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October 9th, 2012

If you’re a golfer grown accustomed to the forgiving nature of perimeter-weighted cast irons, Mizuno has something truly new for you. Yes, that’s right; I said Mizuno. The company best known for its pure blades and muscle-back “player’s” irons has upped their game, and quite possibly yours, with the introduction of four new iron sets.


Mizuno has a well-deserved reputation for crafting beautiful forged irons for the better player; irons that promote “feel” and “workability,” rather than distance and forgiveness. Not all that long ago, Mizuno was the undisputed leader in the iron category on the PGA Tour, and while the company no longer holds that position, it has nothing to do with the quality of their clubs. Rather, other companies have improved the quality of their irons, while simultaneously throwing endorsement dollars at Tour players to play them. Tour players, having discovered the benefits of perimeter weighting, particularly among the longer irons, have gone to set compositions that combine hybrids and cavity back long irons with more traditional mid and short irons. That trend among all golfers is here, and it’s here to stay. Mizuno, maybe as much as any golf company, knows this.


Still, forged clubs have lagged behind their cast cousins in the attempt to offer “game improvement” features. This is primarily because of the nature of forging, which makes it more difficult to shift weight to the perimeter of the club. For those of you who don’t know the difference, forged irons are made by heating solid bars of mild carbon steel and then shaping them into form. Cast irons are constructed by heating stainless steel alloy until it liquefies, then pouring this liquid steel into molds. That makes it easier to shift weight to make cast irons more forgiving and easier to hit high in the air. As a result, those of us who follow such things still think of Mizuno, the premier maker of forged irons, as a club maker dedicated to the low handicap guy.


That should change with the recent introduction of the new Mizuno iron lines. Mizuno released four new iron sets in September, each geared to a different segment of the golfing population. In short, there is a set of irons here for every golfer of most any ability. From tour pro to high handicapper; Mizuno has a new iron for you.


For the 10-28 handicap range, Mizuno’s new JPX-825™ is being touted by the company as its longest and most forgiving iron ever. These irons have a pocket cavity and thin face that offer a deep center of gravity (CG), maximum forgiveness and USGA- maximum COR (spring-like effect). They’re pretty to look at, easy to hit…and hot.


The JPX-825 Pro™ model is designed for handicaps between 6 and 18. These Grain Flow Forged™ irons offer attributes similar to the 825s, with a thinner top line and tour- design triple cut sole for added workability. PGA Tour pro Charles Howell III uses a mix of JPX longer irons with Mizuno MP scoring clubs.


For those who crave a player’s forged iron look, but need an assist with trajectory in the longer clubs, Mizuno has created the MP-H4, a brand new iron set directed at the 2-14 handicap player. This set is, in essence, three different iron designs. The 2 (yep, you can get one), 3 and 4 irons have hollow bodies with a forged face, neck and sole. The 5, 6 and 7 irons have a forged face and neck, but not a forged sole and the 8, 9 and wedges are traditional one-piece forgings. Without going into the rather complicated science behind this, suffice it to say that Mizuno claims the set is designed in this manner to optimize trajectory for low handicap players by precise placement of CG.


Finally, Mizuno also introduced the MP-64, based on direct input from Luke Donald. The company calls these irons a “player’s cavity” design and they are one-piece solid forgings utilizing Mizuno’s patented Grain Flow Forging™ process. These are targeted at the +2 to 10 handicap golfer, although I would suggest that if you’re closer to the 10 than the plus 2, you take a hard look first at the MP-H4s, or even the JPX-825 Pros. The new thing with these MPs is the Diamond Muscle Pad that flows with the varied cavities to optimize launch through the set.


You can get the full details, and the clubs, right here at DGW.

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