They are perhaps the most under-rated of the big brands but there’s a reason a number of tour players have Srixon clubs in their bag. While better known for the quality of their irons, such as the ZX4, Srixon have really stepped up their driver and fairway wood game of late and the ZX hybrid holds its own against any of the best hybrids on the market. If you haven't switched out your long irons for hybrids yet, then you probably should, and this is the best place to start.
Hybrids are extremely popular in the modern game and golf manufacturers have begun to really expand on what they offer in the hybrid market. Not so long ago there was only really one type of hybrid available, now golfers are spoiled for choice. Often referred to as a “rescue club” the hybrid was mostly used by golfers who were not comfortable using a long iron or a fairway wood. Now hybrids come in many different lofts and serve a multitude of functions.
The basic idea of the modern hybrid is to offer a much easier to hit alternative than a long iron. It is incredibly difficult to hit a 3 iron consistently and many golfers struggle to get the ball airborne with longer irons. A hybrid is so much easier for the average player to hit and because of the popularity of the original hybrid clubs they now come in increasing lofts so you can even use them to replace mid irons if that suits you.
For the purpose of this review of the I elected to go with the 2 hybrid as it has a duel purpose. In addition to being able to use it from the fairway or tricky lies in the rough, it also provides enough distance to be a viable option off the tee, particularly on short par four holes when you are looking to lay up.
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Srixon ZX hybrid: price and availability
The ZX hybrid is widely available in the UK and you will find them in most of the major golf retailers at a cost of £199.99. In the US you will also find them in most golf outlets or you can order them directly from Srixon.
Srixon ZX Hybrid - Technology
The ZX is packed with technology including a lightweight carbon crown step and a ‘rebound frame’ which is essentially multiple layers of both stiff and flexible material that acts as a spring when the club face meets the ball, particularly on centre face strikes. This increased ball speed and gives a really fast feel off the club face on well struck shots.
The crown step lowers the centre of gravity and increases MOI (moment of inertia) to help with forgiveness on those shots that don’t quite find the sweet spot.
Srixon say the ZX is a “true player’s hybrid” aimed at the more skilled golfer, but there’s enough forgiveness there that mid-handicappers will also see consistent results from it. The relatively small head and lack of an alignment aid perhaps make it unsuitable for beginners and very high handicappers who benefit more from the comfortable look of a larger, more forgiving head, but for everyone else the ZX would be a solid choice.
The ZX is non adjustable which may be off putting to some but personally does not bother me at all. Adjustability appeals in a driver but I have no need for it in anything else as it can be a distraction.
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Srixon ZX Hybrid - Looks
The glossy finish won’t be to everybody’s taste but personally I think it gives the head a stylish, traditional look. The head is relatively small and pear shaped, while the crown features the distinctive step down that is a staple of Srixon’s hybrids and fairway wood line ups. There is no alignment aid and the flat face resembles an iron more than a wood, which will appeal to the better players but might be off putting to high handicappers and beginners.
The sole of the club is distinctive but not over the top, while the all black look of the head and shaft makes this a pretty cool looking club. The ZX comes with a very slick head cover with the number of the club embroidered on there. All in all, looks wise the Srixon ZX aces the eye test. Very nice.
Srixon ZX hybrid - Performance
So how did I get on with it? Well it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. I had planned on hitting a bucket of balls to get warmed up and then nip out for a quick nine holes, but upon arriving at the course and trying to get an afternoon tee time I was told that the only chance I had of getting out that day was to go out immediately.
It was cold, it was wet and I was wearing more layers than Scott of the Antarctic so I could barely move let alone swing a golf club with any freedom. On top of everything else I hadn’t played for a month and had now been denied the opportunity to get loose. Now here I am on the first tee with a club in hand that I’d never used before. It was never going to go well, and sure enough it didn’t.
I almost missed the ball completely and had the ground not been so soft I would have. The divot mark started 18 inches behind the ball but because of the muddy turf the club was able to slide through and still make some contact with the ball, but not much. It travelled about 20 yards and honestly, I can’t ever remember hitting a shot as bad as that since I started playing.
Hardly the fault of the club of course. I laughed it off but also knew there was a strong risk of it happening again as I was playing a par five and would be reaching for the same hybrid on both of my next shots. For the record, those two shots were bad too, but thankfully not as embarrassing as the opener.
Anyway, the point is that when you pick up a new club for the first time you really want to get off to a nice start and hit some good shots with it to build trust and confidence. That didn’t happen for me with the Srixon ZX due to circumstances beyond our control.
As much as I knew that none of these early struggles were down to the club, it was still important to try and get some confidence with it so after hacking around for nine holes I immediately headed to the range to blow off the cobwebs of a month’s inactivity.
I always carry a 3 hybrid and occasionally I will also put a 4 hybrid in the bag. The 3 hybrid is my favourite club and I have more confidence in that than in anything else in the bag. It suits my eye and I like the high flight I get with it. The Srixon ZX had a lot to live up to and it took a while for me to get comfortable with it.
The ball didn’t come off the club face in the same way it does with my trusty Wilson Staff 3 hybrid but I knew it was because I just wasn’t finding the sweet spot. It wasn’t that I was swinging it badly, because I was hitting alternate shots each club and the shots with my own hybrid were fine. The Srixon didn’t feel right but I knew it just required time and patience.
After some experimentation I figured it out. My Wilson Staff hybrid is aimed at golfers who tend to sweep the ball off the turf, similar to the way you would strike a ball with a fairway wood. The Srixon on the other hand required a slightly more steep swing, similar to how you would use an iron. As soon as I figured that out I began seeing much better results.
On my better shots the shape and distance were really impressive. When it came out of the middle the feel off the face was hot, no doubt as a result of that ‘rebound frame technology’. When I caught it well the distance was not too far behind what I’d get from a 3 wood, which was a pleasant surprise and gives me the option of carrying this club in the bag as an alternative to a 5 wood.
On the poorer strikes, however, I didn’t particularly like the sound or feel. It sounded a little too tinny for my taste and the feel just wasn’t good when I didn’t catch it flush. It never is on off-centre strikes of course, but this felt noticeably worse than I’m used to. That being said, the outcome was generally quite good and even heel and toe strikes still went a good distance. Impressive on forgiveness then. Other hybrids I’ve used felt much nicer on off centre strikes though, so that would be the one negative with the ZX.
The ZX launches high which benefits the average golfer, but it still maintains a penetrating flight which will appeal to golfers of all abilities. In terms of workability, I was able to shape shots with it fairly easily and I’m hardly Bubba Watson, so again that will make the ZX appeal to the more skilled player.
Here's a useful hint for hybrid users. These things are great around the green and for most amateurs the hybrid is a better option for chipping than the traditional method of using a higher lofted club.
Bump and run shots with a hybrid are a lot easier to execute than you would think, and I actually used the ZX Hybrid on the green for some longer putts, which is a particular weakness of mine due to a tendency to leave them way short.
Srixon ZX4 hybrid - Verdict
The Srixon ZX hybrid is an excellent all rounder that will appeal to all but the highest handicappers. I used the 2 hybrid but it’s available in 3, 4, 5, & 6 too, so if you struggle for consistent ball striking with your mid-long irons you could in theory replace them all with hybrids, although that will come at a cost as they aren't cheap!
Visually the ZX looks very stylish and modern, and if you have any issues getting the ball in the air then this could be the club for you as it’s perhaps the highest launching hybrid on the market.
There is a trade off as you might sacrifice a few yards of distance for that extra height and it won’t go as far as some other hybrids such as a Cobra Radspeed or TaylorMade Sim2 for example, but distance shouldn’t be your primary concern with a hybrid anyway. It’s all about consistency of shot, ball flight and whether it inspires confidence or not when you stand over the ball. An extra five or six yards of distance is fairly irrelevant if you have all of the above.
As with any new golf club, you should always try before you buy just to ensure it suits your eye and your swing, but I would have no hesitation in recommending the Srixon ZX hybrids to golfers of most skill levels.