Srixon makes a good driver. They really do. I gamed one several years ago for a review, and I was frankly blown away how well it performed. Perhaps that was because I hadn't been programmed over the years to expect Srixon -- whose balls and irons I regularly play -- to produce a terrific 1-wood.
The point is that the struggle to break through against their peers is tough. The quickest way to stand out is to produce a driver that is long and straight and can beat the competition on a range or in a fitting room.
That's what the company thinks they have with their new ZX drivers.
Srixon ZX5 and ZX7 drivers
The foundation of the two drivers -- the ZX5 and ZX7 -- is the Rebound Frame. The Rebound Frame increases ball speed by taking a titanium cup face and creating three sections: the flexing area in the hitting zone, a small stiffer portion on the outer perimeter which allows the face to flex, then another small flexing area on the outermost perimeter of the cup face. It's that last outermost section that is the secret sauce when working in tandem with the reinforcing nature of the clubhead, which has ribbing to help with performance.
The carbon-fiber crown is 15 percent larger than the prior generation of Srixon driver, and that additional profile was shaped to help with aerodynamic performance. The weight savings from the crown were then used to drive the center of gravity positioning and increasing forgiveness through moment of inertia.
The ZX5 driver is the more forgiving of the two offerings, with a center of gravity position that's more low and back compared to the ZX7, which brings the CG closer to the hitting zone while trying to balance MOI. The ZX5 has a rear weight pad to push the CG position, and it looks more like an arrow or triangle compared to the rounder ZX7, which has a longer skirt.
The ZX7 has heel and toe weight positions to set up a draw or fade bias, with four- and eight-gram weights stock, while other weights are available. The ZX5 has a single back-positioned weight port.
Comparing the two, the ZX5 is more forgiving and launches higher compared to the ZX7, which is designed for a more penetrating ball flight from a better player.
Both drivers have an adjustable hosel that offers lots of options, including loft (up or down by 1 degree), lie angle (up or down by up to 2 degrees) and face angle (open or closed up to 2 degrees).
The Srixon ZX drivers are both available in 9.5- and 10.5-degree heads for right- and left-handed players. The ZX5 features a stock Project X EvenFlow Riptide in R, S and X flex, while the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 is also available in R, S and X flexes. The ZX7 features the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 in R, S and X flexes. Other options are available, including several no-charge upgrades.
Each driver drops Jan. 15, with the ZX5 at $500 and the ZX7 at $530.
Fairway woods and hybrids
The ZX family of fairway woods and hybrids also feature their respective versions of Rebound Frame technology, but each also features what's dubbed the Crown Step, which is a stepped crown designed to lower the center of gravity by reshaping the look of the crown. With so many golfers struggling to hit fairway woods in the sweet spot, instead finding the lower portion of the face, a lower center of gravity position helps max out ball speeds where the bell curve hit the ball.
The 13.5- and 15-degree 3-woods feature carbon-fiber crowns, while the 5- and 7-woods have steel crowns. The thinking is the 3-wood is big enough to benefit from the material and weight savings, while the other fairway woods won't. They still cost the same: $270 each.
The Srixon ZX fairway woods are available in a 13.5-, 15-, 18- and 21-degree heads for righties, while lefties can only get the 5- and 7-woods. The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 is the stock shaft in R, S and X flexes.
The ZX hybrids are available for $230 each in 16-, 19-, 22-, 25- and 28-degree heads for righties, with the 19- and 22-degree hybrids available for lefties. The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 80 is the stock offering.
With both lines, there are no-charge upgrade options available and custom shafts available for an upcharge. The whole line is available Jan. 15.