As they set out to create the new RTX 4 wedge, Cleveland engineers had one goal in mind: to create the most “tour authentic” wedge they had ever developed. Not surprisingly, that process started with gathering extensive input from the company’s vast staff of touring professionals, who first and foremost wanted to see a new shape. The end result? A significant reduction in offset when compared to RTX 3, as well as a far more compact shape throughout the lineup.
Those changes are certain to make RTX 4 wedges attractive to the low- and mid-handicap players they were designed for. But those weren’t the only changes that were made. Cleveland is also utilizing the most aggressive grooves that it has ever used in a wedge as part of its fourth generation Rotex face to maximize spin, and the CG position has been optimized on both the x- and y-axis of each wedge based on loft to offer improved dispersion, trajectory control, and feel.
Most notable about RTX 4, however, are its four unique sole designs, which have been chosen to meet the needs of any player. And unlike RTX 3, where each model regardless of bounce featured the V Sole, each of the four new grinds -- Low, Mid, Full, and XLow -- has a different sole shape to optimize performance. And last, but certainly not least, RTX 4 wedges come standard with the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400, which is the No. 1 wedge shaft on Tour.
Srixon has three new offerings out as part of its 2018 Z Series iron lineup. Included are the Z585 and Z785 irons, as well as the ZU85 utility irons. Across the board, Srixon utilized extensive input from its worldwide staff of Touring professionals to improve both shaping and performance in comparison to previous models. Additionally, all three products have been forged from soft 1020 carbon steel to offer the crisp, powerful sound and feel that better players want in an iron.
That said, it would be a mistake to assume that the new Z Series iron line is only for better players. All three products offer ample forgiveness, including the compact players cavity Z785, which of the three new options was the one designed specifically with lower-handicap players in mind. The Z585, meanwhile, has the softer feel and classic shape of a players iron but at the same time offers the launch, ball speed, and forgiveness of a game-improvement iron.
As for the ZU85, Srixon has been the Tour leader when it comes to utility irons the past few years and the new model has enjoyed unprecedented early adoption, as it offers golfers the performance package of a hybrid with the workability or an iron. Srixon has also expanded its offerings in the ZU85 line to include a 5- and 6-iron to make it easier for players to create blended sets, which can be done seamlessly with the other 2018 Z Series iron offerings as well.
Srixon would be the first to admit that over the course of the last several years it has been known for and more successful with irons and golf balls than drivers. The company, however, believes that will be changing with the release of its new 2018 Z Series drivers. Two models are being offered, the Z785 and the Z585, both of which provide unique playability. Each of the new drivers, however, share some exciting new technology that is fueling improved performance.
That improved performance starts with a significant increase in ball speed, which has been made possible by a lightweight carbon crown (a first for Srixon in a driver) and a new clubface construction that uses a lightweight, stronger titanium, Ti51AF, that enables a thinner face. Additionally, a new Cup Face design has expanded the clubface to cover portions of the crown and sole with the result being that a larger percentage of the face flexes more at impact.
Between the two drivers, the Z785 features an adjustable hosel and weight plate in the sole. Players can utilize both to dial in the launch and spin conditions that they’re looking for, as well as shot shape. As for the Z585, engineers opted to use a bonded hosel design, a rarity in modern drivers. But by not using a loft sleeve, additional weight could be moved low and deep in the clubhead to create a driver that offers high MOI and high-launch, low-spin performance.
Rounding out Srixon’s new 2018 Z Series wood lineup are the ZF85 fairway woods and ZH85 hybrids. As is the case with the other products in the 2018 Z series lineup, Srixon has utilized significant input from its staff of touring professionals to create the look, feel, and performance that it wanted from the new fairways and hybrids, both of which feature modified shaping and new technology that have combined to improve both playability and aerodynamics.
The ZF85 fairways, most notably the 3 and 3+ models, feature similar technology as the 2018 Z Series drivers. They feature a carbon crown and Cup Face construction, a combination that is delivering more ball speed and also making it possible to move discretionary weight to the perimeter of the clubhead to improve forgiveness on off-center strikes. A 5-wood is also available that offers a more traditional stainless steel construction to promote maximum control.
The fairway woods, as well as the ZH85 hybrids, also feature stepped crowns that help move the center of gravity lower and deeper in the clubhead while at the same time improving aerodynamics to help players create more swing speed. Additionally when it comes to the new hybrids, they now feature a slightly larger profile than what was offered in the ZH65 hybrids, with the result being the ability to play shots more easily from both the fairway and from a tee.
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