WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Srixon’s fifth generation of its Q-Star Tour has a reformulated core to give moderate swing speed players more distance. A flexible coating of urethane on top of the softer urethane cover from the 2022 model improves the cover’s engagement with the grooves of irons and wedges for additional grab, leading to more control around the greens. AVAILABILITY/PRICE: $52.95 per dozen. The new Srixon Q-Star Tour and Q-Star Tour Divide are available February 29 in both white and yellow for Q-Star Tour and Blue, Orange and Red for Divide. 3 COOL THINGS 1. Need for speed. Moderate swing-speed players need all the help they can get. While the previous generation of the Q-Star Tour focused more on greenside spin, this iteration keeps those attributes but provides a distance boost with a reformulated core. This generation’s core has a slightly higher compression rating than its predecessor to promote better ball speed off the tee, while also reducing long-game sidespin because hitting it straighter also adds to distance. The “FastLayer” core starts out soft in the centre and then gradually increases in firmness as you move to the core’s outer edges, in effect acting like hundreds and hundreds of separate layers. That produces a benefit for moderate swing speed players off the tee and with other full swing shots because the low compression core helps launch shots higher and with less spin, compared to most multilayer urethane-covered balls that are typically played on the pro tours. “The new Q-Star Tour is a high-calibre option for players wanting to hit the ball farther, see more spin around the greens and have more control across the course,” said Brian Schielke, general manager for Srixon. “With an updated FastLayer Core, they can generate more ball speeds and distance without compromising feel.” 2. Cover it up. The cover utilises the same 338 dimple pattern and features an extra, more flexible coating of urethane on top of the urethane cover to improve the cover’s engagement with the grooves of irons and wedges for increased spin – a technology the company refers to as SeRM which stands for “Slide-Ring Material”. The dimples are designed in a manner to reduce drag and enhance lift – an aerodynamically preferable condition. The lower drag allows the ball to move through the air with less resistance, making it less susceptible to the wind. The higher lift allows the ball to stay in the air longer, helping boost distance. 3. A 50-50 proposition. Srixon also is debuting its second iteration of the Q-Star Divide, a bi-coloured ball reminiscent of the Ping ball of some 50 years ago where one half is one colour and the other half another. Although one might think that would be dizzying, for those needing help with alignment on the greens or perhaps want to get a better feel for what their chip and pitch shots are doing, it’s a viable alternative without having to sacrifice the performance benefits of the Q-Star Tour.