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Tech Talk: Mizuno MP-4 and MP-54 irons

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Something happens to golfers when they see a forged muscle back iron, golf’s smallest, least forgiving type of iron that only a small percentage of golfers have the talent to use effectively.

The response is similar to how motorists feel when they see an accident on the freeway. They know that shouldn’t look, that it’s potentially hazardous for them to do so, but they just can’t help themselves.

Mizuno’s new MP-4 irons will take many golfers’ intrigue with muscle back irons a step farther. They have a classic shape and understated graphics that traditionalists will praise, and according to Chuck Couch, vice president of golf product for Mizuno, they feel as good if not better than any iron Mizuno has ever produced.

To say that a golf club has good feel sounds like a subjective statement, because good feel often means something different to different golfers. But Couch said that Mizuno has established a way to quantify feel and improve it scientifically, which is exactly what the company has done with the muscle back MP-4 irons, as well as with its new forged cavity back MP-54 irons.

Click here to see what members are saying about the MP-4 and MP-54 irons in the forums.

Mizuno MP-4 Irons

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The first thing most golfers will notice about the MP-4 irons is that they look small at address, and that’s no illusion.

In most iron sets, the blade lengths of the irons get longer as the clubs gets shorter. That’s because of the weight progression of the heads – short irons (which have shorter shaft lengths) have to be heavier than longer irons (which have longer shaft lengths) for the clubs to have a similar balance point, or swing weight.

mizuno mp4

For example, Mizuno’s previous muscle back iron, the MP-69, had a blade length that grew 1.5 millimeters from the 3 iron (74.5 mm) to pitching wedge (76 mm). That doesn’t sound like a big difference, but for the exacting golfers who tend to play muscleback irons, it’s noticeable.

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Above: The “Pure Muscle” on a Mizuno MP-4 model 7 iron. 

Instead of increasing blade length, engineers added weight to the MP-4 irons by increasing the size of the muscle pad behind the sweetspot of the irons, which is the reason for the irons’ pronounced bulge, or “Pure Muscle,” in the back. According to Couch, the added mass amplifies the MP-4’s “Harmonic Number,” the frequencies created at impact that golfers equate with feel.

By raising the harmonic number, and tweaking the shape of the muscle pad to ensure that the frequencies have even levels, Couch said engineers can create a more pleasing sound that translates into the “sticky, soft feel” at impact that golfers rave about.

Mizuno MP-54 Irons

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If most golfers are honest with themselves, they’ll come to the conclusion that irons like the MP-4 aren’t for them. Couch speculated that not even Luke Donald, Mizuno’s highest-ranked professional golfer, will play the MP-4 irons. He’ll likely stick with the MP-64 irons, which are slightly larger and more forgiving (Click here to read our full review on the MP-64’s).

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Above: Comparison photos of the MP-54 (top), MP-64 (middle) and MP-4 irons. 

 

The MP-64 irons were one of our top-rated irons for 2013, but even for some of Mizuno’s staff players they’re still smaller and less forgiving than they’d like. That’s why Mizuno decided to create the MP-54 irons, which like the MP-4 and MP-64 are forged from 1025E “Pure Select” Carbon Steel to help create the soft, solid feel Mizuno irons are known for. But they’re slightly larger than the MP-64’s, which Couch said allowed engineers to take total advantage of modern iron technology.

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The MP-54 irons have longer blade lengths, thicker top lines, more offset and a thicker sole than the MP-64 and MP-4 irons. Their most important characteristic, however, is the 16 grams of weight that Mizuno removes from the cavities of the 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 irons (see photo 1). That discretionary weight was repositioned in areas that give the irons a higher peak trajectory and more forgiveness than Mizuno’s smaller-sized irons.

Photo 1

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 Photo 2

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The MP-54’s 8 iron, 9 iron and pitching wedge do not have the weight removed from the cavity, however, which gives the clubs a flatter, more penetrating trajectory that better golfers prefer with their short irons (see photos 2).

Couch emphasized that the “Step Muscle” design – a.k.a. the hole that’s left in the cavity after milling out 16 grams of weight – does not compromise the feel of the irons.

“We left as much maximum thickness as we could behind the impact area, and use that to drive our feel,” Couch said. “And we used H.I.T. [Harmonic Impact Technology] to make the irons feel amazing.”

The MP-4 and MP-54 irons, which will hit shelves on Sept. 9, come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and will retail for $999.

Both sets have similar lofts – the 6 irons measure 30 degrees, the pitching wedges measure 46 degrees — to allow golfers to mix and match Mizuno iron models for a combo set.

Click here to see what members are saying about the MP-4 and MP-54 irons in the forums.

Click here to see what members are saying about the MP-4 and MP-54 irons in the forums.

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  1. Stuart

    Jul 28, 2014 at 3:41 am

    To say certain clubs are for certain handicaps is rubbish why do u all say that because the advertising says too I’m a 14 handicapper playing mp4 they work for me I have a very steep swing and clubs with a wider sole really hurt my game hitting them chunky and anything with offset I tend to drag left now my ball striking is best it has been I played round 3 over last week with my mp4 they are amazing weapons

    • Georg

      Aug 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Im kommenden Jahr will ich 70 Jahre feiern; spiele seit 25 Jahren und z.Zt. Hcp. 14,3.
      Seit 12 Jahren spiele ich MP33 und in 2 Wochen vielleicht MP 4. Mein Spiel mit Eisen ist nicht lang, aber bis Eisen 7 doch recht genau. In erster Linie entschied bei mir das Auge und bin bereit dafür etwas einzubüßen;-)

  2. Timothy Bell

    Mar 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

    After migrating from the Titleist AP2’s to the Mizuno JPX Pro 825’s, I have now added the Mizuno MP-54’s to my bag. The 54’s are very high quality clubs with only one serious flaw, the exclusion of a gap wedge. Mizuno has gone down the same road as other Iron manufacturer’s strengthening their lofts and creating a large gap between the standard PW and Sand Wedge (which most manufacturer’s have started to fill with a gap wedge around 50 degrees/the same loft as a PW from 20 years ago.) My AP2’s came with a gap as did my JPX Pros from Mizuno. But, for some reason Mizuno has decided to not include a gap wedge in any of their MP lines. Sure, you can purchase one of their MP T4 wedges but, I can assure you from some resent testing of gap -filling wedges that it does not match the feel of the MP 54 irons. The MP T4 is a quality wedge, (every bit as good as the Tilteist Vokey) but it does not have the same feel as the MP 54’s. In fact after testing a dozen quality wedges with identical shafts and swingweights, the 50 degree wedge that felt the most like the MP 54 irons was the Scor 4161 V-Sole. Mizuno should get smart and be conscious of this issue because they are providing a dis-service to their customers by not producing an MP gap. For me, until Mizuno makes this right, the Scor wedge will fill the gap. I guess I should feel lucky that there IS a gap wedge out there that DOES feel like my MP-54 irons.

    • Michael

      Jun 13, 2014 at 4:43 am

      100% agree, it’s so sad. Most of the time forget about 4 or even 5 iron but a gap wedge is a must.

  3. larryoffthedeck

    Mar 13, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I wanted these soooo bad and then Miura introduced its new tournament blade. Anyone demo them both?

  4. Ian Yates

    Dec 18, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Just got a set of MP-4’s PX5.5 shafts at the weekend and had the best ball striking round I have ever had. Struck the ball like a dream even in reasonable winds and apart from a couple of pulls (due to the muppet on the end of the stick) hit all the greens in reg.
    Having changed from my 6 year old MP67’s these are a great improvement and as someone who like and much prefers small headed clubs I would say if you think you can hit them then get them
    And for all thought Handicap snobs – I am a 11 handicapper and they are a dream to hit – I just can’t stand having a giant lump of metal at the end of the club
    … now if only i could putt!

  5. Ps

    Nov 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Mine are in the mail. Mp4s. Can’t wait.

  6. Augustin

    Oct 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Been playing MP-62s with hard stepped s-300 for 5 seasons, USGA HI=5.8; but am getting older(58) and somewhat slower swing speed. Tried the 714 AP2 6I, MP-64s, and the MP-54s.
    My pro set up 3 clubs for me, 4 iron, 7 iron, & PW in the 54s and have played 36 holes with them. Have to say the MP-54s feel better than my 62s and almost as great as the 64s, hard to discern a difference. SWEET feel! Of course hit the ball a bit higher, are more forgiving on off-center hits, but I can still feel where ball hits on the club face. At address, you cannot tell they are game improvement, unlike the AP2 which has too stout a top line. Can knock a PW down lower, but not as low as the 62s or 64s.
    For someone looking for a little forgiveness without loss of feel, MP-54s are a great choice.

  7. Brian

    Oct 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Will you be making the MP-4 for the left handed golfer? As of now it is not available .

  8. cocheese

    Sep 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Are the MP-54’s longer heel to toe than the MP-64’s? Anyone know where there might be some side-by-side pics?

    • cocheese

      Sep 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Woops! I see the comparison pics above.

  9. Emman

    Aug 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    any idea if they will be offered in L/H!?
    time to replace my mp30’s

    • Todd

      Aug 31, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      First post 🙂
      Yes. I am a lefty and hit the MP54 at the range today (6 iron). My index is 8.4 at the moment. Pretty solid with my ball striking. Misses are usually towards the toe.
      REALLY liked the 54. I hit it better than the 53 and AP2, which I have tested in the past. It felt more solid and forgiving to me. To me the head looked more substantial than the AP2 and inspired confidence. I am currently gaming R11 irons. The 54s are defintiely smaller and slimmer but not radically different so it wouldn’t be a major transition to change. I hit the 54 straighter and a touch lower than my R11s and maybe 5 yards shorter (due to the difference in loft).
      **Before buying R11 irons last year I tested the MP53s and AP2 712s but hit the R11s better so went in that direction.
      Thinking of pulling the trigger on the 54s now 🙂

  10. Christian

    Aug 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Would a 20hcp with good ball striking be able to play the MP-54 reasonably well?

    • James

      Aug 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      why not jpx-825 pro? they offer good playability and feel also.

      • john

        Aug 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        Some people want sleek looking sticks to play with, not a fisher price look with all the stickers and graphics.

        Test them out. Most people have a hard time around the green which greatly affects their hc.

        • Nick

          Sep 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

          No offense but there is no such thing as a 20 hcp with good ball striking. I don’t care if you take 40 putts a round, you’d still be below 15 with good ball striking.

      • larryoffthedeck

        Sep 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

        The answer is: if you are the kind of person that believes in yourself you are allowed to play the 54’s as a 20 handicap and they will help you achieve your potential as a golferr. If you’re not that kind of person, you should play the jpx or some other GI club.

        • Fred

          Sep 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm

          Good comment, Larry. I’ve been playing the JPX 825s since they came out, and feel they’ve improved my game quite a bit. I’ve gone from a ten to a five handicap. I’m taking my new-found confidence and improved skills and am moving up to the MP-54s. Pre-ordered them last week. I might add that I feel that my switching from a TaylorMade RAZR Stage II driver to a Titleist D2 has also had something to do with my game improvement.

    • Fred

      Sep 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Christian – Once, when reading some club reviews, I ran across a review about the MP-69s. The reviewer noted that he had been using game-improvement clubs and wanted to move up. So he bought a set of 69s. He knew the 69s would be less forgiving, but knew that if he made a bad shot, the 69s would definitely let him know. After playing with them for while, he said he eventually became a better ball striker. So, I would say, try the 54s – I am.

  11. Scott Shields

    Aug 6, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I have:

    MP H4 – 3 iron
    and
    MP 64, 4-PW

    I love my Mizzys. Nothing like their sound and feel. With the KBS C-tapers … beastmode.

  12. Finchi5

    Aug 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Those MP4s are probably one of the sexiest irons on the planet! If I had the cash my 690mbs would be out on their arse!

  13. mattb

    Aug 3, 2013 at 7:31 am

    The mp-4 irons really look like a sleeker version of the old school MP-29. Looking at the pictures of the 3 models the grind on the mp-64 doesn’t appear to look that much more forgiving than the mp-4. Just maybe a little longer blade length in the longer irons giving a touch more heel to toe weight. I seriously doubt any amateur would see the difference between the 2 sets as a mishit would produce similar results. Mizuno is just offering the mp-4 to the player looking for a traditional look. Most of us weekend warriors shouldn’t look past the MP-54’s!!!

    • James

      Aug 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      I disagree. I’m amateur (4 hc) and I’ve tried MP-64 and MP-69 and they definitely feel different. MP-64 has softer and more cushion feel compare to MP-69 which feels like a precised scalpel when you hit it right. I wouldn’t play MP-69 in a tournament, but would be fun playing it in a weekend afternoon round.

  14. I

    Aug 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    So in the 54, Mizzy saw what happened with the X Hot Pro and decided to make its own forged version. That is all.

  15. Bill

    Aug 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    A little forgiveness is a great thing…But hitting a forged blade whether it’s the Mizzy or Wilson FG62 is like nothing else. Do I own them? No…Been tempted to mix in the blade 8-PW to my forged cavity backs. But in anything longer, I end up wishing I had a little more forgiving club. Played the Cleveland TA1 for a year but only had success when I could play and practice regularly. For us once a week guys, a nice forged cavity back is the best of both worlds.

  16. chris

    Aug 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Lol if luke can’t play the mp-4 who can??!! I noticed someone posted they’ll play them to stroke their ego.. please don’t its thise kind of dbags that hold everyone up hacking the ball all over the course. I love seeing someone trying to hit clubs they can’t and taking 13 inch divots starting 8 inches behind the ball haha.

    • Group behind Chris

      Aug 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Great write-up Zak

      I don’t care what he plays, nor should you…he will either hate them, and then it’s a good deal for me on BST, or he gets fitted and improves his ballstriking then will be telling you quit hitting on the cart girl and let him play through….d-bag…

    • CodenameDuchess

      Aug 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Dude, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing shovels or blades, your iron choice can’t correct hitting 8 inches behind the ball. Those people need lessons, not lectures on playing game improvement clubs.

    • Fred

      Aug 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Luke can play the MP-4. He just prefers the larger face of the 64.

  17. Joe

    Jul 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I got fit for these today, and they are absolutely amazing to hit. They feel buttery smooth and blow away any Titleist MB or CB I ‘ve hit with. Very surprised that more tour players don’t play Mizzys…

    • Fred

      Aug 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Joe: if you’re still reading this – which ones did you get fit for? Glad to hear you like them.

    • Adam

      Jun 14, 2014 at 3:24 am

      Not many pro’s use mizuno because they refuse to pay them stupid money

  18. j

    Jul 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    if luke donald wont hit them – one of the best iron players in the world – then why on earth would u 1. make them and 2. play them.

    • rfvbgt

      Aug 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      because Luke play for money while we pay money to play, we are after enjoyment and entertainment while he is after putting bread on the table.

    • Fred

      Aug 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      See my reply to “Yo” above.

  19. Will o'the Glen

    Jul 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    The general design of the MP-54 (semi-cavity back, milled-out low-back muscle) reminds me of the Hogan Two-piece Apex Forged irons. I have a NOS 5- and 6-iron which are sweet-swinging sonsaguns, and am still looking for a complete set in good nick to re-shaft with more modern sticks.

  20. Pingback: 18 Under Par | Golf and Lifestyle | Mizuno MP-4 and MP-54: The Technology

  21. Daniel

    Jul 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    My McGregor MT Pros have looked and most likely played the same since 2009.
    Nothing new under the sun.

  22. JV78

    Jul 30, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Nice rew. I’m a 8,3 Hcp golfer playing the MP-64s and truthfully would probably not choose the 54’s over 64’s but I’m delighted that Mizuno now has range for 10-20 handicapper as well.

    • Jeffrey

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      I think a 10 handicapper would struggle mightily with the MP 54 irons. They might be okay from 6 or 7 on down, but I know how Mizunos are, feel great when struck well, feel awful when mishit, and the results of said mishit means dig out another ball.

    • mark

      Aug 10, 2013 at 3:28 am

      Don’t forget about the Excellent JPX irons.

  23. stephenf

    Jul 30, 2013 at 2:43 am

    uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Anybody who hasn’t tested Mizuno forged is not ready to make a decision about clubs.

  24. yo!

    Jul 30, 2013 at 12:19 am

    why even make a club like the mp-4 when even their sponsored tour pro won’t even play it? i guess it’s just for hackers like us.

    • Egomaniac

      Jul 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      They know there are a group of morons (myself included) that will buy them to stroke there ego, haha.

    • Jeffrey

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Because there is always that clubhouse “pro” drinking a beer on the 19th talking about how is MP-4 set is really helping him hit that stinging draw he’s always wanted to hit. You know the guy.

    • Fred

      Aug 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      The MP-4 is plenty forgiving, but many tour pros, including Luke Donald and CH III, prefer larger club heads and thicker top lines at address. This is why they’re using the MP-64s. I understand, though, that CH III is a big fan of the MP-54s. Time will tell. Although the new clubs won’t be available for pre-order until the first week of September, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the 4 and 54 today. While I’m leaning toward the 54, I must admit that the MP-4 is the most beautiful iron I have ever seen.

  25. Lee H.

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Mizuno has always made quality equipment. These 2 new offerings are no exception to that. More players should consider Mizuno. I’m on my 2nd set in last 4 years only because I gave up my 5 yr old set of MX-23 a little earlier than I should have. Mizuno should ALWAYS be demoed when buying new clubs.

  26. KL

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Why does it have to be CHIII? Mizuno needs to get somebody else in the top 20 of the world other than Luke to be their spokesperson.

    • mark

      Aug 23, 2013 at 2:43 am

      I heard a rumor that thry are talking to Keegan Bradly?

  27. reqq

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    like that they took a cad model then let the craftman do his work and mold that one… really cool

  28. Eighteen Under Par

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for the write up – looking for new irons soon and definitely going to give these a try. Can’t wait!

  29. Robert Carl

    Jul 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    You all write good and informative articles. I enjoy reading the your club reviews.

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Whats in the Bag

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

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Driver: Ping G410 Plus (10.5 degrees at 10 degrees, neutral)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 X (tipped 1/2 inch)

3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green

Hybrid: Ping G410 (19 degrees at 19.7)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green Hybrid 85 X (40.5 inches)

Driving iron: Ping G Crossover (2)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff

Irons: Ping i210 (4-UW)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin stepped 1 strong

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin, stepped 1 strong

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord 58 Rib (+2 wraps) on woods, Ping ID8 White 1/2 Cord (+2 wraps) on irons

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

Additional specs on Ping.com

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From a Fitter: Everything you need to know about wedge shafts

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This is such a dark corner of the golf industry that I truly believe needs a lot of work. Hopefully, this article can shed some light on wedge shafts for you.

I will mention some standards, explain some of my experience, and hopefully, help you make some good choices.

Linking back to the first article on aspects of a wedge that I target when fitting, I place a lot of weight on the style, bounce, grind, and loft/lie/length to get my wedge fitting started. As we move into shaft options, I look at crossing T’s and dotting I’s to ensure a player enjoys their new wedge setup.

We carry a bunch of shaft options built into different heads. As yet we do not have a consistent way to swap shafts in wedges during a session that still allows them to play at a reasonable swing weight and perform as we would like. Moving forward, I will be looking to explore this area to see if we can deliver better service and experience.

Generic standards for wedge shaft setup

  • Dynamic Gold “wedge flex”
  • Matching exactly the same shaft in your irons to your wedges
  • A slightly heavier shaft in your wedges
  • Putting an 8-iron shaft in your wedges
  • Using a wedge-specific shaft

During an iron fitting, we see a lot of variables in flight and feel, this is mainly because we use 6-irons as our demo clubs. When clients are hitting 6-iron shots, they are often looking for max carry, flight, and shot-shaping ability. This leads to hitting a lot of full swings and placing the shaft under a decent amount of load, therefore, we see some notable changes when we swap shafts. This will not show up as drastically in wedges as we are not always trying to hit the full shot. 

As we get into wedge fitting, I discuss with my clients in-depth what they use each wedge for, how far they hit them, what is the most common shot they play, what are the most common bad shots, how does the ball react on the green and what shots do they feel they need in the bag. Basically, trying to get a good overview of their game in a short period. In very few cases do players mention the ‘full shot’ lets them down? Often players say they are more comfortable hitting “softer shots” or 3/4 swings, this gives them the flight/shot that they require on a regular basis and the niche shots and consistency lets them down.

Logic here says to me, you probably do not want exactly the same shaft in the irons all the way down to the lob wedge when you are hitting soft shots 95 percent of the time. When I look at shaft specs, I am trying to build a shaft that can easily put up with the stress of a full shot and handle a softer shot without feeling blunt (for all clubs in the bag).

When I merge this process into wedges, the only wedge a “matching iron” shaft seems to be applicable (for the majority) is the gap wedge or the wedge that is predominantly a full-swing club. This is the club you hit full and maybe knock-down shots with, but you’re rarely trying to hit “flicky” spinning shots. (Those shots are why you also have a sand and/or lob wedge in the bag).

It would then make sense that if you are rarely hitting any full shots with your sand wedge or lob wedge, you probably want a softer golf shaft in those (as they are not trying to put up with your “flat out” swing), still ensuring the shaft does not feel ‘blunt’ or hard work to play around the greens with.

This is not a one size fits all theory, but I think a lot of players would have success even thinking about their wedge shaft layout in this way.

As an example: Personally, I am playing True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 120g X100 flex iron shafts. I hit a lot of full shots with my 50 and 54, so I have chosen to play the DG 120TI X100 shaft exactly the same way in those two clubs. My 60-degree however, I rarely hit the full shot, so I feel need it a little softer in stiffness, but I need the weight to get my tempo correct and to give me more control to hit lower shots. For this club, I play the Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue. I chose this shaft as the profile is very close to my iron shaft but it is 13g heavier and has a slightly softer tip section, which I feel gives me a little better response.

Please see the S3 shaft profile comparison below

(I am very lucky to have the S3 shaft data, it gives me an apples-to-apples comparison of shaft profiles and weights and make wedge shaft selection a lot easier).

I also wanted to capture some data to highlight the difference wedge shafts have as simply as possible. Below is a graph showing a PGA pro’s shot grouping with a few shaft options. His 6-iron speed is about 94mph, and he has a sharp back-swing to down-swing ratio. This would put him at the quick end of people I fit. This generally means the player enjoys stiffer shafts, stiff style profiles, high swingweight, high total/shaft weight (and again not in all cases).

He tested three shafts all in the same wedge head, with the same length, loft, and lie.

Please see the grouping below

The three shafts tested were: Nippon Modus 105 Wedge specific, Dynamic Gold Wedge flex and Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400.

In no way am I trying to demonstrate the DG S400 is the best shaft for wedges, but in this group of data all that shows up is, the stiffest profile, heaviest shaft (of the test group) gave the player the tightest grouping for his 55-degree wedge shot. His explanation was that he felt the club’s position in the swing better and the strike through the turf was much more consistent, producing more consistent land zones with the DG S400. This small test shows that the wedge shaft alone has an impact even for a skilled golfer.

There are however always exceptions to theories (especially in golf!)

When I have a player using, for example, C-Taper 130 X or Dynamic Gold X100 in their irons it is tough to find a profile that matches closely that is heavier and not any stiffer. In these cases, I tend to have them play the same shaft all the way down to their LW, but I try to increase swing weight and decrease FM in the niche shot wedges (SW and LW). This can just mean adding head weight to soften the shaft a little, or sometimes soft-stepping the product to get some ‘feel’ back. 

The key take-away points

  • Think about the shots you play with your wedges most and how hard you hit them
  • Think about linking your shafts to your irons, but they do not always have to match
  • Test options and measure: grouping, turf interaction and flight consistency
  • Try and break down if the ‘”feel” of stiffness or weight help or hinder you making a consistent swing/strike
  • Don’t just settle with the shaft the wedges come with… unless they match in with your setup!

Getting all the information in one article is always tough, and I hate generalizing, so feel free to shoot me some questions—I like to try to help and also hear your experience and ideas when I can!

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2020 Scotty Cameron Special Select putters

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Scotty Cameron has been refining and defining putters for more than 25 years at Titleist, and to celebrate 2020, he’s releasing the new Scotty Cameron Special Select putter line to showcase timeless, tour-proven designs, crafted with impeccable attention detail.

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Putters are unique clubs because the great styles and classic shapes never go out of style, kind of like cars. Yes, we have seen a growth in larger geometry and technology packed designs, but the classics are classics for a reason, and they will continue to live on.

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The inspiration for the new Special Select putters came directly from combining Scotty Cameron’s most classic shapes with tweaks driven by tour player requests. When it comes to Cameron-designed putters, it’s never going to be about reinventing the wheel, it’s about taking a proven philosophy and refining the end product to perfection. That also means using the best materials, controlling the process start to finish, and milling from a solid block of 303 stainless steel in the USA.

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Each model in the Special Select putter line has been completely reworked, including Cameron’s classic Newport, Newport 2 and Newport 2.5 style blades. A newly refined Del Mar joins the new Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5 and Flowback 5.5 mid-mallet models.

“With Special Select, I wanted to get back to the pure-milled shapes and faces that I’ve been crafting for tour players for over two decades now. We’ve brought those designs into the modern era with new setups, necks, faces, grips and weights. Every aspect of every putter has been redone. When it all came together, it was pretty special.” – Scotty Cameron

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The Performance Behind Special Select

Everything Scotty Cameron and Titleist is driven by the endless pursuit of creating the most high-performance products for the best players in the world and then bringing that technology and performance to dedicated golfers. The changes made to the new Special Select line to differentiate it from previous Cameron putters of the past are all tour inspired and include

  • Soft Tri-sole Design: Special Select blade models are milled with a tour-inspired soft tri-sole design. This self-soling feature promotes the putter sitting square to the target line at address. The key to this design feature is a slightly negative bounce sole that puts the putter in the correct position time after time.
  • New Balanced Weighting: Heel and toe positioned weights in the sole of Scotty Cameron putters are not new, in fact they have been around for more than a decade now in other select models, but like the rest of the Special Select series it’s about refinement not reinvention. These customizable weights assure that each putter is properly balanced based on putter length, and the golfer’s stroke. There are stock configurations but putters can be made lighter or heavier by request through custom order.
  • More photos of the Scotty Cameron Special Select putters in the forums.
  • See what WRXers are saying about the 2020 Cameron lineup. 

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The blade models all come fit with new tungsten sole weights that are heavier than previous steel ones. This allows for sleeker shapes with larger sweet spots. The mid-mallet putters use a stainless steel sole weights for optimal balance and weight distribution.

  • Refined Hosel Configurations: This is the true nitty gritty, to be sure every attribute of each model is perfect before being put in the hands of the golfer. The Newport and Newport 2 putters, for example, feature a slightly shorter plumbers neck for medium toe flow, with a newly-defined socket radius (where the hosel neck meets the top line) repositioned with onset to provide better visibility of the leading edge at address, allowing for easier alignment.

Scotty Cameron Special Select Models

As mentioned, there are eight models to choose from in the new Special Select line; three blade models and five mid-mallet options with a look and toe flow for any stroke.

  • Newport, Newport 2, Newport 2.5, Del Mar, Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5, and Flowback 5.5.

Final Touches

Each Scotty Cameron Special Select putter comes stock with a new grey Pistolini Plus grip with distinctive white lettering. The new Pistolini Plus maintains the shape of the original Pistolini but with a slight build-up lower hand.

The Special Select line’s un-plated stainless steel heads are bead blasted for an easy-to-maintain glare-resistant look that won’t show wear like putters with traditional plating or applied finish. The signature red cavity dots have also been given a styling upgrade with each dot milled with a recessed channel, which is then polished and hand-painted with cherry red translucent paint.

Pricing and Availability

Special Select putters will be priced at $399 and will be available Jan. 24 in North America and March 27 worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops.

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