Jamie Kennedy

Blades, musclebacks, butterknifes, whatever you call them, Mizuno do them well. The latest Mizuno MP-4 irons are a classic, better-player iron in the purest sense.

Everything to do with the MP-4s is geared towards giving the game's better players the look and performance they want. They are pure, clean, sharp and simple. But weren't they always?

Many golfers may question what is new with MP-4s, but Mizuno say that whilst they look simple and traditional, they are packed with tweaks and technology to offer the highest levels of feel and workability.

The first thing you notice about the MP-4s are the looks. The traditional, muscleback design begs you to pick it up and take a closer look. Mizuno's "Running Bird" logo is positioned front and centre and the high-polished chrome finish reflects like a mirror.

As a design, they are a work of art. Simple, pure, classy and strong.

Whilst you might say the looks haven't really changed since the MP-33 irons came out more than ten years ago, subtle changes and tweaks have been made to keep up with the times.

Mizuno actually design their new irons starting with a basic resin model. This model is then given to Mizuno's legendary craftsmen who make tweaks by eye, trimming edges, grinding lines and refining the looks and profile.

So what's new in the MP-4?

The muscleback has been altered to increase the peak of the design, similar to the shape of the MP-64 (shown below), giving you more mass behind the middle of the face. Combine that with a thinner top-line and you have an iron that is designed to offer longer, improved feel with a solid, strong impact.

That's the design, but how did they perform and feel?

Mizuno say the MP-4s are designed for "golf purists" who like to work their ball. Whilst the purity of my game is debatable, I do like to shape shots.

Golfers in general, and even Tour players, are moving away from blades and looking down on the MP-4s for the first time, you can see why. The topline line looks wafer thin at address and whilst the Double Nickel Chrome finish looks great, I needed a deep breath before I started hitting shots.

But as any better player will tell you, hit one shot pure and you're sold.

The feel of the MP-4s is incredibly soft. The short irons came off with a delicate, buttery feel that sends a clear message through my hands, offering feedback on just how good or clean each swing was.

I expected a low, strong penetrating flight, but was surprised that the MP-4s actually launched high, throughout the set. The lack of help or depth in the head design did make them a joy to shape. Knock-down shots and slight draws and fades felt great. You could hit every shot blindfolded and know precisely how far it went and with what shape. That is the feel the MP-4s offer.

Putting the 4-iron behind the ball took some effort mind you. I think the word "wow" came out when I saw just how compact and thin it looked at address. But once again, give the MP-4s a little trust and you're rewarded with a strong feel and sound at impact that will make you immediately want to try it again.

Don't get me wrong, these irons certainly do not do the work for you. Much like a manual rally car compared to an automatic SUV, they demand the player knows what he is doing and rewards a good swing with a pure shot.

The thin sole doesn't skid or glide through the turf as easily as the MP-54s or easier-to-hit irons. Come into the ball a little early, or a touch late, and you'll know. Whilst the ball did fly high in general, these are certainly not a forgiving iron.

Overall, the irons were a joy to hit. From 7-iron to PW, I was ready to put them straight into my bag, however the longer irons are intimidatingly compact and thin at address. The performance is there throughout the set, and the looks are classically Mizuno.

Mizuno designed the MP-4s for golf purists and elite players and neither will be disappointed. At around £120 per club, they won't be on the radar for many golfers, but if you find the middle of the face on the majority of your shots, you need to give them a try.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Mizuno MP-4 Irons - Product Details

UK Launch01 September 2013
UK Launch RRP£960
USA Launch01 September 2013
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Senior
Hand AvailabilityRight
Swing WeightD1, D2, D3, D4
Shaft NameDynamic Gold R300/S300
Shaft TypesSteel
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff
Set Makeup3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW
Manufacturer's WebsiteMizuno Website

User Reviews

J P Mayne
April 2018

Custom fitted for a set 12 months ago, previously used MP-68 and Wilson FG17. These outperform both sets as they force you to concentrate on each shot making you the golfer you want to be. It is in effect a set of irons that teaches as it goes. Hit a bad shot and you know instantly what you did wrong, hit the sweet spot and you can't help but feel good about it and want to do it again. Consistent shape and distance, you feel that no type of shot is beyond you. Bwst irons I've ever used, in my opinion even the newer MP-18s don't match them, although it's close.

Emm Made
March 2018

By far and away the best blades I've ever played with... these are brutally honest with you. It's maybe the difference between a merry-go-round and the nemesis, forgiveness comes only after penance however this forces you to become a better player. The feeling of a flushed shot is incomparable, the CG is located right behind the sweet spot and hence distance is really not an issue. These go the exact same distance as some of the shovels the call "game improvement" clubs. All in all if you get the honour of owning these jump at it, recently purchased a brand new set behind the set I've had for 3 years. And I'm planning on buying another one while I still can. These babies are timeless

March 2018

I like small heads and no offset and it's been that way for ever. Had a set of Armold Palmer blades in the 60's .. small heads, no offset and hit them super. The guy who lent them to me took them back and I never found a set to match them until 3 years ago when I saw the MP4's. The rest is history. These are the best.

Brian P.
January 2018

I own these clubs. I have never given a golf club a 5 star review, since there is always room for improvement. However, the Mizuno MP-4 is a blade that has been tried by history and forged in tradition. They are by far the most unique iron I have ever hit. The first time I hit this iron, the club fitter asked me how did my center strike feel and I responded, "I didn't feel anything". It's that soft. It cuts through the hard ground here in Atlanta, Georgia. The loft spacing in the set gives me better distance control. It is also surprisingly forgiving. The CG is precisely placed to give me a high and penetrating ball flight. I know that sounds weird, but it's possible. I will never sell these clubs.

June 2016

Mizuno irons are hard to beat. They are not a magic wand and a poor swing plane will give a bad result but there is nothing like them with a decent hit. Buy them - you will not be disappointed.

May 2016

Have had the MP-4's since May 2014 and have taken my handicap from a 14.8 down to a 4.9. I've made some other adjustments in my set of clubs but this was the #1 reason. The irons force you to groove a good swing by reinforcing what was a miss and what was pured.

August 2015

Just a brilliant iron. Much more forgiving than blades I played 20 years ago (Tour Edition, DP-30, Palm Springs etc). Need covers as irons chatter quickly & wear occurs quickly on the sweet spot, so be prepared to change your irons in short time if you hit the practice fairway alot. Feel is simply superb.

June 2015

28 handicap not played for 8 months but played in a medal and scored 117 with MP-4, played against two 17 handicappers I had no none returns they did. The smaller sweet spot it makes you concentrate more and I've learnt not to swing back so far as you may loose a bit of distance. Now when i get some cavity's I hope it tightens my game. That's what I'm working on so we will have to see. I love my MP-4's

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