For years Mizuno has made popular forged clubs for pros and accomplished players. Most golfers lack the powerful, repeatable swing that is necessary to properly use Mizuno’s muscleback blades, but the clubs’ shapes have been influential. Recently the company introduced multi-material designs to discreetly add forgiveness to clubs that appear, from the outside, to be blades and that should appeal to players who want the look of a blade but with more modern performance.
Now the Japanese company is offering a new line of clubs, the MP-20 iron family, to appeal to all those ranges of players. The line starts with a muscleback blade for accomplished players. There is also a multi-material iron and a hollow-bodied, distance-enhancing model for golfers who understand they need some game-improvement features.
Price: $1,299.95 with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord grips
Specs: Forged 1025E mild carbon steel
Forged from a single piece of 2015E mild carbon steel for a soft feel at impact, the MP-20’s shape was finalized after being extensively tested by staffers such as Keith Mitchell and pros who play Mizuno irons such as Paul Casey. The clean lines were maintained, but the sole geometry was changed slightly with more camber to slide through the turf more easily.
While there is virtually no offset and the topline is extremely thin, Mizuno did taper the top portion of the MP-20 to shift the center of gravity. The 3-iron through 5-iron have minimal tapering to keep the center of gravity location down, while the 6-iron through 8-iron have slightly more mass behind the top of the head to shift the center of gravity higher. The 9-iron and pitching wedge have the most taper to help players flight their approach shots down for more control and to blend into wedges seamlessly.
To further enhance feel, Mizuno has added a layer of copper under the chrome finish. They chose copper because, in 1987, Japanese star Tommy Nakajima played a set of irons that had copper under the chrome, and those clubs produced a legendary feel. Mizuno’s designers sought to disprove that the copper had anything to do with that, but in blind tests with pros this year at the Valspar Championship, golfers almost unanimously picked the copper-enriched clubs as their favorites. They didn’t see any difference, but they felt it.
Mizuno MP-20 MMC
Price: $1,224.95 with KBS Tour S-Taper shafts and Golf Pride MCC grips
Specs: Forged 1025E mild carbon steel
Like the MP-20, the MP-20 MCC is forged from 1025E mild carbon steel, but Mizuno designed them to have more forgiveness thanks to perimeter weighting.
A forged piece of titanium is placed in the steel bodies before they are pressed into shape. All the metal starts superheated, but as the titanium cools, it expands and locks into the carbon steel heads. The titanium is strong but lighter than the steel, so more of the head’s overall weight naturally shifts to the perimeter, raising the moment of inertia. The blade length is still compact, but the MP-20 MMC plays bigger than it looks.
The 4-iron through 7-iron were designed with 12 grams of titanium in the center of the head and 12 grams of tungsten steel in the toe. The extra weight in the toe helps balance the weight of the hosel and shift the ideal hitting area into the middle of the face. The 8-iron through pitching wedge only get 10.5 grams of tungsten.
Like the MP-20 muscleback blades, the MP-20 MMC irons have a copper layer beneath the satin and mirror chrome finish to soften feel.
Mizuno MP-20 HMB
Price: $1,399.95 with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 shafts and Golf Pride MCC grips
Specs: Forged 4135 Chromoly
This club may look like a muscleback, but its hollow body and other technologies were designed to provide golfers more distance and forgiveness.
The hosel and face are forged from a single piece of Chromoly, an ultra-strong steel alloy made from chromium and molybdenum. It’s very hard and resists corrosion, so Mizuno designers could make the face extremely thin to flex more efficiently at impact.
Engineers added a 12-gram tungsten weight to the heel and the toe areas inside the head of the 2-iron through 7-iron. This lowers the center of gravity and helps create a higher launch. It also helps the HMB irons resist twisting on off-center hits and feel more stable.
The 8-iron is hollow, like the longer irons, but does not have the tungsten pieces. The 9-iron and pitching wedge have an open chamber low in the head and solid metal near the topline.
By laser-welding the face to the stainless steel body, Mizuno was able to keep all of the toplines thin.
Like the MP-20 and MP-20 MMC, a copper layer was added beneath the satin finish to soften feel.