The Mizuno JPX850 Forged irons take over from the JPX825 Pro irons, which were one of our favourite Best Buy forged irons for mid-handicappers, so it has a lot to live up to.
As well as the number upgrade, the 'Pro' moniker has been replaced by 'Forged' just to make sure you know that this is not a cast game improvement club.
Thankfully the shape is pretty similar to before with the design of the cavity back being slightly different to move the weight round the edges of the club to increase the forgiveness. In addition the finish has changed from black and chrome to all chrome to give it that shiny forged blade look and I think that works well.
However, the biggest change is in what you can't see and that is the addition of the boron into the make up of the steel head.
As all you chemists out there know, boron is metal that is 30% stronger than steel, so adding the two together creates a stronger material that then enables Mizuno to make the face thinner to increase ball speed.
The ball speed was impressive as on our launch monitor it was more than a Mizuno H5 iron and almost the same as the Mizuno JPX850 cast iron.
The thinner face then weighs less and this weight is then moved to the edges of the club to increase the Moment of Intertia (MOI) to make it more forgiving.
However the best thing is that even with the firmer material, because it is forged the feel is still excellent and it was a joy to hit. The sound was just as you would expect from a forged iron and the flight was medium high with good penetration. The JPX850 Forged feels like a better player's blade disguised as a cavity back for those who don't quite have the consistency or swing speed to play the real thing.
The length of the head is the same as the standard JPX850, but the top line is thinner and the offset is similar to a blade so it looks sharper at address without being like the proverbial breadknife.
The sole grinds on the leading and trailing edge of the sole are also still there and they help the club go through the turf very easily as well as making the sole play a little narrower than it actually is.
The stock steel shaft is the True Temper XP115 shaft, which is a stepped shaft that is around 15 grams lighter than a Dynamic Gold in S300 flex. It really makes the club, as the feel is just what a better player would want, but also it is light enough to increase the club head speed to get the most from that faster face.
This is one of those easy reviews where a great product is improved without the core of what made it special in the first placed being messed with. Whilst the extra ball speed from the boron is nice, irons like these are less about extra distance and more about how they play and the easy answer is that they feel, sound and perform like blades, but with more forgiveness.
Recently one of my scratch golfer friends who is a father of 2 kids said he was thinking of upgrading his old Mizuno's for some of their latest blades and I suggested he look at irons like the Mizuno JPX850 Forged instead.
Neither of us is getting any younger or has the spare time to put the practice in to start shaping the ball, so I encouraged him to forget the macho blade nonsense and go with the JPX850 Forged irons that offer great feel and make the game easier.
I mean, what is not to like about that?