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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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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

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10 Comments

10 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.

  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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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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Spotted: Justin Rose is testing a new TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” wedge

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On Twitter today, Justin Rose posted a photo of a never-before-seen TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” 60-degree wedge. As the name suggests, it appears the toe portion is raised; we’ve seen this high-toe design from other manufacturers, and the benefits of those designs included increasing face area on open-faced shots, and shifting CG (center of gravity) to where it’s more beneficial for wedge play (likely higher for more spin and a lower flight).

The wedge is also stamped with “MG” to suggest it’s a “milled grind” wedge, much like TaylorMade’s popular wedge line that’s in stores now. There also appears to be slots behind the face, likely to also shift CG to where it’s deemed more beneficial.

Talks of a TaylorMade wedge with a high-toe design were actually started by Dustin Johnson a few weeks ago in a press conference. His full comments on that wedge are above, and you can join the discussion about the wedge in our forums.

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