Srixon ZX Mk II Drivers

Srixon ZX Mk II Drivers – Key Takeaways

  • Three new driver models, including a low-spin option
  • New QuickFit retail fitting program
  • $499.99, available at retail Jan. 20

The new-for-2023 Srixon ZX Mk II drivers are, in many ways, a perfect reflection of Srixon itself.

If you’re looking for claims of groundbreaking technology or to be wowed by new face materials or sexy marketing campaigns, let me save you some time. You won’t find it here. But if you’re looking for solid performance, incremental technology upgrades that actually make a difference and surprisingly good value, then by all means, dear reader, read on.

What you’ll find are some rather fascinating changes in driver technology, plus a welcome newcomer.

None of them, however, will wow you. That’s not Srixon’s style. But will any of it get your attention in the hitting bay? That, my friends, is the million-dollar question.

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

Srixon ZX Mk II Drivers

Srixon released the ZX family of clubs in 2021 after a decade of regular old Z. ZX Mk II, as Srixon tells us, stands for Mark II of the ZX line, the second generation. It’s a mouthful, I know.

The new driver lineup features two familiar faces and a party-crasher. The ZX5 and ZX7 follow the long-standing script: the 5 is the higher-launching, more forgiving model while the 7 is the lower-launching, better-player model. The intriguing newcomer is the ZX5 LS low-spin model.

Srixon, you have our attention.

“The LS is very Tour-driven,” Srixon’s R&D VP Jeff Brunski tells MyGolfSpy. “A portion of our Tour staff is looking for the lowest possible driver spin. That’s their path to more distance based on their launch condition.”

If you’re thinking Brooks Koepka, you’re half right. Koepka dumped his Srixon driver and ball just before last year’s U.S. Open. Srixon says he’s currently in a Tour-only ZX7 low-spin model. Notorious tinkerer Hideki Matsuyama, however, has embraced the new ZX5 LS and has it in play.

Where Has All The Carbon Gone?

Give Srixon credit for bucking one more industry trend. The new Srixon ZX Mk II drivers feature zero carbon fiber. That’s a surprising shift as it’s a seemingly backward move in technology.

“We had to get back to more of a Tour sound that was acceptable and not too loud,” says Brunski. “It’s going to affect sound. It’s going to affect mass savings and it’s going to affect overall stiffness.”

The last two generations of Srixon drivers have featured carbon fiber crowns. In the most recent MyGolfSpy Most Wanted testing, Srixon drivers have been solid to above-average performers but testers were put off by sound and feel. This new generation is noticeably more muted.

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

Additionally, Brunski says the new titanium crown plays a key role in the third generation of Rebound Frame, Srixon’s face flexing, ball speed-enhancing technology.

“The priority for us is ball speed,” he says. “What we found in all our analysis and testing is with the stiffness profiles we can achieve—where the club head is stiff or flexing at impact—we’re getting just a little bit more ball speed using titanium.”

It’s a surprising move since every gram in a driver head counts and carbon fiber is always lighter than titanium. Srixon engineers, however, are borrowing Star Frame technology from XXIO to thin out the titanium crown as much as possible.

“It’s a unique way to reinforce the crown to have it as thin and light as possible while staying as strong as necessary,” says Brunski. “Once you add it up, we’re talking one or two grams’ difference. That’s not enough of a weight savings to make us want to trade off for ball speed.”

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

Rebound Frame and Small Faces

As mentioned, the new Srixon ZX Mk II drivers (and the rest of the metalwood family) feature the third generation of Rebound Frame. While there’s no visible technology, Brunski says quite a bit of engineering went into the new design.

“The face in this generation is a little smaller but it’s geared toward a better player. We’ve also changed a few things on overall face thickness which work in combination with changes in the curvature of the face perimeter from the face transitioning from the crown to the sole. That radius actually has a large influence on the overall structure and the stiffness of the Rebound Frame trampoline.”

As mentioned, Rebound Frame is Srixon’s face-flexing technology. Simply put, Srixon backs up a flexible face with a stiff transition ring. That ring is backed up with another flexible portion of the head which is in turn backed up by the stiff remainder of the head. Think of it as a double trampoline.

According to Srixon, the new Rebound Frame design increases what it calls the High COR area of the face (where the COR is at least 0.80) by 10 percent compared to the previous model. Srixon says that translates to a minimum of two miles per hour faster ball speed.

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

Srixon ZX5 and ZX7

The Srixon ZX7 Mk II driver is consistent with its lineage. It’s the more compact-looking profile (although all three drivers are 460cc) and features swappable heel and toe sole weights. Srixon classifies the ZX7 as a low-spin, mid-launch driver, with a straight to slight fade bias.

The stock weight setup has an eight-gram weight in the heel and a four-gram weight in the toe for a straight to slight draw flight. You can swap the weights to make it more fade-biased. Optional weights from two to 14 grams are available.

The Srixon ZX5 Mk II driver is the more forgiving model with a slight draw bias. It’s designed for a low and rear CG with a single eight-gram weight in the back. The weight can be swapped out to alter swing weight up or down as needed.

Both models feature Srixon’s intricate and not terribly intuitive adjustable hosel. On the plus side, you can adjust loft, lie and face angle seven ways to Sunday. On the downside, good luck getting to Sunday.

“That’s a fair point,” says Brunski. “We talk about the four stock settings—neutral, flat with a neutral face, a closed face and an open face—but there are a lot of increments in between. There’s always a tradeoff between being clear and intuitive and showing the variety of options to a custom fitter.”

Now, About That LS Model …

Srixon is always good for a launch surprise. Two years ago, it was the ZX4 game-improvement irons. This year, it’s the ZX5 LS driver.

“The ZX5 and ZX7 weren’t giving some of our Tour pros what they needed and they were leaving distance on the table,” says Brunksi. “So we looked at bringing the CG forward and cutting spin down as much as we can.”

The ZX5 LS is the same exact head as the standard ZX5 except for the weight placement. Where the standard ZX5 features a rear weight port, the LS version features a weight port and an eight-gram weight right behind the face, along with a heavier stock shaft.

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

“Spin is spin,” says Brunski. “When you cut spin down, you’re going to cut side spin down and it’ll go straighter. A lot of our fittings start with the LS model now.”

Typically, the higher your swing speed, the more likely you are to benefit from an LS driver. After all, higher swing speeds mean higher ball speeds, which typically means more spin.

“At those ball speeds, you don’t need as much spin to keep the ball in the air,” says Brunski. “But that doesn’t mean you have to be Brooks Koepka or Hideki Matsuyama to benefit from a low-spin driver. If you’re playing an S-flex shaft, you might want to think about an LS head.”

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

The Most Risk-Averse Company in Golf?

When it comes to the driver market, there are only so many seats at the head table. And TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, PING and, to a lesser extent, COBRA occupy most of them. That leaves precious little room for everyone else.

It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for the challenger brands to move the needle. And that’s especially true for Srixon. Sure, adding a low-spin driver to the mix is great but an improved Rebound Frame, new geometry and a larger high COR area aren’t exactly headline grabbers.

“As a Japanese company and a risk-averse company, we don’t make claims that we can’t back up,” says Brunski. “But this driver family has won the Masters, the Open Championship and three LPGA majors. There’s plenty of Tour validation.”

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

During our discussion, Brunski said Srixon is very much Kaizen-driven. “Kaizen” is a Japanese management concept that emphasizes continuous improvement in all functions and all employees from the CEO to line workers. It literally translates to “change for better.”

“We drive performance forward and continue to innovate,” he says. “But we’re not chasing something that’s visible or different just for the sake of being different. You’re not first to market that way but you’re also not creating something new and different just for the sake of creating something new and different.”

According to our WITB survey, Srixon-Cleveland-XXIO together sold maybe as many drivers as Mizuno did last year. Incremental (and invisible) engineering improvements will make for a better driver. But unless the new ZX5 LS proves to be a game changer (and early, informal, testing is extremely positive), it’s doubtful Srixon can force its way to the head table.

The best it can expect is a move up on the waiting list.

Srixon ZX Mk II Driver Specs, Price, Availability … and QuickFit

If yards-per-dollar is your driver selection metric, the new Srixon ZX Mk II drivers might make you happy. All three models will retail at $499.99. No, it’s not at PXG or Sub 70 levels. But with the Big Five setting the driver bar at $550 minimum, it’s something.

The ZX7 will be available in 9.5- and 10.5-degree adjustable heads with the Project X HZRDUS Black shaft and the Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip stock. The ZX5 will be available in the same lofts with the lighter HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX shaft stock.

Both are available for both lefties and righties.

Srixon ZX Mk II driver

The ZX5 LS will be available in 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 adjustable heads. The heavier HZRDUS Black shaft is stock. It will be available in right-handed only.

Srixon is also breaking out a new retail driver fitting system called Quick Fit. Srixon fitters will have a stand with six ZX Mk II driver heads and 12 shafts, offering 60 different combinations. Once you get fitted into a custom head and shaft combination, the fitter simply reaches into the display, grabs a new head and shaft and puts it together for you on the spot. You’ll walk away with a custom driver without having to place a custom order.

Not market moving, but a unique idea.

The new Srixon ZX Mk II drivers will hit retail Jan. 20. For more information, visit the Srixon website.

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