Two years ago, Srixon surprised the heck out of me.
They sent a set of irons, which I well-expected to perform great. But knowing what to expect from those eight clubs gave me time and energy to wonder what I would get from the other clubs in the box. They sent me an end-to-end line that had them very excited, including a driver they were over the moon with and the utility iron they figured to be a game-changer. I was skeptical.
Then I hit the Z 765 driver, and it was a rocket. A freaking rocket.
And then I hit the Z U65 utility 2-iron replacement. It is soundly in the company of the top four clubs I've ever used.
So, what did Srixon do for an encore?
Srixon Z 585 and Z 785 irons are more of an incremental advancement of the company's iron designs. This isn't revolutionary, and it's not billed as such. What these irons are, really, makes them more refined than their older siblings.
The Z 585 irons are a Swiss Army knife of sorts. They're game-improvement, yes, but they're not so far off on the spectrum from a player's iron or a player's distance iron (which, really, is a nice way of saying "game-improvement irons for egos").
These irons still feature 1020 carbon steel forging, just like last generation, as well the SUP10 steel face. What Srixon has developed is something called Speed Groove, which notches out some weight around the perimeter of the head to make the face more flexible, offering higher ball speeds. A material covers the Speed Groove for better feel and acoustics. The 3- to 7-irons feature a 360-degree Speed Groove, with the 8- and 9-irons only have a sole Speed Groove. The wedges don't have a groove. That's kind of the M.O. for this type of distance-generating, feel-saving technology.
The Z 785 irons are a forged, cavity-back player's iron. They're classic, feel great and aren't designed to be packed with technology. They just do good for players demanding control and those not so concerned with distance.
The 785s look a lot like the 765s -- which is to say, delicious -- but more mass has been moved behind the ball for impact purposes. Basically, the V-shape coming up from the sole in the cavity has slid over. The expectation is a little more speed on the quality strikes, with higher ball flight and a softer drop out of the air.
Both iron sets feature the Srixon Tour VT sole, which has been refined for better turf interaction. The 585s naturally have a wider sole than the 785s.
Meanwhile the Z U65 was in need of a new iteration. This happens. But it's hard to mess with success. The Z U65s are legendary. So why change? For one, the goal was to make it easier to put a utility iron in a full set. So, the Z U85s have a slightly wider sole -- to work better in the 585 family -- and a deeper center of gravity. They're still a hollow-body iron that looks and feels great. The line is deeper now, going from 2- to 6-iron, adding the 5- and 6-iron options from the last generation. If all goes well, this could be a precursor to a full hollow-body set from the company. In the meantime...
The Srixon Z 585 irons are available in 3-iron through AW for $1,000 in stock Nippon Modus3 105 steel shafts and $1,200 in stock Miyazaki Kuala graphite shafts. The Z 785 is also available in 3-iron through AW at the same seven-piece price point. The Nippon Modus3 120 is the stock shaft, while a graphite shaft would be a special order. Srixon is offering a variety of shaft options from aftermarket makers at no upcharge.
The Z U85 Utility is available in 2- through 6-iron, sporting the UST Recoil 95 shaft as stock for $200 each.
Srixon Golf Z 585 and Z 785 driver, Z F85 fairway woods, Z H85 hybrids
Srixon irons are still Srixon irons in the 85 generation, and that's great. But Srixon is working hard to get your attention with their Z Series of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, going so far as to guarantee their performance against their peers with a 60-day, money-back guarantee. Obviously they're confident in their offering, but why?
Well, the story doesn't sound that different at first blush. We've got a carbon fiber-integrated body, with a titanium cup face. Srixon is using a new titanium material for golf, called Ti51AF, which, as you might imagine, is billed as stronger and lighter than the very popular Ti 6-4. That means a thinner face for more explosive distance and better speed across the face, all contained in a bigger profile against the total head size. The carbon-fiber crown is new for Srixon over the Z 565 and Z 765 drivers. The goal with a crown is to maintain total integrity while keeping as little actual weight there as possible, so as to move it down and back for a more forgiving head.
Between the Z 585 and the Z 785 drivers, the difference is primarily launch and bias. The Z 785 flies lower and lays neutral, while the Z 585 has a draw bias and is intended to fly higher. The Z 785 has hosel-based adjustability settings, while the Z 585 doesn't. That explains the center of gravity difference for higher launch on the Z 585. The adjustability is fairly limited, however, with the intent of preventing the average golfer from making a catastrophic change.
The Srixon Z 585 and Z 785 driver is available with HZRDUS stock shafts -- HZRDUS Red in the 585 and Handcrafted HZRDUS Black 65 in the 785. You can vacillate into whichever HZRDUS -- color, and Handcrafted or not -- fits your game.
The Srixon Z 785 will retail for $500 and will be available in 9.5- and 10.5-degree models. The Z 585 driver retails for $400 in 9.5- and 10.5- degree heads.
On the fairways and hybrids, Srixon feels particularly confident in their hybrids, with the Z H85 built with a bigger profile to fit more golfers while reducing offset so they don't look ghastly off to a better player. The Z H85 hybrids are available in 16-, 19- and 22-degree heads at $230 each.
The Z F85 fairway woods sport a HT 1770 steel cup face, with the 3- and 3-plus woods boasting a carbon-fiber crown for improved launch characteristics and ball speed. They'll run $250 each with a stock HZRDUS Red 65 shaft in 3-, 3-plus- and 5-wood heads.
The whole line is available Sept. 14.