Need To Know
The key question is: What, primarily, do you want your 3-wood for? Is it to pummel distance from the tee when your driver is misbehaving, improve your accuracy rating on narrow par-4s or to give you distance from tight lies on the fairway?
All right, we’d like it to fulfil all these criteria, but such a versatile weapon can be hard to find because while a chunkier look is good from the tee, a more compact head is preferable with shots off the deck. It should be pointed out from the start that Mizuno’s MP Titanium 3-wood is aimed at 'the better player,' so we’re talking single figure handicaps here.
But if that’s you, then here’s a club that it’s worth getting excited about. The black head against the white shaft (the Fubuki shaft comes as standard) is a flashy combination, but, that aside, there are no other unnecessary distractions.
The clubhead is small and compact, sits beautifully behind the ball with the leading edge just ahead of the hosel – so no ‘game improving’ offset with this club. Mizuno boast about the slightly open look of the face at address, a direct result of its engineers and designers reacting to feedback from their Tour players (but I’ll never understand why clubs can’t always be set up square).
Okay, open is better than closed, but here we have a fairway wood that is designed to be workable with a draw or a fade, so surely neutral at address is logical? Having said that, if this is open, it’s really only marginal - not like the 'hooded/closed/anti-slice clubfaces we’ve seen on the market all too frequently over the last 10 years.
In all honesty, before you swing it, there's nothing not to like about this club. It looks comfortable and performs well out of most lies, be it a tight one in the fairway, where the low profile head makes the ball look like it’s sitting up nicely, or where the ball is sitting down in wispy rough.
But does the MP Titanium fairway pack a punch off the tee comparable with more bulky offerings out there? Mizuno is keen to tick that box too, talking about the Hot Metal Beta Titanium face and a COR that is on the limit. It claims a 7 mph increase in ball speed, delivering close to another 14 yards of carry. 'An unexpected sizzle at impact,' it says!
In reality, I didn’t feel this was a club particularly built for distance. The sound was quite ‘clicky’ which doesn’t translate to a feeling of power and the ball flight was relatively high (I tested the 15-degree model but noted that Mizuno also offers a 13.5-degree version. Such a 'strong' 3-wood is sometimes hard to find, which leads some Tour pros to select clubs that are not manufactured by their own sponsor).
As a looker is has everything - an unfussy compact head and comfort at address. But performance falls a tad short of the high expectations. The lower loft version might just bring it all together nicely.