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Srixon Z 745 irons: A modern cult classic?

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For professional and amateur golfers alike, we all share one common goal: to hit our approach shots as close as possible to our intended target. The clubs used most for these shots are irons, and since, for pros, these are the real “money makers,” when they find something they like, they tend to stick with it. (We can say the same thing about putters too)

With irons in mind, I present to you the Srixon Z 745. Released all the way back in 2013, and now officially three models old, these continue to be spotted on a weekly basis all over the PGA Tour and in many better players’ bags alike. At this point, as a club junkie, I’m ready to declare the Z 745 a “modern cult classic” (cue confetti cannons and air horns).

But why?

Its a simple question with a less than simple answer, but I have a few theories, along with some tech talk that might shed some light on why the Z 745 already has a coveted spot on the cult classic irons list.

Let’s talk business first: Cleveland Srixon is a big golf company, and if you pay attention to many of its staff players’ bags, you will see that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pressure to change into the newest gear if players are happy. A prime example of this is Rod Pampling, who still uses Cleveland 588MB-shaped (easy to spot this) Srixon “Z” irons (see below). If these aren’t rebranded Cleveland 588 MBs, I’ll eat a pair of socks…

So, let’s get back to the Z 745. This was a big step forward in design as Srixon was reestablishing its irons in North America. A lot of “new” (former Cleveland-focused) staff players quickly made the switch to these. What’s not to love? Shorter compact blade length, beautiful straight top line, not too thick or thin, no badges, forged, well-designed, loft gapping starting at a 46 degree PW, and last but in NO way least the aggressive V.T. Sole design with raised heel and toe. There’s just something about this iron that WORKS!

Speaking to Ian Fraser from Tour Experience Golf (TXG), when asked about the 745s, he had this to say

“The Z 745 were created in a perfect storm; you have a high-quality Endo forging, appealing aesthetics with sharp lines, v-sole and tungsten in the toe to relocate CG. It was one of the fastest players irons we tested at the time”

From personal experience and a retail perspective, I can tell you that at the brand-agnostic custom shop I worked at when these came out, we were selling these at a faster rate than any other single players CB. PERIOD. As a forged iron and used club fanboy, whenever someone asks me about looking for a nice set of used forged irons the 745s are high on my list. This isn’t to say that the following Z765 series wasn’t great, but from judging the adoption rate, there was clearly something about the “45s” that kept them in players’ bags. Even now we see these in a LOT of Srixon staffers and non-staffers bags alike

Keegan Bradley’s bag

Jerry Kelly’s Bag

Jon Curran’s 745s

Even non-staffer and ball striking machine Brian Gay is still rocking a combo set of both Z 545 and 745 irons, along with an Adams Super 9031 (but that’s another story) . On a side note, can we all just take a moment to again acknowledge that BG is a machine. He has one of the slowest swing speeds on tour at 105 mph but has four total wins, just under 22 million in career earnings, and is currently inside the top 100 on the money list. Basically, it proves that with enough practice, I still have a chance to one day play on tour!

I think if you pressed hard enough, you could even get the team at Srixon to admit that the 785s are more of a return to the 745 design features and shape than a progression from the 765s. With the more centered mass in the cavity (a looks thing) and a less rounded toe and topline profile from address, it’s easy to see the inspiration. Even in our own GolfWRX forums, players of all abilities seem to still love and hold onto their Srixon Z 745 irons.

It’s official: Srixon Z 745 irons are modern cult classics.

Do you have a set of Z 745 irons still? Why do you love them? Why have you stuck with them like so many tour players? Would love to hear your feedback in the comments section.

 

 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Jason

    May 23, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I have 2 sets of 745s bought new for about $400 each. Play them in two different states. I love these irons and won’t be changing them for a long time.

  2. JP

    May 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Roger Dunn Golf Shoo in Santa Ana has a LOT of these sets in used condition that look NEW! They have boxes upon boxes of them stacked up. And they were CHEAP! Was in the store last week.

    • rosie

      Jun 4, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      i just called them they said they had none . Where did you see this ? Thanks.

  3. Harvey Thomson

    May 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Well, I have to admit my combo set of 745/945 are back in the bag and I’m glad I didn’t get rid of them.

  4. .

    May 1, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Did they continue to add more and more tungsten for forgiveness in each gen of the 745-756-785? Like Titleist does with the AP2’s, they keep cramming more and more tungsten in each gen of irons for extra forgiveness in yet still a “players cavity back” design?

  5. ChipNRun

    May 1, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I have hit the Z745 and Z765 irons at multiple demo days, and really liked them and WANTED them. Alas, however, I have a swing that NEEDS the Z545 and Z565 irons.

    The Z5– and Z7– irons are at the top of the list for cool irons I have never owned. (My wife says two bags full is enough).

  6. Wes B

    Apr 30, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    I play the 565(4-5)& 765(6-pw)combo set with KBS Tour 125 S+ shafts and absolutely love them! I’m kind of afraid to try the 745 or 785 because I might like them too much. I wanted the 765 over the 45’s because the blade length was slightly longer and I thought it would be a little more forgiving/confidence inspiring while maintaining the same feel. The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the more rounded top line on the PW as apposed to the perfect shape and thickness of the rest of the set. I should also mention how seamless the transition between the 565 5 iron and 765 6 iron is. You can not tell the difference at all looking at them from address.

  7. FirePro

    Apr 30, 2019 at 8:51 am

    as someone that changed my irons every year I have yet to even think about getting rid of my Z745’s. A couple shaft changes has kept my tinkering addiction satisfied and I now feel that I have found the perfect storm with the Z745 heads and KBS $-Tapers.

  8. Justin M

    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    I love my 745/945 split set. I originally had issues with the topline of the scoring irons being to think, so I decided to get a used set of 945’s to swap out the heads of the 8-pw pw. Now I have the greatest set of irons ever after shafting them with kbs tour v x-stiff. Softest feel ever, amazing control and somehow maintain high spin with good length. I’ve tried just about every players iron that has come out over the last few years and nothing compares.

  9. WESTSIDE GOLFER

    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve played Several sets of Mizuno and Titleist CB’s and MB’s and Wilson Staff FG 17… But the Z745 is the best iron I’ve ever played period. Love the Vsole and despite being forged no loss of distance!

  10. OO

    Apr 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I bought the 745 to replace MP64 and while I did appreciate the 745, obviously I bought them, they were just missing a certain something.

    I continue to play the MP64 a slightly more consistent, slightly more solid club that gets through the turf better, with my swing.

  11. Brian

    Apr 28, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Are the Bridgestone J40s and Srixon Z 745’s virtually identical? I’ve been playing the J40s for years and I always just assumed the 745’s were the same irons with a different brand-name.

    • Brandon van Dell

      May 6, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      I was thinking this too after seeing these. Love my J40 CB’s!

  12. Henning Göbel

    Apr 28, 2019 at 12:25 am

    The one thing stops tje Z745 from being a classic: no availability for lefties! I am grateful,Srixon changed that with the 765.

  13. Dan

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    The Z745 irons are the best irons I have ever played. I’m starting to fear replacement as mine are starting to wear. Srixon should bring out new old stock so us die hards could continue to play this iron….

  14. Frank

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Came close to buying the Z785s, but I favored the new Apex/apex Pro combo set and love them.

  15. Bob

    Apr 27, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    I have played the 545s because they are more forgiving then the 745s. I tried the 585s but they were a little clicky and didn’t feel as good as my 545s so I took them back and bought another set of 545s they are just softer and easier to hit. Best game improvement club I have ever hit. If I was better I would hit the 745s

  16. dat

    Apr 27, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    I really wanted to like these, but the sole grind didn’t fit my game.

  17. Exrog

    Apr 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    I have a set of z945 and z965 irons. The z945 irons are an amazing feeling set. I want to try and configure the heads to a one length set up due to back problems. Does anyone know if the 945’s are endo forging?

  18. Olson

    Apr 27, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I originally got mine with S300 shafts, got fitted for X100, instead of getting new irons I reshafted mine, replaced the 9 iron and PW last year with the Z965. Have been to a lot of demo days and fittings since but still cant find any I like enough to replace the Z745s. If I got a set of Z785, JPX Tour or 718 CBs heavily discounted I would consider it but why spend $1000 on a new set when the ones I’ve got are still on tour and works well for me. And they’re one of the best looking CBs out there. They will stay until theres no grooves left.

  19. Rick

    Apr 27, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Had a set, but grew out of nippon 125. Got 565 with 105 and wow.

  20. William Baltazar

    Apr 27, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I currently play 545/745 combo, and love them!! Haven’t been able to find suitable replacements. I did just order the new 585 full set. Looking for a little more forgiveness in short irons I guess. They seem to feel very similar to my current 45s. Best irons I’ve had in many many years. My original Callaway forged X Tours come to mind when thinking about clubs that move the needle.

  21. Josh

    Apr 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Man I just got fitted for/ordered a combo set of z585/785’s. Hope I’m not going to regret going on eBay and finding a set of nice 745’s…the cavity on them looks a little bigger than the z785, wonder if they are any more forgiving?

    • Josh

      Apr 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      I meant I hope I don’t regret not going on EBay and grabbing a set of 745’s.

  22. 2putttom

    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    great line of clubs all around.

  23. August

    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    I went from the 745s to the MP18 MB/SC about a month ago and the 745s are already back in the bag. They are by far and away the best iron I’ve ever played. I agree that the 785 is a step in the right direction but the offset increased which I’m not a fan of. Hoping to stumble across another set or two of the 745s in the next couple years as I don’t think anything will come close.

  24. Mike S Berg

    Apr 27, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Been playing golf for many years the Z585 are by far the best iron on the market..

  25. john j

    Apr 27, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Anyone know any other forged cavity backs forged by Endo?

    • joe

      Apr 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

      Callaway Apex Pro 2019, Callaway Apex MB 2018, Bridgestone J15, Bridgestone xCB (and likely everything from Bridgestone), Srixon 765, Srixon 785, Srixon Z-Forged, Titleist 680, NIKE VR Pro, and VR Pro combo, and possibly the new Tiger P7TW

      • john

        Apr 29, 2019 at 9:28 pm

        Are you sure Joe that Callaway Apex pros? Interesting.

  26. Chappy

    Apr 27, 2019 at 9:33 am

    The 745s are the best iron I’ve ever played. Lots of reasons already mentioned. Short blade length, very little offset, fantastic feel and very forgiving for a small head. But the most import reason for me is the sole. The V sole is great.

  27. BJ

    Apr 27, 2019 at 8:38 am

    785 are best irons Ive played to date. first time I ever played a Srixon iron

  28. Kent Gavel

    Apr 27, 2019 at 8:17 am

    The 745’s Simply the best all around iron I’ve ever played.
    Shot making is pure joy!
    Soft feel, easy to flight.

  29. Smellis745

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Still rock the 745s and like them so much, I bought a second set that was like new just to have a spare set of heads

  30. Benny

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:20 am

    I have played 588 cb/mb set and last year fell in love with CG1 Tours. Not the longest but not short either. I keep trying to find a replacement with a 1/2 clud longer distance and this article is making me want to get a set of 745’s. Great read and nothing wron with Cleveland, Wilson or BStone. Look at what they produce!

  31. Jesse

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:18 am

    I still have the 745’s in my bag. Purchased in 2015. I am looking a new set but nothing I’ve hit so far match the 745’s in my opinion

  32. Joakim Pekkari

    Apr 27, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Loved my black 745’s but just recently upgraded to the Z-Forged (comboed with 785 5i and 585 4i) which is just so beautiful and surprisingly easy to hit!

  33. BS

    Apr 27, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Played j40cb originally and they were an amazing iron. Moved into 745/945 combo as were very similar design with a touch better performance through out the set. Can’t fathom changing them but j40cb is the original classic iron..

  34. Chris

    Apr 26, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    The feel of the 745 is great, but to me it’s about the look. The 765 was much too rounded, especially in the shorter irons.The 785 looks much more like the 745 than the 765, so it is an iron that should be on almost anyone’s must-try list, but at the end of the day I didn’t want to give up my 745.

  35. bonifacj

    Apr 26, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    The Srixon z745s are truly fantastic irons. Best I’ve played. Have a back up set in storage for when my gamers where out so hopefully will not have to change for a long, long time.

  36. Deron

    Apr 26, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I love my 765s. Anyone know if they are Endo forged as well like the 745s?

    • Paul

      Apr 26, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      They are, 785 are Endo forged as well.

      • john j

        Apr 27, 2019 at 9:55 am

        Are you sure, Paul? Was curious myself if the 785’s were endo forged as well.

        • Paul

          Apr 27, 2019 at 10:48 am

          Yes, I’m sure. Confirmed with someone at Cleveland/Srixon at the PGA show that 785 and Z Forged are Endo forged.

    • conted

      Apr 27, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      I’m gaming my z745s w/ Nippon 125s. Played z765/965 last two summer and went back to the z745s. I really like the head and shaft combination.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from SMAC43 who created a topic dedicated to Tour player’s love of Vokey wedges. SMAC43 asks fellow members just why so many Tour pros choose to play Vokey wedges, and WRXers weigh in with their reasoning.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the topic at the link below.

  • Downtown_Brown_4: “I think it has a lot to do with Aaron Dill. He’s able to take feedback from the players and custom grind anything they could ever want.”
  • straightshot7: “Vokey is probably what most of them played with as a junior and in college. Some guys don’t like to tinker with their short game equipment. Vokey is tried and true.”
  • Matty01984: “Vokey’s definitely seem to be the most popular wedge out there, and they have been for some time. The grind options and the guys that Titleist have working for them are definitely a big part of that. Interesting to see them cropping up in bags of guys that are on staff with other companies.”
  • Pepperturbo: “Remember, next to putters, wedges are the most used clubs on the PGA Tour. For that reason, Tour players replace wedges multiple times per year. A few players with contracts have been known to replace them every two-three months. However, if a tour player uses forged wedges, they are replaced more often because the sole and grooves wear quite fast with excessive use; cast not so much. I played forged for years before switching to Vokey SM6 when they were introduced; still have them in the bag too, even though I practice near daily with the LW. Last but just as important. Even though wedge grooves wear a good player can still spin the ball. Spin is about how you impact the ball and speed.”

Entire Thread: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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