In recent years the entry level JPX iron has been forged and usually it is pretty good and makes me wonder why I play with smaller, less forgiving blade hybrids.
In the 2014 range, the JPX EZ Forged took this to the next level with an oversized forged iron, but the looks didn't exactly have it screaming 'better player'. Now the 2016 JPX EZ Forged is here and the Black Nickel styling looks much more desirable.
Since the last EZ Forged, Mizuno has introduced Boron Steel into their line with the excellent JPX850 Forged setting new standards for feel and speed from a forged iron.
That is because the traces of boron in the steel strengthen the material so that it can be forged into a larger, thinner faced head. The thinner face increases ball speed and the larger head creates a higher Moment of Inertia (MOI).
Welcome to the JPX EZ Forged iron.
The 3 to 7 irons feature a deep undercut CNC pocket cavity that draw the weight low and back to leave the unsupported face to flex more at impact.
Mizuno say it is their fastest forged face ever and when I compared it on Trackman to the JPX850 Forged I was getting 4mph extra ball speed from the same clubhead speed with a 3° higher launch angle and an extra 5-10 yards carry.
And before you ask the lofts are the same as the previous model.
The dark finish masks the depth of the cavity very well and at address I really did not feel I was playing a large cavity back iron, although I am not mad on the contrast colour scheme for the face.
In the shorter irons from 8 to Pitching Wedge, the cavity merges into the head to give a one piece design. The best thing I can say about this transition is that I did not even realise the head design had changed until after I had hit them, as the flow through the set was that good.
The short irons are also a little shorter in the head, but a little taller from top to bottom around the heel to give a more compact, but slightly squarer look than before.
There is still quite a thick top line throughout and in this respect the top line of the previous model seems a little easier on the eye.
However the 2016 EZ Forged does have the edge on the sole where the bevelled leading and trailing edges create a little more playability than the straight cut 2014 model.
The sound of the JPX EZ Forged was a lot more solid than the standard EZ irons and the flight was lower too, albeit still in the medium to high category.
What helped get the ball out there was the lighter True Temper Dynamic Golf XP95 steel shaft that comes as standard, although other steel and graphite shafts are available through Mizuno's Swing DNA fitting service.
When Mizuno first introduced Boron Steel into the JPX850 Forged irons in 2014, it was a real game changer because it allowed for faster, larger forged heads. Whilst we since also seen it in the MP-25 irons, but this JPX EZ Forged is really the next type of iron I was expecting to use it back then.
The JPX EX Forged brings forged feel to the next level of golfer without having to sacrifice ball speed and anyone from teen handicaps upwards would be well advised to try this.
At the bottom of this handicap range the JPX850 Forged will still be a tough club to beat as the feel is a little sharper and the satin chrome finish may appeal more.
However the JPX850 Forged top line is a little thinner which could put off some game improvers, although the lofts are the same so you could blend the two sets if you wanted.
For anyone in that category 3 and 4 handicap range who wants a forgiving looking club then the JPX EZ Forged hits the mark as the feel and sound is much better than the standard JPX EZ whilst giving a similar level of forgiveness.