Even for elite-level players, using pure bladed irons is not always the best idea. Though they look and feel fantastic, you'll struggle to find a golfer anywhere in the world who doesn't need a little bit of added security when they're not at their ball-striking best.
Enter the Mizuno MP-20 MMC...
What's It All About?
Mizuno Multi Material Concept is the middle model in the new MP-20 Range and is categorised as an 'elite cavity iron'. It is slightly larger, stronger lofted (32 degrees instead of 34 in the MB) and has a bigger sole and top edge than the MP-20 MB blade.
As you'd expect, it is designed to be a little more playable than the MB, thanks to a tungsten weight in the sole, and a titanium 'muscle plate'. This spreads weight across the head to provide more stability on off-centre strikes.
The MMC features a thinner topline and narrower sole than it's MP-18 predecessor, meaning that it is suitable for full-set use by the majority of golfers. The MP-18 range featured four models instead of three, so MMC has been slimmed down a little to fit better into that middle category.
On paper, these seem to be designed for players just like me, and after hearing what Mizuno's Brand Manager Chris Voshall had to say about them I could not wait to start hitting them:
Chris Voshall, Mizuno Golf Brand Manager commented:
The new MMC is the smaller, sharper version of the original. For a player with a traditional eye, looking for a little stability from off centre strikes, but comfortable with their distances and ball speed - this is the iron.
As usual, I collected numbers using Foresight technology (GC2 & HMT) at The Range in Manchester, hitting shots on the launch monitor before recording the averages and comparing the other models in the MP-20 range.
Following that I made my way to Sale Golf Club for some on-course testing to see whether the combination of sleek looks and slight extra forgiveness would perform as well as I hoped. Let's find out how I got on...
Mizuno MP-20 MMC Irons Review
It was love at first sight, as soon as I ripped the plastic off and set them down on the ground I said out loud “these will be the ones for me”.
I see Mizuno staffer Amy Boulden gaming the MP-18 SC and I think she is better than me with her irons so I knew the MMC iron would be more suited to me, as it is designed to be slightly easier to hit than they are.
The top line is a lot thinner than the previous MP-18 MMC irons, and in my opinion they look phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of the satin and mirror finish - you get the best of both worlds.
These clubs just feel amazing, solid and crisp, aka everything you would want from an iron. It's as simple as that!
Whilst the MB option also felt great, it was also good to know in the back of my mind that the club was giving me just that little bit more support.
The ball speed was up by 2 mph average from the MB’s which equates to an average of 8 yards extra carry distance, which you would expect from a slightly bigger head.
Whilst the distance dispersion was a little wider than I would usually hope for, ranging from 118 to 130 yards carry, I think that this was more user error than anything else. The 125 yard average was actually right where I would expect an 8 iron to sit for a club of this type.
On The Course
On the golf course the iron performed surprisingly well out of the rough, travelling the expected yardage and reaching pin high consistently on a number of occasions.
For a compact head shape this was reassuring, because it means you avoid those dreaded flyers whilst also avoiding the big dropoffs where shots from the rough come up way short.
From the fairway they were heavenly! I saw my shots and hit them, the ball performed just how I would expect: great feel, good amount of spin, consistent distances, and they sounded good too - even on fairly damp fairways.
I’m all for accepting help with my iron strike without them being too hot - at the end of the day you want to be able to trust that the club will perform as you want it to, and the MMCs did.
Mizuno MP-20 MMC Irons Verdict
These irons are exactly what they say on the tin. They’re beautiful looking but have the added performance element that will aid ball speed and off-centre strikes.
Having said that, they aren’t 'hot and long', so bear that in mind if you are wanting these aspects but are moving down from a bigger cavity back or cast head. It's up to you whether you decide the added feel and fantastic looks are worth it.
Would I Use It?
I would put these in my bag tomorrow if I was a Mizuno player, and use Mizuno's custom fitting service to tune the lofts/shafts to my normal ones, in order to gain a couple of extra yards to reach my usual numbers.
I think I got far too excited when hitting them for the first time and my numbers indoors were slightly more inconsistent than usual due to my strike patterns. But I am confident that if I had conducted further testing the numbers would have been exactly where I wanted them.
Once I took them outside I gained a comfort and calmness with them. The strikes came and the shot making began. I had total confidence that the ball would react how I wanted it to off the face with lovely sound.
- Looks like a Mizuno iron should
- Great performance throughout the set
- Higher handicappers may require even more forgiveness