We all know that Mizuno make some of the finest forged irons on the market, but the Japanese brand says new beauties deliver ‘layers of feel’ for an impact sensation unlike any other iron.
The three new MP-20 iron models have evolved from the DNA of Mizuno irons that shaped the modern game, launched Major-winning careers and inspired generations of ‘tour edition’ musclebacks.
Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, where Mizuno has refined the art of feel for more than 50 years, the heads of all three models feature copper plating, a throwback to brand’s legendary TN87 model that Tiger Woods used to win the 1997 Masters, for an impact sensation that Mizuno is describing as its purest ever.
The new family comprises MP-20 MB, MP-20 MMC and MP-20 HMB models, each with its own unique appeal, each designed to either stand alone or blend into custom combo sets and each featuring soft copper plating beneath a protective nickel chrome to deliver that renowned Mizuno feedback and feel.
"Most modern musclebacks and limited 'tour edition' irons can be traced back to the great Mizuno blades, though what makes a Mizuno iron truly exceptional is everything you can't see,” said Mizuno’s Chris Voshall.
He continued, “If you could peel back the chrome plating, you would find a sandwich of nickel and soft copper before the Grain Flow Forged HD chassis. Under a microscope, you can see a perfect flow of grain within the steel from the hosel to toe, compacted tighter in the hitting area. Designers can mimic our lines, but not what's inside.”
MP-20 MB is a pure muscleback, heavily influenced by revered blades of Mizuno’s past and Grain Flow Forged HD from a single billet of 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel.
The ‘tour-ready’ profile is also the result of studying elements of Mizuno’s most played/retained tour iron models by both contracted and non-contracted tour players, with usage among the tour’s new breed of ‘free agents’ giving the Mizuno engineers a new perspective.
A discreetly tapered topline and cambered sole allow a fuller spread of weight to enhance vertical stability and forgiveness on strikes from high or low in the face, while retaining a traditional muscleback appearance.
The topline has been refined in response to tour player preferences and is Mizuno’s thinnest among recent generations of MP irons, while the blend of satin and mirror chrome finishing has been engineered to eliminate areas of high glare in the playing position.
“We kept asking ourselves why players still talked about the feel of older Mizuno blades – TN87, MP14, MP29, TP9,” said Voshall.
“Despite our Grain Flow Forging process tightening up and an evolving CAD process that predicts vibration patterns, we were still missing something. The one element left from the old classics was a layer of copper. After blind testing our players at the Valspar it was more than nostalgia - our test pool universally preferred the prototype with copper plating.”
MP-20 MMC is an ‘Elite Players’ Cavity’ and represents the second-generation of Mizuno’s multi-material concept.
It shares the chassis, set flow and proportions of the MP-20 MB, but offers enhanced playability courtesy of a titanium muscle plate and tungsten sole weight.
The titanium muscle spreads weight for forgiveness on off-centre strikes while maintaining centre-portion thickness for the feel and feedback associated with a muscleback iron.
The multi-material construction comprises a Grain Flow Forged 1025E mild carbon steel chassis and Ti muscle pad throughout the set, with a 12g tungsten toe weight from the 4- to 7-irons that adds ease of launch in a compact playing profile.
A second Ti muscle pad improves set flow by allowing for a narrower sole from 8-iron to pitching wedge. The topline is dramatically thinner than on the MP-18 MMC (0.3mm thinner in the 4-iron and 0.4mm in the pitching wedge) while remaining only 1mm thicker at address than on the MP-20 MB.
MP-20 HMB is part of the new breed of hollow-headed players’ distance irons that have soared in popularity over the last few years.
High ball speed comes courtesy of Mizuno’s Chromoly material in the face and neck and is supported by a precision stainless steel body and tungsten weighting.
It offers the proportions, topline and offset transition of a classic Mizuno players’ muscleback with a generous sole width that’s hidden at address, and is designed to help consistent players pursuing added ball speed without sacrificing their shot-making options.
From 2- to 8-iron, Mizuno’s multi-thickness Grain Flow Forged Chromoly face and neck is dialled in to be consistently hot across the clubface.
From 2- to 7-iron, twin 12g tungsten weights deliver stability and an easy launch, while use of a softer 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel from 9-iron to PW makes the short irons soft and responsive.
MP-20 HMB is designed to be played as a full set or mixed with any MP-20 set, with recommended break points between the 4- and 5-iron or 7- and 8-iron for blended sets.
MP-20 SEL (Left Handed)
Based on the most popular right handed, blended set Mizuno has created the perfect mixed set for left handers – the MP-20 SEL. Precise, shotmakers MP-20 muscle back mid to short irons #5-PW, and stable, easy launching MP-20 HMB long irons #3 and #4, with lofts adjusted for perfect distance gaps throughout.
Availability: MP-20 MB - RH #3-PW; LH #5-PW (as a split set with #3-4 HMB)
MP-20 MMC RH 4-PW
MP-20 HMB - RH #2-PW; LH #3 - #4 iron (as a split set with 5-PW MP-20 MB)
Prices: MP-20 MB £150 per iron
MP-20 MMC £165 per iron
MP-20 HMB £180 per iron
MP-20 SEL #3-PW £1,240