, the choice came down to less expensive, harder surlyn and ionomer-covered balls that went a country mile but sounded and felt really harsh, especially on a cold, frosty morning. And it’s no secret distance balls drastically reduced feel and spin in the short game.
But the golf ball market has changed massively over the last few years. Direct to consumer tour-level urethane balls are now available at reduced costs and thanks to several brands making it their mission to break Titleist’s stranglehold on the premium ball market, lots of new ideas have evolved.
Plenty of that evolution has been aimed squarely at club golfers, as we buy (and lose!) the most balls. But also because tour balls aren’t typically optimised to perform at the “normal” swing speeds of amateurs.
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At the start of 2020 Srixon unveiled the brand new Q-Star Tour ball which was designed specifically to satisfy the demands of club golfers. To hit the spot it needed to combine great driver and iron distance, with good wedge spin, a sensible price tag and of course have a urethane cover, the bit that used to elevate tour balls above the comeptition.
So to see how the Srixon Q-Star Tour measures up and see if it can help you save on your ball budget without sacrificing anything in terms of performance, we put them in the hands of a five-handicap club golfer. This is what happened...
Srixon Q-Star Tour golf ball
Models: White, yellow
Lots of club golfers loved Srixon’s AD333 Tour ball, and this is its replacement, bringing Srixon’s European in line with what’s available in the USA. The Q-Star Tour has a 72 compression and exactly the same SpinSkin tech (a flexible coating that expand into grooves to maximise spin) as Srixon’s Z-Star tour balls. Srixon’s sell with Q-Star Tour is “Tour performance that’s soft”.
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Verdict: Srixon Q-Star Tour golf ball
Plenty of club golfers get very tribal about which brand of golf ball they’ll play, in much the same way golfers have brand biases when it comes to drivers or irons. So if you’ve been a Srixon ball fan for years we’re happy to say there isn’t really a bad choice to be made between any of the three new ‘club golfer’ balls.
But where the Q-Star sticks it’s neck out in front of the others is price. The Q-Star costs £2.92 a ball (32.7%) – a third less than the Pro V1. Our tester really liked the new bold sidestamp which helps with alignment on the greens.
Much like the other new club golfer balls for 2020, the Q-Star Tour, given its softer compression, gives up 3.7% when it comes to driver distance, but then you gain 3.4% (over the Pro V1) in iron distance so what you lose with a driver is made up for with the irons.
And while on paper it might look like you give up 11.9% wedge spin, in fact the Q-Star launches and flies higher, and drops from the air at a steeper rate so shot ‘stop-ability’ really isn’t compromised.
What our test says is if your swing speed is pretty “normal”, yet until now you’ve insisted on investing in a premium tour ball, there hasn’t been a better time than 2020 to slash your golf ball budget and have virtually zero impact on your golf ball’s performance on the course.
Data comparison: Srixon Q-Star Tour vs Titleist Pro V1
Review written by: Simon Daddow
Job title: Today's Golfer - Equipment Editor