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2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: 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, what is it really, and how is it a component of 2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons?

 

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

2019-mizuno-mp-20-irons-7-iron-

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: 7-iron

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the 2019 Mizuno 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.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-address

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons

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.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-face

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…

2019 Mizuno MP20 MMC irons (Multi-Material Construction)

2019-mizuno-mmc-irons-1

2019 Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons: 7-iron

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.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

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.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

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.

Hot Metal 2019 Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons

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.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-hmb-irons

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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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Benny

    Aug 26, 2019 at 8:15 am

    These look sick. Wish I could move to something new like this but cannot stop visiting BsT!

  2. Dave

    Aug 2, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    MBH 2-iron in my future.

  3. stephenf

    Aug 1, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Those are just not the worst-looking irons on the block.

  4. Pooh

    Jul 28, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Trust Mizzy to bring out great looking clubs that perform ( though we havent hit them yet, I trust). Am i the only one that saw that the blade looks like the MP69s? My absolute favo iron which I play till this very day.

  5. tonyk

    Jul 22, 2019 at 7:09 am

    Does the copper layer prevent clubface browning?

    • wes

      Aug 6, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      that “browning” is likely a nickel layer under the chrome that shows with clubface wear

      • wes

        Aug 6, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        …unless it’s actually dark brown or rust brown… then its through to the iron. depends on the chroming process.

  6. Nihonsei

    Jul 17, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    “…it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel.”
    Sounds like sound is a harbinger of feel? I’ve heard theories though I missed that article. Great read RB, my previous +1 statement is in regards to ALL (excuse me Joe) writers on both sites.
    *KIDNEY FOR SALE OR TRADE!!!

  7. Jack Nash

    Jul 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    To me still the most beautiful irons made today. I play 919 HM’s and love them. I see more Pros playing the blades than I used to. Even some on the LPGA.

  8. s

    Jul 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    MP-14 RESURRECTED! With two brothers-in-arms in Iron Man suits!

  9. jsthomas386

    Jul 17, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    I love you guys to death but, Jesus I wish someone could proofread these articles for a change…

    • Nihonsei

      Jul 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm

      +1…..I’ve deleted my copy-paste colornotes by now.

  10. Branson Reynolds

    Jul 17, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    For my money I wish they’d stamp MP-20 on the hosel and leave that blade super clean. These are fantastic looking though. My 59’s and H5’s just shat themselves a little.

  11. the dude

    Jul 17, 2019 at 11:25 am

    sorry if I missed it….but I’d like to hear what CV has to say about these (podcast)?

    Thanks

  12. Patric

    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Left handed in the blades?

  13. tom

    Jul 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Sorry if I missed it but when are these available?

  14. golfraven

    Jul 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    So what happened to the SC model?

  15. Joe

    Jul 16, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Did a teenage girl write this article? We don’t need supper case words, bold, italics, and excessive exclamation points to glean the major points in an article.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jul 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Joe,

      By no means am I a teenage girl, I’m a 30 something year old father but I appreciate you reading my article on the new MP20’s from Mizuno.

    • Travisty

      Jul 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      Joe don’t be such a wet noodle.

    • Joe Junior

      Jul 17, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Youre the worst

    • STEVE MARAGAKES

      Jul 23, 2019 at 9:18 am

      Actually, those graphics for emphasis help me read the article quickly, so thanks, Ryan for using them. And, Joe, if the article had been written by a teenager, the author would have used the word “amazing” or “awesome” about 18 or 19 times.

  16. Travisty

    Jul 16, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Oh, my, god. I’m buying these 100%. Mizuno knocked this release out of the park.

  17. 15th Club

    Jul 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

    DG AMT available?

    I’m old enough to remember copper-underlay irons. I could never explain it, but they felt great.

    • 2putttom

      Jul 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      lol, me too. Last set of blades I bought (Adams MB 2’s) have copper underlay)

  18. DB

    Jul 16, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Is anyone able to read the graphic with shaft options?

  19. Fitz

    Jul 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I told that GA Lawywer from 4GEA that hollow irons could do everything that full bodied irons could do. But they never listen.

  20. carl

    Jul 16, 2019 at 9:53 am

    pricing?

    • tim

      Jul 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

      I’m guessing at least buck-fifty per iron. Too rich for my blood unfortunately.

      • 2putttom

        Jul 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm

        I’m thinkin’ more

      • Cj

        Aug 15, 2019 at 6:19 pm

        Put it in your budget and pay cash bruh. I know there is something else u can cut out for six months?!

  21. Ross Peterson

    Jul 16, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Will the upcharge shafts show up on the fitting matrix?

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“We are working on bringing 2nd Gen Tensei product to market – this is the first week of PGA Tour testing.

Be sure to stay tuned for more information towards the beginning of 2020!”

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

  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I’m already a huge fan of the Pro White, I can’t wait to see how these look and perform in person!”
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Honma launches new XP-1 Series driver, fairway woods, and hybrids for 2020

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new 2020 Honma Driver

For 2020, Honma Golf is launching the all-new XP-1 line of clubs comprised of an entire family holistically designed to help players maximize forgiveness and get the most out of their games with one set. The new Honma XP-1 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, all the way to irons, is a new direction for the premium Japanese company that brings together ultimate craftsmanship with performance.

The highlight of the XP-1 line from Honma is the fact that they were designed from top to bottom to work as a comprehensive set of tool to achieve maximum performance. The technology in the metal woods flows from the driver to the hybrids with a seamless transition that creates consistency for feel and looks for the player.

Honma XP-1 driver

new 2020 Honma Driver

New 2020 Honma Golf Driver

Honma is known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, and every part of the XP-1 line was developed with the golfer in mind to both look appealing and perform to the highest standards. The XP-1 driver packs a lot of technology into a very classic looking club, and we’re here to take you under the hood—or in this case, the carbon fiber crown—to show you how it can help you hit better shots.

2020 Honma XP1 Driver toe

Honma XP-1 Driver Toe

It starts with a tour-inspired look from address, designed to inspire confidence for any level of golfer. Underneath ther gloss black crown, there is a lot of technology to generate faster ball speeds around the entire face and help get you dialed into the right setting. Speaking to the crown, it’s made from ET-40 fiber, making it one the lightest in golf. This weight savings helps engineers relocate an additional 15g of mass around the head towards the heel for increased MOI and greater ability to help players close the club face more easily.

Flip the driver upside down, and we have a lot more going on with the sole than initially meets the eye. Honma is introducing a new double slot in the sole for increased ball speed across a much larger area of the face. What starts off smaller in the middle increases in width and depth as it reaches towards the heel and the toe of the club. These slots, along with improved MOI, keep ball speeds up and misses closer to the intended target. The last part of the equation: How these wider parts of the face, flex around the more narrow middle to also increase gear effect—think of it like one more way to help the bigger misses stay in play.

New 2020 Honma Driver XP1

2020 Honma XP-1 Driver sole and shaft adjustment connection

The last piece key piece of technology in the XP-1 driver head is exclusive to Honma—the adjustable hosel that changes face angle, lie, and loft, but never changes the orientation of the shaft. This gives the player or fitter the ability to truly dial in hosel settings without having to worry about the constantly changing of the grip orientation. This, according to Honma, also keeps the shaft spine in the ideal location for consistent performance.

Honma 2020 xp1 driver shaft

Honmq Vizard 43g shaft

Honma is the only manufacturer that produces its own shafts from start to finish in house, and the XP-1 is getting its own custom-designed and built shafts to complement the technology built into the heads. The Vizard stock shafts are engineered to produce a smooth feel that promotes faster clubhead speeds, yet also remain extremely stable. For the XP-1 driver, the matching Vizard shafts will come in weights of 43g, 53g, and 63g, and flexes from senior to stiff.

Honma XP-1 fairway woods

The XP-1 woods bring the same level of craftsmanship and technology as the drivers to a club designed for use both off the tee and off the fairway.

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

The Honma XP-1 3-wood uses the same weight-saving ET-40 crown to position a large amount of the club’s total mass low and on the sole for greatest possible launch and spin consistency. The 3-wood is the second-lightest club in most players bags by total weight and head mass, and unless you are carrying a second driver, it’s also the second-largest by volume. By using the carbon crown designers get everything they can from the other technologies including the double slot sole and thin fast face without having to sacrifice the overall design of not just the head but the entire club.

New Honma XP-1 3 wood crown fairway

Honma XP-1 3 wood crown

The XP-1 fairways also include a 5  7-woods, but with the smaller volume of the heads and the reduced crown size, using a carbon crown would actually increase the mass higher in the head, so they instead utilize an extremely thin high strength steel crown.

New Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft XP1

Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft

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Honma XP-1 hybrid

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New 2020 Honma XP1 hybrid

Honma XP-1 Hybrid

Honma continues the design philosophy of keeping the XP-1 both forgiving and fast by utilizing the double slot sole all the way into these hybrids that go from a 19-degree 3-iron replacement to a 25-degree 5-iron replacement.

Honma XP-1 specs & availability

The Honma XP-1 driver, fairway wood, and hybrids will be available starting in October.

New 2020 Honma XP1 Driver fairway hybrid specs

Honma XP-1 line club specs

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