Srixon makes some of most underappreciated irons in golf. Their Z85 iron line — the Z585 and Z785 irons and the Z U85 utilities — were awesome. They’re also two years old, which makes them ancient by golf-club release standards. It’s time for them to go to pasture.
So, Srixon was challenged with making something even better in this new release. They believe they’ve found better with the new ZX family, with the ZX5 game-improvement iron, the ZX7 single-piece forged iron for better players and the ZX utilities, which seek to do even better than the best utility irons I’ve played.
The standout feature for the ZX5 irons is something called Mainframe, which is a term to explain a variable thickness pattern made up of grooves, channels, and cavities that’s milled into the back of the face of the iron. The shaping was designed with rapid virtual prototyping using modeling and instruction to software to optimize against certain ideal traits, namely distance and forgiveness. The Mainframe face is designed to maximize energy transfer to the ball across the face while flexing at the right stress points.
Of course, there’s human input in the process, too. Computers can only do so much engineering. After all, they can’t hear or feel, which is where human engineers come in and ensure the iron delivers on the acoustics and feel that a player will appreciate.
The Mainframe face is part of a multi-piece construction to the more forgiving of the two irons, blending a high-strength steel in the insert into a 1020 carbon steel frame. The company has also introduced progressive groove shaping into these irons. In the shorter irons, they’re sharper, narrower and closer together to maximize spin and stopping power over distance. From the 7-iron on, however, the grooves are wider, shallower and farther apart so as to allow the Mainframe face to be thinned further and allow more pop in the bat.
Notched sole areas are back on the iron, too, bringing in better turf interaction, which most every golfer needs. With more bounce on the leading edge and less at the trailing edge, a golfer should get through the turf decently enough, even on fat shots.
The total package is more refined looking than the Z585, which got knocked for looking too techy. The Srixon golfer is probably a little more picky, to be honest, but you have to appeal to your fan base. These ZX5 irons appear to do that while advancing technology to help golfers.
The Srixon ZX5 irons are $1,300 in an eight-piece set for either Nippon N.S. PRO Modus3 Tour 105 steel or UST Mamiya Recoil 95 graphite shafts.
The story of the ZX7 irons is less sexy, to be honest, but that’s to expected in an iron designed to be for a better golfer. The ZX7 irons are each forged from one piece of 1020 carbon steel, and there’s no Mainframe technology because there’s no face insert. Rather, the impact story is moving more mass behind the ideal impact zone to deliver better ball speeds for more consistent players. This has become a more common theme in player’s irons in recent memory.
To offset that moved mass, the ZX7s feature tungsten weighting in the toe, delivering back some of the forgiveness lost by moving mass from the perimeter toward the middle. The tungsten weighting also helps maintain moment of inertia compared to the Z785s, as the blade length has been shortened a hair.
The progressive grooves and notched sole features carry through to the ZX7, too, which has more weight low and back so as to impact dynamic lofting at impact.
The Srixon ZX7 irons are $1,300 in an eight-piece set in Nippon N.S. PRO Modus3 120 Tour steel shafts.
ZX utility irons
Srixon always faces a problem in trying to make their utility irons better. They’re already amazing. The Z U65 2-iron I have in my bag is my favorite club. I will hit it until the face caves in. It’s that good. From my cold, dead hands.
The Z U85s were very well received, too. How do you make the best utility iron better? Well, with the ZX utility irons, Srixon decided to go with a smaller profile and a shorter blade length. They’ve tried to thin out the topline with a chamfered look, hide some offset and make the back of the iron more invisible over the ball. For some reason, some people don’t like that, so the muscle is smaller and the sole is thinner. To compensate for a thinning out, there’s now more tungsten in the sole to keep that center of gravity low and protect moment of inertia.
The big upgrade is adding the Mainframe face insert on this hollow-body utility.
The Srixon ZX utility irons are $220 each, available in 18-, 20- and 23-degree heads with a stock UST Mamiya Recoil 95 graphite shaft.
The whole family is available Jan. 15, 2021.