The ZX5 Mk II iron will inevitably become one of 2023’s best compact distance irons because of the power that has been packed into a relatively small chassis, as well as the satisfying feel at impact.
Plenty long enough
Compact, refined looks
Limited gains over prior model
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Srixon ZX5 Mk II Iron Review
Srixon’s previous ZX5 iron was as close to the perfect all-rounder as any manufacturer had got to, so the brand didn’t need to reinvent the wheel in creating its replacement in the new ZX5 Mk II iron. Versus the old model, the new one looks busier on the back - boldly advertising the updated MainFrame design, a variable thickness pattern of grooves, channels, and cavities said to maximize face flexing at impact.
Slotting in nicely between the ZX4 Mk II and ZX7 Mk II, it is billed as a forged iron offering enhanced distance. It does this partly through it’s lofts (the 7-iron comes in at 31°) as well through size. It’s a beefed up version of the excellent ZX7 Mk II but still has a compact appearance that will appeal to the better player looking for a little more forgiveness on their approach shots.
At address, the shape, size and finish are hard to fault. As a result, it looks really inviting to hit and while some might say there’s too much offset, the other redeeming features mean you soon forget about this minor detail.
Testing indoors on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor with Titleist Pro V1 2021 golf balls produced predictable performance results. It really did slot in perfectly between the ZX4 Mk II and ZX7 Mk II in terms of ball speed, spin and carry distance - as the data below highlights. It was probably closer to the ZX4 Mk II than it was the ZX7 Mk II, providing competitive distance with plenty of height to ensure the ball stops on the green when it needs to.
I think what golfers will enjoy most about this iron is the feel. It offers up a hint of softness but there’s much more 'zing' off the face than there is on the ZX7 Mk II making it the best golf irons for the impact experience it offers. That said, the distances weren’t as consistent off-centre as we’d have liked. Carries varied from 166-174 yards - we’d have liked the front to back dispersion to be tighter, but the spin stayed pretty consistent throughout.
The turf interaction impressed too - in wet conditions you can feel the Tour V.T. sole at work keeping the leading edge up as it goes through the ground. It’s subtle, but hit a flat soled iron straight afterwards and you can feel the difference. It's worth pointing out the strong potential to combo this iron with the ZX4 Mk II or ZX7 Mk II irons within a set, depending on where you need the most help.
This iron isn’t leaps and bounds above where the ZX5 iron was but this is understandable given how high the bar was set. If you’re looking for one of the best compact distance irons, Srixon’s ZX5 Mk II will be one of the leading contenders in 2023.
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Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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