New balls

Srixon's Soft Feel Brite upgrades core for energy to match that of its flashy cover colors, while keeping its namesake attribute

Srixon’s Soft Feel Brite line of fluorescent-hued golf balls unveiled its second generation, looking to appeal to a segment of the marketplace that might be bigger than you think. According to research on serious golfers by Golf Datatech, more golfers are at least somewhat interested in playing a non-white golf ball than would rather not.

That change has been dramatic and a reversal of where the golf ball business was as little as eight years ago. Back then only nine percent of golfers were very interested in colored golf balls and barely third indicated they were at least interested. Now the number who say they’re very interested has more than doubled and those who are at least interested is nearly 60 percent. While the recent “Survey of Golf Product Attitude and Usage” for the Spring of 2020 saw a slight drop to 56 percent in the “at least somewhat interested” number, since the Spring of 2017, the interest level among serious golfers has been consistently at more than half.

Now, while the Srixon Soft Feel Brite’s colors are dramatic, including distinctive matte orange, red and green colors, these are not anything like the putt-putt balls they might evoke. The two-piece design features several components borrowed from the company’s tour-level multilayer urethane-cover balls. Like the standard Soft Feel, the Soft Feel Brite starts with a moderately low overall compression of 60 with the same energized core upgrade found in several of the latest Srixon balls. Called FastLayer, it features progressive firmness toward the core’s perimeter for better resiliency without having to increase compression. Also the same is the aerodynamic cover design, which borrows the 338-dimple pattern from the company’s Z-Star tour-level ball for better carry through the latter part of flight.

The dense ionomer cover (1.6 millimeters) is designed to enhance spin performance compared to traditional non-urethane cover balls.

The appeal of softer-compression balls continues to be a theme in the mind of consumers. The Golf Datatech research suggests that more than two-thirds of golfers still profess at least some interest in playing “low/soft compression” golf balls. Among players with handicaps in double digits, the interest level remains above 70 percent and for those with handicaps in the 20s, it’s at 83 percent.

Those numbers also seem to gibe with the research statistics on colored golf balls, where nearly 70 percent of high handicappers indicate an interest in colored golf balls.

The Srixon Soft Feel Brite is available in stores now ($22 a dozen).