XXIO, the brother brand of Srixon under Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. of Japan, has the reputation for designing popular clubs in Asia (nearly two decades as Japan's top-seller). Its XXIO Prime line also has the reputation for offering clubs at big ticket prices, like $800 drivers and $2,000 sets of irons.
But after watching the brand develop a foothold in the U.S. over the last few years, one thing is clear: XXIO designs clubs with extreme and unique technologies aimed at making average-golfer swings more efficient and more productive. The latest XXIO Prime collection of woods and irons is just so singularly focused, including the lightest driver head and shaft of any current brand in the U.S. market.
Rather than trying to design clubs that attempt to fit all players, the new XXIO Prime doesn’t compromise on ways to attack the specific swing flaws of slower swings that feature a typical outside-to-in path. That means subtly draw-biased heads and record-breaking lightweight constructions and shafts.
First up is the XXIO Prime driver, which seemingly does everything to prevent shots from fading or slicing. Fundamental to the design is an ultra-lightweight construction. The total weight is just 252 grams, including a 36-gram shaft. For perspective, that total weight is about 20 percent lighter than typical popular drivers in the U.S. market and more than 20 grams lighter than the shafts usually found on those drivers. The shaft is designed with extra tip flexibility to help players close the face at impact, and its longer length and lighter weight grip are designed to let players create more clubhead speed with moderate effort.
The driver isn’t just about lighter weight, however. The majority of the crown is reduced in thickness by just .35 millimeters. That reduced weight in the crown (two grams compared to the previous model) allows more mass to be be redistributed internally to the heel for more draw bias and externally in a heel-biased shape to the full-size 460 cubic-centimeter head. A special titanium alloy material is used in an expanded, winged cup face design that increases the area of the face with the highest flexibility. Further expanding that area of forgiveness is a channel in the sole designed to give at impacts lower on the face for better performance on what is typically one of the least flexible areas of the face.
The new XXIO Prime irons continue the theme of lighter weight and faster face performance. As an example, the 7-iron’s total weight is nearly 20 grams lighter than the XXIO9 from a couple of years ago, at just 349 grams, and that includes a 47-gram iron shaft. The new XXIO Prime irons feature a larger titanium face insert that wraps around the leading edge into the sole. That design aims to improve the iron’s spring-like effect and shift it lower and more in line with where iron-shot impacts occur.
In addition to speed, the XXIO Prime is designed to help players launch iron shots higher through a lowered center of gravity. That includes two kinds of tungsten in the sole. The 5- through 7-iron feature a 28-gram internal high density tungsten-nickel plate combined with a 28-gram tungsten sole cap.
The rest of the latest XXIO offerings include cupfaced designs in the fairway woods (titanium) and hybrids (maraging steel). Like the driver, both feature a sloped rear portion of the crown to push more mass low and deep.
Finally, the line updates its XXIO Forged irons. The latest cavity back forging expands the thinnest areas of the face to improve face flexibility. The V-shaped sole seen in the previous XXIO9 irons is slightly wider and utilizes an extra degree of bounce for better turf interaction on the steeper angle of attack seen from low to mid-handicap players’ swings.
The XXIO Prime clubs will launch Dec. 17 (driver: $850; fairway wood: $580; hybrid: $380; irons, 5-iron through AW: $1,820). The XXIO Forged irons will be in stores Dec. 10 (5-iron through AW, $1,190).