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Callaway Steelhead XR irons and hybrids

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Callaway’s new Steelhead XR irons and hybrids each draw from equipment designs and technologies in the company’s history.

The new Steelhead XR irons are influenced by the Steelhead X-14 irons — some of the most highly coveted irons in Callaway’s catalog — that were released in the year 2000 (click for a reminder of what they look like). For its new release of game-improvement irons, Callaway looked to the classic Steelhead X-14 irons for shaping and mass properties, and used its since-acquired knowledge of iron design to add performance benefits.

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A face-on look at the Steelhead XR irons shows they’re reminiscent of the original Steelhead irons.

The Steelhead XR hybrids also implement designs from other Callaway products, albeit from the not-so-distant past. For its Steelhead XR hybrids, which are to be used as replacements or complements to the iron set, Callaway borrowed design concepts from both the Apex hybrids — originally designed for better players, according to Callaway — and the Callaway XR drivers, which were co-engineered with Boeing.

For more specifics, read below. To join the conversation about the Steelhead XR release and see more photos, CLICK HERE.

Callaway Steelhead XR irons

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Callaway’s line of XR clubs have become known for speed and forgiveness. The new releases are no different in that sense.

The idea behind looking into its history at the Steelhead X-14 irons was to implement characteristics of shaping and mass properties to make a more forgiving, balanced iron. Visibly, you’ll notice a “hitch in the topline near the heel,” as Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s Senior VP of R&D, describes it. This allowed Callaway to put the center of gravity (CG) at the direct center of the club head, in relation to the heel and toe. Additionally, there is a bore-through in the heel, helping also to control the CG, and to raise moment of inertia (MOI), according to Hocknell.

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It was important for Callaway to control CG from heel-to-toe, placing it on the center line, as well as controlling it from top to bottom. The irons are designed to have lower CG in the long irons, where higher launch is crucial for more distance, forgiveness and stopping power. On the other hand, the short irons are designed with higher CG, which is important for control, and to avoid producing shots that are “too floaty,” as Hocknell said.

CallawaySteelheadConstruction

Here is what the construction looks like. Graphic provided by Callaway.

Callaway uses a new material — steel-infused polyurethane — that sits behind the face in the cavity of the irons, which are made from 17-4 stainless steel. The material (pictured above) is placed low in the irons to drive CG downward, and also serves to dampen vibrations at impact, keeping the irons from feeling harsh, according to Callaway.

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The Steelhead XR irons were also designed with coefficient of restitution (COR) that goes “as high as anybody dares to go,” Hocknell said. With faster 360 Face Cups — Callaway’s familiar variable-thickness faces that are welded to the bodies — than previous irons, the Steelhead XR irons have thinner perimeters helping to extend the high-COR area, and pushing it right up to the legal limit. This means they will produce extremely fast ball speeds across the face.

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Steelhead XR iron sets (3-LW) will be available in stores on September 2, and will sell for $799 with a steel shaft and $999 for graphite. Stock shafts will be True Temper’s XP 95 Stepless (Steel) and Matrix’s F15 (Graphite), although there is a “wide array” of aftermarket shafts available.

Click here for more photos and discussion.

Steelhead XR hybrids

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To Callaway’s surprise, according to Hocknell, average players showed serious interest in the recently released Apex hybrids, although they were designed for lower-handicaps.

After listening to the feedback, Callaway looked to the Apex design, and made some adjustments for those who need more forgiveness, launch, and ultimately, distance. To do this, Callaway made the blade lengths longer, and made the club heads deeper from front-to-back, while keeping the familiar squared-off toe reminiscent of the Apex hybrids. The bigger surface area of the face allowed the Steelhead XR hybrids to have higher MOI than you’ll find from the Apex hybrids, but a similar head shape.

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Also, you’ll notice the Steelhead XR hybrids have Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face Cups welded to the bodies, which are made to enhance ball speeds on mishits.

For additional head speed, Callaway implemented the familiar Speed Steps from Callaway’s XR drivers, engineered in tandem with Boeing, that are said to provide better aerodynamics for players who need it.

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The Steelhead XR hybrids (3-6) will be available in stores on September 2, selling for $219 each. Matching the irons, they too will have True Temper’s XP 95 (Steel) and Matrix’s F15 (Graphite) stock shafts, although there is a “large selection” of aftermarket shafts available.

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Click here to see more photos of the Steelhead XR irons and hybrids, and join in the discussion.

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58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Brian K

    Sep 14, 2016 at 8:31 am

    No matter what haters complaining, this steelhead irons have really good quality.
    I compared with apex cf16 with same stock shaft, xp95. steelhead was softer and more precise. I landed every shot 2 yard radius, I was really impressed.

  2. JThunder

    Sep 4, 2016 at 2:11 am

    This entire comments section proves without doubt that comments sections are the most useless part of any website. Those old enough will remember how newspaper and magazine “letters to the editor” were largely populated by cretins. The internet breeds cretinism.

  3. JB

    Aug 29, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I slept with these irons last night. Lets just say they delivered solid feel where it counts and feedback was oh so sweet. Are these the best irons ever you ask yourself? DING DING DING!

  4. Joshua

    Aug 28, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Been to a few thp events and Josh and Morgan are great people.Their website isn’t about die hard golf but more about meeting new friends for a lifetime.The forum is fun chats non golf and semi golf related.The teaching dept on thp is quite poor as the main instructor Fred can barely break 80.But the forum isn’t like wrx it’s a meet and greet and make friends for a lifetime.I see no dishonesty on their site or when meeting in person

    • Josh

      Aug 28, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Congrats on getting picked to “test” these irons! Jman will tell you the rules. Which are proclaim these irons the best ever before selling them on wrx. We of course sell all our “used” equipment on eBay. You can too with some solid pictures and description!

  5. peter collins

    Aug 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

    These are gonna be the greatest Callaway irons ever

  6. Josh

    Aug 26, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Any chance we can “glitch” these comments away?

  7. Ddec

    Aug 25, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    When I get randomized into the mother effin Grandaddy this year these are going in my bag. I could care less when we lose to the Zoo Crew for the 4th straight year. Free Callaway gear is always a win for me.

    • JMan

      Aug 25, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      The Mother EF’ing Granddaddy, I love it when I us mod’s get randomly selected for cool things. Must be because we are Albatross Members. #FreeStuffisCool#MotherEF’ing#Where’sCookie#6gootgimmee#ToppedTeeShot#Youaren’tcoolifyoudon’tplaywith36capTHP’ers

    • THP's eBay Account

      Aug 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Wooooooo Grandaddy I cant wait for all those new clubs to hit my listing pages! I’ll have more page views than a THP unbiased Callaway driver review copied straight from the web. Plastic still on all clubs except the 7 iron fetches top dolla yo. Jman is always one of the first to ditch his “best club I have hit” irons. Freddie will need a little help with his listing description too. #mindblown

      • BigHitter

        Aug 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm

        THP, did someone restart my bombsquad site? DTown and I are gonna sue JB over this, wait, no, we were shills for Taylormade, nevermind.

    • MikeDean441

      Aug 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      You know Ddec, it’s about the memories, not the score, and scoring a lot of free swag that most of the poor suckers on the site have pay for. I hope we get to eat the best food ever at Denny’s again this year. See ya latter, I’ve got to go practicing chutting.

    • War Beagle

      Aug 25, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Remember when I quit this awesome site and ragged on J.B. and the rest of the THP staff all the time?

      Oh yeah. Me neither.

      OFFICIAL THREAD STARTER, BEEACHES!

      • OleGrey

        Aug 25, 2016 at 10:17 pm

        Well dag numit, JB dun gone an gots another Granpappy set up. My dog hunt much but I got a sense for thievery and I bet those THP boys are up to no good

      • Nate

        Aug 26, 2016 at 7:45 am

        Hey is this where I make some funny comment that isn’t really funny? No, ok, I’ll post up some pictures I took then added in a bunch of clouds so y’all can tell me how great I am. I’m Big Time you know, BTD to you.

  8. 9stick

    Aug 25, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    This comments section is brutal.

    • THP's eBay Account

      Aug 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      You want to buy some new irons?

  9. Canadan

    Aug 24, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Please stop this. I get free equipment from thp and will never ever share it with anyone

  10. Golf4lefties

    Aug 24, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I love the Legacy Iron look but will never be able to own a set. These look like the Legacy’s to me. I have Gamed just about every set of Callaway Iron from at least 2000 and on and the Steel Heads were one if not my favorite Callaway Offering. I will Buying these ASAP.

  11. Leaded

    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    These are gonna be the greatest Callaway irons ever

  12. Canadan

    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I have had mad secret love with the entire Callaway staff. J rod gives great H E A D

  13. Freddie Kong

    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Leave J.B. alongated! I love hemoglobin!

  14. JB's yellow tooth

    Aug 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Somebody please call the tooth fairy! I’ve been held hostage in this sewer one might mistaken for a mouth for decades! callaway take me away!

    • JMan

      Aug 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      #Where’sHawk#Where’sCookie#Where’sOleGray#Theserverwaswipedclean

      • JB's yellow tooth

        Aug 24, 2016 at 8:35 pm

        How should I know? I’m stuck in this fools upper sphincter and I don’t have eyes!

  15. THP Tour Van

    Aug 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I can’t wait to have these laying in the back of the van. Of course, they won’t be there long since eBay will come calling soon. Then all that will be left will be beef jerky wrappers, wet dog hair, and the bad memories of what #TheGranddaddy was really about.

    #ilovecallaway
    #goodsourceofprotein
    #tastesgoodgoingdown

    • JMan

      Aug 24, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      That’s the Mother EF’ing Granddaddy. #Mother EF’ing Granddaddy#PlayingGolfwith39handicapsisbest#IloveCallaway#Where’sCookie

  16. JMan

    Aug 24, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Can’t wait to try these out at the Mother EF’in Granddaddy. I say Mother EF’in because JB does and that makes it really cool. #Mother EF’in#I’mbeingacrybabyagain

    • JB's yellow tooth

      Aug 24, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      I’ve seen you before! Well… Just the tip anyway

  17. Pingback: Review: Callaway Steelhead XR irons and hybrids | GolfJay

  18. Golfer Gal from THP

    Aug 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    As said above, these are the best irons Callaway has ever offered to the public. It was a spirited debate between me and JB whether or not to sell these on eBay. But in the end, $$$ won out. I mean we can’t save the animal kingdom one dog at a time without moolah!

  19. Golfer Gal from THP

    Aug 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    As said above, these are Callaways greatest irons ever. When they sent us them to test, we had a spirited debate whether or not we would put them on eBay to sell. But in the end, $$$ won out. We can’t save the animal kingdom one dog at a time without moolah!

  20. Justin

    Aug 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    personally, I think the irons are hideous. I love Callaway and currently bag their irons, wedges, and 3 wood, but these look terrible. But, if they can improve someone’s game, go for it!

  21. Mark

    Aug 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Have they finally run out of ideas?

    • cgasucks

      Aug 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Probably…other OEMs might be running out of ideas as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Titleist revived their DCI concept and TM brings back their bubble shafts…

  22. C1

    Aug 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Callaway #1! Very clever, the Callaway people. Excellent marketing, and their products perform just as described.
    No I don’t work for Callaway, and I approve this message.

  23. JB from THP

    Aug 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I personally LOVE these so much. Seriously the greatest club ever designed. I really didn’t think Callaway could come out with anything better than the Apex CF16 but wow have they proven me wrong. I’ll have these in my Callaway stand bag as soon as they hit retail. I don’t even need to see the price tag – just ring them up and take my money.

    #Epic
    #AlwaysInnovating
    #PXGPutsWeinersOnTheirDrivers

    • dsd

      Aug 23, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      #SHANK lol

    • Jay

      Aug 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      #You’veneverhitthem
      #Rehashofoldideas=notinnovative

    • JB's Dog (kid)

      Aug 24, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Well said my master! You always know a solid shovel when you dig with one. I mean you really tore it up with those Altitudes! Never thought you would ever leave those giant earth movers. But these seem like they have JB all over the giant faces. Cant wait to see these in your Callaway bag inside the Callaway paid for tour van. #nobiasreviewsFTW

      • JB's yellow tooth

        Aug 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

        #family! Guess that doesn’t include veneers

  24. Jim

    Aug 23, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Not sure what Callaway is doing with their club releases? Now they will have XR, XR Pro, XR OS, Steelhead XR and then the Apex line. Where do these slot in or are they meant as the replacement for the XR series? They’re starting to act like TM on the multiple releases. Very confusing.

    • Scooter McGavin

      Aug 23, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Most likely to replace the XR. XRs are like 1.5 years old now.

    • Oskars

      Aug 23, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      I have always thought that for the last couple years Callaway has been much worse than Taylormade in that regard. Sooo confusing.

      • JThunder

        Sep 4, 2016 at 2:09 am

        What’s confusing about buying a set of irons that works for you or keeping your current ones? Are you a staffer who has to choose between their sets to make your living? Or a rep who has to know the lines inside and out?

  25. alexdub

    Aug 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Awesome that they are bringing back the old branding. I wish more companies would do the same.

  26. Patrick

    Aug 23, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Also, will they be releasing a Steelhead line of woods?

    • Mat

      Aug 24, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Those would be the 2016.2 Steelhead Apex XR OS OMG driver and fairway. The OMG stands for the Oversized, Massive, Gigantic sweet spot just above the aftermarket weight ports that will have a different adapter and and 12 colors to choose from. Unless you’re a Lefty.

  27. Patrick

    Aug 23, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Does anyone know if they will be releasing a “pro” version?

    • Mat

      Aug 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

      The Steelhead XRII Pro 2017, in semi-delaminating “chrome”. It’ll be out just in time to use the Golfsmith card your spouse got you, assuming they aren’t in Chapter 11.

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Equipment

Mizuno T20 wedges: Let’s get spinning

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Spin.

We’re always trying to reduce it with our driver and increase it with our wedges for maximum control, but with the rules of golf being so strict, how do actually achieve a performance gain? Simple engineering…

This is the Mizuno T20 wedge.

It’s been a few years since we have seen a T (teardrop) wedge from our friends at Mizuno, and there is good reason.

Let’ get into a quick history lesson: before the JPX900 series was introduced, Mizuno had quietly been realigning the product cycles of the MP and JPX lines. You might remember back a few years ago now before the MP18s hit the scene that there was a bit of a lull in the MP line—so much, in fact, there was even a thread here on GolfWRX asking “Is Mizuno not making MP irons anymore?”

It was a naturally curious question to a company that always had very standardized release cycles, but it was a long-term play that has paid off tremendously. We now get “T” wedges with MP irons (MP20s to be exact), and we should (from everything I know) continue to see “S” Silhouette (more rounded profile) wedges with future JPX lines.

Before we get to what’s new, how about we first talk about what will be staying the same

  • Grain Flow Forged HD – like all new Mizuno irons, the T20s are made using the same forging process to increase the density of the material in the clubhead for an improved solid feel.
  • Boron – this little element when added to the 1025e mild carbon steel used in the wedges (we’re talking trace amounts equating to 3ppm – parts per million) increases the strength of the material by 30 percent—how crazy is that for chemistry? This improves groove life and has ZERO effect on club feel.
  • Variable Width & Depth Quad Cut Grooves – Like previous T and S wedges, the T20s will have quad cut grooves that will vary in shape based on the loft of the club. Lower lofted wedges are more narrow and deeper, while higher lofted wedges are wider and more shallow since impact happens at lower speeds this increases spin consistency.
  • Same beautiful Teardrop profile from address

So what’s new?

Flow. Just like the MP20s, engineers are bringing more a more extreme CG (center of gravity) shifting philosophy, or as Mizuno explains it, increased vertical moment of inertia to the wedges. As much as you (well maybe not “you,” depending on who you are) might think “a wedge is just a wedge” and loft is the only deciding factor for spin, you couldn’t be further from the truth. By relocating the CG throughout the set and changing the sweet spot height, engineers can further alter the launch and spin precisely for each loft.

It’s about gear effect—the higher you hit above the CG the less spin the ball with have, and the closer to or lower you make impact compared to the CG the more spin you will create. Either way these are wedges, so a 50 degree, for example, is still going to spin, but it is now more controllable (think less likely to ballon or get too high on full shots). On the other side of the equation, a 60-degree wedge will allow for even MORE trajectory and spin control for the low flying quick checkers with zip.

Now about that spin.

By the Rules of Golf, you can’t make grooves sharper, you can’t increase their volume, and you can only have so much surface roughness (sorry but that old Spin Doctor wedge is HIGHLY NON-conforming). So what do you do? You change the way you think about that surface roughness…

Hydroflow Micro Grooves

Instead of traditional laser etching parallel to the grooves, Mizuno engineers took a concept from the high-performance tire world and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away. This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM (on a 60-yard shot), that’s a very tangible number. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction that can be created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low zippers keep zippin’!

Don’t think for a second that Mizuno just changed the etching and was done with it. The process went through multiple iterations to figure out how they could improve its life (beyond the boron) and the solution was to etch before the chroming process to elongate the lifespan. The other groovy take for the T20s is the actual reconfiguration of the grooves. To get the bottom groove closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the overall look of the club and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side. The lowest groove has been shortened and centered.

All of these refinements; CG, micro-grooves, and reconfigured scoring lines add up to one thing: more control and improved shotmaking with your wedges.

Finishes, specs, and grinds

The wishes of many have been answered when it comes to the T20s, there will be a RAW finish (happy dance time) along with traditional chrome and the signature blue ion. Leftys will only be able to get chrome, but all the same options will be available as far as lofts and grinds.

Coming in lofts from 46-60 degrees, the grind options progress depending on the loft and bounce. Going from full-soled in the lower lofts to more aggressive back edge, and heel-toe relief in the 60 degree. These sole shapes came directly from Mizuno’s craftsman that worked with players and prototypes to determine exactly how the bounce and sole shapes should work in harmony.

All of this has come together to create Mizuno’s finest wedge to date.

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Equipment

Mizuno MP-20: Layers of feel

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“Mizuno Feel”

It is part of the golf vernacular. It’s ingrained in golf (nerd) culture—it’s a real thing.

But where does it comes from, how did it get here, and what is it really?

I’m here to give you some answers and introduce you to MP-20 family of irons from Mizuno.

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the MP-20 family is the next series of MP irons that will connect golfers to the “Mizuno Feel.” Speaking to tradition, and something I touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them! (Before someone tries to correct me: yes, I realize that they have done this for more recent Japan market models )

What does this copper layer mean? Here’s the funny thing, even Mizuno has had a hard time trying to quantify it. Through multiple rounds of extensive blind prototype testing with all of their staff players, the irons with a copper underlay won on feel EVERY SINGLE TIME!  How’s that for dominance?

But why? They are truly still trying to 100 percent figure that out. Mizuno has used its HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology), metallurgy analysis, and every test it can to try and figure out why. Engineers even went as far as trying to prove the hypothesis the copper underlay “feel” was based on nostalgia but time and time again Cu won in blind testing. At the end day, the human element was still the deciding factor because humans are the ones that ultimately hit shots.

This brings us to the flagship MP-20 (Blade) (The Ultimate Tour Blade as described by Mizuno’s Product Manager & Engineer Chris Voshall). Evolving from the tradition built into the MP-18, and taking design cues from historic models like the TN 87 and MP14, the MP20s provide more flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to even more control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs… all of this AND a thinner top line.

Now about that top line: it’s an extremely important part of the look of the club but, what many don’t realize is it also plays a big role in feel and acoustics too. Let’s simplify for a moment: think of a clubhead like hunk of metal—a cube—now when you hit that thick piece of metal on something it doesn’t reverberate much and when it does, it’s at a different frequency making it sound heavy and “thuddy,” or as some would say, SOLID.

Now imagine if that same piece of metal, same mass was stretched out like a saw blade. Have you ever hit something with the side of a large saw blade? It’s wobbly, loud, and generally unpleasant, that’s what happens when an unsupported part of a club gets too thin, it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel. By blending a small channel (think MP5) with the classic looks of yesteryear you get a club that feels and performs like no Mizuno before it, and as I said, with a thinner look from address.

What’s all this talk of “Flow”?

Center of gravity and mass placement (or as a Mizuno Engineer explained to me “Vertical Moment of Inertia”). Since each club is designed individually, you need the center of gravity to shift throughout the set to help control launch/trajectory (or “traj” as the kids say), and make sure spin is also at an optimal level.

For the MP-20, it means long irons that are “easier” to hit (air quotes, because like I said before, it’s still a blade), and short irons that can be more easily flighted lower with greater spin and control. Just like with the MP-18s, Mizuno is keeping with the continuous reduced blade length into the short irons for a look preferred by better players and for improved grass and turf interaction.

But What About the Rest?

You might have noticed off the top I called it the “MP-20 Family.” Here’s why: In golf, like with any other industry, data is important. But it’s only as good as you use it and well…let’s just say Mizuno has been paying close attention to how golfers and fitters have been making combo sets over the last few years. It’s all about understanding what golfers really need and thanks to some proprietary data they went even deeper when it comes to designing each and every iron in this family to make sure its performance is maximized. This is why I continue to emphasize how each set has a flow, it to make sure each club in your bag is just right for you. Now to introduce you to the rest of the family members…

Mizuno MP20 MMC (Multi-Material Construction)

I know, you think you’ve heard this story before but…NOT LIKE THIS!

The new MP-20 MMC is a BIG shift in design, not just because of the Cu underlay, but a radical change in how the whole part is put together. I know it sounds very “big biz,” but in the world of manufacturing it truly comes down to how “parts” are manufactured. Now, with Mizuno, I will reiterate a well-known story. All of its forged irons are single-sourced from one foundry (Chuo) in Japan through a handshake agreement that has been in place for decades.

Now back to the MMC. Before the MP-20 the MMC always had one tiny design difficulty (not a bad one, just a truth) and that was the titanium piece in the back was the same size throughout the whole set. This lead to a set with almost constant sole width. That doesn’t mean previous generations were constructed poorly, but it just means there were improvements that could be made to how the set flowed (there’s that word again) from top to bottom…which leads us to the tech story.

For the first time in the MMC’d life, the titanium piece of the iron will actually vary in mass depending on the club. It will be broken up in the middle of the set to allow better CG placement, and like its blade cousin, improved turf interaction in the shorter irons.

What is also very cool from a build and engineering perspective is the way the titanium gets into the club in the first place. Here we go down a metallurgy rabbit hole, buckle up…

  • Titanium has a mass density (rounded) of 4.5 g/cm3 – cubed
  • Carbon steel has a mass density of (rounded) 7.9 g/cm3 – cubed

That means that from every cubed cm of steel volume you replace with titanium in the head, you save 3.4g… which might not seem like much, but in a 4-iron for example that has an average mass of 248g for (4) cm3 you save 13.6g or just over five percent. I realize this is DEEP into the mass property weeds, but when you think of what a club head weights and how every half percentage point matters, five percent is a lot! That’s more forgiveness, more MOI, more spin control, and overall better performance.

What is also very cool is all of these parts (titanium and tungsten) have ZERO chemical bond—no epoxy. They all fit snug based on the shrinkage rates of the different materials. Ti & W( tungsten – W comes from the ore Wolframite) shrinks less than the steel so as the steel cools around the titanium and tungsten pieces it creates a mechanical (solid) bond.

All of this together adds up to an iron that looks smaller than the previous version, offers more “flow” in CG, something we mentioned earlier that creates more forgiveness and control throughout the set, and at the end of the day it means a better-engineered version than the one before it.

Truth Break for a moment…

Let me make one thing clear, new sets are AWESOME! We are, and always will be, attracted to the latest and greatest but the player should still get fit and find out what works best. New will and should inevitably be better but the cost-benefit analysis should always be at the end of the day up to the individual golfer to decide and figure out what will end up in the bag to help lower scores.

The Hot Metal Mizuno MP-20 HMB

look AT THIS!!!

YES…you read that correctly. Mizuno is bringing Hot Metal tech to the MP line!

A hollow body blade looking iron using the same strong yet highly flexible Chromoloy material as the 919 Hot Metals except this time forged to create an iron like they never have before. The look and shape of a blade the speed of a Hot Metal.

Let’s break things down.

The look is clean as clean can be, from there the face of the HMB is thin and fast, while hidden inside the back of the club is complex geometry for both acoustics and precisely positioning mass. These will be the replacement for the MMC Fli-His but unlike that set, only going to the 6-iron, the new HMB will go all the way to the pitching wedge.

What is also different for the HMB vs. the MMC Fli-Hi is the way tungsten is used in the head to create different impact dynamics. The Fli-Hi had all the tungsten (20g worth) in one place in the head (low and towards the toe). The CG was still located right in the middle but through in-depth testing some players found that the Fli-Hi was a more difficult club to turn over and draw.

To improve the workability of the new HMB, the Tungsten was split into two 12g pieces (four more grams than previous Fli-Hi) and positioned into precisely formed pockets on the heel and toe in the back of the club. This allows the unsupported face to flex and makes the club more workable while still maintaining all the forgiveness you would expect from a hollow body iron built for speed. Seriously who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Since the new HMB is a full set and not just long irons, there is more to the tech story… here is comes… better flow and CG positioning throughout the set. This is hugely important for the mid and short irons where loft is already going to create spin so controlling ball flight and traj on approach shots is vital for scoring better.

This is again where the MP-20 Family discussion comes into play. Mizuno knows they are going to sell a lot more HMB long irons vs. blade and MMC long irons, so the entire family is designed holistically for every player to find each and every head that optimizes them on the course.

The Full Package

Like with previous generations going back almost a decade, Mizuno is keeping its industry-leading matrix of shaft and grip options available at NO upcharge. BUT… based on the growing demand for more exotic options the newly expanded shaft line up will include a few shafts that will come with a slight upcharge.

Whatever you end up being fit for, it’s important to realize that there has never been family of Mizuno irons designed like this, which could also mean you could be bringing home some new family members soon.

 

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Equipment

Callaway Epic Forged irons: Premium speed in a forged body

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With the release of the original Epic irons, Callaway did something they had never done before—build an iron that oozed ball speed and hid a lot of tech in a mid-sized package. Now imagine all that technology and greater speed in a more refined shape with a forged body…that is the all-new Epic Forged.

Built with the idea of offering speed and shotmaking in one package, the Epic Forged achieves all of that thanks to tech that is being used for the first time in a forged iron. The most notable being the Suspended Tungsten Core—which is comprised of the densest form of this heavy element. The issue with using this almost pure form of Tungsten is that it’s extremely hard to work with when using conventional construction methods. But Callaway defies convention and is using the patented Urethane Microspheres in the Suspended Tungsten core of the Epic Forged to precisely position mass creating the ideal center of gravity. This promotes controlled launch and spin, while allowing the face to flex as needed to create maximum ball speeds.

So what good is all this speed if you can’t control it?

Variable Face Thickness: Sure this tech isn’t new, it dates back to the above Hawkeye VFT driver (that was a great driver in its day), but if the Epic Flash driver has taught us anything, it’s that by looking beyond convention you can find new ways to utilize known technology. Built into the 360 Cup Face, the newly designed VFT pattern helps players achieve even more consistent ball speed and spin rates club to club. The reason this is so important: Callaway knows even average golfers want a club they can hit controlled shots with. A 7-iron isn’t any good if you’re not confident in the hitting the shot you want to.

Don’t think that we’re done talking about what these have under the hood just yet…

Since the Epic Forged irons go all the way into a sand wedge, there were some design decisions to be made to on how to make sure the scoring and recovery clubs still offer forgiveness but with even greater consistency and feel, Starting at the approach wedge and going to the sand wedge (the set goes PW, AW, GW, SW), instead of using the 17-4 SS cup face, Callaway engineers are using a forged faceplate to compliment the forged body. Inside of these still-hollow wedges, they are using a resistance welding technique to precisely locate a MIM (metal injection molded) Tungsten weight to achieve superior trajectory control.

The last piece to the puzzle.

A club will always be the sum of its parts and Callaway is pulling out all the stops with the Epic Star Forged set and the components that will accompany this technology package. The stock options will include Aerotech Steelfiber FC (flight control) and Mitsubishi Chemical’s  Tensei AV Silver shaft to optimize feel and control.  The other upgrade is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align Silver Grips (Align grips offer a textured raised rib on the bottom of the grip to help the golfer place their hands in the same position over and over again). All of these pieces come together to create a premium iron from Callaway.

The Epic Forged will be available at retail starting August 2nd. 4-SW. Retail price of $300 per iron.

 

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