It feels like just yesterday that I first received a dozen Srixon golf balls to review, despite it being nearly 20 years ago. I called them “The best balls whose name you can’t pronounce.” Srixon golf balls continue to be some of the best balls for the money at every price point. Moreover, Srixon has become a familiar name for most golfers, thanks to multiple player sponsorships on all professional tours and an ever-growing, consistently high-quality line of golf clubs.
Despite the wider name recognition, though, Srixon is still sometimes overlooked by golfers shopping for new sticks. Whenever someone on “golf Twitter” poses the question of which irons or drivers are most underrated, Srixon’s name is certain to pop up, followed by a chorus of devotees who profess their loyalty to the brand.
The reason for this loyalty? My view is that Srixon consistently produces rock-solid, high-performing equipment at an affordable price. The new ZX MK II Series Drivers ($500) continue this tradition in impressive fashion. ZX MK II drivers come in three flavors. The ZX7, with its more compact head, targets low-handicap players who seek to work the ball in all directions off the tee. The ZX5 offers consistency and forgiveness, with a larger footprint and weight deeper in the sole. The ZX5 LS is new in this line, with an adjustable forward weight to reduce spin rate to maximize distance while maintaining much of the ZX5’s forgiveness.
Playing the ZX5 MK II
Over the past 15 years, my once-bulletproof driver swing has suffered some serious wounds. So I chose the ZX5 MK II in hopes of building back some confidence. I loaded the ZX5 into my new Srixon Sunday bag (by Jones) along with several of the latest drivers from some competing companies, and headed to the simulator and launch monitor at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. Accompanying me was my son, a former HS golfer who regularly launches 300+ yard drives, so if my swing turned balky, I could trust him to give the variety of big sticks a fair test.
We both loved the ZX5 MK II at set-up. The traditional shape and matte-finish crown felt both calming and powerful. We left the adjustable head at the factory 9.5-degree setting, and admired quality of the stock Hzrdus Smoke RDX shaft (stiff). Although my swing was inconsistent that day, drives with the Srixon were the most consistent of all the clubs tested that day: lots of fairways hit (playing a simulated Pebble Beach), spin rate that was slightly higher than some others, but with a mid-high ball flight and very acceptable distance.
The real test was my son, whose swing was still as smooth and as powerful as ever – oh, the joys of long levers, youthful flexibility, and grooved tempo. He hit all the drivers we tested well, but the real comparison for the ZX5 was against a competing driver that retails for $225 more than the Srixon. The competitor was described by my son as “a beast,” and when he hit it on the sweetspot, it seemed like the simulated ball would never come down. When it did, we both just sort of whistled at the low spin rate and 300-yard carry. But when he missed the center of the clubface, distance and direction were dramatically reduced—we’re talking 50+ yards shorter and well off the fairway. “This one feels too good for me,” he said.
Next up, the ZX5 MK II. “This one doesn’t give me the same anxiety over the ball,” said my son, setting up with the Srixon. His first swing was tentative, and a slight mishit still traveled beyond 270 and found the short grass. “I’ll take that,” he said. Next swing, all out, delivered a dead-straight, towering 310-yard bomb.” We both just smiled. “The spin rate is a bit higher than the other one,” he observed, “but that’s why both of those shots landed in the fairway. It doesn’t feel like I can miss.”
Srixon ZX5 MK II: The verdict
Srixon touts a catalog of design innovations for the new series of drivers: Rebound Frame (with multiple flex zones to focus energy on the point of impact), Star Frame Crown (ultra-thin titanium with internal ridges for strength and energy transfer), Variable Thickness Face (for maximum forgiveness all over the face), Cannon Sole (for maximum ball speed), and a deep center of gravity. But the bottom line for most is how a player feels over the ball and where the ball ends up after the swing.
So here’s the bottom line: Srixon’s consistency breeds confidence. Go ahead, swing all-out. Even most mishits will still play. And even the most forgiving of all the new ZX MK II Series produces distance that rivals every other driver we’ve tested so far this year. Underrate Srixon if you want, but real players – from golf Twitter all the way up to the professional tours – know the high level of performance Srixon continues to deliver.