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New Callaway X Forged Irons Unveiled in Japan



Our friend Jonathan Wall from scooped a photo of a new Callaway X-Forged iron being released in Japan, which he shared with the golf world on Twitter. It’s a long-anticipated release, and as such, GolfWRX Members are already responding here.

The photo of the irons come from this Alba story, and from the translation we can discern that the new irons are due for release in Japan in mid-October. If you can read Japanese, you’ll likely glean further insights. The irons are not yet listed on Callaway’s Japan website.

Callaway’s last X-Forged iron release came in 2013, and the irons became the stuff of legend. Several Callaway Staffers are still using the irons on the PGA Tour, including Phil Mickelson (See Mickelson’s Full WITB).

Discussion: See What GolfWRX Members are saying about the new irons.

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  1. mlecuni

    Sep 13, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Will Phil change ?

  2. Milo

    Sep 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Maybe an upgrade for my ’13 X forged?

  3. Dat

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Let’s hope these aren’t $300 a club like the Epic Star.

  4. Bob

    Sep 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    FFS who cares about the back? Show the setup, face, and sole please!

    • XO

      Sep 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Gearheads only slobber over the glue-on graphic plaques on the back of the irons for the ‘bling effect’.
      Real golfers want to look at the performance aspects of the club design….. and even cover up the back with lead tape for added MOI.

  5. Orville

    Sep 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    The back of the club is largely cosmetic. The hosel offset and CG location (distribution of metal mass) is all that matters to the swing and ball impact.

    • LLC

      Sep 14, 2017 at 1:14 am

      And the ball is whacked only by the front of the club! What’s all this fuss over the design of the rear end of the clubhead.
      Oh, I get it. The only way to obsolete the last club models is to change the appearance of the back!

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Whats in the Bag

Matt Jones’ winning WITB: 2021 Honda Classic



Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi3 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Dual TiNi 80 TX

Irons: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi (2), Titleist 712MB (4-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F @51, 56-10S), SM8 (58-08M @60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Harding’s winning WITB: 2021 Magical Kenya Open



Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees)

5-wood: Titleist TS2 (18 degrees)

Irons: Titleist U500 (4), Titleist 620 MB (5-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Wedgeworks (50, 54-M, SM8 (58-T)

Putter: Odyssey V-Line (long)

Ball: Titleist Pro V1


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Srixon ZX7 irons: A development deep dive



Upon their release, Srixon ZX7 irons became the fastest irons to be put into play by Srixon staff members—and at GolfWRX we took notice. ZX7’s even replaced some of the most long-standing irons in play on the PGA Tour including multiple sets of the cult classic Z745’s.

As someone who has always been enamored by the engineering and design process, I reached out to Srixon to get the inside scoop on how the ZX7 irons were so successful from the start. I spoke with Srixon’s Tour Engineering Manager Patrick Ripp about the development process.

Ryan Barath: How long is a development cycle for irons, and what does that timeline look like? 

Patrick Ripp: Development is non-stop, and we typically work on two-year product cycles roughly broken down into six-month blocks.

  • Research phase: This involves blue sky research for new technologies—new materials, performance directions for a specific market segment, and doing research into new manufacturing techniques.
  • Design (industrial design): This is the “whiteboard phase” and includes a lot of early sketching before moving into 3D CAD ( computer-aided design).
  • Development: This is all about working with our manufacturing partners on new capabilities, confirming our design will be achievable with the manufacturing techniques that we are pursuing before a pilot run sampling and final spec setting.
  • Production: The final step is to start mass production to hit forecasts for product launch dates.

There is quite a bit of overlap and a lot of collaborations across the teams, but that is the simplest way to break it down.

Now, when it comes to tour products, the schedule is pulled forward when we introduce products on tour prior to the public release. This introduction phase is one of the most valuable research periods for the next generation products. The introduction allows us to get the most in-depth testing and performance feedback as players work the new product into play.

Tour product research is generally non-stop as we are constantly fitting which can turn into testing based on the fitting results. If we need to solve a specific issue, we can easily and quickly prototype new concepts for further testing. If the testing goes well, the new feature or technology may end up in the next generation product line.

RB: As far as product creation is concerned, you talked about the sketching process—are there specific points of inspiration for creating new products?

PR: In terms of inspiration, it is different for every individual. For engineering, there is definitely a lot of inspiration pulled from other sports products. Aerospace is another big influence with a lot of our engineers studying or even coming from that background. The designers seem to pull design line inspiration and details from the automotive industry. Modern tech products and sports products are always on the inspiration boards during presentations.

Like so many others, the R&D team is always sharing YouTube clips of new manufacturing and finishing techniques that we might be able to take advantage of in the future.

RB: How do you decide on the final aesthetics, and how much does that relate to performance?

PR: We have a talented internal industrial design team within our R&D structure, and they handle a lot of the early design research. Typically, starting with 2D sketching, then 2D rendering, and then moving into the 3D CAD files to confirm CG properties. The engineers will work closely with the design team throughout that process.

In the 2D work, engineers provide CG targets and feedback on the design feature and how they might influence the CG properties good or bad.

For a one-piece forged cavity back iron like the 7 Series, the design has a massive influence on the performance. You need to adjust all your discretionary weight through design features. This makes it very important to choose the correct design early and then have a lot of collaboration between the engineers and industrial design to achieve the final production design.

RB: One of the most popular iron Srixon ever produced was the Z745. Was this the starting point for the new ZX7, or was it a from-scratch process working with tour players to deliver on their requests?

PR: We didn’t start from scratch on the ZX7’s, especially with the success of the 785’s on tour, but we did make a point to take a step back and reassess our Srixon iron lines. With the rebranding to the ZX line from the previous numbering system, we wanted to make sure this product line was more than a subtle evolution from the previous generation of irons.

For the 7 Series specifically, we wanted to understand what has been successful on tour and why certain models resonated with our tour staff. Obviously, the 745’s and even the 945’s have been really successful for us on tour, and the few players who were not playing the 785’s or Z-Forged were definitely in the 45 Series products. With the 45’s and 85’s being the most successful tour products, we started to iterate off of what made those irons lines so popular and how we might be able to improve on them.

As you may have picked up on the ZX7 irons, they are basically a beast of the Z745’s and Z785’s for shape and sole with upgrades all over, including tweaks to the V Sole specs. The other upgrades in the design are all thanks to the new tour cavity, which puts the sweet spot closer to the scoreline center and offers improvements to hi/low MOI for greater consistency.

The ZX7’s tour introduction has been the most successful iron introduction in our company’s history, even with the restrictions that we have had on tour throughout the introduction phase. Since the restart of the PGA Tour on the west coast, after players have had time to test over the winter, we have 90 percent (20 out of 22) of our PGA Tour staff playing in-line irons. Four of those 20 sets are Z-Forged and the rest are ZX7.

We only have one set of 785’s and one set of 745’s still in play. We have also had four players switch out of blades into the ZX7’s. It has been amazing to see the conversion and hear the positive feedback about the new ZX line.

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