Connect with us

Equipment

Srixon ZX7 irons: A development deep dive

Published

on

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.

Your Reaction?
  • 215
  • LEGIT29
  • WOW16
  • LOL5
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP3
  • OB3
  • SHANK7

Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX Members Choice: Best irons of 2022 – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: GolfWRX Members Choice: Best irons of 2021 – GolfWRX

  3. Pingback: Best irons in golf of 2021: The shotmakers – GolfWRX

  4. Jason Spreitzer

    Mar 27, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Love seeing Brooks switch to the ZX7’s from Mizuno!

  5. MK808

    Mar 23, 2021 at 4:00 am

    If you’re on the fence about getting the ZX7… get them. They exceed the hype.

  6. MK808

    Mar 23, 2021 at 3:59 am

    I have a combo set of Z-Forged and ZX7. Truly fantastic irons. Looking back on it, I wish I ordered the full set of ZX7s, they are that good. It took me 7 years to switch off my old Mizuno MP58s and I’m glad I waited. The feel of the ZX7 is, at least to me, pretty unique. They are buttery soft, but have a strong, powerful acoustics to them. Z Forged are not slouch either. They are everything you want out of a blade, but the slightly larger head size for a blade makes them inviting. Mind you they are blades, and you can pinpoint to the millimeter where you strike location.

  7. Cosy

    Mar 20, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    I ordered a set. Just waiting now… back orders suck!!

    • Tater

      Mar 21, 2021 at 1:34 am

      I’m 2 rounds in w the ZX7’s.. believe the hype

  8. Rez

    Mar 20, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Give us that unplanted club as an option srixon!

    • jake

      Mar 22, 2021 at 6:49 am

      Agree, wish they had a raw options. No stamping is a bonus too

  9. Tom Duckworth

    Mar 20, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Damm you had to do this! Now I really want to trade in my Z765/565 combo set for these.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Whats in the Bag

Xander Schauffele WITB 2024 (May)

Published

on

  • Xander Schauffele what’s in the bag accurate as of the PGA Championship. 

Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees @10.1)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 70 TX (45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 80 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 90 TX

Irons: Mizuno MP-20 (3), Callaway Apex TCB ’24 (4-10)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100 (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-10)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10S), Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (56-10S @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-K @61)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Design Las Vegas Prototype 7CH
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Align

Ball: Callaway Chrome Tour

Check out more in-hand photos of Xander Schauffele’s clubs in the forums.

More Xander Schauffele WITBs

 

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Whats in the Bag

Cam Smith WITB 2024 (May)

Published

on

Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X

3-wood: Ping Max G430 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 7 X

7-wood: Titleist TS2 (21 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Proto 8F5

Irons: Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi (2, 3), Titleist T100 (5-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Series

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04T)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X (46, 52, 56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Tack

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Check out more in-hand photos of Cam Smith’s gear here.

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Whats in the Bag

Patrick Reed WITB 2024 (May)

Published

on

Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI 70 Tour X

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 80 Tour X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Phenom Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: Titleist 716 TMB (2), Grindworks PR-202 (4), Grindworks PR-101A (5-PW)
Shafts:  True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore (50-10 Mid), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (56-08M @55), SM10 (60-04T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot RX Pt Customs No. 2

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

More photos of Patrick Reed’s WITB in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending