These are the two golf balls that I have played the most over the past few years. They are quite similar. So I am constantly trying to decide which one I like better. So the Srixon Z-Star vs. Pro V1 decision is a battle that is being fought in my golf bag every round.
They also happen to be two of the most popular balls on the market. The Pro V1 certainly outsells Srixon (and every other ball), but the Z-Star is a worthy challenger to the quality and playability of the Pro V1, even though it may never overtake it in popularity.
So let’s look at some of the differences between these two premium golf balls so you can make a decision that can help you score better.
|Cover Material||Urethane (“Spin Skin” Coating)||Urethane|
|Compression||Mid-High (88)||Mid-High (90)|
|Colors Available||Pure White, Tour Yellow||White|
|Check Price||Check Price|
The Srixon Z-Star is a premium golf ball that has a number of characteristics that low handicap golfers look for. Since it came on the market about 10 years ago, it has been gaining popularity and is worthy competitor to the big boy on the block, the Pro V1.
This comparison will be focusing on the Z-Star. The XV is a higher compression golf ball (102) designed for players with faster swing speeds.
It can be difficult to tell from the box which are the newest model of Z-Stars. The 2019 version says “Spinskin with SERM” in the lower right. If you want to make sure you’re getting the latest version…CLICK HERE to get them on Amazon.
Feel is a lot about personal preference. So I’ll do my best to describe the feel of each of these balls but ultimately, feel is something that you’ll have to check out for yourself.
Both golf balls in this comparison have that great soft feel that you would expect from a urethane cover premium golf ball. The Z-Star always feels just a little firmer to me. I noticed the firmer feel from the driver down through the putter. The Z-Star does have a slightly softer compression (88 compared to 90) so I suspect that this difference in feel has more to do with the cover construction.
Spin on this ball is on par with the Pro V1. Off the driver it spins slightly less actually. This is a positive in my opinion. Off the irons the ball generates plenty of spin to control the ball but not enough that better players need to always worry about spinning the ball back off greens.
According to Srixon, the cover is a new material. Here’s what they say about it on their website…
4th Generation Spin Skin with SeRM
A new urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds that dig deep into wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for more control and more stopping power.
On the short game shots, the Z-Star seemed to bite a little harder than the Pro V1. I saw this was especially true with wedge shots. The Z-Star would draw back more. Looking at the numbers I got on the launch monitor, this was confirmed as the Z-Star spun a little more on full short iron shots.
For golfers at around the 100-110mph swing speed range, this ball performs superbly. I consistently saw slightly lower spin numbers and a little more distance off the tee compared to the Pro V1.
On the course, the lower spin off the driver equated to a few more yards carry and more roll. Where it made a bigger difference was shots into the wind. When I tested the balls the wind wasn’t gusting hard but it was enough to affect the shots. The Z-Star did a much better job of boring through the wind with the driver than the Pro V1.
I was pleasantly surprised with the combination of more short game spin and less driver spin. Well done Srixon!
Of course, I would encourage you to grab a box of each and try them out for yourself on a launch monitor. Everyone’s driver swing is different.
The feel on putting is just slightly harder than the Pro V1. Of course this is completely a personal preference. Unlike full shots, you can’t really measure the optimum ball performance for putting. If this is an important factor for you then you should really spend some time testing the ball.
Personally, I prefer the putting feel of the Z-Star over the Pro V1. Too soft off the putter and it becomes more difficult to gauge distance and feel when you didn’t hit the center of the putter face.
The Srixon Z-Star is an exception golf ball. I found that it compared quite favorably to the Pro V1, outperforming it (at least for me) in a few key areas. With a slightly lower price tag, it could be a great choice for many lower handicap players.
Who Is This Ball For?
If you are playing a Pro V1 now and think a little less spin and a firmer feel might help you out then the Z-Star would be a great ball to try out.
This is a premium golf ball and as such, could accentuate side spin for higher handicap players, so I would say you need to have a fair bit of ball control to get the most out of the Z-Star (but that is true of the PRO V1 also).
Anyone with a swing speed of 100-110mph should do some comparison testing on a launch monitor with the Z-Star and their current ball. If you like the Z-Star but are swinging the driver around 110+ mph then the Z-Star XV might be a better fit for you.
Titliest Pro V1
The Titleist Pro V1 golf ball is the best selling ball on the market and the most used balls on the PGA Tour. It probably doesn’t need much of an introduction if you have been playing golf for any amount of time.
Like the Z-Star, the Pro V1 also has a higher compression version, the Pro V1x, targeted at golfers with higher swing speeds.
Because of the popularity of the ProV1, it has become the standard by which all other premium golf balls are compared. So let’s take a closer look at the Pro V1 compared to the Z-Star and see if the Z-Star can keep up.
For me, feel is a huge positive for both the Pro V1 and the Z-Star. The Pro V1 had a softer feel to it. Of course Titleist has been making golf balls going back to when balls were created with wound rubber thread. These balls were much softer feeling than today’s premium balls. So I think Titleist has always had a focus on preserving some of that feel since the first Pro V1.
When it comes to spin, you want more on the short game and less with the driver. The latest Pro V1 delivers on both fronts. For a low handicapper, you really can’t go wrong with either of these golf balls when it comes to spin.
During my launch monitor testing, I found that the Pro V1 had slightly more spin off the driver than the Z-Star, but it was close enough that I don’t think it would make a whole of lot difference for any but the most precise golfers out there.
I did notice, that the Pro V1 had a little more stopping power on the shorter irons when I took it out to the course. Not a huge difference, but enough to be noticeable on the approach shots.
I was getting slightly better numbers (lower spin rate and more distance) from the Z-Star, but it was very close. I will say though, that the Pro V1 just felt good off the driver. The numbers don’t lie but hitting the Pro V1 on the sweet spot of the driver just has that “crushed it” feel. It’s difficult to describe in words but you know what I’m talking about if you ever felt it.
So while the numbers gave a very slight edge to the Z-Star for me, the Pro V1 really gave me that confident feeling after a well hit drive. That’s not insignificant. You aren’t reading a launch monitor on the course and if the feel of a ball gives you confidence, then it could have more of a positive effect on your score than a few extra yards off the tee.
Some premium golf balls have a mushy feel when putting. I don’t think the Pro V1 is quite in that category, but it does have a very soft putter feel. Again, this is a personal preference thing so go out and test it before making it your gamer.
The Pro V1 is an exceptional golf ball. The popularity is somewhat inflated due to the many playing deals Titleist has with pros so that they will use the ball. But the pros certainly wouldn’t use the ball if it was an inferior product.
These are consistently among the best golf balls every year and maintain that quality with every new model.
Who Is This Ball For?
The Titleist Pro V1 is the ball for lower handicappers that value a good combination of short game control and driver distance and don’t care about the price of the ball.
If you have a driver swing speed over 110 then you should also check out the Pro V1x. Although, I don’t think it’s as simple as higher swing speeds automatically need the Pro V1x. It would be worth trying both and testing them head to head on a launch monitor.
Any decision between these two balls would have to be based mostly on personal preference. Just on pure specs and performance, there is very little difference.
Once area where the Z-Star sets itself apart is the lower price. If you play a lot then you will lose or wear out your fair share of golf balls, so saving s few bucks per dozen can add up. That means an extra round or two over the course of a golf season.
So I am going to have to call it a draw on performance. Each have their pros and cons in the categories above. So grab a box of each and test them out. Overall, the Z-Star is my pick. I liked the feel of the ball better and it costs less.
What are your experiences with these golf balls? Have a favorite?
Let us know in the comments below…