The Srixon Z F45 fairway is a different beast to the Z H45 Hybrid, because it plays a lot more neutral and offers a high degree of playability and adjustability.
This is not a criticisim of the hybrid, as it was quite forgiving with a draw bias, but the Z F45 is more of a player's fairway.
Srixon describe the head of the F45 as mid-sized, but I would say it was bordering on compact at address. It doesn't look so bad at the waggle phase, but when it is behind the ball I did take a gulp or two.
However, rest assured it actually plays with more forgiveness than its looks indicate, as most strikes felt the same and the sound was pretty good too.
The Z F45 features a 'ultra-hot' HT1770 Maraging steel face that has increased the COR to maximise ball speed from the other changes to the club set up.
These include using a Mitsubishi Kuro Kage shaft with a higher balance point and a lighter grip and combining this with a heavier head to create 'Dual Speed Technology'. I hope the Srixon marketing team is on terminology performance related pay.
What is not contrived is the Quick Tune adjustable hosel and sole weight port that comes with a 7g weight that can be swapped for an optional 3g or 11g version. Changing the weights will enable you to tweak the CG placement to affect the spin and launch angle.
The adjustable hosel has 12 settings that go from Neutral (N) to Right (R) which opens the face 2° and increase the lie by 1°.
From there you can move to Neutral Upright (NU) that has a lie of 2° up and then Left (L) that is 2° closed and 1° up.
Each letter has 3 settings around it to fine tune things, but even from looking at the instruction booklet it is not clear what these are so some expert advice is going to be required. This is what the Srixon brand is about now in the UK, where you have to go through a golf pro or fitting centre to be properly fitted before you order.
The wrench uses a square threaded bolt which is unusual, so if you lose your Srixon wrench you can't use a screwdriver or another brand's and will have to go back to the pro.
Anyway, in the fairway the changes were quite subtle when the adjustments were made, so it is a good feature, whatever you want to call it, and the hosel blended in very well at address.
The performance was very good and whilst I said it was forgiving for its size in terms of feel, it is quite easy to shape the ball either way, so good striking will be required to get the most of it. Therefore elite players will probably like it for the feedback it will give.
Overall I did like the Srixon Z F45 as it is a good quality fairway that is solid and does the business without any drama. And maybe that is its only issue, is that it could stir the heart a little more as it is on the pricey side and it will have to win hearts as well as minds in store.