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Srixon have been good enough to enable ten forum members to put the new, 2015 editions of the Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star XV through their paces. As was established last year with ball reviews, rather than have every one of them post a 3 page dialog about what they thought about a golf ball, we are having testers answer questions in several pivotal areas of ball performance and give their observations so we can get a collated overview. We wanted to get an understanding of the collective perception of Srixon balls before the testing got underway in earnest, so this first post focuses on preconceptions of Srixon golf balls. Srixonâ€¦ they make the yellow balls, right? What's being tested? The new Z-Star and Z-Star XV are said to combine â€œnext generation SpinSkinâ„¢ and Speed Dimplesâ„¢ innovation to give the â€œTourâ€ player unmatched feel and control, and the energetic gradient growthâ„¢ core delivers incredible distance.â€ Z-Star: Z-Star XV: MGS Forum Members: Who's testing what? Each tester received one dozen balls, either the Z-Star or the Z-Star XV, based on the details that they had provided in the testing application process (SS, current ball, etc). Tester group experience with Srixon balls Somewhat surprisingly, only 7 of our 10 testers have played Srixon balls previously. Of those that have played Srixon balls previously, two have used freebies given out through event sponsorships and two others haven't played Srixon balls for a number of years. Conversely, one of our testers has played Srixon balls regularly since 2008. What brand of ball are you primarily using (prior to testing the Srixon balls)? [Note, where testers mentioned multiple brands of ball, all have been included] What comes to mind when you think of Srixon balls? As you can imagine, the responses to this question were pretty varied. Some of the common themes that emerged were that Srixon is seen as: Graeme McDowell's ball, but not one played by anyone in my golf circle Not highly advertised, not marketed as well as it could be Innovation in Color Quality and Durability A player in the premium ball category, but not really on the radar to actually game. Titleist has been the standard, then Cally/TMaG. Srixon maybe a tick below those companies A decent ball, but at similar price point it's not good enough to force a change from Titleist What characteristics make a good ball? The last series of questions was to find out our tester group perceptions of what makes for a good ball. As expected, the answers were mostly all over the place, but there were a few commonalities â€“ if you're watching Srixon, this is our wish list â€¦ good luck getting all of these in one small, round packageâ€¦ Driver â€“ Distance with low spin and a flat, penetrating trajectory Irons â€“ Consistent and predictable trajectory and distance Wedges â€“ Consistent trajectory and â€˜hop & stop' (high & predictable) spin Putter â€“ Predictable distance, softer feel, clean alignment mark Other â€“ Durability and excellent visibility Final pre-testing thoughtsâ€¦ Everyone is really excited to be testing these, and to see how these compare to their current gamers. Srixon balls have been in the conversation for a number of the guys, but the consensus has generally been that there hasn't been a strong enough reason to make a switch from their current gamer ball. Watch this space to see if the latest generation of Srixon balls can change thisâ€¦ Testing Process The testers have actually had their balls for a couple of weeks now and have been playing with them regularly. I've had some of them give me little snippets of how the testing is going, and I can guarantee this will be really interesting to follow. You'll all get to read about them in a week or two, as soon as I can get all of the survey results together. The main focus of the results will be how the Srixons compared to their gamers, who wants to keep playing the Srixons they received, and how the testing strengthened or changed their opinions of the balls after playing them for a while. In the meantime, feel free to ask questions or leave comments about your own balls (golf balls only please), or what you think of Srixon in general.