Sri Sports has long rivaled Bridgestone and Mizuno for sports equipment supremacy in Japan. As 3 of the biggest brands, their battle for a share of the lucrative golf market here pushes each brand to continually raise the bar when it comes to technology, design and performance. It’s no secret in the golfing world, that when Sri purchased Cleveland Golf over 2 years ago, they wanted Cleveland’s line of top performing wedges. Sri Sports now has a trifecta of top golf brands within their stable with Srixon as the athlete brand, XXIO as the average golfer brand and Cleveland as an all around brand especially with a strength in wedges which neither Srixon or XXIO has ever had.
Cleveland with its wedge expertise has benefited as well from becoming part of Sri by being able to take advantage of Srixon’s forging expertise, production and premium materials even if it is in many cases only for Japan market releases. Here in Japan we’ve seen many JDM only forged releases like the 588 Forged, CG-F1 Forged, CG15 Forged and now for 2011 the new CG16 Forged and CG-F2 Forged. Premium forged wedges along with Cleveland’s zip grooves make for some pretty good feel and spin. Japan also gets a new gun metal Tour Action 588 C for conforming grooves this year to go along with the now conforming 588 Forged. Never Compromise also showed off their new NCX PLY series putters which get released next week here in Japan.
Srixon continues to evolve their Z-TX line with a new release of drivers, woods and utilities including a new Z-UTI forged utility iron which you see in the picture above. They’ve also released an all new GiE line which is a more forgiving Srixon, though I always question why GiE existed when Sri already had XXIO. The Z-TX line continues to be a favorite of athlete golfers in Japan especially their soft forged small Z-TX cavity back.
XXIO has expanded their line up of premium clubs for the average golfer and senior player with a new XXIO Prime lineup as well as a new XXIO Forged lineup to compliment their best selling standard XXIO line. The XXIO line now goes something like this, XXIO Forged line for the better player, standard XXIO for the average golfer and XXIO Prime for the senior or slower swinger. As always the XXIO clubs screamed quality and good looks even if some of the iron heads are on the larger side. With XXIO you can expect nothing less than premium distance and ease of use as they have always provided.
Please click on the album below to see the rest of the Sri Sports pictures from the Japan Golf Fair!
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XXIO is year in and year out a market and sales leader for average golfer model golf clubs. A division of Sri Sports along with its big brother Srixon, XXIO has created performance golf clubs with ease of use and distance in mind.
Today XXIO announced an all new 2011 XXIO Forged iron. This announcement for me was completely expected. What I did not expect was for XXIO to also announce a new driver and fairway wood. XXIO’s main lineup of models typically come every 2 years with 2010 being the 6th generation XXIO line. Along with its all new Forged Iron, XXIO is also releasing a Forged Driver and Forged Fairway Wood. These are NOT to replace the standard XXIO line but rather the birth of a new all Forged Lineup (this is the 3rd gen of the Forged iron but it always stood alone).
The new forged models are made to appeal to the mid handicapper and better golfer who want a premium performance club with top notch feel and ease of use. The iron is a mid sized pocket cavity featuring a S25C forged body paired with a high strength ultra thin HT1770 face which provides a 15% larger sweetspot than the previous generation XXIO Forged.
The Forged Driver and Forged Fairway wood are more compact compared to the standard XXIO woods and feature deeper faces and heavier lower torque shafts. The Forged hybrid cup Super TIX face features a 9 part bulge and roll design. The Forged Fairway wood features a very much in demand forged hybrid cup SP700 Titanium face which is only 1.6mm thin. The body is made of soft maraging steel. Again, a deeper face and heavier, lower torque shafts than the standard XXIO Fairway woods.
This is an interesting strategy by XXIO as these models would technically overlap the Srixon GIE line and target the same audience. This leads to speculation that the GIE line will not be renewed but then again, one never knows these days. These are clubs I’m definitely looking forward to trying especially because I love the feel of forged woods. It’ll be a while before the come out though as they are slated for mid December.
2010 zeh-ku-shi-oh Driver
XXIO is a brand that is relatively unknown outside of Japan. A division of Sri Sports, it’s bigger brother Srixon is probably more well known overseas. However here in Japan, XXIO (pronounced zeh-ku-shi-oh) has been a market leader in the largest average golfer segment for the last decade. Their woods and irons can be found in many bags of the top JLPGA pros which is reflective of what the average men golfer uses.
XXIO is a performance brand based on cutting edge technology and materials. Designs are always well thought out to maximize performance and ease of use for the average golfer or mid to high handicapper. Their previous 5th generation 2008 XXIO driver was the 2008 Golf Digest D-1 distance champion. So how does the new 6th generation stack up as demanding golfers strive for longer and straighter drives?
Click read more to keep on reading the XXIO Driver Review!
ze-ku-shi-oh, say that quickly…
There are many people outside of Japan who have probably never heard of the brand XXIO (pronounced ze-ku-shi-oh, say that quickly…). However, those who are in Japan or know Japanese golf equipment, know that XXIO, a wing of Sri Sports/Dunlop has long been the number one selling average golfer brand in Japan. XXIO produces drivers, fairway woods, utilities and irons that have always been on the best selling charts for both men and women year in and year out. Their primary focus is the average golfer which also happens to be the largest segment of golfers in Japan. XXIO is also a leading brand on the JLPGA where many top Srixon lady pros are playing the XXIO brand.
XXIO is a performance brand based on cutting edge technology and materials. Designs are always well thought out to maximize performance and ease of use for the average golfer or mid to high handicapper. After spending a week with the new XXIO clubs in the bag, I have to say XXIO continues to move in the right direction.
As a mid capper who shoots around 90 give or take a few shots (best round 88), I fit right smack dab in the middle of Japan’s average golfer group. Even my swing speed and my distances are so average with a driver distance of 225y and a 7 iron distance of 150y (strong lofted average golfer irons). All my clubs are playable clubs for the average golfer especially my current irons the ONOFF 2008 Red irons. So the new XXIO 2010 irons are right up my alley and I was very excited to get a chance to test them.
The new 2010 XXIO iron is a mid sized cavity back and like the previous 2 generations features a pocket cavity. Many average golfer irons focus on forgiveness and distance and the XXIO 2010 is no different. However unlike the most common materials we see in mid sized CB’s from Japan, like Titanium faces, ASRolled Steel, Stainless Steel and Maraging faces, the XXIO is a one of a kind using the same Super-TIX PLUS material found in its best selling drivers. XXIO drivers have always stood out for a soft feel and hot ball speeds thanks to the proprietary Super-TIX faces they use, a special titanium developed by Sri Sports. This years Z-TX driver also uses the Super TIX face and XXIO has decided to use this same face (albeit thicker) for the new 2010 iron matched with the soft SUS630 body.
It has a Power Dumbbell…
The new face coupled with a Power Dumbbell weighting system (yes they actually call it that) which is a 55g tungsten weight sole create XXIO’s highest MOI iron ever and a 5% larger sweet spot that last years XXIO iron. This design with all the weight in the sole create a high launch max carry iron. When I took the XXIO iron out for testing, I also had my 2008 ONOFF irons and Honma MG613 and R9 Max test irons with me. I love my ONOFF and believe that they are one of the easiest irons to hit with a very nice feeling Maraging face but my first shot with the XXIO Iron had me in a bit of shock. An effortless swing launched the ball in the air higher and further than my equivalent lofted ONOFF 7 Iron AND the feel was like butter. I usually do not say a non forged iron feels like butter but the Super TIX face felt awesome. I took several more swings to verify that I was not just fooled by that excited first swing and the iron was indeed so easy to hit and ever so straight!
70t in a stock shaft?
The feel of head and the direction can very well be attributed in part to the new MP600 shaft as well. XXIO graphite shafts contain several multilayered hoops made of different materials to create stability and performance. The new MP600 shaft features a loop of 70t carbon and one layer of Nanoalloy, minute metal particles towards the tip of the shaft. I’ve talked a lot about carbon grading lately on the blog and while most shafts are made of around 30t carbon all the way up to high end premium shafts like Crazy and Quadra that use full 80t carbon the highest grade of carbon used in golf shafts, to find 70t in an OEM shaft is amazing. The higher carbon grade reduces rounding and creates stability. Higher grade shafts return to their original shape much more quickly and consistently so a player does not have to worry about timing, the shaft will do the work itself. The extra Nanoalloy tip in the MP600 shaft creates even more stability and great energy transfer and recuces head twisting to help square the face at impact. Lower end shafts are made of rubber particles which are slow to regain their original shape while metal and glass particles like the Nanoalloy are just like high grade carbon and return to their shape quickly.
Max forgiveness and ease of use…
As my game improves I am happy to report that recently I have been able to work the ball a bit more and hit draw and fades on command. The XXIO is easy to draw as the shaft kicks hard and fast and soft draw or even power draw are attainable. A fade is doable but this iron mostly wants to go straight or soft draw. I have to say that this is one of the easiest to hit irons on the market now and it does it without looking overly large though the iron does have offset and a mid sized top line. For most average golfers this is not a problem but for many lower handicappers who are on a search for more forgiving irons, the offset and topline thickness may bother some. Forgiveness is superb on this iron thanks to the high MOI and pocket cavity. Shots hit low or towards the heel really do not loose much. Perhaps a few yards are lost towards the toe but nothing extreme. The shaft also does a great job at removing unwanted vibrations on mis hits. The most stand out features though are without a doubt the ease of use and feel. Most average golfers will be happy to hit their irons high, far and straight and the XXIO 2010 does that very well while feeling very good at impact.
Enjoy the game with XXIO 2010 irons…
I had gamed my 2008 ONOFF irons all year and had no intention of changing as they have helped me improve my game significantly over this past season. However, after hitting the new 2010 XXIO I’m afraid to say that the bug to change has bitten me and I am very well looking at these XXIO as my next set of irons. If you are like me and want to improve your game with an automatic iron that is unparalleled in ease of use, the XXIO is your choice. If you want something compact then you’re looking in the wrong place. The XXIO is a high tech iron that will help many average golfers simply enjoy the game so much more.
XXIO 2010 Promo Video:
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The new 2010 XXIO iron is available in BOTH Right and Left handed. The standard set is 5-PW with NS Pro 950GH High Launch shafts. The MP600 graphite is a well worth while 60g shaft upgrade and also has R2 (senior flex) and SR (stiff/regular) flexes. Be sure to check them out in our pro shop!
As always here are the pictures I took!
The largest golf retailer in Korea announced its sales data this month and according to the info posted SRI Sports XXIO brand has a dominant lead in the Korean golf market in all major categories. Please have a look at the data collected below:
Driver Sales: 1. XXIO Driver, 2. Taylormade Burner 09, 3. Majesty Driver
Fairway Wood Sales: 1. XXIO FW, 2. Majesty Royal VQ II, 3. Taylormade V-Steel 2009
Utility Sales: 1. XXIO UT, 2. Taylormade Rescue 09, 3.Cleveland High Bore XLS
Iron Set Sales: 1. XXIO Irons, 2. Majesty Irons, 3. TourStage V300 II Irons
Wedge Sales: 1. Cleveland CG12 Black, 2. Fourteen MT28V4, 3.Founders Club
Putter Sales: 1. White Hot Series, 2. PING i Series, 3. Yes Golf Putters
Looking at the info posted above XXIO has the power in Korea, it’s expensive, ultra forgiving and very long while it’s not the best model for U.S players but overall XXIO has always done very well in Asia. There are rumors that this type of design and catgegory of golf clubs will increase with intense competition in years to come while the OEM’s battle for new emerging asian golf markets, like Korea, China, and others.
Miyazaki shafts have been some waves on the PGA Tour recently with players like VJ Singh, Jerry Kelly, and John Rollins putting together some amazing rounds while having this new and relatively unknown shaft in play.
International Flex Code…
Already Miyazaki is doing some new innovative things like assigning an international flex code rating to the shafts in the form of numbers. The idea behind this is to give the player a more clear idea of what flex they should be using. The stiffness is relative to traditional measurements by assigning a 4 digit code to each shaft for its bending properties and torsional stiffness. Now I am not so sure that the masses will pick up on this and move away from your basic letter based flex system but its similar to something that has been used by companies like Mamiya in their original Axiv line of shafts in the past.
Another cool concept is that the series is based from what appears to be an artists work. In this case the Kusala Series, Miyazaki say’s that each series will be named after and defined by the artistic contributions of previously unknown artists. The inaugural design comes from an artist named Kusala and represents the three phases of fluids ( ice, water, steam ).
I am not sure if they are using propriatory materials like Diamana does or if they have some super design that no one else has done or even what ton ply they are using to build these shafts, Perhaps that information will leak out to the public a bit later but for now it seems they have a bend profile that a handful of pro’s really enjoy and this has lead Miyazaki to a couple of PGA Tour victories in 2009. Unknown shaft label gets wins before the official launch is always a good sign of things to come.
The Miyazaki series golf shafts are currently offered in up to three weight options in three unique flex profiles that are available in R, S and X flex designs. Low-trajectory Black, mid-trajectory Blue, and high-trajectory Silver profiles are available in each flex with a standard 0.335” tip diameter.
SRI Sports, the Japan-based parent compay of Cleveland Golf and Srixon Golf, is introducing the Miyazaki brand of golf shafts. SRI Sports’ shaft designs and technologies have previously only been offered within Asia, but the launch of the Miyazaki shafts brand expands availability into North America beginning Dec. 1.