Srixon, the parent company of Cleveland Golf, is huge in Japan. The company is focused on the U.S. market with players like Hideki Matsuyama and Keegan Bradley playing their equipment.
In the important driver category, the two models Srixon brings to market in 2015 are the Z-545 and Z-745. Let’s take a closer look.
SRIXON Z-745 DRIVER
This sleek, black, 430cc head seems to have “scratch golfer” written all over it. And to be sure, my first try on the range seemed to prove that point. Set in the standard settings, with the stock Mitsubishi Kuro Kage shaft, I had trouble getting the kind of launch angle I was looking for, and pretty much put it aside thinking the larger Z-545 would be for me.
As it turns out, it wasn’t so much the club but the shaft that was throwing me off. After taking some time with a Srixon rep on the range, he notched the loft up a degree and swapped out the shaft to a Mitsubishi Fubuki and I started feeling the club at the top and hitting some controlled shots that carried considerably farther and just felt better off the clubface.
Look, Feel, and Adjustability
It’s hard to find a driver more compact than the Z745, and the jet-black finish against the Titanium Cup Face is striking. At address, the bulge and roll are visible giving the Z-745 a bit of a retro feel. Like the larger Z-545, the face is constructed of variable thickness material, which Srixon says creates a larger sweet spot.
Adjustability is accomplished through a compact single sleeve called the Quick Tune System. 12 settings allow you to tune loft, lie, and face angle. A removable weight on the sole plate comes standard in 7 grams, with 3 and 11-gram weights available as an option. (It would be nice if all three were shipped standard, but that’s a small nit.) Rounding out the package is a Lamkin UTx grip in striking red, which looks great against either the stock Kuro Kage shaft or the white Fubuki shaft that I preferred.
SRIXON Z-545 DRIVER
The Z-545 resembles the 745 in fit and finish, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say most players are going to prefer it’s larger head especially since it also says “player” at address and is extremely solid at impact. The Z-545 also carries as standard the Titanium Cup insert and the ball just seems to stay on the face longer than it’s smaller sister. It will be interesting to see which model the Tour staff winds up playing given the Z-545’s seemingly easier creation of “pop.”
Key Differences between Z-545 and Z-745Since most of the standard features (shaft, QTS adjustability, Titanium Cup face) are the same, I’ll focus on the major difference besides the size – an additional weight port in the bottom towards the back of the head. Clearly the additional distance from face to back of the club, coupled with the bottom weight, provides a lower center-of-gravity and a resulting higher spin and launch angle.
I don’t want to bash the Kuro Kage shaft, but I’m not sure it’s the best choice of stock shaft for the larger headed Z-545; the Fubuki was a more natural setup for me. (And by the way, Fubuki is available at no upcharge for either model.)
The process of trial and error always reminds me that taking out a driver in its stock configuration isn’t really enough to formulate an opinion, which is why I welcome the chance to hit up a demo day or in store fitting. I suggest you do the same and hit many clubs before making a decision. If you do buy, a new driver of any model, make sure your pro has a good return/trade policy or that you purchase from a retailer like Worldwide Golf Shops that offers a 60-day return for credit policy that’s like an insurance policy against buying a club that doesn’t work as well on the course as it did on the range or in the store.
Both models retail for $399.99 and come in lofts of 8.5, 9.5, and 10.5.