Pros: At $999, both irons are reasonably priced for their category and can be purchased with a variety of custom shafts and grips for no additional cost. The MP-5 irons are exceptionally forgiving for a blade-style iron. The MP-25’s supply additional forgiveness without sacrificing the soft feel associated with Mizuno’s MP line.

Cons: The MP-5’s are not available for lefties, and are slightly larger than previous Mizuno blade irons.

Who’s it for?: Better players who prefer compact, forged irons. Mizuno says the the MP-5’s will be most effective for golfers with a handicap of 5 or better, and the MP-25 users should have a handicap of 10 or better. We agree.

The Review

I don’t typically start with looks when writing reviews, however, the classic simplicity and elegant shaping of Mizuno’s MP-5 are stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-make-you-smile gorgeous. If you’ve seen these irons in person, you know what I mean.

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There’s nothing loud or ostentatious about the MP-5’s. In fact, it’s the absence of excessive lines, logos and stamps that give the irons an aesthetic most better players want from a muscle-back iron. Less is almost always more.

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The MP-25’s, which have a marginally busier cavity, don’t stray too far from the compact, forged cavity back recipe. They have thin top lines, short blade lengths and minimal offset. Their minimalist design — chrome accents on a satin body — allow the performance and feel of the clubs to, once again, speak for themselves.

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Mizuno’s MP-25 7-iron at address.

People talk about the feel of Mizuno irons the way they talk about the best Italian restaurant in town or their favorite vacation spot. For many, it’s a near religious experience. On purely struck shots, the MP-5’s feel every bit as good (if not marginally better) than my MP-69 and MP-64 irons. For me, “better” is a feeling that approaches nothing. There is no sensation of thin, fat, toe-side or heel-side contact. It’s almost as if the sole of the club quickly enters and exits the turf and the ball just gets in the way.

There’s a concern that Mizuno’s decision to use 1025 Boron, which is stronger and lighter than the company’s 1025 Grain Flow Forged Carbon Steel, in the forging process creates a firmer and thus less pleasing sensation at impact with the MP-25 irons. I can’t say the MP-5 and MP-25 irons feel exactly the same, but to label the MP-25’s as firm or harsh is completely unfounded. If anything, the MP-25’s felt softer and more solid on slight mishits than the MP-5’s. On pured shots, I found no discernible difference in feel. I guess that’s why they call it the sweet spot.

Mizuno engineers use HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology) to fine tune acoustics and vibration at impact. After all, sound is feel and the better the club sounds at impact, ultimately the better it will feel.

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Mizuno’s MP-5 6-iron at address.

What golfer doesn’t want to bag a set of blades like the MP-5? Not many. How many actually should? That is perhaps a different answer. Part of the backdrop to this conversation is the increased forgiveness realized by the channel-back construction that gives the MP-5 all the workability golfers want from a blade, but the forgiveness of a compact, forged cavity back iron like Mizuno’s MP-64.

Related: Learn more about the tech in Mizuno’s MP-5 irons here.

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The MP-5’s are the evolution of Mizuno’s MP-32 “cut muscle” concept, and when compared to traditional blade irons they are certainly easier to hit — especially in the 5, 6 and 7 irons. Better players typically don’t struggle with 8 iron through PW, where the ability to hit the ball on a lower trajectory becomes even more important to attacking tight pins and controlling distances in windy conditions.

That said, the MP-5’s are the least-forgiving iron in Mizuno’s 2016 lineup and each player has to gauge whether the minimal increase in workability is worth the potential loss of distance and direction on mishits. As golfers, we’re hopeless optimists, but in selecting the best set of irons, you have to consider how much frustration you’re willing to endure on days when your ball striking may look less like Henrik Stenson and more like Henrik Ibsen.

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The MP-25’s are somewhat larger in every respect, but for the better player they may be the more logical choice. In testing, there’s absolutely no shot a competitive amateur/professional golfer needs to hit that the MP-25’s can’t deliver. For me, they offered all of the workability and feel I need out of an iron and with a little extra forgiveness to boot.

I’m not sure if the forgiveness I enjoyed from the MP-25 irons was due to the 1025 Boron construction, or in the 3-6 irons, the combination of boron and a hidden CNC milled Micro-Slot behind the club face, which is said to add additional ball speed and forgiveness. I didn’t really see a “distance boost” with the long irons, but I will say that I was impressed with the MP-25’s ability to create consistent distance gaps and launch slightly higher than previous models.

Related: Learn more about the tech in Mizuno’s MP-25 irons here.

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Turf interaction with both clubs is sublime, however, the MP-25’s had less of a tendency to dig on slightly steeper swings. If you play in softer conditions and your typical mishit is fat, the MP-25’s are the better option.

The numbers: MP-25 vs. MP-5 irons

I hit 10 shots with each club and threw out the lowest/highest and any other anomalies, and here’s what I got. All clubs were tested with KBS C-Taper Stiff shafts at +0.25 inches over Mizuno standard and shots were measured on a Flightscope X2 launch monitor.

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Based on the numbers, the MP-25 irons launched a little higher, spun slightly more and carried farther than the MP-5 irons, but the performance differences were minute. If you have it narrowed down to one of these two irons, both the devil and your decision may very well be in the details.

Using my set of MP-64’s as a barometer, the MP-5 short irons mirrored trajectory and flight of the MP-5’s, whereas the MP-5 long irons were a bit more challenging to hit consistently. That said, when struck well the MP-5 long irons didn’t want to reach the same apex as my MP-64’s. Given this reality, I can see a lot of players who want the control and trajectory of the MP-5’s using these as the top half (7-PW) of a combo set. The MP-25’s are easier to launch, especially in the long irons, which make them an ideal match for a combo set or for the player who wants a little more forgiveness across the board.

The Takeaway

The MP-5 and MP-25 are both stellar irons, in part because they each offer something new: a channel-back construction in the MP-5 irons, and 1025 Boron construction in the MP-25 irons.

What will probably be more important for interested golfers is the blend of new and old. Yes, the MP-5 and MP-25 are more forgiving than their predecessors, but they still look and feel very much like Mizuno’s most celebrated irons from the past. For that reason, they’re must hits.

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I didn't grow up playing golf. I wasn't that lucky. But somehow the game found me and I've been smitten ever since. Like many of you, I'm a bit enthusiastic for all things golf and have a spouse which finds this "enthusiasm" borderline ridiculous. I've been told golf requires someone who strives for perfection, but realizes the futility of this approach. You have to love the journey more than the result and relish in frustration and imperfection. As a teacher and coach, I spend my days working with amazing middle school and high school student athletes teaching them to think, dream and hope. And just when they start to feel really good about themselves, I hand them a golf club!

26 COMMENTS

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  1. I was fitted for the MP5s (4-P with KBS Tour) and I believe this may be the best set I have ever owned. I’m not one of the gorillas here on the forum who carry a 7 iron 185 yards, but I have reduced my shot dispersion within 5 yards., which is much better than my cast irons. My 7i carries 167 to 171 which is plenty for me. The turf interaction made me a Mizuno believer as I found my less than perfect shots ripping through the rough. I wish I can find some of Mizuno’s older blades for a side by side comparison.

  2. On my to a quick putting practice I spied the Mizuno tent on the driving range. I play MP 33 and was eager to compare to new offerings. Mp5 and mp25.
    Only hit about 25 each; 5 irons. The boron infused hidden cavity 25 was slightly longer plus forgiving but with less “soul”…more old school Hogan than mizuno.
    The 5’s were amped up 33’s….thicker top line…demo shafts was DG300 same as my current set so I felt comfortable and settled in…and hit perfect arrows off a plush range mat.
    I couldn’t deny that this was a better engineered iron than the 33. Enough to push me over the edge and buy now? No. But it’s inevitable.
    It’s like my running shoes. I run in ASICS Nimbus. There are 16 updates. I fell for them at $89 for Nimbus 4. Later at nimbus 12 I settled and bought several pairs on sale . THAT was MY shoe. But recently got a pair of nimbus 16 and realized it’s a better engineered shoe. (Worth the $149? Yeah. Maybe…)….there’s now a nimbus 18 out there.
    I’m still hanging onto my 33 for the summer…but it’s inevitable. I’m going to get fit for the first time and maybe take some of this post’s advice and go combo.

  3. I’ve been demoing different iron sets for months now and have tried so hard to find something better than the MP-5’s for my game and I just can’t do it. I really want to go with one manufacturer for all clubs, but I think these irons prove to me that if you want the best, it really can’t be had by utilizing only one company. I’ve hit the newest Mizuno drivers set to my specs and they don’t touch the Taylormade or Cobra offerings (2 that I hit the longest and straightest).

  4. MP-5/25 Combo’s are surely the way to go? well….that’s where i’ve gone. I have been playing golf properly for 18months now and started at my first club on 24HCP. After 16 months of ebay addiction resulting in buying, using and selling probably 15 different sets of irons, I have now found my babies for the next few years. I now play of 12 and feel these MP-5/25’s will have me down to mid single figure in no time :)

  5. The mp-5 are fantastic. They are like a throw back to the old hogan channel backs. It seems every negative review is a failure of the golfer, not the tool. Disclaimer: I did need to range these more than my mp 4s, and my 68s. They reminded me of my old 1025ms (gosh what a club!), and once I dialed them in, I have that itch every day.
    They are not as easy as the 690.mbs(what blade is?) But now that I’ve figured them out, they are pure buttery goodness. Distance Is REMARKABLY COMPETITIVE (Why Is My Phone dping this?)
    So, to summarize, my mp4s are on vacation while I take the channel plunge and so far I’m loving them!

  6. The MP25’s have been in my bag for a month now and if I could give 6 stars out of 5 I would, there is no shot you cant play with these irons. I dont have the Mizuno history that some of these other posters do, I’m not brand loyal like some, but these outperform anything I have tried over the past 5 years. Kudos to Mizuno, these will be in the bag for a long time.

  7. I have the mp-25’s. So far I am not so sure I made the right choice. Out of the box they didn’t get any where near my mp 32’s! I have tweaked them a bit (bending) and we will see. I would like to buy a little more distance with out loosing my mp 32 feel.

  8. You need to re-write this review. The MP-5 CANNOT, and I have to doubly stress this point here, CANNOT be 5 out of 5 stars. I completely do not agree. I can only give it 3.5 out of 5.
    In the category of classic Mizuno blades of recent years, even comparing it to TN-87, 29, 33, 37, 68, 69, and 4 – the 5 is nowhere near the same as a true muscle-back blade as those others.
    I have tried and tried and tried to hit the 5 for the past month. All I can say is that it just does not feel the same, fly the same, nor be controlled the same. There is definitely a softer feel, yes, but it’s almost too mushy for it to give you any proper feedback. Mizuno has made a mistake here, by scooping out the mid section and by thickening up the top section, that may have increased the MOI to make it seem more forgiving for those who had been, perhaps, in the past unable to hit such pure muscle backs. But the problem for somebody like me who likes to use the feeling of the down blow hit knowing where the muscle is, is gone. The pure, artistic, atheistic design of a visually even design of the triangle and the scoop out at the back, has come at the expense of a much more toe-down, muscle-less feeling of a hit that the heads need to be bent at least 1 degree upright in order for you to get away from having to hit the toe area all the time. This is the first time I have experienced something like this happening, where the balance of the head doesn’t bode well for the 63 degree lie angle for the PW that Mizuno has always used. It needs to be brought up to 64, which is the US standard, in order for the heads to be hit in the center.
    The thicker, rounder top line in combination with the scoop out, changes the center-of-gravity of the heads that the same swing style with same grip you were employing before with thinner, more pure muscle that starts low and ends in the middle (instead of having this new thicker top-muscle area of the 5), forces you to press much more forwards at address (even though the off-set face angle is supposed to be the same as the 33), that it is very difficult to line up the face straight with an intention to move it from side to side which is does not allow you to do as much, because it is more like a cavity than a muscle back. Having said that, because of its cavity-like design, the long irons are easy to hit – the 3, 4, & 5 irons act like the forgiving cavity irons that they are, and fly longer than the MP-4 or 69, from my own observation.
    In conclusion, this 5 is a miss, in my opinion. Mizuno needs to stick to the design of the TN-87, 29, or 33 type MB and never deter from them. The 87 was so good, you even re-issued a special edition at exorbitant prices – why not just continue to release that iron with current shaft options? There has never been a need to change anything around, except to be “trendy” with the social media, but the fact remains that the “representative” pure MB from any manufacturer at the top of the list should never have to change. Why do they you to keep messing around with it?

    • WOW… that reply was to the point. I disagree, but sir you make a valid point. I have only been playing golf for a couple years and only recently went to the MP5 from a forgiving cavity back iron.

  9. Is this normal?? -The gap between the 7 and 9 iron, which has to be filled by 1 club is 29 yards in the MP25’s (185-156). The gap between the 4 and 7, filled by 2 clubs is only 32 yards??

    • Fair question…I think it’s important to try and take the same type of swing with each club and then let the numbers be whatever they are – That said, once I’m really dialed in on a set, I like to try and keep the gaps somewhere around 12 yards/club.

    • You know, that was one of my biggest questions before I started testing the MP 25s – I know what the marketing says, but I didn’t really see a major impact based on just the boron alone -

      • The Boron isn’t what makes you hit the ball farther, if you read into it more you would see the Boron allows then to cut a pocket behind the face that allows the face to be incredibly thin. This allows for more rebound and more distance. HOWEVER… there is no slot in the 7-pw therefore the distance isnt seen there. The 850 forged has the thinner face throughout the set allowing you to get more distance throughout the set. Also this guy seems to swing incredibly fast to carry a seven iron as far as he does. A thin face can only flex so much without reaching a point where it can’t flex anymore. Meaning someone who swings 92 and below will see more of an impact on distance than that of someone who swings 95. Boron is not the reason the ball goes farther but the reason they are able to construct the club in a way that allows for the face to flex in a way that promotes more distance.

      • I would say 4 yards extra distance on an iron that doesn’t change the shaft and doesn’t just strengthen the lofts **cough cough…Taylor made /callaway…cough cough *** is pretty darn impressive.

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