How fiercely loyal are Mizuno iron players to the brand? Their unofficial motto is, “You’ll get my Mizzies when you pry ’em from my cold, dead hands.”
OK, I made that up, but you get the idea. The butter-soft feel of Mizuno’s forgings sets the standard by which all others are measured. The company’s MP lineup is the crème de la crème, causing Mizuno’s adoring legions to salivate over each new model.
The latest offering is the MP-59, a half cavity-back iron played by the world’s (former) No. 1 golfer, Luke Donald. I recently worked out these beauties and offer my observations here.
(Disclaimer: I’ve played Mizuno irons since 1999 and currently wield MP-57s. You’ll get them when you hand over a new set of Mizzies, or the cash needed to upgrade my blades. I also take checks.)
Tested clubs were a 4-iron and 7-iron, standard length and lie, outfitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts, stiff flex (S300). This is the stock shaft option, with several custom options available in both steel and graphite from makers including Fujikura, Nippon and KBS.
Classic, yet modern. The lines are pure blade – thin across the top, narrow across the bottom, etcetera – with a luscious satin finish on the face. The toe and sole are a bit more rounded than the forged irons of yesteryear, which makes these a lot more playable than your grandfather’s old Wilson Staffs. The modern touch comes from the shiny titanium insert in the cavity.
Since I was already familiar with Mizunos, there were no surprises in trajectory or distance with the MP-59s. If there’s a complaint about the company’s cavity-back irons, it comes from high-caliber golfers who say the center of gravity is too low for their liking. (In other words, the ball flight is too high.) I had no trouble hitting low punch shots with the MP-59s, and found the 4-iron easy to carry at medium height from a clean lie.
Yes, you can even shape shots left or right with these clubs. As for forgiveness, there’s more than enough for a decent ballstriker, though I wouldn’t recommend the MP-59s for anyone above a 10 handicap. (Mizuno puts the range up to 13.)
Better writers than this one have tried – and failed – to capture the unmistakable Mizuno feel in prose. Suffice it to say that a center strike might be the second-best sensation known to humankind. The MP-59s felt a little more meaty than my MP-57s, but retained that trademark Mizuno softness. Off-center hits, of course, are a little less pleasant, but you have to miss pretty badly toward the heel or toe to produce genuinely harsh feedback.
The MP-59s don’t come cheap – but then, you knew that. They’re currently retailing for $999.99, and you’re not likely to find a new set on sale any time soon. The price is in line with irons from Titleist, Mizuno’s chief competitor, and you get what you pay for with both brands.