Hideki Matsuyama switches to unreleased Srixon driver
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Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX
Hideki Matsuyama is crucial to the International Team’s chances in the Presidents Cup. The eight-time TOUR winner is making his fourth Presidents Cup appearance and is the highest-ranked member of the International Team.
He may have a new club in the bag, as well, at Quail Hollow after using a yet-to-be-released Srixon driver in the season-opening Fortinet Championship. The new driver was hot and cold en route to a T25 finish at Silverado. After losing strokes off-the-tee in the first two rounds, Matsuyama gained nearly a stroke off-the-tee in a final-round 65 to vault up the leaderboard.
Matsuyama is known as one of the TOUR’s top tinkerers, showing up every week with a bag filled to the brim with backup clubs and extra shaft. It’s not uncommon for Matsuyama to test four or five different driver builds during a range session, with four or five additional shafts on deck that he swap out for further testing.
He’s constantly looking for the right feel and precise performance from his equipment.
Since early last year, Matsuyama has consistently used and tested slightly-modified versions of Srixon’s ZX5 driver model that was released to the public in January 2021.The 2021 ZX5 retail model comes with a larger profile made for forgiveness, whereas the ZX7 has a more compact look and is designed for a more penetrating trajectory.
On the day before the opening round of the Fortinet Championship, Matsuyama was spotted testing a completely new prototype driver from Srixon.
A day earlier, GolfWRX.com caught wind of players testing new Srixon “ZX5 MKII LS” and “ZX7 MKII” prototype drivers at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. The drivers were recently added to the USGA Conforming Clubs List, so they’re approved for competition, but they are unreleased models that have yet to be seen by the public.
Matsuyama, who’s usually seen testing various Srixon 2021 ZX5 drivers during his practice sessions, was spotted testing Srixon’s new ZX5 MKII LS drivers on Wednesday and in photos from Thursday’s first round.
Although Srixon representatives chose not to speak on the new driver technologies when contacted for comment, a bit of detective work can add a bit of clarity.
The ZX5 MKII “LS” (which presumably stands for “low spin”) has a weight in the front portion of the sole near the face. Typically, moving the center of gravity (CG) toward the face can help create a lower-spinning, lower-launching ball flight. Additionally, the words “Rebound Frame” appear on the toe section of the face. In Srixon’s previous driver release, the Rebound Frame enhanced speed by using strategically placed regions with various levels of rigidity and flexibility to maximize energy transfer into the golf ball; it appears the Rebound Frame is being used in the new models, as well.
Matsuyama employed a 10.5-degree ZX5 MKII LS driver head, equipped with the familiar Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX orange shaft that he’s used for years. He’s also added a strip of lead tape to the back/heel portion of the driver head for a slight modification to the center of gravity.