Srixon ZX Mk II drivers: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Srixon’s latest family of ZX drivers includes the compact and more workable ZX7 Mk II; the larger footprint, higher-launching and more forgiving ZX5 Mk II; and the new ZX5 LS Mk II with its similar larger size but more forward weighting for reduced spin. The trio again benefits from the “Rebound Frame” construction introduced with 2021’s ZX drivers. "Rebound Frame" refers to how the face is surrounded by alternating stiff and flexible regions to create more energy transfer to the ball on both on- and off-center hits.
PRICE: $500. ZX7, ZX5 (9.5, 10.5); ZX5 LS (8.5, 9.5, 10.5). In stores Jan. 20.
A compact shape with a taller face, this model is built for high-speed, high-skill players who like to maneuver their tee shots. Generally, you’ll see the lowest launch of the three models here with more of a neutral to fade-biased ball flight. Further adding to its emphasis on control are the interchangeable weights in the heel and toe of the sole (one at eight grams and the other at four). They let a player shift the center of gravity in the head to favor more of a draw or a fade.
3 COOL THINGS
1. “Rebound Frame” gets rebound-ier. In the previous ZX drivers, Srixon’s engineers stretched the possibilities for making the ball go faster off the face by thinking beyond the face. Alternating flexible and stiff sections beyond the center of the face, what they call “Rebound Frame,” allowed more energy to be transferred to the ball at impact.
This latest version stiffens the transition areas where the face meets the crown and sole. It also thins the first part of the crown to make it more flexible. That creates more ball speed across a wider area of the face, which means better distance for mishits.
“By having more rigid sections on either side, we can more easily direct where we want that flexing to happen,” said Jacob Lambeth, senior research engineer at Cleveland/Srixon. “What you’ve got is essentially the difference between having one trampoline versus having two trampolines.”
A larger looking profile with more of a flattened crown sets the tone for the most forgiving of the three models in this family. It should produce the highest launch of the three with a natural-draw weighting that works gently to mitigate your slice. This also makes it ideal for most average golfers who are looking for the best performance on off-center hits. The adjustable rear-sole weight lets your clubfitter dial in your ideal swing weight, especially helpful for those who want to play this driver at a slightly shorter length than the standard 45¼ inches.
2. A titanium crown is better than carbon composite? How? Many drivers today use varying degrees of lightweight carbon composite, particularly on the crown, to save weight and help lower the center of gravity. Not these drivers from Srixon, which is even a departure from previous models. The reason relates to way the Rebound Frame influences ball speed. Replacing an all-titanium crown with a piece of lighter carbon composite would mean the thinner sections of titanium and the subtle curves of the crown wouldn’t be possible. That would detract from adding more energy to impact.
Instead, the ZX Mk II drivers use an ultra-thin titanium crown that gets as thin as 0.45 millimeters, or one-third the edge of a dime. Srixon’s team said that structure made the mass savings of carbon composite insignificant (less than one gram). Moreover, Srixon’s research suggests the all-titanium structure produced better ball speed anyway.
3. Three models: Which one’s for me? The ZX Mk II family again includes the ZX7 and ZX5 models. The former is more compact but features a 4-gram and an 8-gram adjustable sole weight in the heel and toe to tweak fade and draw ball flights. The ZX5 is the larger front-to-back shaped model with more off-center hit forgiveness. The new model is the ZX5 LS, which targets aggressive swings with a high launch angle that needs to slightly bring down spin and flight. Both the ZX5 and ZX5 LS have the same body shape but the 8-gram sole weight is in the rear on the ZX5 for more forgiveness and towards the front on the ZX5 LS to reduce spin and increase workability.
Also new this year is a fitting system that will be available in a thousand locations. It offers as many as 288 configurations through just 12 clubheads and 24 shafts in a single rack. It allows the player to go through a traditional launch monitor fitting with one of the off-the-rack clubs, and once dialed in the player can purchase the exact club he or she used in the fitting.
This model combines the large, confidence-inspiring shape of the standard ZX5 with the low-forward center of gravity seen on the ZX7. An eight-gram weight positioned forward in the sole helps to make this the lowest spinning of the three models. Its neutral ball flight and mid- to high-launch angle caters to more aggressive swingers looking to max out distance. With the weight forward in the sole, expect a little less forgiveness on off-center hits compared to the standard ZX5 but somewhat more than the ZX7.