LA QUINTA, Calif. — Brooks Koepka has chosen to remain as an equipment free agent since Nike ceased making golf clubs in 2016. Whether that means he’s missing out on big money deals or not, going this route allows Koepka the freedom to switch clubs and brands without breaking contract.
Case in point, this week’s American Express event.
While Koepka has used a decidedly mixed bag of brands since 2016, he’s used Mizuno irons for each of his major championship victories. He won the 2017 U.S. Open, 2018 U.S. Open and the 2018 PGA Championship using Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons, and then he won the 2019 PGA Championship with the next-generation Mizuno JPX-919 Tour irons. Mizuno’s JPX 900-series Tour irons are notable for having the look and feel of a blade with a touch of added forgiveness.
Simply put, Koepka has found great success with Mizuno irons, and it seemed he’d never stray from that path. During a Wednesday pro-am at the American Express, on the eve of his 2021 PGA Tour debut, however, Koepka had a bag full of Srixon ZX7 irons. It’s important to remember that nothing is official until he tees off on Thursday; lots can change between Wednesday and the start of competition, but GOLF.com confirmed the Srixon ZX7s (4-PW) were the only sticks in his bag during the nine-hole round.
The first time we spotted the ZX7 irons were in Harold Varner III’s bag back in October at the 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The next month, in November, Srixon officially released its ZX7 irons to the masses.
As we found out, Srixon’s new ZX5 and ZX7 irons are designed with a “MainFrame” by way of milled patterns behind the faces to boost ball speed on off-center hits. The irons are forged from 1020 carbon and have V-sole grinds to help improve turf interaction. The ZX7 irons, specifically, have more compact profiles, thinner toplines and narrower soles than the ZX5 irons.
The smaller constructions of the ZX7 irons compared to the ZX5 irons would predictably suit the eye of better players. Of course, Koepka is more than just a “better” player; he’s a former world No. 1 with four majors to his name.
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Srixon ZX7 irons
As spotted on hole No. 17 at PGA West’s Stadium Course during his pro-am, Koepka had the same True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 iron shafts he’s used throughout his career.
In addition to the ZX7 irons, Koepka also appeared to be testing out a Srixon ZX driving iron against the Nike Vapor Fly Pro he’s had in the bag for years. It should be noted, though, that on one shot I saw him hit from 250+ yards in the pro-am, Koepka used his Nike driving iron.
We will keep you updated on Koepka’s switch, and why he made it, as we have confirmation and more information.
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