TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap 9.4)

COST: $579.95 (Z 785); $519.95 (Z 585).

MODEL PLAYED: Z 585 with 10.5˚ loft, fitted with Project X HZRDUS Red 62g 5.5 shaft and Z 785 with 9.5˚ loft, with Project X HZRDUS Red 62g 6.0 shaft.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: With plenty of hype about what Srixon calls its longest drivers ever, I attempted to keep my expectations down during my early testing. But the combination of the stealth-like look of the black head, shaft and grip with carbon detailing on the crown and the feel, open face and strong flight of the Z 785 had me seriously impressed.

The Z 585 was similarly long and looked extremely similar to the better-player version, however sat slightly closed and showed more of the clubface at address, with a higher pitched sound resulting in a powerful and loud impact. While the ball flight was higher and consistently produced a nice draw.

HOW THEY PERFORMED: As my time with the Z 785 and Z 585 progressed, the differences in flight, feel and target player continued to be clear cut. The 785 is very much for the strong player who has little trouble getting the ball in the air and turning it over, but capable of catering to lower ball flight players through its adjustable hosel.

Despite its lack of adjustability, the 585 will suit more golfers through its higher launch, draw bias and increased forgiveness that resulted in less significant losses on distance and accuracy than the 785 – which, while still feeling solid on off-centre hits and offering some forgiveness, penalised mis-hits more drastically.

It took me some time to dial in the Z 785 to suit my ball flight, with early shots launching strongly but a little too low to achieve maximum carry. Once I did find my ideal loft though, which seemed to minimally affect the angle of the face behind the ball, my ball flight was an outstanding high and flat trajectory that seemed to go on forever on a solid strike – and bested my trusty current model driver consistently.

The strong flight and increased distance were enough to impress me, but the feel off the face of the 785 is where the driver consistently made me realise that Srixon has delivered its best model I have tested. The solid feel is somewhat muted and if not the best, is in the conversation for the best feeling driver I have tried in recent times.

Like the iron models of the same name, the 585 driver in comparison was less suited to myself and my game but was still a very admirable performer during testing.

Noticeably lighter in head weight through the lack of an adjustable hosel, the more forgiving model’s high straight flight was extremely consistent and right there with my own driver for distance, however I struggled to get used to the louder and higher sound that turned a few heads on the driving range. But it certainly wasn’t in the realms of some tin can sounding drivers of years gone by.

The 585 felt as if the head wanted to naturally release to help the ball turn over and after struggling with a few toe strikes early, this helped produce a fairly consistent draw or dead straight flight that bounded down some firm fairways for some seriously long hits, which did make getting past the sound slightly easier.

As I would have expected going into my testing, the 785 was the superior model for me, not only due to its stronger ball flight and solid feel, but in large part due to the adjustability that allowed me to really fine tune a ball flight that increased my confidence and allowed me to swing with unhindered freedom.

The combination of the exceptional feel and flight caused me to reach for the Z 785 more often than not when given a choice between it and my own driver on the range and course during multiple testing sessions.

Although not appealing to me quite as much as the 785, the Z 585 was very solid throughout my testing and would be a perfect option for players who fight a fade or slice and need a little help producing optimal launch conditions. The forgiveness of the glued hosel model combined with its distance gains on previous Srixon models, making it extremely worthwhile of throwing in the mix when testing new drivers.

With the latest Z series drivers, Srixon has produced its best performing models that I have seen or tried to date in regards to all the key performance characteristics of distance, flight, feel and forgiveness that will cater to a wide variety of players and preferences. Both models have also maintained a slightly unique shape, similar to the company’s previous driver models that will appeal to Srixon loyalists.

FACTS AND FIGURES

SUITABILITY: The Z 785 driver is designed for better players who are looking to dial in their flight with adjustability and prefer a traditional look at address and more penetrating trajectory. The Z 585’s increased forgiveness, straight flight and higher trajectory make it suitable for a wide range of golfers.

SHAFTS: The Z 785 and Z 585 come standard with Project X HZRDUS Red shafts, with a range of other premium shafts available.

LEFT HANDED: Both models are available in right and left hand.

COMPANY SAYS: The new Z Series woods present a revolution in performance, delivering the most powerful suite of offerings from Srixon. The full line of Z Series woods feature advanced materials to help amplify your long game.

The Z Series drivers are designed to boost speed and distance off the tee with the ‘Ti51AF’ cup face. This cup face is the thinnest, lightest, strongest, and hottest driver face ever produced in Srixon’s history.

“The new Z Series woods are pretty easy to explain: they’re long,” Srixon Marketing Director Brian Schielke said. “Our stronger, faster titanium, combined with cup face construction is totally unique, totally different from everything out there, and it really shows up both on a launch monitor and on the course.”

Featuring a lightweight carbon crown, Z Series woods shift the weight to the perimeter, offering more forgiveness and less offline dispersion. The Z 785 driver promotes a low-spin, penetrating trajectory in a tour preferred look and profile; meanwhile, the Z 585 driver promotes higher, straighter drives with additional forgiveness on off-centre strikes.

For more information, visit www.srixon.com.au