Need To Know
The story of VEGA is a fascinating one that's intrinsically linked with golf's first introduction to the nation of Japan.
When the first golf course opened in Japan almost 120 years ago, it did so in Kobe, a region famous for its metalwork, primarily the forging of samurai swords.
These sword-making skills had been passed down through generations, and finally, one man realised that these same techniques could be used to form another precision instrument, the golf club.
Thankfully for golfers around the world, that expert craftsman from Kobe returned to his home town of Ichikawa to establish VEGA, and the rest, they say is history.
Eager to find out how good their irons are, we tested out two models, the Mizar Pro and the Mizar Tour.
We put them through their paces on the range and out on the course.
Let's get into it.
VEGA Mizar Pro Irons Key Features:
- One piece forged carbon steel body
- Weight port from toe to heel
- Back face and grooves all CNC milled
As the name suggests, VEGA's Pro irons are designed with elite ball strikers in mind. The forged muscle back blade is the product of an eight-stage forging process that is overseen by master craftsmen in Japan, and the quality of the build is clear to see as soon as you have it in hand.
Like most modern bladed irons, the key focus is more on the standard of materials and craftsmanship rather than the tech. However, VEGA has introduced a fascinating weight port system that runs from heel to toe, with each club's weight being constructed from different materials in order to produce optimal launch and spin.
The long irons feature a titanium weight weighing 20g; the mid irons weight is made from steel weighing 10g, and the lowest irons feature a 5g aluminium weight.
So detailed is the VEGA manufacturing process that when we received these irons, each club had an individual wrapper on it with the iron's weight, measured down to the last 0.1 of a gram.
While the detailed weight was impressive, the look of these irons once we took them out of the wrapper was even more exciting. Nothing quite compares to the look of a pure blade, and the sharp lines and stunning chrome finish were truly a sight to behold.
We prefer quite a simple-looking blade, and apart from some subtle gold and white pinstripe lines that travel the length of the back of the club, VEGA has done a great job of creating a clean overall finish.
We're not huge fans of the gold detailing, but it was our only slight issue with what is overall a beautiful-looking club head.
As we've come to expect from forged Japanese irons, the feel of these clubs, when struck from the centre, was absolutely sensational.
Anyone who's been lucky enough to flush a fully forged blade will know precisely what we're talking about. These clubs feel so good, in fact, that when struck out of the centre, it almost felt like we had barely hit the ball at all until we saw it sailing high into the air.
We did receive a generous amount of feedback from our poor strikes, but this was to be expected from a better player's iron.
Overall, the look and feel of these clubs is excellent. VEGA's expert craftsmen left no stone unturned during the eight-stage construction process, and you can really appreciate the level of detail and time that went into making each iron as soon as you hit it.
In terms of performance and forgiveness, these irons once again held their head high. The lofts on these irons are slightly stronger than a typical blade, with the 7-iron coming in at a generous 32 degrees.
This meant that we were able to get the ball to carry slightly further than we were expecting when struck from the middle. We currently have a player's distance iron in the bag, and typically, they carry roughly 170 yards with a 7-iron.
With these blades, there was a drop-off of about 5 yards, but we were actually really pleased with that as, due to the smaller sweet spot, we were expecting a more dramatic drop-off.
That drop-off did come, however, when we were unable to find the middle. Blades aren't renowned for their forgiveness, and these irons carried on that rich tradition.
These irons are designed for players who regularly find the centre of the club face, and when you don't, you do know about it.
This is by no means a criticism of the clubs themselves. It's just a warning. If you're not a premium ball striker, you would be better off looking at a slightly more forgiving option like the Mizar Tour.
Should you buy the VEGA Mizar Pro Irons?
These irons are aimed at a relatively small demographic of the golfing population. So, if you're an elite ball striker who enjoys the workability and premium feel of a fully forged blade, then these irons are well worth your consideration.
Japan is renowned for its outstanding forged irons, and the VEGA pros are no exception.
VEGA Mizar Tour Irons Key Features
- S25c carbon steel forged one-piece body
- Constant thickness 3.5mm soft carbon steel face
- Progressive CG Placement throughout the set
Featuring a compact blade length with minimal offset, the Mizar Tour irons occupy the players' distance slot in VEGA's iron lineup.
Unlike most multi-material irons, the entire body of the Mizar Tour is forged from S25c steel and the face is constructed from high-strength carbon steel that is consistently 3.5mm thick.
The irons feature a brushed chrome finish with a black badge placed in the heart of the cavity. Much like the VEGA Pro irons, the overall aesthetic of the head is very pleasing. Personally, we would have done away with the gold detailing, but it does appear to be VEGA's trademark look, so it's something that we will just have to get used to.
The head is almost futuristic in its design and features four cutaways that we've also seen from the brand's wedge lineup. We actually like this added detail, and it makes the irons instantly recognisable as VEGA, which is obviously great for the brand from an image standpoint.
Looking down at address, the head presents itself well behind the ball. The top line is what you would expect from a player's distance iron, and the compact head shape will undoubtedly appeal to better ball strikers.
The head has quite a soft, rounded shape that we really enjoyed, and the irons also have less offset than you would typically expect from a club in this category, which we grew quite fond of it after we hit a few shots.
In terms of performance and forgiveness, we would liken these irons to TaylorMade's P790s. Despite lacking the speed foam injection the TaylorMade irons benefit from, we were able to achieve almost identical distance and spin numbers with these irons, consistently hitting our 7-iron around the 165-170 mark.
Moving up the bag, we also found the lower lofted clubs remarkably easy to launch, and we were able to achieve a mid/high launch with our 4-iron, which was a welcome discovery.
We noticed only a small drop off in performance from poor strikes, with distance only dropping off around 5-7 yards when we struck them out of the toe.
In terms of feel, these irons certainly felt nice and springy when struck well. This sensation was also reassuring to feel from such a compact iron, and it will undoubtedly suit golfers who prefer the look of a compact head but still want that hot sensation at impact.
All in all, we were really impressed by the Mizar Tours, and aside from some small aesthetic details that we weren't huge fans of, these irons definitely stack up against the more established brands that European and American golfers will be accustomed to.
Should you buy the VEGA Mizar Tour Irons?
If you enjoy the compact head shape and minimal offset traditionally reserved for blades and muscle back irons but require the added forgiveness and distance offered from a player's distance iron, then the Mizar Tour irons could be just what you are looking for.
The level of craftsmanship that has gone into these irons will be clear to see as soon as you pick them up, so if you're contemplating an update in the iron department, we would highly recommend seeking out a VEGA fitter to try them out for yourself.