I know I have said this before, but as soon as I hear the name Mizuno I automatically think 'irons'. The Japanese brand are known to be the makers of the most beautiful feeling irons on the market.
Brooks Koepka has used the Mizuno JPX line of irons to win all four of his major championships, and the no-nonsense American is said to have revitalised this line since his switch from Nike to using Mizuno.
At this point you may say "But he isn't playing them for the money?" but the way I look at it, he actually is. He is using the JPX irons as he earns his money on the golf course with his tools, and he believes that these irons are the best ones for him to shoot the lowest scores possible. This may not result in sponsorship money, but 14 professional wins including four majors is going to make you pretty rich, pretty quickly.
Mizuno's new JPX921 irons are the company's first full-bodied, forged Chromoly steel irons. There are four different models available in the range but in this review I will be focusing on the JPX921 Tour irons.
What's It All About?
Chromoly steel is not new for Mizuno, not even in the JPX range, but it is the first time that the brand has added it in to their forged iron line-up.
The most chosen Mizuno model on Tour among non-contracted professionals, the new JPX921 Tour has been made thicker in the cavity behind the centre of the face for a softer, more enhanced feel with refined short irons for better turf interaction.
The irons have been Grain Flow Forged HD from a 1025E mild Carbon steel, which means that the lower part of the blade is squeezed under greater pressure, to further improve feel at the bottom of the face.
The shape of this iron puts it firmly within the 'player's iron' market, with a shorter head and less offset making it easier on the eye than the previous JPX919.
Mizuno's Stability Frame puts a little more weight towards the toe for a longer, straighter and more consistent ball flight, even on off-centre strikes.
The pearl brush, anti-glare finish is said to minimise distraction when standing over the ball and is said to offer the stripped-back look that modern players are looking for.
When I asked staff player Amy Boulden what the difference between this model and the MP-20 is, she said: "It has a straighter and higher launching ball flight, and a less traditional look at address.”
I hit the JPX921 Tour using Trackman 4 and Titleist Pro V1x balls in my simulator at Mercedes Benz, LSH Auto. I wanted to collect data on the numbers produced by the irons as well as reporting on the sound and feel. I did this whilst testing the other three models in the new JPX921 range against each other.
Would they provide enough ball speed and forgiveness to be used by anyone except the elite ball strikers?
Mizuno JPX921 Tour Irons Review
Wow, this club is so good looking! Mizuno's Tour irons are always pretty sleek and this year's model is no different.
I am a huge fan of the brushed steel finish on the shiny steel, because it helps to avoid that irritating glare you can get when playing in the sun and it hits against the metal.
The sole of the club does thicken out a bit as you work up towards the longer irons in order to help with launch, although this isn't too visible at address.
The 5 iron is as thin as you'd expect from a Tour model, but I was more than comfortable and pretty confident with the 7 iron at address.
The iron felt just like a Mizuno should, and you get that nice solid, cushioned sound when you strike the ball rather than a high-pitched click that would be more commonly associated with bigger game-improvement style irons.
The grip also helped with this, as a classic Golf Pride Tour Velvet ensured that I was certainly feeling every strike. Unfortunately for me this wasn't always pleasant as I didn't strike the 5 iron consistently enough - leading to a couple of stinging fingers on a cold morning during testing!
In comparison to the MP-20 MB, which golfers may also be considering when looking at these irons, Mizuno say that because the centre of gravity is further from the shaft the JPX are harder to shape. Therefore they are aimed at golfers who aren't big workers of the ball and prefer to hit it pretty straight and go 'straight at it'.
The new JPX Tour iron does still feature the toe weighting although I felt this had been toned down a little in comparison to the JPX919 and so there was a little more support behind the hitting area which is welcome.
I did tend to miss most of my shots to the left during my testing, although I think was probably more a case of user error because I was having to work hard to get my speed up in order to achieve a reasonable distance.
The irons have pretty weak lofts and I was testing with heavy 120g steel shafts so I wasn't expecting the numbers to be anything too notable, but early on whilst warming up I was barely getting the 9 iron over 100 yards carry, causing me to have to turn the face over to try and squeeze out a few extra yards.
In terms of numbers, once I got going a bit more the ball speed ended up getting to where I was expected. The spin rate was also up over 8000rpm with a 9 iron which is nice to see as it gives you confidence that they're going to 'drop and stop' as you'd want with a player's iron.
Across the board the numbers were pretty similar to the MP-20 MB's that I tested, and it was clear with both irons don't particularly help with distance but they're all about looks, feel and true data thanks to the traditional lofts.
Who Are They Aimed At?
These clubs are for really aimed for players that don’t worry about distance or strike, as that is a given for golfers at this level. They are relatively easy to shape although not quite as easy as the MP-20’s, so if you're using these already then there's probably not much point in you changing.
I enjoyed them up until 7 iron and then things got really hard work. I'm not a big hitter and the dispersion between my good and bad hits was up to 15 yards at times, which is a little too big of a gap for me. I'd definitely want to have a little more forgiveness in the long irons if I was to put these in the bag.
My friend Kelsey MacDonald uses these irons in 4-PW and if I had the speed and ball-striking skills that she does, I probably would do too, although she does have a Hot Metal Pro 2 Iron in the bag too.
Keep an eye out to see if Brooks upgrades his JPX919 Tour to the JPX921 Tour in the coming months...
Mizuno JPX921 Tour Irons Verdict
Whilst the JPX921 Tour did look and feel fantastic, I didn't get enough effortless distance from the irons which meant that I felt like I had to hit them flat out in order to achieve the numbers I wanted, something that I don't really like doing with the scoring irons.
I would class myself as wanting to be in the 'player's performance category' but I didn't feel like there was quite enough 'performance' in terms of distance and forgiveness, meaning that it was mostly just 'players'. Something to bear in mind if this beautiful looking irons are on your test list for 2020/21.
- Looked slick at address
- Sounds and feels like a Mizuno should
- Very accurate dispersion
- Performance wasn't much different to the MP-20 irons
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