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WRX Spotlight: Srixon Z U85 utility irons

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Product: Srixon Z U85 utility irons

Pitch: A versatile utility with Tour optics but enough tech built in to enhance any player’s bag. Per Srixon: “Compact, hollow-body long irons are longer and more forgiving than traditional designs yet still provide total control from the tee or fairway”

Our take on the Srixon Z U85 utility iron

Director of Original Content Johnny Wunder: I have been dabbling in the utility game for about three years now, and it has been a serious process of trial and error with all OEMs. Something was always missing for me — whether it be feel, flight, or performance. This utility definitely checked off all the boxes for me.

My first reaction was to the sound of the golf club: it has amazing acoustics all over the face and delivers that solid hammer sound I like. In the past, with utilities, the hollow construction always bothered me regardless of where the ball was going. The real test on this was off the tee where I would hit it a little higher on the face. Tthe sound was dense, solid, and I had no argument.

The second noticeable feature here is ease of use. Truth be told, this club is Tour-inspired and has all the better player lines you would see in a players utility. However, this is as easy a club to hit as I’ve come across in this category. Perhaps it’s the slight offset that inspires confidence or the aerodynamics of how it swings, but I noticed that with any shot I tried to hit the Z U85 seemed to “sweet spot” itself nicely and hitting in the middle of the face was simple.

I also need to comment on the turf interaction, let’s face it Srixon has REALLY figured out the sole of its golf clubs across the board. Building this into a utility is a challenge. For me, I like to have a utility that I can dig in with and the leading edge and sole allows for great interaction, whether I pinch down on one and take a divot, or If I’m trying to sweep one and get it in the air.

The Z U85 is a “must consider” for ANYONE looking to fill gaps at the top of the bag. The 23 degree 4-iron replacement, which for me is a 215-220 club, consistently hit my numbers and was a perfect compliment as the longest iron in my setup. I would recommend playing with the shafts a bit if you are a higher speed player. The lighter (sub 90-gram) utility shafts didn’t work for me AT ALL. but once I swapped in a Grapite Dynamics Tour AD 105, it literally felt like cheating, which for me is a big compliment that I don’t throw around very often.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Unami Tancock

    Mar 9, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I must try this club

  2. JOJOJO

    Mar 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I just bought one. Great prcie (130USD for brand new including shipping and tax @ ebay). Beatuful looking. Head cover is nice as well. Sound and feel is good for a hollow club head. I totally love it! also, i agree the stock shaft feels light and not as stiff as it is labled. I bought the stock stiff, but feels more like regular/stiff or regular to me.

    What i saw in other reviews is zu85 is a little spinny compared to other driving irons, which can help for most people, but not good for the better players and people who want some extra run.

  3. Tom

    Mar 8, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    WOW…..amazing!!!!

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of the WGC-Mexico Championship

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8 X

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe (52 degrees), TaylorMade MG2 (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP 5 (#10)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Red/Black Midsize (1 wrap of tape)

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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