Even great iron players need some help with the longer clubs.
The Mizuno MP-H5 irons are a direct replacement for the market leading MP-Fli Hi irons, a club at the forefront of the trend for better players replacing their longer irons in search of playability and forgiveness. Mizuno Tour pro Luke Donald was amongst the first to play the original Fli-Hi and continues to be a firm believer in help in this area of the bag.
The MP-H5 takes the best parts of the MP-H4 and MP Fli-Hi with a focus on a high launch whilst reducing and minimising the amount of spin.
The MP-H5's are smaller yet more forgiving than the MP-H4 with a considerably thinner topline as well as a thinner sole for better turf interaction.
Elite players such as Donald may only need help with the 2 or 3 irons, but Mizuno haven't made the MP-H5 to be just a long iron replacement. The MP-H5 is available in a full set of irons and for any player below the elite level, the extra launch assistance can be of benefit right through the set.
Mizuno's Senior Engineer, Chris Voshall, tested the MP-H5's alongside Donald and gives an interesting insight into the benefits many players could gain from the irons.
Voshall, a 1 handicap player, says:
I’d like to trick myself that I’m close, but the difference in ball striking was pretty clear. I hit it out of the middle a little less often than Luke, but there was 10mph difference in ball speed as well. It’s why Luke only needs the 2 or 3 iron in MP-H5, where someone like me should be make the break higher up the set. It’s the MP-H5’s assistance with launch that’s the biggest help to someone with slightly less ball speed.
The technology of the MP-5 transforms through the set with the longer clubs being fully hollow whilst the shorter clubs transition to half hollow to provide a truer MP strike and feel. As with all MP irons the MP-H5's are Grain Flow forged to provide the trademark Mizuno look and feel.
The MP-H5 footprint is slightly bigger than that of the classic MP iron, especially in the mid to shorter irons. However the MP proportions between different aspects of the clubhead remain intact to ensure they appeal to the scratch player and allow a smooth transition between the MP-H5 and the MP-15 at whatever point is best for each individual to split the set.
Mizuno have decided to sell all the MP-H5 and MP-15 irons individually at the same RRP of £115 to allow players to work out the best break point for them in the set and to buy accordingly.
Mizuno don't see the development of this category of iron slowing down. Chuck Couch, VP of Product Management at Mizuno says:
MP-H5 will suit players who have grown up on traditional irons, but don’t want to be left behind on distance and stopping power. In another 10 years we think the majority of tour players will be using irons like this.