Mizuno say that the 2016 version of the JPX EZ hybrid will play more like a fairway wood than a hybrid and you can see where they are coming from.
Compared to the previous 2014 version, the new EZ hybrid is longer heel to toe and also deeper back to front.
This is because Mizuno has brought over the Shockwave sole from their JPX850 hybrid and made it wider and wrapped it around the heel and toe to draw the weight back too.
The Shockwave sole looks like a concertina and acts a little like one. It combines with the Rebound Crown to create thinner areas at the top and bottom of the head that will flex a little at impact to generate more ball speed than before.
When I compared the past and present EZ hybrids on Trackman, you could see this right away as the 2016 version generated an extra 1.8 mph ball speed from my 90mph swing speed.
However more speed is not the only intention as the larger head is meant to launch it higher too because more of the weight is lower and further back thanks to that larger Shockwave Sole.
This was evident too as the launch angle was up 2.2° and combining that with the extra ball speed and the same levels of spin, I was gaining an extra 6 yards of carry.
Whilst you might expect this to be a mid-handicapper's club, apparently Luke Donald has been putting the EZ hybrid into play for this reason. It is essentially a shorter shafted, high launching fairway wood and calling it a hybrid in the classic sense is probably stretching it a little.
Compared to the Mizuno JPX850 hybrid, it looks bigger and feels more like a fairway with a slight zing sound from the bigger head when you get it right.
If I had to make the choice between the two on just sound and feel, then I would go for the JPX EZ. However, if you are a mid to low handicapper looking for a dedicated Mizuno hybrid then you may prefer the JPX850 as it delivers in its own way.
This is because the JPX EZ behaves a little too much like a wood, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is more at home from cut grass then the semi-rough, so that may also influence your choice if you need a more 'traditional' hybrid to get out of bother.
If you are looking for a wood style club to hit approaches into greens then I could see any of the four JPX EZ lofts from 25° to 16° replacing a 7, 5 or possibly even a 3-wood as it will probably land softer and therefore be more likely to hold the green.
The looks and styling are an improvement on the last model, so for a more forgiving, higher launching wood then the Mizuno 2016 EZ hybrid offers a viable alternative at the top end of the bag between your irons and longest fairway.