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  1. Srixon have been good enough to enable ten forum members to put the new, 2015 editions of the Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star XV through their paces. As was established last year with ball reviews, rather than have every one of them post a 3 page dialog about what they thought about a golf ball, we are having testers answer questions in several pivotal areas of ball performance and give their observations so we can get a collated overview. We wanted to get an understanding of the collective perception of Srixon balls before the testing got underway in earnest, so this first post focuses on preconceptions of Srixon golf balls. Srixon… they make the yellow balls, right? What's being tested? The new Z-Star and Z-Star XV are said to combine “next generation SpinSkin™ and Speed Dimples™ innovation to give the “Tour” player unmatched feel and control, and the energetic gradient growth™ core delivers incredible distance.” Z-Star: Z-Star XV: MGS Forum Members: Who's testing what? Each tester received one dozen balls, either the Z-Star or the Z-Star XV, based on the details that they had provided in the testing application process (SS, current ball, etc). Tester group experience with Srixon balls Somewhat surprisingly, only 7 of our 10 testers have played Srixon balls previously. Of those that have played Srixon balls previously, two have used freebies given out through event sponsorships and two others haven't played Srixon balls for a number of years. Conversely, one of our testers has played Srixon balls regularly since 2008. What brand of ball are you primarily using (prior to testing the Srixon balls)? [Note, where testers mentioned multiple brands of ball, all have been included] What comes to mind when you think of Srixon balls? As you can imagine, the responses to this question were pretty varied. Some of the common themes that emerged were that Srixon is seen as: Graeme McDowell's ball, but not one played by anyone in my golf circle Not highly advertised, not marketed as well as it could be Innovation in Color Quality and Durability A player in the premium ball category, but not really on the radar to actually game. Titleist has been the standard, then Cally/TMaG. Srixon maybe a tick below those companies A decent ball, but at similar price point it's not good enough to force a change from Titleist What characteristics make a good ball? The last series of questions was to find out our tester group perceptions of what makes for a good ball. As expected, the answers were mostly all over the place, but there were a few commonalities – if you're watching Srixon, this is our wish list … good luck getting all of these in one small, round package… Driver – Distance with low spin and a flat, penetrating trajectory Irons – Consistent and predictable trajectory and distance Wedges – Consistent trajectory and ‘hop & stop' (high & predictable) spin Putter – Predictable distance, softer feel, clean alignment mark Other – Durability and excellent visibility Final pre-testing thoughts… Everyone is really excited to be testing these, and to see how these compare to their current gamers. Srixon balls have been in the conversation for a number of the guys, but the consensus has generally been that there hasn't been a strong enough reason to make a switch from their current gamer ball. Watch this space to see if the latest generation of Srixon balls can change this… Testing Process The testers have actually had their balls for a couple of weeks now and have been playing with them regularly. I've had some of them give me little snippets of how the testing is going, and I can guarantee this will be really interesting to follow. You'll all get to read about them in a week or two, as soon as I can get all of the survey results together. The main focus of the results will be how the Srixons compared to their gamers, who wants to keep playing the Srixons they received, and how the testing strengthened or changed their opinions of the balls after playing them for a while. In the meantime, feel free to ask questions or leave comments about your own balls (golf balls only please), or what you think of Srixon in general.
  2. Coming to a Srixon Dealer near you on September on September 18th - the new Srixon Z 335 line of irons and woods! Here's the official stuff from Srixon: HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - August 13, 2015 - Srixon® is excited to announce the introduction of the new Z 355™ line of woods and irons, the latest addition to the Srixon Z Series™ golf clubs used by elite professional staffers such as Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley and Hideki Matsuyama. Like all Z Series clubs, Z 355 offers tour-influenced performance, real innovation and stunning design. What separates Z 355 is that every club is engineered to maximize the golfer's swing consistency, and the key technology that promotes this performance is Action Mass™. "As a brand Dedicated to Improving Your Game, we ask ourselves every day: What truly helps golfers get better? What technologies would actually improve upon game-improvement," said Chris Beck, Srixon Brand Manager. "Our extensive swing testing revealed that the most effective club design for consistently making successful golf swings is by strategically moving more weight into the club head and raising the balance point of the shaft." All Srixon Z 355 clubs - the driver, fairway, hybrid and irons - incorporate Action Mass to deliver incredible consistency with maximum distance and forgiveness. Z 355 clubs will be available for pre-booking on Friday, September 4, 2015, and will launch in North America on Friday, September 18, 2015. Z 355 Driver Designed for massive distance, the Srixon Z 355 driver features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight (211 grams) with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki® Jinsoku™ shaft to help increase ball speed while promoting a more consistent, stable swing for players seeking maximum distance and forgiveness. The Z 355 driver's 450 cc club head features QTS™ Adjustability, which offers 12 unique settings for loft, lie and face angle. A fast and powerful 6-4 Ti cup face creates an even larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance off the tee. Available in men's lofts of 9.5°, 10.5° and 12.0° (10.5° and 12.0° available in both RH and LH options) and women's lofts of 12.0° and HL (15.0°), the Z 355™ drivers have a minimum advertised price (MAP) of $349.99. Click here to check out the Z 355 driver. Z 355 Fairway Srixon's new Z 355 fairway wood also features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki Jinsoku shaft in each of the four different lofts. The higher MOI head design is designed with a shallower profile to promote easier launch. A fast and powerful HT1770 maraging steel face creates a larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance from the fairway or off the tee. The 3-wood features a powerful cup face design and a forward-positioned 40-gram inner floating bar, which promotes a higher launch, lower spin trajectory with maximum face flexibility. Available for men in 3W (15.0°), 4W (17.0°), 5W (19.0°) and 7W (22.0°), with the 3W and 5W available in both RH and LH. Women's options include 3W (15.0°), 5W (19.0°) and 7W (22.0°). The Z 355 fairway woods have a MAP of $229.99. Click here to check out the Z 355 Fairways Z 355 Hybrid The new Srixon Z 355 hybrids integrate Action Mass technology in playable head profiles designed to fit a wide variety of players and optimize shot versatility. A higher head weight with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki Jinsoku shaft help increase ball speed and promote a more consistent, stable swing for players seeking maximum distance and forgiveness. The HT1770 maraging steel face creates a larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance. Available for men in 3H (19.0°), 4H (23.0°) and 5H (26.0°) - all in both RH and LH - and for women in 4H (23.0°) and 5H (26.0°), RH only. The Z 355 hybrids have a MAP of $199.99. Click here to check out the Z 355 Hybrid. Z 355 Irons Developed with the sole objective of consistency, the Srixon Z 355 irons are packed with technology designed to deliver incredible distance and increased accuracy. The Z 355 irons feature Action Mass technology, which combines higher head weights with one of two premium ultra-high balance point shaft options - the Miyazaki Jinsoku graphite offering, and the Nippon® NS Pro® 950GH DST steel option. Both options are engineered to help promote a more consistent, stable swing on every club. The class-leading Tour V.T. Sole™, which has been one of the most buzzed about technology inside the ropes, has been enhanced for the Z 355 and delivers more consistent turf interaction. A two-piece construction in the 4-7 irons (maraging steel face, 17-4 steel body), and one-piece construction in 8-A (431 steel) offers full set playability and versatility. Available in men's (RH and LH) and women's (RH only) options, the Z 355 irons have a MAP of $899.99 (8pc graphite) and $799.99 (8pc steel). Click here to check out the Z 355 irons.
  3. Received a package in the mail today: Let's see what's in there: All snuggled up! Purty! The main competition... Soon - out to the course we go.
  4. Posted this Saturday in another thread, but wanted to give it its own thread. This was my first PGA show - and I hope it won't be my last! Here's a quick rundown on the product experience highlights... 1. Talking with Jesse Ortiz -- the man is a legend in golf club design and is one of the nicest gentlemen I've met in a long time. That he spent about 20 minutes talking with a nobody like me was very flattering. He has some strong opinions about the state of golf equipment and how equipment is sold and marketed -- and he's funny as hell. Best of many gems he shared - he sees the equipment industry morphing into something similar to the beer industry - there's growing room for the micro-brews or regional brews, as well at the Buds, Coors and Millers. He sees the golf industry moving in the same direction. Oh, and the new Bobby Jones putters look awesome! 2. Hitting the Hogans -- hit a crap-ton of irons during demo day and the show, and the Hogan irons were certainly the "buzz" of the show. Their booth was an homage to the Hogan tradition, and the business cards they were handing out were badass -- with the iconic Hogan 1-iron from the US Open on the back. The irons? Nothing short of outstanding in my opinion. Not sure how the loft-idea is going to work out, but I like the fact that they're going to work through pros and fitters -- so you CAN try them through those channels. And the products will all be custom ordered - so the pro won't have to stock much of anything. They'll build them to spec every time. These are going to be interesting to keep an eye on. 3. Irons in general - it's a great time to be an iron buyer. Of all the irons I had the chance to try, my faves were - in no particular order - Hogan, Wilson FG 100 Blade, Wilson FG Tour V4, Srixon 545 and 745, all of the Bridgestones and Epon from Japan. If you're "into" forged feeling irons, these are as clean, crisp and smooth as they come. Would game any of them in a heartbeat. 4. Vega --- Vega irons were also up there, and I gotta say, I really liked their driver. You don't hear much about Vega, but they have some pretty nice equipment. It's not inexpensive, but it's very, very good. 5. Big Max push carts --- got the full demo on their entire line. Big Max is the number one line of "trolleys" in Europe, and you can see why. Versatile, easy to set up and take down, easy to store with lots - and I mean LOTS - of really cool and well thought out features. Keep an eye on them - you'll be seeing more of them in the coming months. Best push cart that I saw.... 6. DST Training Clubs -- these suckers have bent shafts. It's a training aid designed to force you to keep your hands in front of the club face at impact, so you're leveraging all your power and hitting down on the ball. It's a weird feel at first, but it's one of those training aids that will find a permanent home in my bag, seeing as how I'm a chronic flipper. 7. Royal Albatross Shoes -- Winner of the MGS Most Wanted Shoe challenge - these things are gorgeous, comfortable and gorgeous. Not to mention comfortable. Pricey, but good footwear may be the most underrated item in the game. 8. ECCO - speaking of footwear, these guys are playing chess while most of the rest of the industry (Royal Albatross excluded) is playing checkers. The new lines - especially the spikeless street shoes - are nothing short of spectacular. 9. Biion -- another shoe company. We've had reviews by GolfSpy MPB here, and quite frankly, I didn't get his enthusiasm. I do now. You really have to see them in person to get the full color pop, and they are "slip-on" comfy. I see them in my future, too. 10. MLA Putters -- from Switzerland - the aiming mechanism is really unique and effective. If you have an issue with squaring up the putter face, one of these will help you with your alignment. Again, it looks a little weird, but sometime weird gets it done. 11. Zepp -- had never tried one before, but boy are they helpful little devices. Was worried I'd be distracted by having the little sensor device on my glove hand, but once it was on I never noticed it once. And I absolutely loved the feedback and swing information it gave you. Can see this as being a huge tool for instructors and for swing-junkies. The hands don't lie. 12. Kentwool Socks - have your say, Furu! Actually, I've been a fan of Kentwool for a long time, and at this very moment wearing a pair of their compression socks on the plane. Bought these over a month ago and always wear them when flying - they are the cat's behind! Got to meet the owner of Kentwool at the show and - like Jesse Ortiz - was very friendly, frank and giving of his time to a no one like me. We had a great chat and he made me an even bigger fan of his company. 13. Golf Knickers.com -- Another product that looks way better in person than in pictures. I see an MGS Golf Knicker Invitational in our future -- great colors and styles. You want to stand out on a course? These will do it, but when you dress like that you better bring your A-game! 14. Lambda Golf Shoes -- all leather from Portugal. Great designs - awesome looking shoe. Didn't get to try them on, so can't speak to their comfort, but Golly Moses they're purdy. 15. Renegar Wedges -- liked the new forged design with the notched sole. Hope we see more of these - good looking and produced by another industry maverick. Pay attention to them. 16. iZulu Golf - from South Africa. A custom fitting system to be sold through golf pros. Irons with interchangeable faces (for fitting purposes), driver with low CG pods (not unlike NIke's, but not similar, either), and some of the nicest hybrids I hit at the show. Their mallet putter looked like a Transformer - you can move the weight back for fast greens and up for slow greens. They're a ways away from becoming a presence here - if they ever will be, but their stuff is pretty solid. 17. New Stich headcovers -- no words other than "Bad-Ass-Looking!" Really cool new designs.
  5. Now look here Jack!
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