Tag: Golf Balls


Kiwami – Non Conforming Golf Balls!!

Kiwami Non Conforming Ball4

As some of you may know,  R&A and USGA both have strict regulations against ball performance.    Balls deemed as confirming will essentially perform within the ranges specified by the rules.  In other words, no matter which conforming ball you play with,  they should fly similar distances under regulated impact conditions.

Enter the “Kiwami Premium” golf balls by Idea Japan.  Click read more to continue…

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New Epon Tour F3 and F4 Golf Balls Preview!

You can imagine how surprised I was when Epon contacted us to announced that they were releasing new premium tour level golf balls. Epon is of course best known for creating some of the most premium high performance forged golf clubs known to man and based on their track record of design and producing top notch products, my surprise turned to excitement.  Epon has released 2 models of golf balls, the Tour F3 and Tour F4. Both balls are premium tour quality balls which focus on maximum performance. Lets take a closer look at both models as well as a few first impressions.

 

 

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Ball Testing at Nouvelle Golf Club

We’re having  very nice weather these days in Chiba. After typhoon number 15 cleared across Japan and swept away the humidity and moisture, days are much cooler now and great for golf.  I headed out yesterday to Nouvelle Golf Club which is a very convenient 5 minutes away.  I decided to bring 4 different golf balls with me which I would play 3 holes each with to get a bit of a head to head impression of how they play. Along with the ride came the Tourstage X-jD, New Super Newing, Mizuno MP-8 and the Kasco Kira Soft & Distant in Lime Green. Conditions were about 23C and reasonably windy with swirling winds around 4 to 5m/s.

New Super Newing

I  just made a blog post about the New Super Newing as you can see right before this post. It has a tough act to follow in replacing the Newing Brill which has been my gamer all year. I have to say distance is as good if not better and the strongest point is the ball feels fabulous off ALL clubs.  It shoots off the driver and woods and compresses nicely with irons and wedges. With the putter, dare I say its almost too soft.  The wind played a big factor today especially teeing off so the Super Newing as well as the other balls were certainly put to an aerodynamic test.  Against a very strong headwind on the first hole, I hit the driver as I always do and did not try and create a lower trajectory or de-loft the club in anyway. Even with the strong wind, carry was affected only slightly but the key here is it hit the ground running and I must have gained 20 yards of run and that’s even with the wind. On the next hole the wind was behind us so I could not resist teeing it up a bit higher and launching one.

Let me say the Super Newing is a wind surfer… it knows how to ride the wind. The ball has lift and on the 2nd hole 548 par 5, I received a much needed 250+ yard drive well above my average of 225-235 and well on the way to a nice 3 on. I like this ball a lot and highly recommend it especially for those players 100 mph and under who are looking for added distance. It is average when it comes to approach spin but afterall the strength of this ball is not the rpm it can produce but the yardage it can cover.

Tourstage X-jD

I also introduced this ball earlier on the blog and described it as the distance ball for the pro and better player. For an average golfer or slower swinging player there is always a concern when playing a tour labeled ball that one cannot generate enough swing speed to properly compress the ball and take advantage of its design characteristics. Unlike many tour balls out there, the X-jD has a relatively manageable compression rating of 86.  This is actually a ball I very much look forward to playing as I loved the previous X-01 B+ which was an all around ball very much like this one.

The X-jD feels almost as good as the Super Newing. It’s pretty soft and has crisp feedback off the face of woods and utilities. While distance doesn’t quite match the Super Newing it is still very good with a slightly lower trajectory than the Super Newing which just climbs and keeps going. It doesn’t spin quite as low it seems as the SN but where it does shine is with irons and wedges. The X-jD had noticeably better spin characteristics around the greens vs the average spin of the SN.  Stopping power is quite a bit better on full wedge shots and still better on even half and 3/4  swings. Off the putter, the X-jD is soft but not as soft as the SN which may be a good thing as there is a bit more feedback from its slightly crisper impact.  If the SN is a pure distance ball made for average golfers, the X-jD may be the balanced ball for everyone even though it is labeled a tour ball.

Mizuno MP-8

I haven’t officially introduced the Mizuno MP-8 ball yet here on TSG but it was one of 10 balls I received for testing and I decided to bring this along with me yesterday based on my past experiences with the Mizuno Tour 352s ball. The new MP-8 is a premium 4 piece ball designed for mid trajectory and soft feel with both increased carry and increased spin.  Unlike many balls today which are going with larger dimples and less dimples the MP-8 features a 366 variably sized dimple pattern.  There are currently two balls in the MP lineup, this MP-8 aimed at golfers 90mph and up and the MP-8x aimed at golfers approximately 100mph and up. Mizuno is the ball brand that doesn’t use the typical round or ball core. Their balls usually use a what they dub a cross core which is designed to control spin and distance.

Playing this ball in the wind at Nouvelle had its advantages as the mid trajectory provided stability and good run. The core of the MP-8 is designed for a swinger of my speeds and the ball felt soft and responsive will all clubs. It was not the longest ball (Super Newing), nor was it the best spinning (X-jD), but for the 90mph player it may have very well been the best balanced ball. Feel off the putter is soft, right in between the SN and X-jD. For average swing speed players wanting a more mid trajectory ball and with balanced performance the MP-8 is certainly worth considering.

Kasco Kira Soft and Distant

I’ve always loved Kasco balls especially their colored ones. Come to think of it, I’ve never ever played a white Kasco ball though white Kasco models certainly exist. Kasco golf balls afterall are best know for color first followed by performance. That is not to say that performance is sub par, its just that everyone seems to notice the color first and foremost. The Kira Soft & Distant is a  very soft, 3 piece, high launch max carry type ball that produces average spin around the greens. It’s aimed at the average golfer with a swing speed between 80 to 100mph.

The term “kira kira” in Japanese means shiny or glittery and that is how the Kira line has always been thanks to a special fluorescent coating used in their balls that diffuses light when reacting to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Kira balls also possess some of the unique technologies used in Kasco’s balls. Kasco has worked on implementing nano technology in their balls and in the case of the Kira a unique silicone molecule which provides a high degree of flex and rebound all this while providing a soft feel that Kasco is known for. This is what also produces great distance off the tee. The Kira S&D has very good feel, it is indeed very soft and it launches high and carries far and you can clearly see doing so. Like the ruby red Klenot I reviewed before, when you launch a Kira into the sky its hard to lose sight of it as it glows in the sunlight.  I’ve never thought much about its spin around the greens (which means its probably pretty average) however I enjoy playing it as it feels good and is rather long off the tee and easy to find if you aren’t hitting it straight on certain days.  One cool thing is that Kasco is currently raising funds for the earthquake victims in Japan with their special “Smile for Japan” Kira edition. It’s a sleeve of 3 +1, so 4 balls in all 4 colors, yellow, pink, orange and my favorite and easiest to see in my opinion lime.  For every sleeve purchased, Kasco makes a donation.

As always there are many great balls to choose from in Japan. The pros are that they are for the most part very high quality and high performing usually with very good feel. The cons are that they are not cheap to buy and even worse, shipping them overseas makes them more expensive than they already are. If you want high performance, great feel and a something unique plus you don’t lose balls regularly, any of these four JDM balls above will make many a golfer happy. The X-jD is already in the pro shop, looks soon for the New Super Newing, Mizuno MP-8 and MP-8x and Kira Smile for Japan sleeves to be added.


Move over Brill – The new and Improved Super Newing Ball

The original Newing Brill released a couple of years ago has to be one of the most highly touted and best selling distance balls in Japan in a very long time.  I still play the original Brill up to today for its superb feel and automatic distance. I kept wondering when Bridgestone would replace this performer and what they would come up with to take its place. A few months ago the Brill was discontinued and nothing new was announced. I could not figure out why something was not released right away to replace such an awesome ball. Then this August, Bridgestone announced a new ball, simply called the New Super Newing which would be the Brill’s successor.

On the outside, the New Super Newing looks very much like the original Brill. As a matter of a fact besides the different alignment mark  and the subtraction of the word Brill, they are pretty much twins. However upon closer inspection there seem to be some minute differences in the Web dimple pattern which both still number 272. Bridgestone took its time wondering how they could improve one of the best distance balls ever. They decided they would do so by making it more forgiving than any other ball. They took data analyzing the driver strike pattern of the amateur golfer vs the pro. Distance balls perform best when struck in the sweet spot where the driver can produce the best ball speeds and optimal amount of spin. However as the data shows (and to no one surprise), amateur golfers don’t always hit the center of the driver, as a matter of a fact they can be all over the face. Miss hits off the center create more unwanted back spin and side spin creating lost distance and direction. The Super Newing was designed with minimizing excess spin and distance loss in mind.

The 272 Web dimples used by the original Brill and the new ball were already designed to reduce excess spin. Bridgestone further enhanced its distance performance by creating the New Super Newing with changes to its inner structure.  The NEO Core is activated by full shots like the driver, fairway woods and long irons. This core creates maximum energy transfer and acts like a superball jumping off the face of the club. However power requires control and stability so Bridgestone incorporated an all new HR-Drive RS Cover which envelopes the Neo Core and stabalizes and reduces unwanted spin especially on miss hits, reducing unwanted slices and hooks. Bridgestone tested the New Super Newing against other Bridgestone balls including the original Brill and found that on average backspin numbers were way down on hits all across the face resulting in straighter and longer shots and overall distance up. The NEO Core couple with the thin Ionomer cover result in very soft feel, even softer than the original Brill. This provides very responsive feel and touch for wedges and putters and enhances play around the greens.

This post is more of an introduction than a review of the ball as its difficult to fully give a review of a ball without truly playing it for many rounds, with different clubs and in different conditions. However I like what I see and feel and from just practice putting and chipping here in Kiminomori, the ball does indeed feel softer side by side against the Brill.  Tomorrow will be my first chance playing a round with it at Nouvelle GC which I frequent regularly with the original Brill. It will be fun to see straighter and longer distance! We’ll be adding the New Super Newing to the pro shop later this week so please check it out!


A Look at the Tourstage X-jD Tour Distance Ball

Bridgestone Tourstage has long been a dominant force on the Japanese tour when it comes to golf balls. They rank right up there with Titleist and Srixon in the battle for tour supremacy.   Tourstage’s X Series of balls have always been very popular with not only tour players but better athlete golfers and improving players as well. Their X01 Solid and Mild are among the most popular balls in Japan. Tourstage however wanted to take the performance of the Solid and Mild a step further by altering the ball designs to create a tour level distance ball without sacrificing control and spin.

Three Basics of Distance…

Tourstage decided that average golfers are not the only players trying to gain distance. Tour pros also want as much distance as possible of the tee while still having great feel and spin and feel with shorter clubs. They went back to the drawing board and decided to start with the basics… the 3 main factors that create distance in a ball.

Ball Speed

Launch Angle

Back Spin

By changing the aerodynamics and designs of the dimples and swapping out the inner cover for a higher resistance inner cover, Tourstage created the new X-jD distance ball for Pros and higher swing speeds. The X-jD’s design and 326 SHALLOW dimples create more lift but less spin off the tee for a higher launch and much more carry. The new high resistance Ionomer inner cover as well as a firmer more durable high rebound urethane outer cover create more energy transfer and increase initial ball speeds and help reduce back spin as well.

Very manageable 86 Compression…

Even though the X-jD has a firmer outer cover and inner cover for a more crisp feel, the compression of the X-jD is still rated as 86 which is very playable by a wide variety of golfers. Tourstage recommends that the X-jD be used by players with swing speeds between 90 and 110mph.  It is these firmer and high resistance inner and high rebound outer covers that creates a reverse action at impact when using the driver. This reverse action drastically reduces back spin and allows the X-jD which launches higher and carries further than its tour counterparts the X01 Solid and Mild, to even out run them as well when it hits the ground.

Soft But Crisp Feel = Impact Feedback

As swing speed decreases with irons and wedges, the resistance decreases as well allowing the ball to spin higher and land softer around the greens. The X-jD uses a very large NeoG Core which acts almost like a superball at impact. In the past I was a very big fan of soft balls, and I’m probably not alone. Everyone wants soft feeling drivers, soft feeling irons, wedges and putters and ultimately soft feeling balls that come of the face of these clubs. Recently though, I personally find some balls too soft to the point they lack impact feedback. The X-jD is NOT one of these balls. Off the woods and irons and even putter, the X-jD is soft enough to feel the ball compress but firm enough to get some nice crisp feedback which I really do like. I feel this way even though Tourstage ranks the X-jD as firmer on their firmness scale (the lower compression certainly helps).  I find the X-jD to be as long as the average golfer champion ball the Newing Brill and as good feeling if not better.  It has similar launch characteristics and looks to spin even lower.

Previously on the Japanese tour, the X01 Mild was probably the most popular ball with a very good balance of distance and spin and feel, the X-jD looks to have overtaken its place in the bags of many top Tourstage pros giving them more distance plus the same spin control the X01 series balls do.  I’d recommend these balls for players who swing 95mph or more and who need more launch and lower spin off the tee but don’t want to give up feel and spin control. I’ll be adding the X-jD to the pro shop later this afternoon.


Tee up the Joker! – New TourStage X-JD Ball!

TourStage is releasing a new ball designed for the average golfer who is in pursuit of longer distance and a good feeling cover.  X-JD stands for  ” Tee up the Joker for immeasurable Distance

The X-jD focuses on three major elements that determine distance for the optimal angular spin tempo.  The inner cover is produced with a new RC ( Reverse Control) highly resilient ionomer material which resists the natural back spin of the ball to lower the spin rate  for a straighter and more powerful launching trajectory.

This inner cover is 30% thinner compared to the X-01 Mild.  They also increased the size of the NeoG core.  It’s 326 dimple seamless design and outer durable urethane cover produces a high rebound shot that feels powerful at impact.  It’s compression is 86 and it’s produced 100% in Japan.  Available in White, Yellow, and Orange. Scheduled to release at the End of April.  Keep a look out for it in the TourSpecGolf ProShop.


Kasco Kira Klenot Golf Ball – I call it Fireball

Today while at Katsuura Golf Resort in Chiba, they had the new Kasco Klenot golf balls for testing. Kasco is one of Japan’s unheralded brands especially when it comes to balls. The thing is they make very good golf balls for all types of players. They have especially excelled in color golf balls where their Kira line of balls has been touted as having better visibility than any other color balls on the golf course. The term “kira kira” in Japanese means shiny or glittery and that is how the Kira line has always been thanks to a special fluorescent coating used in their balls that diffuses light when reacting to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Besides looking radiant on the golf cours, Kira balls also possess some of the unique technologies used in Kasco’s balls. Kasco has worked on implementing nano technology in their balls and in the case of the Kira a unique silicone molecule which provides a high degree of flex and rebound all this while providing a soft feel that Kasco is known for.

I’ve played Kira balls in the past and liked them a lot though last year I primarily gamed the Gran Z Premium Blue and Super Newing Brill. However today when I saw the new ruby red Kasco Klenot ball I just had to give it a shot out on the browned and worn winter fairways (I usually play color balls this time of year and have JDM TM XD Yellow in the bag now). I have never seen a ball this red, and all the other players walking by also gasped at its sight. I The new Klenot features similar technologies as the Kira for its outer color cover but inside its entirely new. The premium 4 piece Klenot is BOTH a distance ball and a spin ball.  It achieves this by utilizing two cores that activate depending on how the ball is struck and how energy is transferred through its two outer cores. Because of Klenot’s low spin off the driver and high spin during approach, it is made for all swing speeds from ladies all the way up to 115mph. Kasco rates it as a high trajectory, soft feel ball, which feels great off any club, whether it be woods, irons, wedges or the putter.

The color of the Klenot, especially the ruby red really blew me away. I tried to capture pictures of how fiery red the ball is but it was so bright the only way I could do so was to turn the exposure way down as you can see in the image at the top of this post. I have to admit when I first received two sleeves, the Ruby color and the Opal color which is a bluish white, I had no ideas about any of the specs or that it was a 4 piece ball. I just got the balls and went out and played.  Off the tee the ball was superb, as long and as low spin as the Brill which is probably the leading distance ball in Japan. It did not balloon and carried well with very good run. Best of all it was impossible to lose sight of the ball in flight no matter what direction the sun was in.  It was like a little fireball in the sky which you could easily follow and easily spot after landing and stopping.  My playing partners were very freaked out by the color and I have to say it was quite fun. The distance off the tee was an added bonus. (^_^) One thing players may not like is that this ball can be distracting. At address its like burning in your eyes, which can also be a good thing as you can certainly see it clearly when you are trying to strike it.

With irons and wedges the ball still remained soft but spun well especially compared to my TM XD’s which are a pure distance ball (and only 2 piece).  Off the putter the Klenot is very soft. In my bag pocket and indoors where there is no ultraviolet interaction with the ball, it looks simply like a shiny red ball. Outdoors is where it glows and where the name ruby becomes appropriate. See again I am talking about its looks. I never really reviewed a ball before but the looks of this one just blew me away. I got home and immediately contacted our Kasco rep as I wanted to check on cost and availability. The Klenot launches on the 13th of this month but because Kasco has been doing promotions all around Japan for the ball, demand is already through the roof. I’ll find out in the next few days if we can get some boxes to add to the TSG pro shop.

Pros: Color, soft feel, low spin off the tee, high spin approach shots, did not scuff (but I did only play it for a round so durability is still questionable).

Cons: Color, price (as with any Japanese market premium ball) 95.00 per box of 12 balls

EDIT: Feb 7th, I just got an email from blog reader Brono from Slovakia that the word “klenot” in Slovakian means jewel or gem. Makes sense doesn’t it! Thanks Brono!


Finding the right Golf Balls – Usage Survey Part 1

We all care so much about the clubs that hit that little white ball into a cup on a green all the way down at the end of each hole. Sometimes that little white ball gets neglected. Obviously playing the right golf ball is important but how important is it? Some times I hear players say they get whatever balls are on sale, or they picked up a bunch of lost balls over the years and play those, but how do those balls fit the player? Balls to some extent are like clubs and designed for certain levels and styles of players. We carry a lot of different Japanese spec balls here at Tourspecgolf.com and many times players just don’t know what to choose.

Golf Today recently released a survey they did on amateur golfers and their choice of golf balls. They headed over and spent a day interview golfers at Accordia Golf Garden here in Chiba and got data from 100 amateur golfers about their golf ball preferences. They also had several amateurs take part in some ball tests with launch monitors and several of the newest models in Japan. The test is rather extensive with lots of data so I’ll try and share what I found to be the most interesting information.

This time around I won’t make fancy charts like I did with the driver white paper as I’m a bit short on time. They first asked the 100 golfers about their level of play.

Golfer background and experience

How long have you been playing golf?
Less than a year: 4%
1 – 5 years: 20%
5 – 10 years: 26%
10 – 20 years: 34%
20-30 years: 10%
More than 30 years: 6%

What is your average score?
79 or better: 4%
89 and below: 45%
99 and below: 29%
109 and below: 9%
119 and below: 7%
120 or higher: 6%

The largest segment of golfers have been playing 10-20 years at 34% and if you add in 5-20 years the total would be 60% or 60 people since there were 100 players surveyed. As for average score 78% or 78 players all averaged under 99 with the majority falling very close into the average golfer and mid capper/improving golfer segment.

Golfer buying patterns…

Is there a specific model of golf ball you buy?
Yes: 74%
No: 26%

This I think was very reflective of the Japanese golfing market. Japanese golfers will be very loyal to a certain brand and model, many times regardless of cost and sometimes even if its not the right ball. 26% said no and would buy any ball.

What is the basic reason for buying the ball you use?
Feels soft at impact: 28%
Iron and approach spin: 26%
Driver Distance: 17%
Brand reputation: 12%
Control and stability: 5%
Price: 5%
Favorite Pro is using the ball: 4%
Other: 3%

Interestingly, driver distance is only the 3rd ranking reason for choosing a certain golf ball. The feel and spin of the ball  are more important meaning these golfers probably have a good understanding that the short game, approaches and touch around the green are of most important. Plus everyone seems to love that soft feel. Another interesting note is that price, which is usually a big factor for clubs only came out at 5% or 5 golfers. This is a bit surprising considering the high costs of Japanese market golf balls; some of those premium balls can cost well over 100.00 a case of 12 balls! The next question relates to price (I have converted the yen values to USD).

How much do you usually spend on a case of 12 balls?
$24.00: 6%
$36.00: 4%
$48.00: 16%
$60.00: 30%
$72.00: 28%
$84.00: 8%
$96.00 or more: 8%

74% typically spend $48.00 to $72.00 for 12 golf balls.  That’s 4.00 to $6.00 for each ball lost in the lake or woods but players are willing to pay for performance?

Can Amateur Golfers tell  the difference?

The asked 5 golfers that day to take part in a little test to see if amateur golfers could in fact tell the difference between many of the balls available today. All 5 of these golfers play the Titleist Pro V1 as their regular ball. Golf Today got 5 different model balls together and covered the brand and model of the balls.

Blue: Titleist Pro V1
Black: XXIO Super XD.
Pink: Titleist Pro V1x
Orange: Taylormade Five TP
Yellow: Srixon Z-Star X

The 5 players spent time hitting all 5 balls off the tee with their driver followed by approach shots around the greens. they were then asked to choose which ball was the Titleist Pro V1. Just a note about these 5 golfers. They ranged from one scratch golfer to one with an average score of 90. Player experience ranged from 4 to 15 years.

The results showed that players could distinguish a ball through feel and spin performance as 3 of the testers chose Blue which was in fact the Pro V1. The other 2 chose Pink which was the Pro V1x. I thought that was pretty good. So it seems like players can tell the difference after all.

On a side note, data was also provided for the respective tours:

US PGA Men’s Tour:
Pro V1/V1x: 63.4%
Other: 36.7%

Japan PGA Mens Tour:
Pro V1/V1x: 38.9%
Other: 61.1%

Average Golfer + Pro Model Ball = ?

For the next test they took 4 players who were considered average golfers with average swing speeds and had them hit the XXIO Super .XD which is a distance ball vs the Srixon Z-Star XV which is pro model ball with a focus on spin control. Below are the average results of the test using their own drivers.

AVERAGE OF 4 PLAYERS:

Distance
Z-Star XV: 235.2 yards
Super XD: 238.3 yards

Back Spin
Z-Star XV: 3648 rpm
Super XD: 3109 rpm

Launch Angle
Z-Star XV: 15.8*
Super XD: 16.8*

Ball Speeds
Z-Star XV: 136.68 mph
Super XD: 138.25 mph

Average swing speed:
Z-Star XV: 95.96 mph
Super XD: 95.30 mph

As you can see from the above results, even though the average swing speed was lower, the 4 amateur/average golfers had better results with the distance ball. To give a reference point on how the balls should actually perform, Golf Today also used a robot hitting machine which of course would always strike the ball dead center on the sweet spot to see what the optimal performance of each ball should be. I was actually surprised though that they set the robot swing speed at 40m/s or 89.5mph which gives a distinct advantage to the XXIO ball which is optimized for slower swing speeds. The design of the XV benefits the faster swing speeds ie over 10omph which bring out the best in that ball. Nevertheless, as you can see from the numbers below, when optimally struck right in the sweet spot like most pros would, the Pro Model Z-Star XV outperforms the distance ball and this is especially thanks to the higher ball speeds:

AVERAGE OF HITTING ROBOT:

Distance
Z-Star XV: 213.5 yards
Super XD: 210.0 yards

Back Spin
Z-Star XV: 3191 rpm
Super XD: 2861 rpm

Launch Angle
Z-Star XV: 12.9*
Super XD: 13.4*

Ball Speeds
Z-Star XV: 132.88mph
Super XD: 131.31 mph

Average swing speed:
Z-Star XV: 89.5 mph
Super XD: 89.5 mph

A lot of talk and emphasis is always placed on low spin but what it comes down to is optimal spin. You need that right amount of spin from a ball to get proper lift and carry but also run. At the same time you don’t want a ball that spins too high and balloons or worsens your bad shot off the tee. The concept for many of these average golfer distance balls are that they will spin low enough to help distance but also that the target audience can’t necessarily create enough spin with irons and approach shots any way so these distance balls naturally spin less around the greens. Is there such thing as a perfect ball or the longest ball or the best spinning ball? Probably not. So many factors come into play including the clubs used the players swing style and speed and even the conditions on a course. These tests are just to give a general idea of some of the trends and differences when it comes to golf balls. And yes there are definitely differences.

In part 2, I’ll look more at wedge and iron spin and performance around the greens and also look at an interesting test comparing new model balls to previous year model balls to see if there truly is a benefit with design changes and new technology.

In the meantime, what do you guys think of golf balls and what are your purchase trends? Take these Golf to Impress polls to find out.

[poll id=”33″] [poll id=”34″] [poll id=”35″] [poll id=”36″]

New Srixon Z-Star XV in Ryo Ishikawa’s Bag!

Recent reports show Japanese golf superstar Ryo Ishikawa using a new ball set to release from Srixon Golf in just several weeks The Z-STAR XV. Ryo is not sponsored by Srixon and was able to choose from virtually any ball in the world from U.S domestic balls like the Titleist Pro V1 to high end Japanese balls from brands like TourStage and XXIO.

Ryo Ishikawa was seen using 4 different types of balls including the prototype version of the Z-Star XV, The TourStage  B+ series, Titleist ProV1X and the Callaway Tour IX however the winning ball was the Z-Star XV.

The new XV features slightly larger dimples and a thin 0.3mm cover which is usually reserved for fast swingers with a quick tempo. In March the Z-Star will complete its retail R&A registration and become available shortly after.



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