By Alex Gallemore
Considering it is driver season and the battle this time of year normally rages between the marketing departments of Callaway and TaylorMade, I thought to throw another option in the mix, the Srixon ZX MkII.
They might not have the largest PR voice but when you find them in the bags of three Major winners – Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama – I needed to find out more.
First off the model range is easy to understand. The ZX5 is the most forgiving and therefore the highest spinning with a slight draw bias. The ZX5 LS (Low spin) shares the same profile but with the forward weighting it isn’t as forgiving, although the lower spin rate will appeal to those with a higher swing speed. The final model is the ZX7 which has a shallower face and longer crown with a slight fade bias.
The key features
Rebound Frame: Rebound Frame’s Dual Flex Zones focus more energy into the golf ball at impact, creating a purer energy transfer that instantaneously increases ball speed and distance on every strike.
Star Frame Crown: A complex series of ridges and latticework provides the structural integrity necessary to feature a remarkably thin titanium crown and to place discretionary mass where it best suits each ZX Mk II drivers ideal launch and spin characteristics.
Variable Thickness Face: An intricate variable thickness pattern expands the high COR area across the entire driver face. These unique ridges enhance high COR from heel to toe by improving how energy reflects into the ball on off-centre shots.
The ZX5 models come with a single 8g weight, but you can purchase additional weights ranging in two gram increments from 2g-14g. So, if you need more forgiveness and spin in the standard ZX5 head, swap the 8g weight for the heavier 10g-12g weight or the 14g if things are needing to get serious. Likewise if you are looking to drop the spin rate further in the ZX5 LS add more weight, but be careful as adding weight to the front of the face will also reduce the forgiveness.
For players that like to play around with the heel and toe weighting there are two ports on the ZX7 head, so you can dial in the face to your desired shot shape using counter balancing weights to either slow or speed the toe angle through impact. The hosel adjustment allows -1 to +1 loft options and -2 to +2 degree face angles, so before you start playing around with additional head weights, it might be worth starting trying to dial in your fitting with the hosel options.
The classic head shape and matte black finish will always grab my attention and the quality is excellent. These are still a premium driver and though slightly less expensive than some of the other leading brands they will hold their own when it comes to performance. They are naturally a very forgiving driver, especially the ZX 5, but keep an eye on the spin rates. I always try to launch the ball between 12 and 14 degrees with a spin rate of close to 2,300rpm but I struggled to get the ZX5 LS MKII to below 2,780rpm.
I didn’t have access to the 10g weight or slightly firmer shaft. Once I adjusted the hosel to one degree open my grouping was tight and it reminded me just how easy this club was to adjust on the fly. The feel from the face is one of the best on the market and I can see why Lowry opted for this driver. Although I appreciate that drivers mainly focus on distance and dispersion, I fear that the feel is being over looked. As a golfer that learned to master a Persimmon wood as junior, that feeling in your hands of flushing a drive remains priceless.