GOLFMAGIC was afforded the luxury of taking a first look at the new Mizuno JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged irons at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club.
When I delved into the Mizuno Tour bag in the Performance Centre looking at all the latest Mizuno irons for the new season, I must admit my eyes we glued to the MP-4 and MP-54. Not even the brand new orange-tinted look of the JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged could detract my pupils.
That all changed once I'd struck the new JPX range. These really are easy!
Mizuno believes the JPX-EZ Forged is the pinnacle of its Grain Flow Forged technology project, offering a completely new level of distance and dispersion within a soft feeling iron.
"We found there are two ways to real golfing fulfilment," said Mizuno's director of product Chuck Couch. "You can join the ‘Shotmakers and Artists’ who craft their way round the course with more precise instruments like the MP-4 and MP-54.
"Then there are the ‘Risk Takers’ – players with the ability to shake off negative thoughts and take on every shot. We want to convince more golfers to shake off their fears and become ‘Risk Takers’. That’s what JPX EZ philosophy is all about.”
Mizuno’s JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged irons are a departure from the company’s traditional chrome and satin-finished irons. They have a black-nickel plating that gives the irons a dark finish, and bursts of bright orange in the cavity that begs a closer look - after drooling over the MP-54 and MP-4, in my case.
On closer inspection, both JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged have a progressive cavity design that has been the hallmark of Mizuno’s recent iron releases.
Although the bigger heads on the cast model do little to inspire my confidence standing over the ball, I love the anti-glare, dark gun-metal darkened finish with orange tints. It's different and not something I'd necessarily expect from Mizuno.
The fiery orange colour choice is particularly apt given the hotness off the face. Okay, these irons have been cranked somewhat - like just about every new iron range we see today - but balls fly solidly and high up off the face each and every time. Of the 15 balls I hit with the JPX-EZ Forged 5-iron, 12 of them flew out the centre and down my intended target line at 200 yards.
Much to my delight, the long irons have the deepest cavities and the shorter clubs have shallow cavities. The range provides terrific forgiveness, an increase in ball speed and higher launch with the long irons, as well as soft, descending blows with the shorter ones.
I cannot describe how easy these babies are to get airborne, and the forgiveness on offer is out of this world. Sound at impact through Mizuno's innovative Harmonic Impact Technology provides a soft, yet crushing blow at impact.
The subtle differences between both JPX-EZ offerings is that the Forged model has a variable thickness on the face which is thinner in the middle and thicker on the outside. It also has the biggest sweetspot of any iron in its category, while retaining the feel, workability and forgiveness you'd expect from a Mizuno iron.
Of the cast model, Mizuno has installed a new, lighter shaft - True Temper XP 105. JPX-EZ will sit alongside the 825 Pro and 825 irons in terms of performance, and is more of an entry level player's club to suit those with slower swing speeds.
The difference in performance between both JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged varied little, but my personal preference would be for the Forged model given it provides a little more workability and solid ball striking across the board. While the cavities appear a little larger than I'd prefer, the Forged iron was by no means off-putting.
JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged irons will suit a wide range of abilities from the single-figure capper to the beginner.
The colour way and head shape is different but I like it. The JPX-EZ Forged performed slightly better than the cast offering but I wouldn't put anyone off picking up either stick this season. Both felt solid off the face, long and extremely forgiving.
If I can get over the larger looking cavities at address, I'd happily stick these in the bag. Performance-wise, the JPX-EZ Forged is hard to fault.