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Mizuno brings the MP family closer together with its new MP-18 irons

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With its MP-18 iron family, Mizuno has narrowed the differences between its four new iron models to make mixing sets not only easier, but completely seamless.

Check out our WITB Page, and you’ll notice that most PGA Tour players are using combination iron sets. That means they’re playing muscleback short irons and cavity-back longer irons with thicker toplines and more forgiveness. This combo-set trend makes perfect sense; it allows golfers to use an iron set that gives them maximum control in their short irons where they want maximum control, and more forgiveness and distance in their long irons where they want more distance and forgiveness. Duh!

The problem is that most iron sets attempt to cater to the needs of muscleback players with their muscleback irons, cavity-back players with their cavity-back irons, and game-improvement players with their game-improvement irons. By segmenting iron families, it leaves gaps in looks, feel, playability, and distance for golfers who want to make their own combination set.

Mizuno has gone to great lengths to address that problem with its MP-18 iron family, which is intended to be mixed and matched. The MP-18 family includes four irons types:

  • MP-18 (Muscleback)
  • MP-18 SC (Split Cavity)
  • MP-18 MMC (Multi-Material Compound)
  • MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

While the SC, MMC, and MMC Fli-Hi irons are larger than the MP-18 muscleback irons, they maintain the same sole, head profile, and topline ratios in their shaping. That means they look almost identical at address; they’re just slightly larger. Their lofts and pricing are also essentially identical. Only a trained eye will be able to tell any difference at all.

In terms of materials, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18. The irons are forged from 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon, a switch from the 1025 Boron the company was using in some of its MP irons in recent years. Boron was used because it is stronger than Mizuno’s 1025E carbon steel, allowing engineers to thin out structures within the irons for added distance and forgiveness. “That’s just not MP,” as one Mizuno representative put it.

With this launch, Mizuno strived to give the MP-18 irons the look and feel of irons that “could have been made 100 years ago,” the company says. They’re for players who want the best-feeling, best-looking irons they can play, with simple color schemes and classic shapes, while still getting maximum performance. There’s still a place for cutting-edge designs and materials in Mizuno players irons — just ask Brooks Koepka, who used the JPX-900 Tour irons forged from Boron to win the 2017 U.S. Open — but it’s not in the MP-18 line.

To get the artistic shaping the company desired in the MP-18 line, Mizuno brought its computer-designed club heads to Japan where its expert craftsmen refined the shapes. The club-grinding experts worked to blend the transition of the hosels into the club faces in a way that reduced the look of offset. They also dialed in toe and heel shapes while adding camber to the sole. These prototype models were used as the starting point for each of the MP-18 irons to ensure consistency through the lineup.

Despite their throwback looks, the company relied on new school technologies to refine the sound and feel of the irons. Mizuno’s stated goal with the irons was to extend impact frequencies so they not only feel softer, but so that golfers get more feedback on the club. To that end, the irons were forged with a new “Grain-Flow Forged HD” process. The company’s H.I.T. (Harmonic Impact Technology) was also used to dial in acoustics for enhanced feedback.

Below, we break down each of the individual offerings in the MP-18 family. The irons will sell for $149.99 each and will be available September 15.

Mizuno MP-18

In relation to previous Mizuno MP muscleback irons, the MP-18 irons are significantly smaller than the MP-5 irons and slightly smaller than one of Mizuno’s smallest modern muscleback irons, the MP-4. Their toplines appear thinner than they measure due to a camber that makes them look slimmer in the address position. In comparing topline thicknesses, the MP-18’s are thinner than the MP-5, but they’re a bit thicker than the MP-4.

The MP-18 scoring irons (9 and PW) are smaller in size than previous models. All of the irons in the set also have lower heel heights. “That’s what this player wants,” a Mizuno representative said.

The MP-18 irons will come stock with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and Golf Pride MCC White/Black grips. They are right-handed only offerings.

Full Specs 

MP-18bladeSpecs

Mizuno MP-18 SC (Split Cavity)

The MP-18 Split Cavity irons feature what Mizuno calls a half-cavity design. Mass has been taken of the upper portion of the irons, focusing CG (center of gravity) lower in the club head for an easier launch and more forgiveness.

The MP-18 SC irons are only fractionally longer from heel-to-toe than the MP-18 muscleback irons. They’re also 0.5 millimeters taller and have soles that are 1.5 millimeters wider. With identical specs (aside from swing weight in the longer irons) and offset, these irons are designed to blend seamlessly into a combination set with the MP-18 muscleback irons regardless of where golfers decide to split their set.

The MP-18 SC irons come stock with KBS Tour shafts and are available for left- and right-handed golfers.

Full Specs

MizunoMp18scSpecs

Mizuno MP-18 MMC (Multi-Material Construction)

The MP-18 MMC irons are Grain Flow Forged from 1025E, but they use a multi-material construction to move weight to the center of the club heads to enhance moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of forgiveness. The more centered CG is achieved by adding 20 grams of tungsten, a material more dense than steel, in the toe section of the irons. An 8-gram titanium insert, which is lighter than steel, was also placed behind the club face and toward the heel section of the club.

The titanium insert is used in each of the MMC iron designs. Tungsten was not used in the 8, 9, and PW club heads, however, as it was not needed to center CG due in those clubs.

MizunoMMCconstruction

The MP-18 MMC are designed with 0.8 millimeters less offset more than the MP-18 and SC irons, but they also have 2 degrees less loft per head. According to Mizuno, however, each degree of loft that is added when bending an iron weaker adds 0.4 millimeters of offset. That means if a golfer matches the lofts of the MP-18 MMC irons to the MP-18 or MP-18 SC irons, offset will be essentially identical.

The MP-18 MMC irons will come stock with a Nippon Modus 120 shaft, and they’re a right-handed only offering.

Full Specs

MizunoMP18MMCspecs

Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Offered in long-irons only (2-6 iron), the Mizuno MMC Fli-HI irons have an X-30 steel body material with club faces made from Maraging 1770HT steel, a high-strength material that can be made thinner to help create faster ball speeds.

MizunoTngsten

Mizuno made the toplines of its new Fli-Hi significantly thinner than its predecessor, the MP-H5 iron. The toplines are also cambered to look thinner than they measure, creating a look that will suit the eye of better players, according to Mizuno. Like the MP-MMC irons, the MMC Fli-Hi irons also have 20 grams of tungsten in their toes. The insert is forged into the inside of the cavity, however, and it sits behind the face. According to Mizuno, this design helps golfers hit higher shots with the irons and increases forgiveness.

The MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi irons will come stock with KBS C-Taper shafts, and are a right-handed only offering.

Full Specs

MMCfliHiMizunoSpecs

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the MP-18 irons in our forums

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. D

    Aug 8, 2017 at 2:23 am

    At least you feel special that you can do things that right-handers can’t.

  2. Mr Poopoo

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    There goes my next paycheck

  3. D

    Aug 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    You would know all about being hopeless, you’re hopeless

  4. BRI

    Aug 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Article is littered with errors.

  5. ShankLampard147

    Aug 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    No combo set if you’re left handed, which is a big fail. I wanted the sc18’s, but it feels like mizuno doesn’t want my money. No fli hi is a deal breaker for me. Add to that the blue wedges and I think they should just stop making left handed clubs altogether. Any self respecting lefty wouldn’t play Mizuno.

    • joro

      Jul 11, 2018 at 11:47 am

      What do most people need with a combo set. Is it skill or ego that they think it will make them a player with them in the Bag. I am a leftie and play with the Hot Metals in Leftie that more people need, they are strong, hit high and feel soft. And the Graphite shaft is a good one.

      So Leftie, take a good look at then, them, then are grrrrrrrrreat.

  6. Edit

    Aug 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Think you meant to say tungsten was not used in 8-paw heads of MMC. You wrote titanium.

  7. Tommy

    Aug 7, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I’m surprised by the fat soles on the 18’s. How’s that “classic Mizuno”? I’ll wait to see them in hand but that really pops the bubble for me…

  8. Tiemco

    Aug 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    When you say the Fli-Hi iron’s are only offered in the long irons and then you put in parentheses 6-PW. I think you meant to write 2-6.

  9. Lee Shaw

    Aug 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Surely these MP18’s can’t be any good they are not over $3000 for 8 irons!!

  10. Dat

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Sign me up! 3 Fli-Hi, 4-6 SC, 7-PW MB

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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