Srixon ZX Drivers, Fairways and Hybrids
- The entire lineup features Rebound Frame – face flexing technology designed for ball speed.
- ZX5 is the more forgiving, higher launching driver; ZX7 is targeted at the better player with adjustable sole weights for fade/draw bias.
- ZX fairways feature low/forward weighting – called Cannon Sole – for penetrating launch.
- Crown Step in fairways and hybrids helps lower the center of gravity.
If you feel the need for speed, the new Srixon ZX drivers – and their companion fairway woods and hybrids – are doing their damnedest to feed that need. The entire Srixon ZX metal wood lineup is all about ball speed for one simple reason.
That’s what people buy.
“The whole product line is focused on ball speed,” Dustin Brekke, Srixon’s Director of Engineering R&D, tells MyGolfSpy. “If we can’t stand up to a launch monitor and see the ball speeds we see with competitive products, then you don’t even get a seat at the table.”
The driver table is particularly crowded, with more butts than seats. Srixon is hoping its new ZX drivers are fast enough to at least grab a share of a chair. There’s some interesting tech in the new Srixon ZX drivers so let’s take a gander.
Srixon ZX Drivers – Fighting For a Chair
We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: the status quo is one stubborn mistress. The Big Five’s dominance in the driver market is near absolute. Nine out of every 10 drivers sold come from TaylorMade, Callaway, PING, Titleist or Cobra. That doesn’t leave much room for everyone else.
Srixon, and the rest of the industry, has to grab, claw and street brawl for that 10th seat at the table. And ball speed is the knockout punch.
“Without ball speed, you’re not going to get any further into a fitting experience,” says Brekke. “Ball speed sells with fitters, it sells at retail and it sells with Tour players. It’s clearly a driving factor in performance and that’s where our focus is.”
Srixon drivers have performed well in our Most Wanted testing. The Srixon Z565 and Z765 copped first and fifth overall in 2017, while the most recent Z585 and 785 models were middle-of-the-pack or slightly better performers in both 2019 and 2020. Solid, but with the rest of the industry chasing ball speed, standing still is not an option.
The Z85 series drivers used a redesigned cup face made from a new titanium alloy – Ti51AF – to find speed. The new Srixon ZX drivers are still using Ti51AF but with a new twist on face flex called Rebound Frame.
Rebound Frame – Layers of Speed
OEMs like to use terms like “diving board” to describe how face flex can improve ball speed. One term they generally avoid is “trampoline,” as it tends to raise eyebrows at the USGA. Srixon, however, finds the trampoline analogy – with a twist – perfect to describe Rebound Frame and its alternating pattern of flexible and rigid zones.
“The combination of rigid zones around the flex zones allows the whole region to become a trampoline,” explains Brekke. “The ring around a trampoline is rigid. That’s where the springs connect and you jump on the middle of that. But your motion is limited to the black tarp area. But if the trampoline’s legs are also springs, your region of motion is the whole trampoline, not just the center.”
In simple terms, Rebound Frame is that trampoline with springs instead of legs. The TI51AF face is a flex zone, like the mat and springs of a trampoline. The stiffened perimeter of the cup face is a rigid zone, like the frame of the trampoline. However, Srixon follows that up with what is essentially another layer of springs: a ring of thin, flexible material to create another flex zone. That’s then backed up by the rigid, rib-reinforced rear portion of the clubhead.
“We’ve been able to find this combination of flexible and rigid zones to effectively give you a larger face,” says Brekke. “We’re increasing the area of motion and we’re doing it in a way that benefits not just the face center but a larger area of the face.”
Rebound Frame is featured in both of the new Srixon ZX drivers as well as the new ZX fairway metals and hybrids.
Srixon ZX Drivers – ZX5 & ZX7
The ZX5 is the more forgiving of the new Srixon ZX drivers (Srixon says the MOI is over 5,000 g/cm). That’s not PING-level forgiveness, but it’s solid. And while the ZX7 is tailored for the shot-shaping better player, it does have enough forgiveness for the low double-digit handicapper. Both drivers feature measures to drive the CG low and deep. To get there, both Srixon ZX drivers feature carbon fiber crowns that are 15 percent larger than those in the Z85 series.
The ZX5 features an adjustable hosel and a rear weight to push the CG lower and deeper (the Z585 had neither). The ZX5 is more triangular looking than the ZX7 (both are 460cc), with a more rounded crown and a shorter skirt. It’s the higher launching of the two and has a more distinct pop at impact.
The ZX7 replaces the Z785 and features a more rounded shape with a flatter crown and taller skirt. It’s also the first Srixon driver in recent memory with moveable heel and toe sole weights. The four- and eight-gram weights can be switched for either a draw or fade bias. Additional weights are also available. The ZX7 features a noticeably more penetrating ball flight and a much more muted sound.
Srixon’s adjustable hosel is one of the more versatile in golf. You can adjust the loft plus or minus one degree, the face angle open or closed up to two degrees, and the lie angle up or down as much as two degrees.
One more thing – Srixon has dumped its proprietary square-head torque wrench for the industry-standard star-head wrench.
Let the rejoicing begin.
Srixon ZX Drivers: Specs, Price and Availability
Both new Srixon ZX drivers are available in 9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts for both lefties and righties. The ZX5 features the Project X EvenFlow Riptide shaft as stock. The 53-gram version is available in R flex (Project X 5.5) and S flex (6.0). The 64-gram version is available in X flex (6.5). It’s categorized as a mid-launch, mid-spin. If you want to go low-low, the HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 is available in R, S and X flexes. Stock swing weight is D2.
The HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 is the stock shaft for the ZX7 in R, S and X flexes (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5), and the stock swing weight for the ZX7 is D3.
The stock grip for both drivers is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.
Both drivers feature an array of no-upcharge and for-upcharge shaft and grip options available through Srixon’s custom department.
The ZX7 will retail at $529.99 while the ZX5 will sell for $499.99. They’ll be available at retail starting Jan. 15.
Srixon ZX Fairway Woods
Most metal wood launches shower the driver with all the glory. Fairway woods and hybrids are just along for the ride. Srixon is following that playbook to a degree but there are some key technologies you’ll want to know about.
For one, Rebound Frame is featured in both the fairways woods and the hybrids to push ball speed. And if you’ve been watching Cleveland metal woods, you’ll notice something familiar in the ZX fairways and hybrids: a Crown Step.
The Crown Step looks suspiciously like Cleveland’s HiBore Crown and it serves the same purpose: lower mass within the clubhead to lower the CG. Then there’s something called the Cannon Sole which we first saw in the XXIO X fairway woods released this past January.
“With a fairway wood, you’re trying to get the sweet spot within your impact zone or lower,” says Brekke. “But you don’t want to sacrifice inertia to do it. So where does the weight go? Does it go forward, does it go back? Ultimately, you want to bring a weight pad lower and forward with a fairway.”
The Cannon Sole features a weight pad that kinda-sorta looks like a little cannon from the side. The weight itself is designed to overhang the weld connecting the cup face to the body while staying out of the way of the Rebound Frame. The goal is to bring as much weight closer to the face as possible while still keeping it low enough to do some good.
Srixon is also managing weight in the ZX 15-degree 3-wood and 13.5-degree strong 3-wood by using carbon fiber crowns. The 5- and 7-woods are full steel heads. Those heads are so small that any weight savings with carbon fiber would be negligible.
The Srixon Z85 performed very well in 2019’s Most Wanted Testing, finishing best for overall distance. It will be interesting to see how – or if – the enhancements to the ZX impact performance.
The Hybrid Rebound
Srixon is clearly hoping for better things with the new ZX hybrids. The previous models, the Z H85s, were middle-of-the-road meh performers in MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Hybrid testing in 2019. The key problem was ball speed, which is why we see Rebound Frame in the ZXs.
“The Rebound Frame gets its own unique design for the hybrid,” says Brekke. “We can adapt that technology pretty easily to fit the smaller footprint.”
Srixon also changed the face profile for the ZX hybrid based on feedback from its Tour pros. “Squaring off the toe came from Tour feedback, along with the smaller footprint and the straight face angle.”
Fairway and Hybrid Specs, Price and Availability
The Srixon ZX fairway woods are available in a 13.5-degree strong 3-wood, 15-degree standard 3-wood, 18-degree 5-wood and 21-degree 7-wood for righties. The 5- and 7-woods are available for lefties.
The HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 is stock in R, S, and X flexes (5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 in Project X lingo). If you prefer a mid-launch, mid-spin shaft, the EvenFlow Riptide is an option.
The ZX hybrids come in five lofts ranging from a 16-degree 2-hybrid up to a 28-degree 6-hybrid, in three-degree increments. The entire line is available in right-handed models, with the 19-degree 3-hybrid and 22-degree 4-hybrid also available for lefties.
The HZRDUS Smoke Black 80 is the stock shaft with the EvenFlow Riptide Hybrid 85 shaft as an option.
The Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 is the stock grip. As with the Srixon ZX drivers, optional shafts and grips are available through Srixon’s custom department with a possible upcharge depending on the selection.
The ZX fairway woods and hybrids will hit retail on January 15. The fairways will sell for $269.99 while the hybrids will go for $229.99.
As mentioned at the top, there’s a crowd at the driver table (and, by extension, the fairway and hybrid tables). Year after year, nine out of every 10 drivers sold come from the Big Five. And the harsh reality for every other OEM in golf is, in order to get a seat at the table, you need to pass the ball speed test.
“When we develop new technologies, we ask, ‘What is going to make a difference for us?’” says Brekke. “When we do get tested at retail or at a fitting, we have to win at ball speed or it’s not going to go any farther.”
And while ball speed is the big dial that can make a difference, Brekke acknowledges little things matter, too.
“Even the torque wrench makes a difference. If a fitter lost our old wrench, we’d never even get to the hitting bay.”
Brekke says Srixon paid special attention to other details, such as resting face angle. The target golfer for the ZX series wants to see an open face so the ZX models sit more open than the Z85 models.
“There are a number of tests you have to pass right out of the face,” he adds. “If you can’t get through those, you don’t have a chance. Its looks, its sound, its face angle – those get you to the launch monitor. After that, it’s all about ball speed.”
For more information on Srixon ZX drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, visit Srixon’s website.