Pros: The JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged irons pull off a trifecta; they’re distance-oriented irons that offer exceptional forgiveness and better feel than similar irons in their respective categories.
Cons: They won’t produce the awe-inspiring distance that more compact irons in their classes have accomplished.
Who’s they’re for? Single-digit handicappers all the way to golfers trying to break the century mark. Mizuno’s new JPX line appeals particularly to those who want more forgiveness and distance than the company’s MP line offers, while still valuing clean looks and a solid, soft feel.
Can a golf equipment company make an iron that offers maximum forgiveness, big distance and still retains a soft, solid feel? Yes. Well, mostly yes. With the JPX-EZ and EZ Forged, Mizuno places an emphasis on giving players the best feeling, distance-oriented club on the market.
The trouble with distance irons is that while they’re forgiving and engineered to produce a high and towering ball flight, they generally lack in the feel department. Both the JPX-EZ and EZ Forged tap into Mizuno’s heritage, and while no one will confuse them with a Mizuno MP iron, many golfers are going to be taken aback by just how good these feel.
Because there’s less mass directly behind the ball at impact, neither the EZ or EZ Forged felt quite as solid as Mizuno’s MP-5 and MP-25 irons. But it’s still impressive how good both irons felt. If your only metric is “feel,” the JPX line, and the EZ Forged in particular, should be on the top of your list of irons to try in the oversized players irons category.
Some purists might label this as sacrilege, but in comparing the EZ Forged with the MP 25s (both forged out of 1025 Boron), “pured” shots were often indistinguishable. In fact, several of my mishits with the JPX-EZ and EZ Forged felt significantly less harsh than similar shots with the MP-25s.
Forgiveness is achieved by moving as much weight as possible toward the perimeter and away from the center of the club. Mizuno uses PowerFrame technology to stretch weight to the corners of the cavity, effectively enlarging the sweet spot. As long as I made reasonable contact, shots were true, dispersion was excellent and even with KBS C-Taper shafts the stock ball flight was high.
Extreme misses (severely toe side or high on the face) were punished appropriately, but if you can consistently make contact somewhere toward the middle of the face, both clubs will yield acceptable and consistent results. The wider sole on the JPX-EZ irons provides more margin for error and promotes cleaner turf interaction from all lies thanks to its Triple Cut Sole, which made turf interaction a breeze whether I was on the fairway or in the rough. Truly deep rough is not going to be any larger iron’s forte, but the JPX-EX seems wholly above average.
Mizuno may not make the longest distance-oriented irons on the market, but they are among the most consistent. Compared to the MP-5s and MP 25s, the JPX were both about 0.5 clubs longer. But more importantly, I could hit the same number over and over.
Chances are, if you’re looking at a Mizuno iron, consistent performance is more important to you than maximum distance. These clubs are plenty long, but the ability to dial in distances — especially on less-than-full swings — gives them a leg up on competitors. Being able to say you carry a 9 iron 155 yards is a nice ego boost, but simply hitting your irons farther doesn’t mean you’re going to score better. That said, being able to hit your irons a consistent distance certainly will.
As one would expect, I had no problem moving the ball both directions on a mid/high trajectory, however, hitting low cuts and draws were a more arduous task. For most players, the lower center of gravity in the JPX line leads to a higher initial launch angle and increased distance. That’s the only opportunity cost here, which likely doesn’t apply to the target consumer for the JPX line.
If you’re already a high launch or high spin player, but want more forgiveness, looking at an MP iron — such as the MP-H5 — might be a better choice. If you’re sold on your 6-PW, but looking for an easy to hit, high-launching long iron, don’t discount using either model at the bottom of your lineup.
The numbers: JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged
To test the irons, I hit 10 shots with each club (4, 7, PW) and threw out any anomalies. All clubs were tested with KBS C-Taper Stiff shafts at 0.25 inches over Mizuno standard and measured on a Flightscope X2 Launch Monitor.
Imagine that; the JPX-EZ and EZ Forged had nearly indistinguishable numbers. My results are more likely the exception and not the rule, as I would expect more golfers to get more distance from the larger, cast JPX-EZ irons. So what these results speak to is just how good of an oversized forged iron Mizuno made in the JPX-EZ Forged.
Along with their performance, what really made an impact on me was how good the EZ Forged felt. It’s really the first distance iron from Mizuno that felt anything like an MP iron. Given the similarity in performance, you might be asking, “Does the EZ Forged feel $200 better than the JPX-EZ?”
As a long-time Mizuno player, I’d lean toward an emphatic, “Yes!”
Mizuno has never been about making the longest iron on the market — just the one that help golfers score the best. With the JPX-EZ and EZ Forged, the company continues to encroach on new territory by producing irons that target higher-handicap golfers and offer a lot of the game-improvement features this clientele will surely appreciate.
All that, and they wrap it up in a package that looks and feels great.