Review by: J13 – Updated 1-17-2013
Pros: Mizuno has hit a home run with these irons. I can’t stress it enough that along with Luke Donald’s help, Mizuno has taken a page out of the old play book and went back to the super soft feel that it is know for. My most recent set of Mizunos were the MP-68s. The MP-68s are certainly softer than the average forging, but the MP-64s just seem to melt at impact, like a hot knife through warm butter. Also the modern sized head and one of the best sole designs on record makes this a gem.
Cons: There’s not a whole lot to complain about with these. The only downside is that they aren’t super forgiving so you have to be a solid ball striker to wield the MP-64s. Now, I don’t like to put a handicap on irons like Mizuno does, but I will say that if you make consistent solid contact these irons will suit you nicely. If not, look at Mizuno’s MP-H4s, which are much more forgiving.
Bottom Line: Mizuno moved forward by looking behind. It took the feel that got Mizuno to the big dance and paired that up with the latest technology in forgiveness for a players iron. This goes to show that Mizuno is listening to the public.
Tested: Mizuno MP-64 (3-PW) with KBS Tour C-Taper X-Flex Shafts (Soft Stepped)
About Mizuno MP-64 Irons: Mizuno Golf has a history providing the best irons a golfer can buy. These forged irons were historically reserved for the better golfers. Now, Mizuno offers different designs for all levels of skill. The MP-64 irons we are reviewing here are for the better player, meaning if you have a handicap better than a 14 you could justify these, but more importantly is how you miss the shot. If you tend to hit the dirt before the ball and are heavy a lot, these might not be for you. The soles are on the thinner side. I will try to do an unbiased review. For the record, I play to a scratch handicap.
Here is a great tech video by GolfWRX:
[youtube id=”lWj4LJ-HhQc” width=”600″ height=”350″]
The MP-64s are beautiful. Mizuno hit the nail on the head with these. They are understated — no crazy graphics — and set up to the ball like a players irons should. The Mizuno chrome shines like a set of 22-inch rims in a rap video. The satin face frames the ball extremely well and helps with alignment to the target.
Flow Thickness Diamond Muscle Pad delivers optimized performance and perfect flow through the entire set.
Another thing I enjoyed was all compliments from fellow players — I’ve never had another set that was so well received by other players. As you can see in the pics below, the MP-64s are consistent from heel to toe with a players iron. They do have a slightly thicker topline than some others however.
It seems more noticeable in the 9 iron and pitching wedge, but again were talking slightly thicker, not thick. I really like the fact that I don’t see any cavity in the long irons, something that I’ve seen in other players irons that drives me nuts. The soles are perfect for all types of terrain, but they seem to favor firmer conditions.
As for offset, there’s not a lot. You can see from the pics and from specs that it ranges from 0.106 (PW) to 0.122 (3 iron). It’s very consistent throughout the set which is a plus. I know many players who want zero offset, but I personally enjoy a little relief.
Luke Donald, who never switches irons, moved to these within a week. That should be a good indication of how well these perform. Before I get to how these get that little white ball near that tiny cup, I want to first say that I’m a believer in the importance of custom fitting — irons will perform best if you have the right shaft.
Scientifically designed to optimize sound and feel at impact utilizing Modal Analysis software and Mizuno’s Harmonic Impact Technology (HIT).
Forging process ensure that MP-64’s players cavity design delivers the ultimate in soft, solid, and consistent feel.
Patented Grain Flow Forged 1025E “Pure Select” mil carbon steel provides the ultimate in soft, solid and consistent feel.
For me, that shaft is the KBS C-Taper, which is a low-launch, low-spin shaft that is good for fast tempos. I had mine soft stepped, which means I had a slightly softer shaft installed in each of my clubs. This is done by putting a 9-iron shaft in a PW, an 8-iron shaft in a 9 iron, etc. I’ve been playing the KBS C-Taper for more than a year now and they’re amazing. By pairing these up with the MP-64s, I had a set built for kings.
You can click one of these links to see close ups of PGA Tour players bags. Here is Charles Howell III WITB Photos .
These irons have some of the tightest dispersion I’ve ever seen. For me, the ball comes off the face with a nice baby draw that hops and stops with some zip on it. These irons almost seem like they have square grooves even though I know they don’t. With my 8 iron, 9 iron and PW I was able to be extremely aggressive and hit past some pins knowing that the ball would zip back. I know my grooves are fresh, but the MP-64s spin more then the other sets I’ve tried this year. This has been extremely helpful in shots out of the rough and will definitely take some getting used to.
Flight and Distance:
These are some of the easiest player cavity back irons to flight down if needed. I can control trajectory just as easy as a blade without question, as it appears to me that the center of gravity is not buried deep in the sole of the club like most cavity backs on the market. The first ball that I hit was with the 9 iron and my reaction was, “Wow these are flying low.” I loved it.
Modified U-Grooves produce the ideal spin rate for maximum playability in all conditions.
Now, for distance, there’s not a lot to say here. They are on par with other sets I’ve played that have the same loft. Mishits just off center fly just as far as a center strike, which is great for us humble amateurs. The lofts are essentially standard for today’s players irons so if you’re looking for irons that you can blast off into space and impress your playing partners because your PW is their 8 iron, this isn’t the set for you.
Club Loft Lie Offset Bounce
3 21 59.50 .1222 38.75
4 24 60.00 .1222 38.25
5 27 60.50 .1222 37.75
6 30 61.00 .1143 37.25
7 34 61.50 .1143 36.75
8 38 62.00 .1064 36.25
9 42 62.50 .1065 35.75
PW 46 63.00 .1066 35.50
Mizuno is known for its “Grain Flow Forging” process. Words that could be used to describe the feel of the MP-64s are: astounding, fantastic, stupendous, buttery, soft, excellent, best ever, like hitting an 80 compression balata — take your pick.
These are the best feeling irons I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. As I stated earlier, Mizuno went back to the playbook and got that super-soft forged feeling of days past and married that with today’s technology. Mizuno is a smart bunch who listen to its consumers. It certainly delivered here. There’s not much more to say other than you should hit them and see for yourself. I’ve already had two people hit these irons at my club and order them. That’s how good they are.
Mizuno created a beautiful set or irons that actually feel better than the previous few generations. If you are looking for a players cavity back that can be worked like a blade but has some added forgiveness, then head to your local golf shop and grab the MP-64 six-iron demo. Better yet, if you belong to a club, have them get you a demo so you can test it on the course.
The lower-lofted irons are consistent with the rest of the set. By that I mean if you can hit the 6 iron, you can hit the 3 iron and get that dreaded hook machine of a hybrid out of the bag. If you prefer a combo set, these would also blend nicely with the MP-69s, which I am a real fan of, or the MP-H4s. My final piece of advice is to find a fitting station, grab the shaft optimizer and slap it on the 6 iron. The next step is waiting eagerly for the pretty Mizuno box to show up at your door step. Enjoy the pics feel free to ask any questions.
Click here for more discussion about the review in the forums
If you are looking to dig deeper, you have found the promised land. Here is a collection of “best of the best” content from Mizuno about the MP-64 irons.
Here is Mizuno’s club designer Chris Voshall explaining why Mizuno went back to feel as the guiding design principle behind the MP-64 irons played by Tour professional Luke Donald.
Mizuno PGA Tour testing with Charles Howell III.