Today I am going to take a quick look at the new 2013 Yamaha Inpres X Z Cavity. Yamaha, one of Japan's most popular golf brands had pretty much operated over the last decade with two main lineups the V and D series of clubs. The V series was always aimed at the pro to better player and the D series the mid and improving golfer. Last year they added a new Z series which included irons and a driver for the average golfer and higher handicapper to round out their lineup. For 2013, the driver and irons have been redesigned and joined by a Z fairway wood and a Z utility which shows Yamaha's intention of taking on Japan's largest average golfer market against the likes of XXIO and others.
The new 2013 Z Cavity is a larger iron packed with technology and design aspects that focus on ease of use and max performance. A look at the back face of the iron shows a deep and wide pocket cavity. The Pocket cavity helps increase the head's MOI by spreading out the weight, not only lower but towards the heel and toe which help decrease distance lost on off center hits. Yamaha uses an ES230 Maraging steel face for increased ball speeds and improved feel. Maraging steel is more durable than titanium but can be made thinner than stainless steel for an increase in energy transfer at impact.
Yamaha decided to increase the tungsten sole weighting which is 4 times heavier than last years Z Cavity. This was able to decrease the overall center of gravity by 1mm. The slightly wider sole and killed leading edge all help the Z Cavity get under the ball for cleaner impact. Better impact, equals more distance and more accuracy. The wider sole really makes it harder to hit fat shots which many average golfers and higher handicappers are used to.
The low center of gravity on the face also make it much easier to catch the ball on the sweet spot. The face is long from heel to toe and I found very little distance or direction was lots on shots towards the heel with perhaps a bit of distance lost towards the toe. Even catching the ball a little thin still produces a healthy launch with good distance thanks to the low center of gravity. Feel is pretty good, while not forged, the maraging face is matched with soft stainelss called ST22 which many Japanese manufacturers are beginning to use. In the past most JDM brands would never do adjustments for lie or loft with stainless irons but with the use of ST22 that seems to be changing as the material is softer than SUS630 which is typically used in stainless irons.
While the Z Cavity is definitely a larger iron, at address, it actually looks reasonably good thanks to the balance in its shape and dimensions. For an iron of this size, the amount of offset is not huge by any means. Especially considering many high handicap models typically feature huge goose necks to help square the face, the Z Cavity neck was quite the surprise. I felt very confident looking down at the Z Cavity as the face area is quite large and the top line on the thicker side. Yamaha designed this iron to be automatic and that is exactly what it is.
Any average golfer or higher handicapper that needs help with their game and more distance and forgiveness should consider the Z Cavity. It is an automatic iron with a large and deep pocket cavity which really creates a nice and wide sweet spot on the face. Coupled with a lower CG for a nice easy launch, strong lofts, and lightweight graphite shafts as standard, even mere mortals who swing 90mph and regular flex can hit their 7 iron 150-160 yards. It is on the larger side so those who don't like anything bigger than mid sized may be turned off a bit. Luckily it does not have an overly large amount of offset which allows the Z Cavity to still look very proportional. The new Yamaha Z Cavity is right up there with the XXIO 7, Tourstage ViQ, ONOFF Red when it comes to max performance for the average golfer and slower swinger. You can check it out in our pro shop!