REVIEW: Srixon Z 785 Driver

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Srixon Z 785 Driver

Some promises are meant to be kept

The new Srixon Z 785 driver breaks onto the scene making a lot of promises. In discussions with Srixon, we were told to expect big things from their new line of metal woods. Could they deliver, and would it be noticeable among a crowded market saturated with promises?

The answer, simply, is yes.

Srixon Z 785 Driver Background and Specs

In a time when every major golf OEM preaches distance gains and improved accuracy, it should come as no surprise that some brands get lost in the noise. Srixon's Z 765 and Z 565 drivers were incredibly well made clubs, and received their fair share of accolades. However, despite the fan fare and somewhat cult following, I never saw a single Srixon driver in any playing partner's bag last season.

That's going to change with this upgrade, I promise you that.

“This driver’s faster. This driver’s longer. This driver’s better,” said PGA TOUR player Keegan Bradley. “It’s really coming off hot and straight. It’s very forgiving and the sweet spot is really big.”

“The new Z Series Woods are pretty easy to explain: they’re long,” said Srixon's Marketing Director Brian Schielke. “Longer than our past woods, and longer than the competition. Our stronger, faster titanium, combined with cup face construction is totally unique, totally different from everything out there, and it really shows up both on a launch monitor and on the course.”

Readers of this site know how PR-speak works. Every brand is going to talk up their products, get quotes from notable names, and consumers have the option of buying into the hype or ignoring the noise. It's not often, at least in my experience, for products to truly live up to that hype.

For crying out loud, Srixon is advertising that their new Z-Series drivers produce faster ball speeds than TaylorMade M3 and M4, Ping G400, and Callaway Rogue. Right on the main section of their freakin' website.

That either takes a ton of guts, or a glutton for punishment. That's a massive risk.

Guess what? They were right.

Feel, Appearance and Performance

The Srixon Z 785 driver looks like a player's club from top to bottom. The new carbon crown is similar to the look of competitor clubs, but this build allows for weight to be redistributed to key areas within the clubhead. With the muted black-grey coloring, this adds to the style considerably and maintains a look fans of Srixon will love.

The sole of the Z 785 is "flashier" than past models, adding a red hue to the outer lining of the head. This makes the club pop in appearance, which I absolutely love. Srixon prefers to stay within the traditional realm, but a little color never hurt anyone.

The real magic occurs within the clubhead. The new TI51AF Cup Face design is designed to flex more at impact, boosting ball speeds across the face. Since most mere mortals (like you and me) won't make contact on the sweet spot every drive, this feature adds to the club's overall forgiveness in terms of both speed and accuracy.

The Z 785 feels muted and soft at impact, and sound is loud but not sharp. I've always loved the crisp sound Srixon metal woods produce, and this new generation is no different. Nobody likes to draw unwanted attention on the tee due to a loud driver, and you can hear when a club is designed for better players. Such is the case with this club.

During a dry ball test in normal conditions, drives with the Z 785 averaged 270 yards with ball speeds exceeding 150 mph. Not only is this longer and faster than the Z 765 for me, it's equal to the longest drivers I've tested to date.

Thanks to the HZRDUS stock shaft in my review model, launch conditions with the Z 785 were also ideal. Initial launch came in at 16°, which is slightly below optimal (depending on who you believe). Spin was slightly higher than ideal at just over 3000 rpm, which I believe can be adjusted with a quick loft change.

Peak height was slightly higher than I would normally prefer at 35 yards on average, but this again could be due to loft setting and adjusting to different shaft characteristics. Still, distance did not suffer from this quality even if loft was left untouched.

Overall Impression

There's a lot of good to say about the Srixon Z 785 driver. Like the Z 785 irons, the golf ball jumps off the face with ease and lands in a tight dispersion near your target. Distance was incredibly impressive, especially since Srixon teased this quality for months leading up to release. There's no doubt players will be equally impressed with the club's performance, leading to more drivers in golf bags everywhere.