In for review from Srixon are the 2018 Z-Star and Z-Star XV golf balls. These are the top of the Srixon line.
It has been five years since I reviewed the Z-Stars, dating back to my 2013 Z-Star golf ball review and the 2013 Z-Star XV golf ball review. The Z-Star is a super golf ball and I’m anxious to see how the ball has changed and improved over the last five years.
The Z-Star (above) is the softer of the two balls, with the XV model (below) being the harder one for higher swing speeds.
I plan to put these into play over the next 4-6 weeks. So look for my full review of each ball around the end of June 2018, with social updates on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the interim.
I recently reviewed the 6-layer golf ball from Forté Golf, an Australian based company. That’s the first of two golf ball models from Forté Golf. Today’s review is the Tour-Performance S model. This is a ball with a different construction than their 6-layer, but still focuses on “tour” performance. What does that mean? We hear “tour” all the time when referring to golf equipment, especially golf balls. Tour typically means high short game spin and a soft urethane type of cover for control in the short game. Let’s take a look at the Tour-Performance S.
Tour-Performance S Overview
The Tour-Performance S is a 3-layer ball, often referred to as 3-piece construction. The layers are the core, mantle, and cover. Each layer has specific properties and materials designed specifically for performance characteristics throughout the various shots. Golf ball construction is tough. Lower spin rates are great for longer distance and accuracy with the long clubs. But higher spin rate is desired for shorter shots. That high spin provides bite and control.
The core primarily gives the ball its compression, and feel off the driver. The core of the Tour Performance S is soft and produces a low spin rate with the driver. The mantle blends the core with the cast urethane cover. The urethane cover provides the ball’s feel and control in short game shots, even putting.
On The Course
Driving with the TPS is excellent. I love the softer core. I’m able to hit this ball as far most brand name tour quality balls. Just yesterday I was in a tournament in high winds and was still able to hit some long drives which held their line nicely. I even got to put my name on the long drive sign, but that didn’t last long I’m sure.
The soft core and urethane cover make for great feeling shots with the irons. Longer irons compress well and my accuracy with them is great. Shorter irons and especially wedges stop on a dime and leave 7 cents change. In my last round I nearly holed out two shots from roughly 100 yards. Quite sure one lipped out. Nice to have a 10 inch birdie putt now and then.
Short game shots, chipping and pitching around the green are huge beneficiaries of the urethane cover. I feel like I have total control and stopping power with my wedges.
Putting the S is terrific as well. It rolls true and is very easy to control distance.
One problem “tour” balls have is durability. It’s contradictory to have a soft cover and high durability. That said the TPS is very durable. I’ve played one ball for 2-3 rounds and it barely shows any wear.
The ultimate golf ball has low spin with the driver and high spin on shorter shots. The S performs highly on both ends of the spectrum and easily competes with tour caliber balls from the big name brands.
Pop quiz: Name a golf ball that costs about half as much as a Titleist ProV1, TaylorMade Penta and Tour Preferred, performs as well or better, and is designed be the same engineer who created or helped create those golf balls?
Answer: Snell Golf’s MTB (My Tour Ball).
Snell Golf Ball Father’s Day Gift Pack
In 2015 Dean Snell went solo with his golf ball engineering, after spending 18 years at TaylorMade and seven years at Titleist. He released two balls, the MTB (My Tour Ball) and the Get Sum. The Get Sum is designed for non-tour players while the MTB competes, equals and even surpasses the performance of the major brands’ tour balls.
Above is a photo of the MTB Father’s Day gift pack which includes two boxes of pro-level MTB Snell Golf balls, a Snell hat, and two casino chip style ball markers. This package runs $75 and is sure to make your low handicap dad super thrilled on Father’s Day.
If dad isn’t a low handicap player or pro, the Get Sum Father’s Day gift pack runs a mere $56. Snell is a direct to the customer setup and shipping is free.
I’m going to put the MTB into play and write a full review soon. Stay tuned.
Fast forward to 2021 and I will be reviewing golf balls with 18 layers. Until then, there is not a golf ball on the market with more layers than the Forté Golf Apex 6. The only other 6-layer ball I’m aware of is the Maxfli U6. I played a box of those and really liked them. I’ve got three boxes of Apex 6’s to test out and I’m excited to try them. They’re “tour” level balls, meaning the highest performance and specs in a ball. Ones PGA Tour players would trust.
Forté Golf is a brand not yet available in the USA but hopefully it will be soon. I’m afraid to like these balls because I’ll have to get them shipped to me from Australia, where they’re available. Better yet, I’ll just fly there. Yeah, that will work.
This is just an introductory post to get the word out that I’ll be reviewing these balls. Right now the high temperatures here in northern Utah are below freezing. We’re skiing here, not golfing. When spring comes, I’ll be out there knocking these 6-layer golf balls from Forte golf about, and seeing how well they perform. A report will follow.
Forté Golf Tour Performance Intro
I can see a potential problem coming up. I’ve got some new golf balls to test out from Forté Golf. Since almost no tour level golf ball made in this modern era is “bad,” I’m fairly confident I’ll like them. If I really like them, that will be the problem since currently these balls are not available in the USA. Forté is currently focused in Australia, but does have future plans to expand its availability.
The first of two models I have to check out is the Tour-Performance S model. This is an ultra soft cast urethane ball. Urethane is the material in the cover of the TP-S, same as in most high-end, name-brand golf balls.
This ball is a 3-layer ball which provides high ball speed off the driver but great back spin off of irons and wedges. I would expect this ball to compete well with the Titleist ProV1, TaylorMade Tour, Bridgestone B330 and other “tour” balls. “Tour” typically means urethane cover, high spin.
Review (as) Soon (as possible)
I will put this ball into play and review it as soon as I can. Keep in mind local courses are closed now though. It is winter in northern Utah. We are skiing now. 🙂