- The new Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE is a two-toned ball, a la the PING Eye 2.
- The urethane-cover matte finish is a yellow/red combo for easy putting alignment, better visuals.
- $32.99 a dozen. Available April 15.
Don’t know about you but the new Srixon Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE golf ball sure brings me back to the summer of 1983.
That year, your faithful scribe was a lad of 23, working nights and playing golf days, gaming Spalding Executive irons and MacGregor Tourney persimmons. And when I had the cash, those weapons would smack PING Eye two-toned balls far and deep into the woods.
And if memory still serves, I carded my very first birdie that year with a PING Eye on the par-3 17th at the Westminster Golf Club.
That summer passed, as did many others, and by 1997 PING was out of the ball business. Today PING’s two-toned balls are quite the collector’s item, fetching big bucks on eBay.
But today Srixon is bringing back the two-toned golf ball with the red and yellow Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE. For some, it’ll bring back memories of the PING Eye while for others, it might make you want to go fishing. Either way, what’s old is new again and it’s fair to ask two simple questions.
Why this? Why now?
Srixon Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE
Why would Srixon decide to make a ball that’s essentially two-thirds of a stoplight? We posed that question to Srixon Marketing Director Brian Schielke.
“Colors, and matte colors, in particular, have just been so popular lately,” he says. “We wanted to do something that would stand out from a color perspective but also give golfers the added performance benefits of a urethane ball.”
Most brightly colored balls are two-piece construction. Srixon’s SOFT FEEL is available in five colors as is the Wilson Staff DUO Optix. In the higher-performing urethane category, there’s the Wilson Staff DUO Professional, also available in five colors.
Volvik, of course, is the unicorn on all this with more colors than a ’60s acid trip.
“The really cool thing about this ball is that it’s fun, it’s colorful and it’s different,” says Schielke. “You get a lot of feedback when you’re putting or hitting chips or pitches. You can even see the ball spinning off the tee, which surprised me.”
Can’t you just hear the marketing types at PING having the same conversations way back when?
High Tech Half ‘n’ Half
This fishing bobber thing isn’t something Srixon just cooked up overnight. The company had to create a new urethane cover for the Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE. Being part of the Sumitomo Rubber empire surely helped.
“It wasn’t like someone said, ‘Hey, let’s make a two-tone golf ball’, and, presto, the engineers had it done the next day,” says Schielke. “It took quite a bit of prototyping, testing, getting the colors right and getting a really clean seam.”
It’s important to note the red and yellow coloring isn’t painted on. The urethane itself is infused with colored pigments so each half of the cover is solid red or solid yellow.
“It’s not going to scuff or wear off after one shot,” says Schielke.
Matte balls do tend to hold dirt more so than standard balls but Schielke says Srixon is happy with the durability and looks of the Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE. “All golf balls get dirty but we haven’t seen any problems with this one that stand out.”
Since I know you’re wondering, the samples we received are made in Srixon’s factory in Indonesia. MyGolfSpy’s Ball Lab report on the Srixon Q-STAR TOUR last October found significant inconsistencies in both roundness and compression. For its part, Srixon hasn’t officially commented, other than to say they were surprised by the results. By comparison, the Srixon Z-STAR, which is made in Japan, scored very well in its Ball Lab test.
“The performance, technology, manufacturing techniques, the machinery—it’s all the same between the facilities,” says Schielke.
Yeah, those two-toned PING Eye and PING Eye 2 balls were a special kind of cool in 1983. You know what else was cool back then? Michael Jackson’s first Moonwalk and Prince’s Little Red Corvette. Women wearing leg warmers and shoulder pads and men wearing Members Only jackets and Swatches.
We won’t discuss parachute pants.
Seve won at Augusta and Tom Watson won at Royal Birkdale. Natalie Gulbis, Carrie Underwood and Mila Kunis were all born, and Jimmy Demaret, Muddy Waters and Gloria Swanson all died.
Those PING balls are collectibles now, as are vintage 1983 Cabbage Patch Dolls and the Atari 5200. In-demand color combos regularly fetch $400 a ball. The rarest of the rare can go for upwards of a grand.
To quote another 1983 icon, say hello to my little friend.
“I would say keep a lookout for other colors coming later this year,” Schielke says of the Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE. “This is exciting and we think it’s going to appeal to a lot of golfers.”
Schielke adds it’s a bit too early to think about seeing a two-toned Z-STAR, but never say never.
“Hideki (Matsuyama) saw some and was playing around with them on the putting green,” he says. “He liked the visuals of putting with this ball so you never know.”
If Srixon did go ahead with a Tour-level DIVIDE type, they’d probably have to forgo a matte finish. As we’ve learned, when matte balls get wet, they tend to launch significantly higher and spin significantly less than balls with a traditional gloss finish.
However, one thing is certain: If any Srixon Tour staffers did play a Z-STAR level DIVIDE, Srixon would get more TV time than it ever thought imaginable.
Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE Price, Specs and Availability
The new Srixon Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE features an updated FastLayer Core. Since the Q-STAR TOUR first came out in 2017, each generation has featured an updated core. FastLayer is Srixon-speak for a core that’s soft in the middle and gradually gets firmer toward the outer edge.
The Q-STAR TOUR release cadence says the full line is due for an update by the middle of summer. It would reasonable to assume the DIVIDE is using the most up-to-date core.
Srixon categorizes the Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE as mid-to-high-launch and, at 72 compression, it definitely registers on the soft side.
The Srixon Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE will retail for $32.99. They’ll hit retail on Tax Day, April 15.
For more information, visit Srixon.com.