MIZUNO JPX-EZ FAIRWAY WOOD
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Fairway Woods
WE TESTED: 3 (adjusts 13° to 17°), 5 (adjusts 16° to 20°) with Fujikura SIX XLR8 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Ridges along the sole push mass to the perimeter for a higher MOI.
PLAYABILITY: The 3-wood is strong off the tee and short grass, while the 5-wood gets down into the rough and sand to launch the ball; mostly keeps a straight line, but can curve it both ways in small degrees; medium to high flight can be tweaked by a turn of the hosel.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Well-struck shots are laser-guided, while slight mis-hits fly with little sidespin; more forgiving than previous Mizunos; some guys can sum up the club in three words: ready, aim, fire.
DISTANCE: Not jaw-droppingly long, but doesn't fall far behind its competitors; repeatable, well-spaced gaps take the guesswork out of club selection; bad mis-hits are penalized, but not unjustly.
FEEL: Not too heavy or too light -- well-balanced and easy to swing; a strong impact feel and a muted metallic sound; a few guys say that it's more lively than its predecessors.
LOOK: Overall color scheme puts it near the top; matte finish with blue detailing blends nicely with the blue shaft; slightly large head looks ready to pounce on the ball.
Sets up slightly closed to some testers, even in the neutral setting; guys want more distance on their B swings; not as workable as others in the test, although most panelists prefer a straight shooter.
BOTTOM LINE: The slick Mizuno JPX-EZ is fun to hit, easy to play and has just enough versatility to be dangerous. Players looking for a dependable 3-wood from the tee, or for higher lofted woods that can handle the gnarly stuff, will want to give it a test drive.