A while ago on Twitter, a golf twit posted a question about which golf equipment company is the most underrated. An unofficial count of the results revealed Srixon as the winner of the poll.

Most every golfer knows about Srixon golf balls – balls that, in my opinion, might be the best on the market from top to bottom of the line. But clubs? Definitely under-rated. I reviewed Srixon’s first premium driver models, the Z 565 and Z 765 drivers a couple years ago, and was so impressed that the Z 765 has stayed in my bag ever since.

Until now, that is.

This year Srixon introduced the successor to the Z 765, the Z 785 – and now IT is in my bag instead. As The Who once sang, “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

Well, maybe the same company and basic look. But MUCH different from the old boss under the hood.

The Z 785 ($499) boasts 3mph extra ball speed over the Z 765, which translates into up to 10 extra yards distance. The key to this improvement is a Ti51AF Cup Face, which is 10% thinner than the previous model’s face, and also so light that it allows a significant amount weight to be distributed toward the back of the club head. This shift produces longer, higher ball flight and also more forgiveness. And of course, the club head allows you to adjust loft, lie, and face angles.

Playing the Srixon Z 785 Driver

I wish I had a dollar for every time I stepped onto the first tee of my home course, Lake of the Woods Golf Course, and said to my playing partners, “First swing ever with this driver.” (Then again, instead of a dollar, I have a new driver for every time I say that…so that’s even better!)

Long story short, I tried to swing easy and just make contact, and the Z 785 launched the ball down the middle some 260 yards. On the second hole, I swung harder and hit one of the best drives on that hole all year (despite chilly weather and a bit of a head wind): had about 50 yards left to the pin on a 347-yard hole.

So long, Z 765. Hello Z 785!

It should be noted that the stock Project X HZRDOUS shaft is every bit as impressive as the club head, and transmits an exquisitely precise feel up to the hands; I can tell the exact point of contact on every shot.

About the only detractor from the overall stellar feel and performance of the Z 785 is the stock Golf Pride grip, which started to feel sort of smooth after only about a half-dozen rounds.

The verdict

This driver will probably be in my bag for quite some time, just like its predecessor was. Don’t underestimate Srixon golf clubs. They may be underrated for now, but woods (and irons!) of this quality will not be underrated for long.