MP-4, MP-54, JPX EZ, and JPX EZ Forged
Widely considered the makers of the finest mainstream forged irons, Mizuno has expanded its iron lineup for 2014 with a focus on distance and aesthetics. In four new iron models and a revised hybrid iron model, players now have the ability to select an iron which suits their game based on performance and can combine that with a preferred look and feel.
Quite possibly the most simple and “pretty” iron in Mizuno’s lineup is the new MP-4. A replacement for the MP-69, MP-4 is a true muscle back blade meant for the better player who wants the ultimate in workability and aesthetic simplicity. One of the new features to this design is what Mizuno calls Variable Muscle Thickness (VMT). This design allows for the muscle thickness to change progressively through the set, optimizing the ball speed and launch condition from one iron to the next. In the longer irons, you will notice the most consistent thickness which keeps a majority of the mass low for higher trajectory. The mid irons start to show an increased bulge in the muscle to help with control. Lastly, the short irons have the largest bulge which positions the most mass directly behind the point of impact for a smaller, cleaner looking head size.The stock shaft for the MP-4 irons is the Dynamic Gold by True Temper. MP-4 lofts are unchanged from the MP-69s with a 30 deg. 6 iron.
One of the best additions to the 2014 iron offerings is the MP-54. Players will see an iron that harkens back to the MP-53 of a couple seasons ago but will get some added features. MP-54 offers a clean, simple look for the low to mid handicap player who may desire to play something along the lines of the MP-4, but who needs a little more forgiveness on off-center shots. The forgiveness of the MP-54 is provided by a deep pocket cavity which is milled into the iron head. The cavity is designed on the 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 irons. This feature removes a significant amount of weight in the center of the club and creates a much more stable design with better perimeter weighting. Mizuno’s MP-H4 iron was a design which replaced the MP-53, but showed a much thicker topline at address and also used hollow iron technology for better ball speed. The new MP-54 provides comparable forgiveness to the MP-H4 but many players will probably select the MP-54 based on looks. At address, the setup closely resembles the MP-59s but is design is meant to provide slightly better forgiveness. In a side-by-side comparison, MP-54 and MP-H4 performed nearly identical to each other, but MP-54 was able to increase ball speed. The only other noticeable difference is a slightly lower launch angle which was to be expected since the MP-H4 design is meant to promote a high initial launch angle. When compared to the MP-59, MP-54 provided better ball speed and produced a smaller spin axis, which means that shots had less of a tendency to curve side to side during its flight:
|Ball Speed||Smash Factor||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry Distance|
|MP-H4||116.3 mph||1.38||14.4 deg||5747 rpm||165.1 yds|
|MP-54||117.1 mph||1.38||14.1 deg||5725 rpm||166.1 yds|
|Ball Speed||Spin Axis||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry Distance|
|MP-59||124.8 mph||-3.2 deg||16.5 deg||6718 rpm||181.1 yds|
|MP-54||127.8 mph||-2.2 deg||16.4 deg||6792 rpm||188.2 yds|
The stock shaft in the MP-54s is the True Temper Dynamic Gold. Lofts are exactly the same as the MP-4 irons – 30 deg.loft on the 6 iron.
Mizuno is about to make a huge improvement on iron distance and forgiveness with the new JPX EZ iron. The first thing most golfers will notice is the color scheme which flaunts a new, hot orange and charcoal look. The club head itself also features a dark finish which has become more popular over the last few seasons. The JPX EZ iron is meant for mid to high handicap players who want the ultimate in distance and accuracy but demand the solid feel and clean look that Mizuno prides itself on. With the JPX 825 iron remaining in the lineup for 2014, JPX EZ is designed to play more forgiving and increase distance. Mizuno engineers were able to create the thinnest iron face they have ever made and combined it with extreme perimeter weighting and low center of gravity for easy launch with low spin. In a comparison to the JPX 825 iron, these benefits were easily noticeable:
|Player 1||Ball Speed||Smash Factor||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry Distance|
|JPX 825||111.0 mph||1.36||12.9 deg||6200 rpm||151.0 yds|
|JPX EZ||112.2 mph||1.35||12.6 deg||5978 rpm||153.4 yds|
|JPX 825||119.8 mph||1.42||14.0 deg||5379 rpm||173.1 yds|
|JPX EZ||122.6 mph||1.41||13.4 deg||5470 rpm||177.6 yds|
The stock shaft in the JPX EZ irons is the new XP 105 by True Temper which is a solid feeling, lightweight shaft option for higher trajectory. Lofts on the JPX EZ are comparable to other game-improvement irons in the market with a 6 iron loft of 28 degrees.
JPX EZ Forged
The new JPX EZ Forged is the most versatile addition to Mizuno’s product line for 2014. JPX EZ Forged combines some of the elements of the aforementioned JPX EZ with Mizuno’s Grain Flow Forging process to produce an iron that provides the feel of a forged club with the forgiveness of a cast cavity back. Players will notice the same dark finish on the JPX EZ Forged as the JPX EZ but the topline and overall head size are smaller and more compact. The target audience for the JPX EZ Forged is a low to high handicap player who demands distance, accuracy, consistency, and feel. The most comparable model already in Mizuno’s lineup is the JPX 825 Pro but with JPX EZ Forged, players gain an added level of distance and forgiveness in a marginally larger club head. To Mizuno’s credit, they were able to improve these aspects with JPX EZ Forged and produce an iron that still meets the visual appeal of a better player. In a performance comparison of these two models, we saw exactly these benefits and the player actually preferred the look of the JPX EZ Forged to the JPX 825 Pro because of the darker finish:
|Ball Speed||Spin Axis||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry Distance|
|JPX 825 Pro||116.4 mph||-5.0 deg||15.1 deg||5479 rpm||166.8 yds|
|JPX EZ Forged||119.4 mph||-1.9 deg||14.5 deg||5586 rpm||172.1 yds|
No matter what your handicap or your preference of look and feel, Mizuno truly has an iron model for everyone. At Miles of Golf, you can take advantage of our expert club-fitting services to help you determine which Mizuno iron is best for you. We can utilize Mizuno’s proprietary “Shaft Optimizer” system to even help you properly select the best performing shaft for your swing. Our Maxx Iron Fitting is a great option as well because we are able to get extremely reliable ball flight information using TrackMan, the industry leaders in ball flight monitor technology.