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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.

44 Comments

44 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.

  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 Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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