Srixon ZX Mk II Irons – Key Takeaways
- Updates to Srixon ZX7, ZX5 and ZX4 models and utility irons
- Designed for combo sets—all toplines the same width
- New Z-Forged blades also part of the release
- $1,199 for a 7-piece set; Utility irons $239.99
- Available Jan 20; blades April 19
The new Srixon ZX Mk II irons, at first glance, follow Srixon’s well-documented Kaizen philosophy of incremental improvement. Sure, there are technical updates and improvements but nothing that grabs you by the shirt and says, “Notice me!”
However, a mere cursory look at the Srixon ZX Mk II would be a mistake.
Srixon irons have long been an underground favorite for MyGolfSpy readers. In our recent WITB Survey, Srixon irons sold on par with PING and PXG. That’s a rate that’s roughly double Srixon’s overall irons market share.
Make no mistake. Srixon is going after big dogs Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist. From all outward appearances, we think Srixon has Mizuno in its crosshairs and wants to be the player’s choice.
And from what we can tell, the new ZX Mk II irons—and the companion utility irons—are a healthy opening salvo.
Srixon ZX Mk II Irons: What’s New?
In true Kaizen fashion, most of the upgrades to the Srixon ZX Mk II irons are incremental. The single-piece 1020 forged ZX7 gets a boost to its Pureframe technology. And the player’s distance ZX5 is getting the next-generation AI-designed Mainframe variable thickness face.
Maybe the most obvious upgrade is to the newly slimmed-down game-improvement ZX4. When we tested the original ZX4 in 2021 Most Wanted, it was included in the super game-improvement category (the ZX5 was considered game-improvement). But with its new, sleek profile and thinner sole width, the ZX4 jumps to game-improvement while the ZX5 moves into the player’s distance category.
That’s all fine and dandy but the big news with the Srixon ZX Mk II irons can only be seen from above. Like the Mizuno Pro iron family, the Srixon ZX Mk II irons are made to be blended, so much so that Srixon has intentionally made all of the toplines the same width. That includes the utility irons.
“We’ve talked about combo sets and blending for multiple generations,” says Srixon Engineering Director Dustin Brekke. “We’ve been mindful of it, but for this line, it’s been a point of emphasis from the engineering to the specs.”
Considering 75 percent of Srixon’s irons sales are custom orders, it’s a wise path to take.
Toplines, Sole Widths and Blade Lengths
The topline in all three of the new Srixon ZX Mk II iron sets is six millimeters as the topline for the ZX utility iron. While it seems like a no-brainer, Brekke says it’s not that easy to pull off. “Getting the topline to match with hollow bodies like the ZX4 and ZX Utility, that’s not a trivial feat. You have wider soles (than the ZX5 and ZX7) and you’re going to have a back side to it. And you have to make sure it has a more player’s type size face.”
In the previous generation, the ZX 4 and ZX Utility looked, as best, like half-siblings to the ZX5 and ZX7. They had a shorter, fatter profile with much wider soles, long blade lengths and thicker toplines. Srixon has taken care of the topline and has narrowed the differences in blade lengths and sole widths.
For example, there’s a scant three millimeter difference in pitching wedge blade length between ZX7 and ZX4, and less than a four millimeter difference in 7-iron blade length. The sole widths, obviously, have wider deltas, but they’re not crazy. The difference in 4-iron sole width between the ZX7 and ZX4 is less than 4mm while the ZX Utility 4-iron sole is 7mm wider than that of the ZX7. As the irons get shorter, the sole width difference gets wider.
Offsets with combo sets can get hinky but, again, the differences here are minimal. Throughout all three sets and the utilities, the widest difference loft to loft is only 1mm.
Srixon ZX7 Irons and Pureframe
Surprisingly, the Srixon ZX7 was a bottom-third performer in 2021’s Most Wanted Player’s Iron testing. While it scored very highly for distance and testers loved the feel, it struggled in Strokes Gained. The new model is getting an updated version of Srixon’s Pureframe technology. It’s a ridge forged into the body of the iron that places 80 percent more mass at the sweet spot.
“Mass behind the ball relates to vibrations and face deflection at impact,” says Brekke. “In this generation, there’s more analysis so we better understand face deflection in a forged cavity-back. We’re better able to create a blade-like buttery feel.”
The ZX7 is definitely on the better-player side of the player’s cavity-back segment. However, adjustments to Srixon’s trademark VT Sole and unique Sole Notches are aimed at making it a bit more friendly.
“Sole Notches are there to reduce drag where the heel or toe may be catching the turf more than intended,” says Brekke. “Maybe it’s turf condition or maybe the player is a little more upright or flat. We’re trying to reduce that variable.”
Additionally, the VT Sole has a bit more added bounce on the leading edge to get the club head through the turf better and to reduce the impact of slightly fat shots.
The Srixon ZX5 Irons and Mainframe
The Srixon ZX5 Iron was a top-five performer in our 2021 game-improvement iron but it finished in the bottom half for distance. Since Srixon is moving the ZX5 into the player’s distance category, something has to give.
“There’s no massive evolution with the ZX5,” says Brekke. “But there are adjustments and improvements to the Mainframe face and the variable thickness pattern to reduce mass and increase ball speed.”
Mainframe is Srixon’s computer-design face technology. It’s a variable thickness pattern with grooves, channels and cavities forged into the back of the forged SUP10 face. Srixon has been using SUP10 for years. It’s a tough steel with relatively high tensile strength. The ZX5 iron body is forged from 1020 carbon steel.
Overhaul for the Srixon ZX4 Irons
When Srixon released the ZX4 Irons in 2021, it seemed like an iron without a home. It was, and still is, a hollow-bodied iron built for distance and forgiveness. But it seemed out of place in the super game-improvement category and had a little too much junk in the trunk to be player’s distance. For this go-round, Srixon isn’t leaving it up to interpretation: it’s calling the ZX4 “game-improvement” (period and exclamation point!.
The lofts are very much in line with others in the GI category (28.5-degree 7-iron) but with more than 25 percent less offset that Paradym X, it definitely leans toward the better player side of game-improvement. Srixon is using high-strength HT 1770M stainless steel for the Mainframe-designed variable thickness face for the ZX4’s hollow-bodied construction.
And it’s truly a hollow body with no TPU, microspheres or any other type of medicated goo to absorb sound and vibration. Usually, that type of construction sounds, well, clanky—at best. But the combination of HT 1770M face, a 431 stainless steel body and some engineering and geometry make the ZX4 feel more like a single-piece forging than a game-improvement iron. It’s a pretty slick trick.
The sole has also been thinned out compared to the previous version so it’ll fit more seamlessly into a combo set with the ZX5 and ZX7.
It wouldn’t be a game-improvement iron story without a “low CG” paragraph or two. A low center of gravity helps get the ball in the air and, when combined with strong lofts, makes the ball go like hell. The ZX4 features extra hunks of tungsten low in the sole to push the CG to subterranean levels.
Srixon ZX Utility Irons
The ZX utility irons are also getting a makeover. The goal is to make them flow seamlessly into a combo set with the ZX5s, given a ZX4 long-iron player is more likely to partner up with a hybrid than a utility iron. Again, the topline has been thinned but the sole is actually just a tad wider than the previous model.
“As you get to your longer irons, you aren’t taking nearly as big of a divot,” says Brekke. “You have a shallower angle of attack, you’re compressing less and your hands are less in front of the ball. So you need less bounce.”
The Srixon ZX utility irons feature the AI-designed Mainframe variable thickness face. It’s made from the same forged SUP10 material as the ZX5 face and the body is the same forged 1020 carbon steel.
Srixon utility irons are a favorite among MyGolfSpy readers. You named it your third most popular utility in our WITB survey and lots of PGA TOUR players game at least one Srixon utility without a contract. That includes Scottie Scheffler, who had one in his bag when he won the Masters last year.
Srixon ZX Mk II Irons: Specs, Price and Availability
As mentioned, 75 percent of Srixon’s irons sales are custom-ordered and -built. The ZX Mk II iron line is designed to maximize custom builds. The ZX7 and ZX5 lofts are close enough to make the 6- to 7-iron transition smooth but the ZX4’s strong loft matrix might make gapping with the ZX5 a little hinky. Nothing a good fitting and a bending machine can’t fix.
The utility irons are available in 2-, 3- and 4-irons (18-, 20- and 23-degree lofts).
The Nippon Modus3 120 is the stock steel shaft for the ZX7s while the KBS Tour Light is stock in both the ZX4 and ZX5. The UST Mamiya Recoil Dart is the stock graphite shaft for all three irons sets as well as for the ZX utility irons.
The Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 is the stock grip. The entire line is available for lefties and righties.
No matter how you mix and match, a seven-piece Srixon ZX Mk II iron set runs $1,199.99 or just over $171 per stick. The ZX utility irons will retail for $239.99 each.
For more information, visit the new Dunlop Sports-Srixon-Cleveland-XXIO website.
New Srixon Z-Forged II Blade Irons
Srixon is also giving its forged blades their scheduled four-year makeover. If you’re a serious OEM, you need a sexy set of blades. And these scream serious. And sexy.
“The product lifecycles with blades are longer because it’s not evolving as quickly,” says Brekke. “We can improve the high-low MOI, which is very small in a blade. If we remove a little mass from the edges and leave more in the center, in the blade flange and in the muscle, we can make some minor improvements.
“That could help a Tour player as long as we don’t mess up the feel on the center or mess up performance on the sole.”
The Srixon Z-Forged II blades are forged from 1020 carbon steel and feature some of the same technology as the Srixon ZX irons. There’s Srixon’s VT sole for turf interaction as well as Srixon’s unique progressive grooves. The 3- through 7-irons feature wider grooves (ideal for distance) while the 8-irons through pitching wedges have deeper, closer set grooves to channel through grass and other junk to enhance spin on approach shots.
“It’s a staple of the product line,” says Brekke. “But it’s recommended for very few.”
As long as those very few are right-handed. Sorry, lefties.
The Nippon Modus3 120 is the stock shaft and the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 is the stock grip.
The Srixon Z-Forged II blade irons will run $1,199.99 for a seven-piece set.
For more information, hit the Srixon website.