Mizuno MP-59 Irons
Category: Game-Improvement Irons
Price: $999, steel
WE TESTED: 3-PW with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 steel shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: A 12-gram titanium weight is forged into the center of this muscleback half cavity, which makes the effective hitting area 5 percent larger than the MP-58. Spreading the stainless steel more to the perimeter provides additional forgiveness.
OUR TESTERS SAY: One of the higher-rated clubs. Top marks for look. Playable, long-hitting irons that could fit into the better player’s category without skipping a beat.
PLAYABILITY: It oozes workability; nimble around the greens, whether chipping out of the rough or pinching one off the turf.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Short irons are quite accurate; they offer a little support, but don’t expect them to self-correct.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Well-struck shots
are highly rewarded and will seek out the pin; minor mis-hits still provide adequate length for many testers.
FEEL: Flush contact unearths an exacting, soft, pure sensation; plenty of feedback when you miss the center of the club.
LOOK: Classic muscleback player’s iron with just a hint of a cavity that harks back to an earlier time; thin head squares up easily to the target.
Not enough game-improvement help for some mid-handicappers who need a little assistance; a few testers see real distance drop-offs on mis-hits.
From the Shop Blog (August 22, 2011)
Golf club makers fell in love with titanium because it's stronger and lighter than steel. That means designers can make thinner driver faces, which creates discretionary weight that can be repositioned in other areas to improve performance.
But with the release of the new MP-59 irons, Mizuno uses titanium for a completely different purpose—forgiveness.
While the MP-59 is made from steel, 12 grams of titanium are forged into a pocket behind the face of each club. (It's the slightly darker material in the photo above.) Mizuno says the titanium allows the clubs to maintain the ideal amount of thickness behind the impact area for solid feel while automatically redistributing the weight to the heel, toe and sole of the club.
"The more you push the weight out to the perimeter and the thinner you make it in the middle, there's a trade-off with feel," says David Llewellyn, research and development manager for Mizuno USA. "But by using a lower density material we can maintain thickness here and build in a little bit of forgiveness."
Llewellyn says that like all the other MP irons, the MP-59 has very little offset and a thin topline because that's what better players demand.
In fact, the heads of the MP-59 irons are slightly smaller than last season's MP-58, the first irons released with this feature that Mizuno calls Ti Muscle. Yet Mizuno claims the clubs have a sweet spot that is 5 percent larger.
"The MP-58 has a titanium piece that is fairly uniform along the back," says Llewellyn. "On the MP-59 we focused the titanium right in the middle." That should make them perform better on mis-hits than their predecessors, he said.
The MP-59 irons will come standard with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts for $999 and start arriving in pro shops Sept. 6.