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The Tour Response offers premium-like performance without the price tag. It is great for those who have a faster-than-average swing speed and want good control around the greens too.
- Great all-round feel
- Distance off the tee
- More affordable price
- Slightly quicker swing speed needed
With a short game feel and control to rival many premium models, the Srixon Q-Star Tour is a hugely impressive performer in the increasingly competitive mid-priced golf ball category.
- Impressive short game spin
- Delivers good height and distance
- Soft feel off the putter
- Price is near tour level balls
TaylorMade Tour Response vs Srixon Q-Star Tour
In this review, we compare the TaylorMade Tour Response golf ball with the Srixon Q-Star Tour, to see which of these mid-range balls delivers the best performance for golfers on a budget.
TaylorMade consumer surveys found that many golfers play expensive premium balls that aren’t suited to their actual playing ability and wanted to tempt golfers to look beyond market leading tour balls.
The result was the TaylorMade Tour Response. Srixon is also targeting the same golf demographic with its Q-Star Tour ball, its softest ball delivering tour level performance.
Both balls are made with urethane covers, the gold standard material used to cover most of the best golf balls and both have an overall compression around the 70-72 mark, significantly lower than market-leading balls like the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x.
We tested both on the golf course and on a launch monitor to see how they compared.
The TaylorMade Tour Response looks like an expensive premium ball. Its 322 dimples form a clean uniform pattern and it has a quality soft and tacky feel in the hand.
The numbers on the Tour Response are deep red and its branded alignment arrow shows the ball name as well as making it easy to line up drives and putts.
Srixon’s Q-Star Tour ball looks and feels like its top-end Z-STAR ball but has a black number instead of red. The black alignment arrow on the side is a nice touch combining the ball name and a handy aiming guide off the tee and on the greens. As a urethane covered ball, it also has a nice sticky feel in the hand.
The TaylorMade Tour Response felt firmer than the Srixon Q-Star Tour, especially off the putter face and wedges, and with finesse shots around the green.
Srixon uses SpinSkin with SeRM, a form of flexible coating which it says digs deep into wedge and iron grooves for increased friction and maximum spin. In short game testing, both balls performed well, offer plenty of stop and a predictable reaction on landing. On pure feel and feedback, I enjoyed chipping and pitching the Srixon ball more.
It seemed softer and more responsive, especially when I didn’t quite middle it.
With centre strikes and good shots, the Tour Response reacts well, with plenty of spring and energy, but mishit shots felt dull and a little lifeless. Sometimes, the ball felt heavy and dense off the face.
The Srixon Q-Star Tour felt superior around the greens, generating more spin, especially on short to mid-range low flighted pitches. On higher softer shots, like lobs and greenside pitches, both balls performed about the same.
- Read our full TaylorMade Tour Response Ball review
The flight and spin profiles of the TaylorMade Tour Response and Srixon Q-Star Tour are similar. Both balls are pitched as mid-high launch and low spin and this pattern had merit during on-course and launch monitor testing.
For two balls with high launch low-spin characteristics and a softer compression core, you’d expect similar results. With mid to long irons, I got similar flight profiles but more stability in the flight with the Tour Response.
Both balls stopped quickly on approach shots into greens but the Tour Response flies a lot like the best TaylorMade golf balls with less spin and a straighter flight that doesn’t deviate.
The Q-Star Tour ball flew higher for me and was marginally less accurate in terms of dispersion on the launch monitor.
It was hard to separate the balls in terms of distance control in a round of mid-iron testing. Both were as long as tour balls I’ve played and averaged over 170 yards with 7-iron in testing – further than my stock yardage of 169 – recorded on a gapping test with a Pro V1x using a Foresight GC2 launch monitor.
In driver testing, TaylorMade Tour Response was a clear favourite for me.
It launched high and flew with a stable consistent flight. The spin rate was a touch high at just below 3000rpm, but it didn’t prevent the ball getting out there. On course, in a stiff breeze, it flew with a nice rainbow flight and seemed to cut through wind well.
The Srixon Q-Star Tour launched and flew higher but felt spinny on the course and testing it on the launch monitor, I just couldn’t get the distance I was achieving with the Tour Response.
Both balls performed well around the green, the Srixon Q-Star Tour edging it slightly because of its combination its softer feel and grippier cover on chips and pitches.
Launch monitor testing showed that the Q-Star Tour span more with my wedges than the TaylorMade Tour Response but that the TaylorMade ball held a tighter dispersion and was generally more consistent in peak flight.
The TaylorMade Tour Response ball feels like a softer and cheaper version of the brand’s elite TP5 and TP5 X balls with its only downside being a firm, dull feel on off-centre strikes.
Srixon’s Q-Star Tour excels around the green and held its own in long game testing but didn’t click for me off the tee.
Considering the price point, I would rate both balls comfortably in the best mid-price golf balls category delivering tour-like performance, soft feel and ample distance. It’s likely that moderate to slower swingers will experience better distance gains by switching to a softer lower compression ball with a thinner faster cover.
Which ball should you choose?
Choose the TaylorMade Tour Response if...
- You want a value-for-money three piece golf ball that performs close to premium equivalents
- You want higher launch, consistent distance and stable flight in the long game
- You prefer a firmer feel on short shots
- Value durability over time
Choose the Srixon Q-Star Tour if…
- You like a soft feeling high spinning ball around the greens
- Want to flight it higher with your irons and driver
- You are already accurate with your iron play but need short game improvements
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Matthew Moore fell in love with golf hitting an old 3-iron around his school playing field imagining rugby posts were flags and long jump pits as bunkers.
He earned golf scholarships to the University of St Andrews and Emory University, Atlanta, U.S.A and dreamed of playing professionally before training as a journalist.
He has worked at Golf Monthly and CNN Sports as well as covering golf news, features, products and travel as a freelance writer and TV presenter for newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. Matthew has interviewed Ryder Cup Captains, Major Champions and legends of the game and rates sharing a glass of rioja and a bowl of nuts with Miguel Angel Jimenez as his favourite moment. Matthew plays off 1, has won five club championships and aced the first hole of Augusta National’s Par-3 course in 2002.
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