There’s a golf shop in San Diego that caters to those with exotic tastes. On a recent visit, I marveled at the number of custom forgings from Japan, but had to sigh at the price tag (some of these sets could run up to $5,000)
What caught my eye about several of these pricey irons is exactly what grabbed me the first time I picked up a Srixon Z-545. There’s a sense of substance and a balance between high tech design and old school craftsmanship that begs the question “will they feel as good as they look?”
The design is what you might call a “pocket cavity” that looks one piece but in reality is a welded combination of a 1020 carbon steel body and a thin steel face designed for distance. The bottom part of the head is pretty chunky, (with weight towards the bottom) and that’s a good thing for players looking for distance and forgiveness. But along with the thick bottom often comes a flange that can provide unwanted grab or bounce at the time you want it less.
For example, you could be playing off a hard pan lie and feel the club open at impact – the ball winds up in the right bunker or worse. Srixon solves the problem with a really unique “V” sole shape that they call the “Tour V.T.” sole. The V provides more leading bounce and less trailing bounce, and is said to decrease turf resistance and tighten shot dispersion. On course testing, and perhaps the most rigorous examination – that of hitting off rock hard range mats – leads me to conclude that the Tour V.T. is a winner.
Another feature that certainly makes the Z-545 unique is the transition from 7 iron through wedge. Typical iron sets go from a sharp toe (7 iron) to a rounded toe for the 8-iron. If you prefer a more gentle transition, you’ll really like the Z-545s. They pretty much stay with the sharp toe all the way to the wedge, giving the short irons a slightly more aggressive look. I found that I flighted them a bit lower, which I liked. Also, at 44 degrees on a pitching wedge, this set is pretty strong lofted but the low center of gravity makes up for this in actual ball flight.
Your results will, of course, vary, but I think these irons are well worth consideration if you love forged but want some forgiveness and extra distance without sacrificing feel.