For a brand seeking to capitalise on golf's 'boom' over the last 18 months which has seen huge numbers of golfers taking up or returning to the game, the folks at Srixon received a big boost recently when four-time major champion Brooks Koepka penned a deal to use their clubs.
Add the American to other recent major winners Hideki Matsuyama and Shane Lowry, and Srixon suddenly have a small stable of players who should attract customers from the European, Asian and US markets going forward.
Whilst Srixon irons have long been among the most critically acclaimed products in the golf equipment world by many industry experts, their woods don't always get quite the same amount of attention. Could the new ZX range be the start of the brand’s changing fortunes?
Srixon released two new drivers in the ZX range. The ZX5 has a slightly bigger footprint and is aimed at providing a combination of forgiveness, accuracy and distance which should appeal to a larger range of golfers. The ZX7, which I tested, is a slightly smaller head which is aimed more towards better players and features more adjustability to allow you to get dialed in.
As with all drivers these days, the ZX7 is packed with technologies which Srixon say will get you swinging faster and hitting the ball further, straighter and more consistently:
This structure is said to focus more energy into the golf ball for increased ball speed and distance on every shot, particularly when you hit it out of the centre.
Alternating layers of flexible and stiff material work together to provide a more efficient energy transfer between the club and the ball, producing more speed.
The lightweight crown keeps mass lower in the head, pushing up the MOI to increase forgiveness. It’s also 15% larger than previous Srixon driver, giving you a more confidence-inspiring look at address.
The driver features two weight ports in the toe and the heel of the club, with moveable weights that can be switched to add more fade or draw bias depending on personal preference. The driver also features an adjustable hosel, allowing you to dial in loft, lie and face angle.
The ZX7 features a flatter, shallower and straighter head shape, which is aimed to inspire confidence for ‘highly skilled players’.
Priced at £449, the ZX7 Driver is available in both 9.5 and 10.5 degree models with a Project X Hzrdus Smoke shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip as standard, with further customisation available.
Srixon ZX7 Driver Review
Looks and Feel
The ZX7 Driver features a simple black colourway with red and white accents, and it is undoubtedly very smart. Looks-wise it isn’t a huge departure from the previous Z785 Driver but it all just looks a little sleeker and a little more premium to me.
Down by the ball, I would’ve preferred a more obvious alignment aid but the look at address and design on the crown is very smart, and I can see it being popular with the majority of golfers.
The footprint is a little smaller in keeping with the idea that this is a ‘better player’ driver, so if you’re looking for something that screams forgiveness then you may want to also consider the ZX5.
The driver makes a pretty loud, tinny noise at impact which isn’t quite in keeping with the better player look in my opinion. I prefer and was expecting to hear more of a muted sound, but of course this is just personal opinion.
The driver felt stable and balanced to swing, with a really nice weight which felt like it was evenly distributed so that the head wasn’t too light or too heavy on the end of the shaft.
You get a decent level of feedback at impact and if you catch one well it’s a nice feel too. If you don’t get it all, you’ll know about it, but I don’t mind that personally as it helps to focus my mind on trying to hit it out of the middle.
The ZX7 is not the most forgiving driver in the world due to the smaller head shape, and I think it’s the kind of driver that would be more difficult to hit on a day where you’re not swinging well or if you haven’t warmed up much before you play.
During my testing I felt like I was hitting the driver better as my round progressed – I’m not sure how confident I’d feel hitting this driver straight out of the car in a Saturday morning competition! If you’re a good ball striker or an elite player however, you may have no issues.
For a driver which is aimed towards better players and looking to lower spin, I was surprised by how easily the ZX7 launched both indoors and out on the golf course. As the Trackman numbers above show, my average peak height with the ZX7 was almost identical to my existing Callaway Epic Speed Driver.
This is a plus in my view: it should give the driver more appeal to golfers who like this head shape and setup but don’t want something which is hard to get away.
Distance-wise the ZX7 was around 5 yards down in carry compared to my Epic Speed and this translated out on the golf course too. This may not sound too significant but I felt like the Epic Speed had a higher ceiling, as proven by the fact that my longest carry of 262 yards was nearly 10 yards further than my longest carry with the Srixon.
This difference in the distance may be down to the fact that I was producing a slightly faster ball speed with the Epic Speed, coupled with lower spin rates. This surprised me a little, as I expected the ZX7 to be spinning in the low 2000s rather than the near-3000 rpm that it did produce.
Of course it is easy to get lost in Trackman numbers where the real proof is out on the golf course, and when it actually game to using this driver it still performed very well up against one of the best drivers of 2021, from one of the biggest brands in the industry.
Srixon ZX7 Driver Verdict
Srixon’s ZX range feels like the first time for quite a few years that the brand have really been able to compete toe-to-toe with the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist when it comes to drivers.
The new ZX7 is a very competitive option which looks and feels good, and performs very well.
The £449 price tag does mean that it is now directly up against these brands, rather than occupying the price point just below along with the likes of Cobra and Mizuno. In my eyes this makes it even harder for Srixon to gain any ground on the current market leaders.
I just can’t see many golfers choosing this driver over the others at that price point– not because it’s bad, but because when spending that much money I think they’ll be more inclined to stick with what they know will perform.
If you’re looking for a new driver and you get the chance to test a few different models though, I’d certainly suggest adding the new options from Srixon to your shortlist.
Would I Use It?
I’ll be keeping the Callaway Epic Speed in my bag for now as I felt it had the edge both on Trackman and (more importantly) out on the golf course too. Having said that, it feels like a big improvement for Srixon and I’ll definitely be taking their drivers more seriously going forward.
- Great looks and feel
- Surprisingly easy to launch
- Very competitive among the best in the market
- Genuine improvement on previous Srixon models
- Will struggle to compete against the bigger names at £449
- I wasn’t a huge fan of the sound
- Not hugely forgiving
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Srixon ZX7 Irons Review
Cobra Radspeed Driver Review