Review: Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged Irons
Summary: High ball speeds and forged feel don't typically go together, but Mizuno made it happen with the medium-sized JPX-EZ Forged irons.
Forged, but forgiving
Pros: The JPX-EZ Forged irons are larger than Mizuno’s popular MP series irons, but they’re made with the same “Grain Flow” forging process and have a similar buttery soft feel. The distance consistency of the irons is amazing. Both slightly mis-hit and well-struck shots seem to go the same distance.
Cons: The top lines of the irons might be a little on the thick side for blade lovers. Also, the lofts are a little strong, so be cautious of a low launch angle and spin rate.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a players iron that offers a lot of forgiveness with consistent yardages, then the JPX-EZ Forged is an iron that you need to try.
The style of the Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged has become very popular over the last few years, because it offers what many golfer are looking for: feel, looks, performance and forgiveness. It is because of these features that the JPX-EZ Forged can be appealing to a variety of handicaps.
The irons are made with Mizuno’s “Grain Flow” forging process from 1025E carbon steel, which makes the irons feel very soft despite their aggressive cavity-back styling. But with the multi-thickness CORTECH face, the ball speed across the face has been increased from previous models, which allows for maximum distance.
I mentioned the lofts being strong earlier, but the long irons were still easy to launch high. They have a deep center of gravity (COG), so with stronger lofts and a low COG the ball can really have some serious speed off the face. Ask any manufacturer; lower lofts make a huge difference in terms of ball speed, so a lower COG is essential in order to allow golfers to achieve a playable launch angle.
The black nickel finish on the JPX-EZ Forged is a little different from previous Mizuno irons, but it’s nice for those sunny days when glare can be problematic.
The JPX-EZ Forged irons come stock with either True Temper’s XP 105 steel shafts ($899 in regular or stiff flexes), or Fujikura’s Orachi graphite shafts ($1099 in RL, R, SR and S flexes).
I can not tell you how many times I have tested irons on golf radar at my facility, so I am well aware that I do not launch or spin my irons high enough. This translates to the course: I am not that guy who can spin a wedge back 10 feet or stop a 6 iron on a dime. So I was concerned about hitting irons that had 2-degrees stronger lofts than my current set.
Above: The 4 iron through 7 iron of the JPX-EZ Forged irons have Mizuno’s Max Undercut (pictured above), which creates a larger sweet spot for faster ball speeds. There is less of an undercut in the short irons, placing more mass behind the sweet spot to lower ball flight and improve feel and workability.
I was pleasantly surprised, however, by the launch angle I got from the JPX-EZ Forged. It was about 2-degrees higher than my current gamer irons, which I desperately needed. The spin rate did not change, unfortunately, but with the launch angle difference my landing angle was much closer to being ideal. The launch angle was especially important for the long irons, as I was carrying the EZ Forged further and stopping them faster.
Lastly, the ball speed on the JPX-EZ Forged iron is extremely high for a forged players iron. This is certainly affected by the strong lofts of the irons (the 6 iron is 28 degrees). But the ball also launched higher and stayed in the air longer, which improved my carry distance and made for a softer landing.
Above: The JPX-EZ Forged irons have less offset and narrower soles than the JPX-EZ irons, which makes them the choice for better golfers..
Distance aside, I found it easy to control the ball flight. Flighting it high or low was not an issue, and the irons seemed pretty workable in both directions. What I liked most of the performance was the forgiveness on mishits. When I missed a few a little toward the heel or toe, the distance barely changed. I would love to miss an iron shot to the front edge of a green instead of being 10 yards short of it, and the JPX-EZ Forged were accomplishing just that.
Looks and Feel
A few years ago, I played the JPX-800 Pro irons, so I am familiar with look of a forgiving forged iron from Mizuno. Approval of the look of the JPX-EZ Forged Irons will be mixed, depending on which iron set a golfer is coming from. If you play an MP-64 or a similar iron, these might look a little large, and the opposite will be true if you are coming from a JPX-825. But as someone who has played a similar iron, I think the JPX-EZ Forged irons look sleek, and the finish helps mask the size a little as well.
Above: A JPX-EZ Forged 7 iron in the address position.
To me, the JPX-EZ Forged felt almost as soft as Mizuno’s MP series irons, with just a little more of a “pop” sound at impact. It really feels like the ball is coming off the face hot, and the numbers prove it. I tested the irons with the stock True Temper XP 105 shaft, and I liked the lighter weight and profile. Overall, the shaft felt pretty responsive, and seemed to help the ball in the air.
Above: The low, deep center of gravity, combined with the iron’s moderate size and forged construction make the JPX-EZ Forged a set of irons that will work for a wide range of golfers.
It’s not easy to make a forged iron that produces consistent yardages and great ball speed, but that’s exactly what Mizuno did with the JPX-EZ Forged. Whether you are a mid-handicapper who wants to play a forged iron, or a scratch player who wants something easier to hit but with the same control, these are an iron you should hit before you buy your next set.