Mizuno has unveiled its latest club to challenge the big-boomers around Europe and hopes it will prove a big hit with amateur golfers looking for those vital extra yards off the tee.
The Mizuno 300S II -nicknamed the E-Type - an advancement on the 300S used by Vijay Singh to win the 2000 US Masters - was successfully launched on the Japanese market in November and will now be available in limited quantities in Europe.
It’s out of bounds in the US, where it exceeds USGA performance regulations but the E-type conforms to current R&A rules, so will be welcomed this summer where length off the tee is defining the future of the handicap golfers’ game.
Mizuno says a ‘low heat forging technique’ is responsible for the energy generated by 330cc head – modest in size by current standards - but the development avoids structural changes within the metal and allows Mizuno to forge from a thinner and higher grade material at the outset.
The result, they say, is a uniformly thin face, producing an extreme performance and consistent feel across its surface. The head also features a dual internal weighting structure (heel and back) to deliver, the makers claim, a high penetrating flight with a slight draw.
The good news is that apparently heel weighting allows the face to square at impact without the need for a toed-in, anti-slice angle at address favoured by many manufacturers.
The bad news is that the clubs are likely to be as rare as rocking horse waste, as pros have taken up most of the limited availablility.
If you can get one (right-handed only), they will have 8,9 and 10-degree lofts, with Exsar Platinum graphite shafts. You’ll pay £499 for the privilege (799 euro)
Mizuno also plans to add three new heads to its Tour Style forged wedge range – a low bounce 56 and 60 degree and a standard bounce 50 degree.
The original Grain Flow Forged models (5) have become a favourite among pros and low handicap golfers since their introduction in 2001.
The low bounce models are designed for use on tight hard fairways or for players with shallower swing arcs. The 50 degree model plugs the gap between PW and SW in modern iron sets.
Iron sets, says Mizuno, have strengthened in loft in the last ten years and although the SW has remained at 56 degrees, many pitching wedges are now as strong as 46 degrees. This 10 degree gap is now the largest in the bag, necessitating a greater demands in choice of wedges.
Andy Kikidas manager of the Mizuno workshop on the PGA European Tour reveals: "On Tour we can bend and grind standard wedges to create more options for pros. The two most regular 'specials' requests are for low bounce options for firm conditions, or stronger lofts."