Way too long breakdown of a round I played at my home course this afternoon upon receiving my dozen QST Divide yellow / red.
Quick background. 7 Handicap (Prior to this round). Driver swing speed is around 93 on a bad day. Around 99 on a good day. Have tested a number of balls in various categories this year but settled back on Pro V1X (Had been using previous generations for a few years now). Have played QST occasionally in the past and thought it was a really good value ball. See signature for WITB if curious.
Balls previously tested this year in order of personal preference:
2021 Pro V1X
2021 Chrome Soft X
Vice Pro Plus
Chrome Soft X LS
Top Flite Gamer
Callaway ERC Soft
Conditions - Medium fairways Soft greens 90 degrees 10 MPH wind gusting to 15
Hole 1 - 360 yard dogleg left par 4. Out of bounds right. Tree lined. Hit a 3 wood that didn't really fade. Came of as a low hot knuckler (my general flight off a tee with 3 wood. Longest 3 wood I've ever hit on that hole. Maybe my longest tee shot on that hole. Had what I eyeballed as 80 yards. Hit it about 25 feet past the pin with a 54 degree. Our greens are soft bent. Ball was about a foot short of the pitch mark. Attempted to use the divide to line up my putt on 1. I've toyed with Triple Track and the Pro V1X Aim before. Definitely prefer both to this but Im not one to generally prefer lining up something on the ball anyone. It fits my eye line better to aim the putter down my aim line. I 2 putted with about a 3 foot clean up.
Ball felt strange off of every club. Not a bad feel but unique. I've never played with a matte cover before. Definitely not overly soft like some balls but nothing near firm. I'd describe it as a dull feeling. Particularly off the 3 wood and putter.
Hole 2 - 140 yard significantly downhill par 3. Back pin. 9 is usually too much. Wedge isn't enough to get to that pin without a hard hook (which I cant hit with the ZX4 short irons). Push into the right bunker even with the middle of the green. Exactly as I would expect for direction and distance with the swing I made. Sort of chunky bunker shot by accident. Ran out more than Id expect by a few feet so it was good. Made a 7 footer for par.
Hole 3 - 530 yard par 5. Forced layup off the tee. Fatted my 4 hybrid. Layup second was a good cut 3 hybrid. Distance was as expected. starting to see a pattern that the ball doesn't curve much. Third was a chippy 9. Came up just short. Chip was about 30 feet. Had 15 feet of fringe to cover. Thinned it pretty badly. Went 25 feet by. Feel like a Pro V1X punishes me less on that strike. Made the putt.
Started to notice that while I don't like divide for aiming putts I love how it helps me see break as the ball rolls.
Hole 4 - 500 yard par 5. Drive was a bit heely but did well. Had 240 in. Pulled my 3 wood into some trees next to a creek. Ball must be lucky because somehow it wasnt in the creek. (A First) 75 yard wedge shot off a bare lie. Tried to play a low driving 54 under limbs and one hop it to a back left pin. Ball checked up immediately. Two putt par.
Hole 5 - 190 yard par 3. Right pin. Usually a 4 hybrid. Hit a high cut 4 hybrid (Maybe faded a yard or two, this ball generally wasn't curving much). Landed about 10 feet left and stopped within 2 or 3 feet. Made a 10-12 footer for birdie.
Hole 6 - 370 Yards Uphill into the wind. Hit a high pull fade but out of the middle of the driver. Wind killed the ball in air and got little if any roll. Had 145 in. Seems standard given the conditions. Hit a bad second shot. 20 yard pitch from a good lie in the rough. One hop and stop. Made par.
Hole 7. 400 par 4. Straight pull left but solid. Had to try and hook a 7 iron from about 160 around trees. Was curious if I could work this ball enough. I over did it and clipped a limb. Had almost an identical pitch to 6. Hit the exact same shot. Exact same result.
Hole 8 313 par 4. Tight tee shot with water lurking left and if you go further down right as well. Laid back with a cut 3 wood. For once once I heeled and left one open it did curve into trouble but not by much. Second from 75 ish yards. Chip and run 8 iron under a tree. Was surprised it ran out as much as it did. 3 Putt from 40 feet past. Poor speed on a long down hill put. Hit such a poor putt the divide break visual assist did not save the comebacker.
Hole 9 - Dogleg left par 4 340. Beautiful tight draw 3 wood over the bunker at the corner. 100 yards in. Wedge came up short in the front middle of the green to a back left pin. Not blaming the ball. I quit on it. Ball may have actually helped. Ball pretty much sat where it landed. Left a 35 footer about 6 feet short. Pace control with longer putts starting to be an issue. Saved par.
Hole 10 - 190 downhill par 3. 5 Iron into right greenside bunker. Standard. Terrible lie in the back of the bunker. Thought I caught it ok. Slightly thin. A "spinnier tour ball" might have held the fringe. QSTD did not. pitch coming back lipped out.
Hole 11. - Dogleft right par 4. Drive ended up where a good fade always does (except shorter than a monster CSX LS fade that literally doesn't spin). Missed a wedge slight wedge trying to get to a tucked pin. Had a foot of rough, 2 feet of fringe, and 15 feet of green in my way. Chose to bumb a 3 wood. Ball reacted nicely. Went about 4 feet by. Divide helped seeing the break there again.
Hole 12 - dogleg left par 5. Took an aggressive line. over water. Actually went too far and had a bit of a tree issue for my second from the right side of the fairway. Tried to hammer a 3 hybrid between clubs from about 210-215ish. Didn't fade. Was pin high though so a plus for distance. Flop shot reacted as expect but I pull nuked it to 25 feet. 2 putt par. Ran it 3 feet by but divide helped with seeing the comeback line.
Hole 13 - 130 par 3. Over water. Back pin. Front pin at 120-125 is max PW. Had to hit a 3/4 cut 9. Ball had some sauce when it hit the green. missed a 15 foot birdie.
Hole 14 - Tee shot gives me nightmares. 370 slightly uphill. If you miss the fairway right youre in thick rough and you have massive trees blocking the green. Piped a tight draw to about 120 out. PW was pushed slight but achieved about 3 feet of backspin. Two putt par from 15 feet.
Hole 15. Forced layup short 4. Hit 3 hybrid further down then I ever have before on this hole. Had about a 60 yard flip 58. Flag tucked back left behind a ridge. Land it on said ridge and get some one hop and stop to 4 feet action. Birdie.
Hole 16 - 175 significantly downhill par 3 Trees left keep me from really trying to play a cut but its my natural shot with mid to long irons. Usually hit it on the middle of the right side of the green. Pin was dead middle. Today I hit 7 iron. Barely faded one a yard in there. Landed 3 feet short right at the pin. Finished 3 feet right even with the pin. Birdie.
Hole 17. 370 Downhill narrow tee shot. OB right. Big pull hook left. Had to hit a little low punch slice runner. Used driver. Curved plenty. Another 20 ish yard pitch shot. Judged landing and rollout really well again. Ball was reacting exactly as I would expect. Made a 7 footer for par.
Hole 18 - 475 uphill dogleg right par 5. I need a good one down the left to reach in two. I hit an ugly low heel strike that did reasonably well but I was not far enough down or left to go at the green because of the trees. Laid up to 50-60 yards. 3rd from the rough. Back pin on a shelf. Land it right on the shelf. One hop to 4 feet.
I then lip the 4 footer on the low side to shoot 1 under 70. I joined this course this year. I probably have 50 rounds on it plus 5 in the past. 74 was my previous low here. 73 is what I'd call my best round at a "real course" (I've shot 69 on a really dinky par 69 and 71 on a dinky par 71). (1.1 Differential - Previous career best was 2.8 I think)
Distance - Good. Up there with most premium balls and other mid tier balls. Not the longest or shortest of the balls I mentioned testing this year with any club. Probably upper half at least.
Feel - Similar to other mid tier balls that are softer than tour balls but not your silly soft budget
balls yet a very weird sensation that might be attributed to the matte cover. It definitely seems different than prior generations of normal QST). Felt most odd off the putter.
Spin - Seemed very good for a ball in this category. Seemed to have plenty with the wedges and irons and kill it pretty well with the longer clubs. Of the balls I mentioned only the Pro V1X, CSX, and Vice Pro Plus spun more.
Durability - I played 18 holes with 1 ball. It took a couple trips to the trees. My wedges only have a few rounds on them. The ball does not look it has been touched. Seriously. It's nuts.
Value for money - If you cannot justify playing whatever "premium" ball fits you best, or you really don't benefit from "premium" balls over "mid tier balls with premium materials" definitely try this ball. I seriously might switch. I'm going to milk this dozen for as long as possible then make a decision as I only have 1 dozen Pro V1X yellow left.
Divide - As strictly a putt alignment tool it's not for me. Triple Track or even Titleist AIM is better. However, the divide look is amazing for seeing how chips and putts are breaking. Same goes for a ball spinning in the air. Its very easy to follow the ball mid flight (and pick it back up in flight if you lose it) and quick to find in a variety of lies. I think its brilliant and I'm not sure why its been forever since anyone has done this.
Dispersion - I seriously feel like a number of the swings / strikes I made would have finished further offline with any other ball I've played recently. My bad shots were more controlled. Just going off results with similar feeling swings with the same clubs.
Bottom Line - This round dropped my handicap from 7.1 to 6.1 - It was the first time I ever broke par. I'm more than intrigued. Hopefully I can get out this weekend and test the ball on a firmer course and see if it still holds up.