An Honest & Complete Review of Srixon ZX5 MKII Irons
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on January 3, 2024

In this post, I share an honest review of the Srixon ZX5 MKII irons after my recent outing with the golf clubs. The players distance irons offer a superb balance of forgiveness and distance to improve the performance of mid handicappers.

After reading this review you’ll know what game improvement technology drives these irons, and what stock shaft and grip options are available.

Besides the features, I’ll dive into my performance with the irons and compare some of my data from the launch monitor to the ZX7 MKII (which you can read a full review of here).

Srixon ZX5 MKII review 3

Overall Rating and Thoughts

I enjoyed testing the Srixon ZX5 MKII irons over the less forgiving ZX7 range, which I recently reviewed. The ZX5 irons proved forgiving, accurate, long and consistent on approach to help moderate swing speed mid-handicappers dial your approach game.

I appreciated the rapid ball speed, adequate carry distance and increased roll achieved on long and mid iron shots. Conversely, I welcomed the added spin rate generated by the deep, narrow grooves on the short irons and wedges.

Overall, the Srixon ZX MKII delivered long game distance, short game spin and leniency across the board. As a result, I find them best suited to mid handicappers seeking greater distance without sacrificing forgiveness.

Overall Score: 8.3/10

Features

Players Distance Irons

Srixon crafted the ZX5 MKII as a happy medium between the ZX7 player’s irons and the highly forgiving ZX4 range. I found they promote maximum distance on approach, without sacrificing leniency, gifting you the best of both worlds.

The perimeter weighted design helped me preserve ball speed and control spin across the clubface to produce satisfactory distance on mishits.

Cavity Back Construction

Srixon engineers opted for a cavity back design on these players’ distance irons to boost stability and enlarge the sweet spot for superior contact. This helped me on three occasions during testing when I caught my ball slightly fat. I still managed to impart sufficient speed onto the ball to produce a respectable result.

I feel the design is valuable for mid handicappers still prone to the odd mishit. Despite the forgiving tendencies, I still managed to shape my shots and enhance my control on approach, which lower handicappers will welcome.

MainFrame

The MainFrame stood out as the powerhouse of the irons as it amplified clubface flexibility into contact for a superior coefficient of restitution (COR). Srixon engineers precisely milled variable thickness grooves, cavities and channels into the rear side of the golf club.

You’ll find the MainFrame on the highly forgiving ZX4 MKII range as well. It’s built to enhance clubface flexibility into contact, and it delivered, enhancing my energy transfer for rapid ball speed and controlled spin.

I applaud the decision to apply mass to the toe and sole of the club, because it stabilized the clubhead at impact and lowered the center of gravity (CG). This helped me produce an elevated launch and achieve consistent distance with my long and mid irons.

Tour V.T. Sole

I welcomed the leniency afforded to me by the Tour V.T. Sole, as it forgave my fat shots and still helped me get sufficient clubface onto the ball. I have the high bouncing leading edge to thank for the forgiveness as it prevented my clubhead from digging into the turf to instead make contact with the ball.

On the contrary, the trailing edge bends away from the ground, which I felt simplified the task of opening and closing the clubface. The ability to manipulate the clubface allowed me to induce a draw or fade, for superior control over my approach shots.

The wider soles on the ZX5 MKII irons may not appeal to lower handicappers, but it’s the reason for incredibly clean turf interaction.

Progressive Grooves

The Progressive Grooves were a masterstroke from Srixon, because it increases long and mid iron distance, while enhancing short iron and wedge spin. The 3-iron through 7-iron in the set carry wide, shallow grooves which limit friction and revolutions while retaining ball velocity on all shots.

Conversely, weaker lofted irons stretching from the 8 to the approach wedge feature narrow, deep grooves positioned closer together. I found this construction worked wonders for my spin revolutions on shorter approach shots.

Thanks to the Progressive Grooves structure I maximized distance from far out, while beefing up spin around the green. The enhanced revolutions on shorter irons shots helped me attack the flag and stop the ball rapidly for a short one putt.

Progressive Offset

Srixon followed the standard procedure of progressive offset through the bag. The ZX5 MKII irons promote forgiveness and accuracy in the long irons, before switching to greater workability in the short irons and wedges.

On average, I found the ZX5 MKII irons carried an average of 0.7 mm extra offset compared to the less forgiving ZX7 range. The increased offset on the ZX5’s made it easier for me to get the clubface square at contact, to reduce the risk of slicing my shot.

Thanks to the offset, I managed to generate improved accuracy with my long, mid and short iron. However, I found it difficult to produce meaningful curve with the 3 to 5-iron, which featured 3.8 to 4.2 mm of offset.

Lofts

One of my favorite features of the ZX5 range is the reduction of distance gaps in the long irons. Only 2-degrees separates the 3-iron from the 4-iron and the 4-iron to the 5-iron, which was ideal for my distance control on longer shots.

I found the ZX5 MKII irons carried weaker lofts at the top of the bag compared to modern players distance irons. The strongest lofted club in the set is the 3-iron angled at 20-degrees. That seems weak when you compare it to the 18.5-degree 4-iron found in the Callaway Rogue ST Max range.

A personal gripe I have is the strength of the pitching wedge at 44-degrees, considering that I’ve swung a 46-degree for most of my life. It created a slight distance gap in the bag, since my next strongest loft is a 52-degree approach wedge.

Club 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW AW
Loft 20° 22° 24° 27° 31° 35° 39° 44° 50°

 

Shafts

Srixon availed two stock shafts for the Srixon ZX5 MKII irons, with both more favored by moderate to fast swing speeds. The UST Mamiya Recoil Dart shaft is the only option that suits slower swing speeds, with their low kick point, high launching seniors flex.

In addition to the seniors flex, the Recoil Dart is available in a regular and stiff flex to cater to faster swingers. I enjoyed the increased spring into the ball at contact, but I felt the higher degree of torque in these shafts prompted me to lose control of the clubface.

My results improved with the KBS Tour Lite shaft, which is built in a regular and stiff flex. I swung the regular flex to compliment my moderate swing speed, and welcomed the hassle free lift off owing to its low kick point.

The regular flex Tour Lite holds 2.7-degrees less torque than the equivalent flex on the Recoil Dart. I found the clubface easier to control when I fitted the KBS Tour Lite, but slower swing speeds will definitely benefit from the flex and torque on the UST Mamiya shafts.

Grip

A standard Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 is the stock grip on the Srixon ZX5 MK II irons. I was satisfied with the traction it generated, ensuring complete control of the golf club from address through impact.

The Tour Velvet 360 produced a moderate surface texture which increased the efficiency of its moisture wicking qualities. It successfully pulled sweat from the surface and ensured my palms made optimal contact with the rubber for a secure grip.

I thought the Golf Pride rubber blend compound thrived in the wet, as it offered a non-slip surface for superior traction. Finally, the standard size grip produced moderate feedback, which mid and low handicappers would appreciate. However, I’d suggest looking at the midsize structure if you’d like to reduce grip pressure.

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Performance

Price

The Srixon ZX5 MKII irons aren’t cheaper for players distance irons, exceeding $1,000 for 6 clubs. You could consider a set of the Cobra LTDx irons which include 7 clubs in a set for just under $700. The Cobra irons are long, forgiving and relatively new having been released in 2022.

I must mention that other 2023 iron releases like the Callaway Paradym, Ping G430 and Cobra AeroJet irons are all in the realm of $1,000. However, if you’re willing to select an older model with similar technology you can save yourself hundreds of dollars on a set of irons.

Feel

The ZX5 felt lighter in the hand compared to the ZX7 MKII irons, with a difference of 3 swing weights. The feathery feel allowed me to unleash the club from the top of the swing down, to maximize clubhead speed into impact.

Swing weights aside it felt a little heavier off the clubface compared to the ZX7, meaning it wasn’t as soft. I found the difference lay in the MainFrame structure which doesn’t eliminate vibrations like the PureFrame on the less forgiving ZX7 irons.

Sound

I enjoyed the acoustics of cleanly struck shots, which released a loud “thwack” as it left the clubface. Mid and low handicappers should appreciate the congruent acoustics which echo throughout the driving range and across the fairways.

Obviously sound shouldn’t dictate your final decision on whether to acquire a set, but it certainly increases my affection for the irons.

Workability

In my experience, the highly offset long irons proved challenging to induce any meaningful shape on the golf ball. However, the progressive nature of the offset saw the degrees reduce as the lofts increased, enabling workable fly in the mid and short irons.

I didn’t achieve the level of curve that I enjoyed with the ZX7 irons, but I’ll take it. The ZX5 irons were far easier to launch and produce consistent carry distance,

Satisfactory Forgiveness

The ZX5 irons provided sufficient forgiveness to combat slices, prevent my clubhead from digging into the turf, and produce an easy launch. They aren’t as forgiving as the ZX4 range, but they are more lenient than the workable ZX7 irons.

Mid-handicappers are best suited to the moderate forgiveness, optimal distance and accuracy promoted by the ZX5 irons.

Impressive Carry Distance

My 7-iron carry distance averaged 168.42 yards, which was a yard further than I managed with the ZX7. I think the reason for the added yard stemmed from the wider sweet spot and perimeter weighting which promoted rapid ball speed across the clubface.

I didn’t enjoy the luxury of advanced forgiveness with the ZX7, which is why I likely lost distance on inconsistent strikes. The combination of the MainFrame, Tour V.T. Sole and Progressive grooves encouraged explosive ball speed, controlled spin and a high launch for outstanding distance.

High Apex

I produced an average apex of 33.25 yards with my 7-iron, highlighting the efficiency of the low CG and controlled spin levels. Further adding to the high apex of my shots was the low kick point and impressive spring the stock shafts generated into impact.

The performance of the shots boosted my energy transfer into contact, imparting accelerated pace and minimal spin onto my golf ball. This maximized my compression of the golf ball at contact to send it high and long on approach.

Satisfactory Clubhead Speed

Despite the lower swing weights on the ZX5 MKII irons, I actually produced a slower average clubhead speed compared to the ZX7. But, I was still satisfied with my 94 mph average which proved effective in helping me maximize my energy transfer into impact.

I feel that the added swing weight on the ZX7 prompted me to activate my core golf muscles and boost rotation, which could explain my higher swing speed. During testing, I really felt like I unloaded the ZX5 MKII irons on the downswing, but the data said otherwise.

At the end of testing, my average ZX5 clubhead speed was 1.3 mph shy of the less forgiving ZX7 7-iron. Contrary to my findings I believe the average moderate or slow swinging amateur will produce superior results with the lighter ZX5 range.

Low Long And Mid Iron Backspin

My results with the ZX5 saw me generate marginally more backspin rpm on mid and long iron shots. I averaged 6651 rpm ZX5 MKII irons compared to an average of 6016 rpm with the workable ZX7 range.

Although I produced more spin with the ZX5 irons, it wasn’t far off my levels achieved with the ZX7’s. However, I noticed that I achieved less roll on approach, which actually suited my game plan better.

Short Game Spin

Contrary to the low long and mid iron backspin, I produced satisfactory revolutions on short iron and wedge shots. I found myself conjuring up 8912 rpm on my pitching wedge shots, which caused the ball to bite faster.

The elevated backspin figures and rapid stop on the green were a product of the deep, narrow grooves on the short irons and wedges.

Adequate Roll

I was satisfied with my average roll distance produced with these “Enhanced Distance Irons.” They generated sufficient roll to help my ball run towards the middle of the green after landing on the front edge. My ZX5 long and mid iron shots rolled out an average of 5.8 yards.

Conversely, the elevated launch and apex of my ZX5 iron shots helped the ball stop faster than a ZX7 approach. During testing, I conjured up an average of 7.33 yards of roll when striking ZX7 long and mid irons. This means the ZX5 MKII range rolls 1.53 yards less than the ZX7.

If you prefer irons that stop faster on approach and allow you to attack the flagstick, then the ZX5 MKII’s are a superior option.

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What I Like About The Srixon ZX7 MKII

Carry Distance

My carry yards were impressive with the ZX5 MKII range, owing to its fast, forgiving face, and high launch. I produced an average of 168.42 yards on approach with my 7-iron, a yard further than my results with the ZX7. Despite my greater carry distance, the reduced roll saw me deliver 0.33 yards less total distance over the ZX7 irons.

I thoroughly appreciated the added carry distance, and find most moderate swing speeds will experience similar results.

Ball Speed

I welcomed the rapid, consistent ball speed I produced off the clubface, prompting a powerful launch and optimal carry distance. My average ball speed on ZX5 shots exceeded the ZX7 range by 0.6 mph, owing to the flexible, explosive, forgiving clubface.

The MainFrame structure and perimeter weighting were largely responsible for my ball velocity. The flexible clubface sprung into the ball at impact, improving my energy transfer and control spin and accelerate the ball off the clubface.

Forgiveness

The forgiveness packed into the ZX5 irons was highly appreciated by this golf writer, as a few of my fat shots got airborne and produced satisfactory results. Thanks to the flexibility of the clubface, I produced consistent energy transfer to impart maximum speed and minimal spin on the ball.

My forgiveness received an added boost off the turf thanks to the highly optimized Tour V.T. Sole. On occasion when I caught the ball fat, the high bounce leading edge propelled my clubface off the turf and into the ball to prevent digging and ensuring cleaner contact.

Once my clubface struck the ball the perimeter weighted clubhead, expanded sweet spot and low CG sprung into action. The perimeter weighting stabilized the clubface and preserved ball speed, while the low CG encouraged effortless high launching shots.

Turf Interaction

I welcomed the smooth performance of the Tour V.T. Sole which sent my clubhead smoothly across the rough, fairway and sand. The high bouncing leading edge was a breeze to handle as it limited my exposure to the turf and prevented my clubhead burrowing into the dirt.

Besides clean turf interaction and forgiveness, I also appreciated the versatility of the lower bounce trailing edge. It simplified the task of manipulating the clubface angle to achieve my desired dynamic loft and produce my preferred shot shape.

Progressive Grooves

I really like the progressive grooves construction because it gifted me distance and low spin on long and mid iron shots, before changing course around the green. The shallow, wide grooves produce limited friction at impact and promote rapid ball speed and low spin for optimal distance results.

Conversely, the deeper, narrow grooves on the short irons and wedges grip into the ball and impart increased spin revolutions onto the cover. Ultimately, it delivered distance when I needed it and spin and control around the dancefloor.

High Launch

The final positive of the Srixon ZX5 MKII irons was their high launch. I don’t typically enjoy elevated flight, but I appreciated the consistent results, and carry distance it prompted. My personal feelings aside, I believe the hassle free launch will benefit numerous moderate and slow swing speed amateurs.

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What I Dislike About The Srixon ZX5 MKII

Price

My greatest dissatisfaction with the Srixon ZX5 MKII irons is their elevated price tag. I feel there are multiple other players’ distance irons that I’d consider first because they perform as well, and cost several hundred dollars less. Like the Callaway Rogue ST Max irons.

However, I will acknowledge that most game improvement irons released after 2023 are priced over $1,000.

Long Iron Offset

I had a love-hate relationship with the increased degrees of offset in ZX5 long irons. I loved how much easier it was to square the clubface at impact, and produce straighter shots. But, I despised the lack of workability it promoted.

The reduced ability to shape shots will impact the average mid or high handicapper, simply looking to keep the ball straight. Unfortunately, it reduces the control of mid or low handicappers seeking to induce a draw or fade on approach.

 

2 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Great review, very comprehensive!

    1. August Noble says:

      Thanks Michael! Matt spent a lot of time on this one, so we’re glad this was helpful.

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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8