Srixon Z-STAR Diamond Golf Ball – Key Takeaways

  • Srixon brings Brooks Koepka’s prototype ball to market.
  • Firmer than Z-STAR, higher-spinning than Z-STAR XV
  • 102 compression
  • $44.99 per dozen, available Jan. 21

You’ve seen the new Srixon Z-STAR Diamond golf ball in action. At least, you did if you watched the 12-hole grudge match between Brooks and Bryson over Thanksgiving. New Srixon staffer Koepka dormied the match following a killer iron from the rough that hopped and stopped four feet from the hole.

If you’re Srixon, you put that shot in every Z-STAR Diamond commercial. And maybe the tee shot from on the par-3 ninth hole as well.

Because that’s exactly what the new Srixon Z-STAR Diamond was designed to do. And, most likely, exactly for whom it was designed.

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond

“This ball was a major driver in joining Srixon,” says Koepka in a press release. “It’s been a seamless transition.”

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond – A Hybrid Ball

We already have the Pro V1 Left Dash and Left Dot as well as the Chrome Soft X LS, so why not a Z-STAR Diamond?

It’s a tweener—a cross between the softer, spinnier Z-STAR and the firmer, less spinny Z-STAR XV.

“It’s a best-of-both-worlds’ type product,” says Srixon R&D VP Jeff Brunski. “It blends many of the benefits of our two current models.”

The new Srixon Z-STAR Diamond has the same listed compression—102—as its firm older brother, the four-piece Z-STAR XV (measured at 96 by MyGolfSpy for this year’s ball test). But it’s a three-piece ball with spin rates closer to those of its 90-compression cousin, the standard Z-STAR (measured at 81 by MyGolfSpy). It’s almost as if the ball was designed specifically for a player who wants to max out distance but needs a touch more spin around the green.

Like Brooks Koepka.

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond

“This ball performs really well for a segment of our Tour pros,” says Brunski. “It wasn’t just made for Brooks. It just so happens that he’s the type of player who can add performance from the Z-STAR Diamond.”

Still, Srixon announcing the Koepka signing just before the Thanksgiving match, and white-box Z-STAR Diamond prototypes finding their way to social media at the same time, isn’t a coincidence. It’s Smart Marketing 101.

Anatomy of a Diamond

As mentioned, the Z-STAR Diamond is a tweener. You could call it a higher-compression Z-STAR, thanks to a firmer FastLayer Core. You could also call it a spinnier XV.

“To get a high compression, we make the core quite firm,” Brunski tells MyGolfSpy. “That’s going to provide a lot of ball speed. The Z-STAR Diamond is also a three-piece ball so that contributes to the spin performance difference between it and the XV.”

Cover thickness also plays a role in spin. The urethane covers on both the Z-STAR and Z-STAR Diamond are 0.6mm thick. The less spinny Z-STAR XV cover is only 0.5mm. You wouldn’t think 1/10th of a millimeter would matter all that much but, apparently, it does.

“The Z-STAR has the softest cover for maximum spin around the green,” says Brunski. “The XV has the thinnest and firmest cover to maximize ball speed and distance. The Z-STAR Diamond cover is the same thickness as the Z-STAR but it is slightly firmer to get both distance and control.”

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond: Intriguing Test Numbers

With the requisite caveat that test results coming from any OEM about its own product should be taken not with a grain of salt but an entire salt mine, Srixon-Cleveland’s internal testing is always interesting.

In these tests, the home team always wins. But it was just three years ago that Cleveland presented us with ball speed test results for its new HB Launcher 3-wood that put its product firmly in …

Second place.

Yeah, there was an asterisk that said the Cleveland 3-wood was straighter and, therefore, longer. But the fact Cleveland actually shared the numbers did deserve a polite golf clap.

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond

Published distance and spin numbers for the new Z-STAR Diamond are equally interesting.

Using a robot with 112-mph swing speed and a 9.5-degree driver, Srixon says the mid-compression Z-STAR and the high-compression Z-STAR Diamond are virtually identical in distance with the Z-STAR Diamond 8/10ths of a yard longer. In a more apples-to-apples comparison between high-compression balls, the Z-STAR XV was the distance king, more than two yards longer than the Z-STAR Diamond. Where it gets interesting is Srixon reports the Pro V1X is actually 4/10ths of a yard longer than the Diamond.

It’s in very small print but it’s still interesting, right? So why game the Z-Star Diamond over the ProV1X or even the Z-STAR XV?

It’s spin. If you need it.

Using a wedge and a 38-mph swing speed, the Z-STAR Diamond showed 3,660 rpm of spin compared to 3,390 rpm for the XV and 3,350 for the Pro V1X. The Z-STAR Diamond wasn’t as spinny as the mid-compression Z-STAR but it did have nearly 200 rpm more spin than the standard Pro V1.

Dimples and Spin Skin

All of Srixon’s balls have a variation on the company’s 338 Speed Dimple Pattern. The 2021 Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV dimples were made slightly deeper than the 2019 versions to get the ball flight a little lower. The Z-STAR Diamond pattern is the same but with the dimples just a bit deeper still.

“That’s a very fine tune adjustment we’ve made to control the peak height from being too high,” says Brunski.

And you can’t talk Srixon golf balls without talking about Spin Skin with SeRM. That’s a micro-thin urethane coating Srixon has been putting on Z-STARs since 2015 to enhance spin around the green. The SeRM part made its debut in 2019. SeRM stands for Slide Ring Material which is a cross-linked molecular structure that makes the urethane coating stronger and more flexible. Srixon says the material increases friction for enhanced spin around the green.

For Whom Is The Srixon Z-STAR Diamond?

If our Ball Lab tests have proved anything, it’s the myth that slower swing-speed players need low-compression balls. Slower swing-speed players may like low-compression balls for feel but, even at 85 mph, you’re compressing the core. Low-compression balls tend to spin less which might help keep the ball findable off the tee. But that lack of spin can be problematic around the green.

In this light, Srixon gets another golf clap. As mentioned, both the Z-STAR Diamond and the Z-STAR XV have a listed compression of 102 while the standard Z-STAR is listed at 90. However, Srixon recommends both the Z-STAR and the Z-STAR Diamond for swing speeds of 90 mph and higher while the Z-STAR XV is recommended for 100 mph and above players.

“The difference is spin performance,” says Brunski. “The Z-STAR Diamond has higher spin than the XV and that’s why we recommend it for players with swing speeds as low as 90 mph. The XV might not spin enough for golfers unless they have a higher swing speed.”

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond Price and Availability

I’m sure you’ve noticed pricing for mainstream Tour-level urethane balls has jumped in the past year. Titleist priced the 2021 ProV1s at $49.99 and Callaway just followed suit with the new Chrome Softs. When the Bridgestone Tour Bs came out in 2020, they were priced at $44.99. Now they’re $47.99 and are due for replacement shortly. We’ll see where they land pricewise.

Srixon has always played coy with Z-STAR pricing. The 2019 versions were priced to move at $39.99 and the price jumped to $42.99 with last year’s models. Even with aggressive pricing for balls that performed well in both of our tests, Srixon still finds itself duking it out with Bridgestone for fourth place in golf ball market share.

Srixon Z-STAR Diamond

This suggests two things. First, for golfers who play Tour-level urethane covered balls, a $5 to $7 price premium isn’t a deal-breaker. Based on Pro V1 and Chrome Soft sales (and TP5, to a lesser extent), many golfers gladly pay that higher price.

The second thing it suggests is that, for Srixon, a slight price hike won’t negatively impact sales volume. The new Z-STAR Diamond will retail for $44.99 per dozen. And, not for nothing, the Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV are also at $44.99, a $2- jump since launching a year ago.

That said, Srixon-Cleveland-XXIO is getting aggressive. Bringing Koepka on board alongside reigning Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama is a big step. And, on the ball front, Srixon continues to extend its offering. More types of balls equals more shelf space at retail and more choices for consumers.

Which is never a bad thing.

The new Srixon Z-STAR Diamond will hit retail Jan. 21  and will be available in Pure White only.

For more information, visit Srixon’s website.

Available for pre-order now