Mizuno launches JPX-800 irons: review

JPX-800 Pro irons also revealed

Bob Warters's picture
Sat, 8 Sep 2012
Mizuno launches JPX-800 irons: review

The incredulous look on Ryder Cup star Luke Donald's face when he first hit the latest Mizuno JPX-800 irons spoke volumes for its impact on the World's No.8 golfer.

As Mizuno's leading-ranked staff player, he had been lined up to give his endorsement to the MP-63 irons he plans to play on Tour later in the year but during a break in filming a test session, Donald also grabbed hold of a 6-iron from a set of JPX-800s, the clubs aimed at the improving club golfer.

"Wow!" he said as he smacked shot after shot down the range.

A check on his ball speed, I was told at the media launch of these clubs at Bearwood Lakes recently, revealed an increase of nearly 10mph off the face of the JPX-800 and an increase of nearly 20 yards in distance compared to the new MP-63. The carry of the JPX-800 6-iron in Donald's hands was measured at 193.3 yards, compared to 175.9 for the MP-63 and a ball speed of 135.6mph (126.5 mph).

But while distance per club is probably the major requirement of the club golfer, for the precision demanded by Donald, known for his iron accuracy on Tour, he would have to sacrifice a certain amount of workability, meaning that the new MP-63 will be more suited to him.

As a result of Donald's experiences, Mizuno can't wait to put the new JPX-800 and JPX-800 Pro irons into the hands of club golfers from mid-September. The company claims the irons deliver the 'magical combination' of being their longest and most forgiving irons.

Mizuno says its hot metal manufacturing process allows engineers to deliver the maximum allowable limits for energy transfer, while the mid-size head's more compact and versatile profile is achieved thanks to a triple cut sole design.

Says David Llewellyn, head of research and development, who witnessed Donald's reaction: "The JPX-800 is an incredible iron that's hard to pigeonhole. To achieve these ball speeds and MOI numbers (stability at impact), you'd expect to compromise by adding lots of offset or thick top and bottom edges. But our design challenge was to pack all this performance into a head shape that a Tour player wouldn't reject.

"It's much easier to create an iron just to either feel great or be very forgiving or extremely long. To create 'balanced performance' is much more of a challenge," he says, adding that the JPX-800 delivers a clubhead speed 3mph faster than the previous MX-200 and a carry of seven extra yards.

The JPX-800 Pro forged model, says Mizuno, offers a different option for serious golfers with a 'unique combination of CNC milling and under cut forging that thin the face for improved energy transfer.'

Says Llewellyn: "For a feel-orientated player, willing to trade a little workability for stability from off-centre hits, the JPX-800 Pro will work beautifully. We've achieved that without adding much offset which is going to appeal professionals and single figure players, too."

Recommended retail price of the JPX-800 is £75 per club for steel shafts and £100 graphite. For the JPX-800 Pro is price is £85 (£110).