When a range of new woods comes out there is usually one club that stands out between the driver, fairway and hybrids where everything the manufacturer is trying to deliver comes together perfectly because the relative dimensions of the head just suits the new technology better.
In the JPX850 range, that club is the hybrid.
In my experience, the hybrid is usually the club that stands out for the wrong reasons, but the JPX850 does the opposite and follows on from the excellent JPX825 hybrid and I think Mizuno has made it better.
As you can see the head shape does not seem to have changed much between the previous model and the two current hybrids Mizuno are offering which is good.
It has a nice rounded head style that looks classy, well balanced and a nice generous head size that is a little shorter front to back than the JPX EZ.
It also has a slightly lower crown than the JPZ EZ because even though this has JPX in the name it is aimed at better players who don't need the higher spin and launch of the JPX EZ.
All the changes in the JPX850 hybrid are under the hood, literally, with a Waffle Crown design in the crown. This uses a lattice design to remove weight to put in the sole, but keeps the strength in the top of the head.
The saved weight then goes to the sole to lower the Centre of Gravity (CG) and increase ball speed on low strikes on the face.
To see the other change you have to turn the hybrid over to reveal the Shockwave Sole, which looks like a concertina has been put just behind the face. You half expect it to be soft to touch, but the steel head is firm and importantly, flexible.
It is this extra flexibility of the head when the club strikes the ball that gives the JPX850 extra ball speed and forgiveness.
Out on the course you could really feel all this coming together as the feel was just fantastic. The sound was better than the JPX825 because it was a more solid 'quality' sound, but still with a hint of a metal zing in the background.
The flight was lower than the JPX EZ ,as you might expect, and it boxed the ears of that model for sound too. The head felt very stable at impact and there was a very consistent flight and performance right across the face.
There is no adjustability on the JPX850, but that is fine as the fixed hosel is the reason I think this plays so well and why I would have liked to see the JPX850 fairway have a fixed hosel too.
There is a good choice of four lofts from 16° to 25° so there should be something for everyone in this range.
The Fujikura Orochi shaft is available in white 2014 and black/orange Black Eye versions and it is good to see Mizuno continuing with the same model of shaft in one hybrid after another.
In the JPX850, Mizuno has gone for an extra half an inch on the shaft length over the JPX EZ, which is unusual to do this on the better player version, but I think it sits well.
Finally, I have to comment on the lovely blue colour they have used on the head. It's an almost regal colour that exudes class and stands out without looking out of place.
You know when you have found a great club when you want to go back and hit it for fun after you have done all the reviewing of the range and the JPX850 hybrid is one of those clubs.
Like the rest of the Mizuno JPX range it is priced towards the top end of the market, but this time I think it is well worth the extra £50 or so over the JPX EZ and is one of the best hybrids I have tested recently.