“A Jury Divided”
Since its inception, the Q Star Tour has always impressed me. In fact, when I first tried the first generation of the Srixon Q Star Tour golf ball (back in 2017) I would test it straight up against its more expensive tour-level stablemates. The performance that I observed during the testing that I conducted was on par with that of the Z Star and Z Star XV.
Fast forward to 2021, the Q Star Tour has now evolved into its third generation and with it, when you have a great product you always worry about the sequel, like movies. To help me make my point, let’s quickly think about the movie “Caddyshack”. Did “Caddyshack 2” come even remotely close to being as good as its predecessor? To answer that, recent a line or one quote from the sequel. Well, the same kind of thought does enter one’s mind when looking at golf products from year to year.
If there’s one way to emphasize that a product has been updated or changed, it’s by making a full sale change in its appearance. Sometimes it’s a marketing ploy and other times there’s a bona fide improvement. When it comes to the Q Star Tour DIVIDE, the changes are both obvious and hidden. The Q Star Tour DIVIDE shares some of the same attributes that made the Q Star Tour so successful and a go-to golf ball for those that have played it.
The Q Star Tour DIVIDE utilizes a 3-piece construction as golfers have come to expect from the Q Star Tour franchise. It does feature a urethane cover. But, if you compare the DIVIDE versus the more traditional version that’s pretty much where the similarities cease. Below are a couple of the key technological features of the Q Star Tour DIVIDE.
- New FastLayer Core: The new FastLayer Core offers distance and soft feel without compromise due to a gradual transition from soft inner core to firm outer edge.
- 50/50 Matte Urethane Cover: The high contrast, matte cover makes spin visible and putting alignment easy.It’s cast from soft urethane for tour-level spin and stopping power.
- 338 Speed Dimple Pattern: Providing a penetrating ball flight in any conditions, the 338 Speed Dimple Pattern increases lift and reduces drag to maximize distance.
The DIVIDE is offered in three separate colours where golfers have the following options: Red/Yellow, Blue/Yellow, and Orange/Yellow.
For testing purposes, I sought out a retail location where I could purchase just one sleeve of the Q Star Tour DIVIDE. I’ll be honest with everyone right now. I had reservations about trying out this iteration of the Q Star Tour. Just from the press release alone, I was apprehensive seeing that I wasn’t enamored with the looks. Of course, all over social media, everyone talked about the old PING Eye 2 golf balls from the 1980s. Honestly, it was my first thought as well.
Aesthetics – Having found a store that would sell me a sleeve of the DIVIDE, I went for a drive and picked them up. On the shelf, there was only one colour option available, so I walked out with the Blue/Yellow combination.
I opened up the box and in a way, there was a sort of “shock and awe” factor. If I could use one adjective to describe my very first thoughts, I would say that “off-putting” serves the purpose. I loathed how this golf ball looked. That said, I do like matte-finished golf balls, but this? I couldn’t get past the looks. The matte cover is unpainted so, to give it its vivid colours the entire thermoplastic urethane cover is infused with bright pigments, in doing so, the color won’t scratch or tear.
Thankfully, testing is about more than first impressions. The more that testing wore on, the more accustomed I became to the aesthetics of the Q Star Tour DIVIDE. It takes a little bit, but you get used to it.
Feel – I really liked the feel of the Q Star Tour DIVIDE from tee to green. Whether you’re swinging driver, flushing an iron, pitching a delicate lob, or making a putt, the feel is pleasant off of all clubs on all shots. The feel is what I would describe as being “muted”. Much of this can be attributed to Srixon’s “FastLayer Core”.
Putting – This is a golf ball that feels great off of the putter. Feel can equate to distance control and DIVIDE putts very well. Yes, some of it is dependent on the individual making the putt, but, I found that my weight while putting with this golf ball was always well-judged. Aligning putts with the DIVIDE is seamless, thanks to its 360* alignment aid. Just pick it up, straighten it out, place it, and make your stroke. What’s more, is the fact that you can see how your ball is rolling on the greens. Is there a “wobble”? Chances are you made a poor stroke.
Greenside Spin – I would take the DIVIDE out for comprehensive short-game work well before taking it to the golf course. Always a huge part of my golf ball testing is the greenside spin. For testing, I set up a variety of chips and pitches ranging from rough, tight lies (fringe), and bunkers from up and downhill lies and targets respectively.
When compared to the traditional Q Star Tour, I found that the DIVIDE lagged behind in this area. When the ball comes out of the rough, you can’t really expect much in the way of spin so in fairness, I can’t criticize the DIVIDE’s performance from the rough. However, when chipping and pitching from the fringe or tightly mown areas there was more rollout than I expected. Personally, I feel that the 50/50 matte urethane finish isn’t nearly as “sticky” as the “SpinSkin” cover of the Q Star Tour. Bunker shots failed to stop in a manner that I felt they should have. They rolled a little past my target.
Approach Spin – What the DIVIDE lacks in greenside spin, it makes up for in approach spin. Approach shots anywhere from 50 yards and out often results in sufficient spin to provide “stop and drop” capabilities. Know your yardages? Perfect! Pick a club, strike it and drop it onto the green.
Distance – While I won’t go as far as saying that you’ll pick up 20 yards with the DIVIDE I will say that you will get adequate length with this golf ball. I’d say that the distance is about equal to the Q Star Tour. There might be a slight distance advantage in favour of the DIVIDE, but, for most golfers, the difference might be negligible at best.
Driver spin appears to be fairly low as there wasn’t much ballooning evident. The trajectory was what I would describe as medium-high. I found that the DIVIDE wasn’t a juggernaut off of the tee. By no means am I suggesting that it’s short, because, it isn’t. The DIVIDE is equivalent to others as far as distance goes for this category of golf ball ($35-$45/doz).
I noticed one flaw with the DIVIDE. I found that with the DIVIDE, shots into the wind got held up and consequently were “thrown down” to the ground.
The Q Star Tour DIVIDE is a pretty solid golf ball offering from Srixon Golf, but one with a couple of flaws. While not being a full step backward, I feel that it falls just short of the original Q Star Tour. The optics of this golf ball are second to none and while it may be obnoxious to look at early on, you adjust to it fast enough (at least I did). Practice with this golf ball does offer golfers a lot of feedback and is the easiest golf ball to line up as far as putting goes. The cover is very durable and holds up well. Furthermore, it’s easy to locate in the turf thanks to its vivid colours.
The Q Star Tour DIVIDE retails for $32.99 USD or about $41.99 CAD/dozen. For more information, please visit. Srixon Golf.
Until The Next Tee!!