I posted this in the pre-release thread, but I thought some of you might be interested as there is starting to be a buzz about these. I managed to get an early set site unseen and happened to be playing 4 rounds in 3 days with 31 other guys on a really great golf course in the middle of nowhere. The weather was miserable. But I did get 4 relatively competitive rounds in (Ryder Cup type event) and wanted to help anyone considering these.
So I played 4 rounds. Unfortunately in 32-40 degree weather in a myriad of cruddy conditions. However, I'll give my initial impressions.
First I didn't buy the GW as it is a standard Hot metal. And frankly I prefer my Vokey gap wedge so I wouldn't use it anyway. A 4-Pw set is $875.
I bought them with the stock C Taper Lite stiff shafts. When I did the Swing DNA thing last year it was one of the shafts I tried and I liked it when I was testing the JPX Forged.
One thing I like that Mizuno is doing is putting the MCC on standard as that's what I use so it saved me $80.00 in grips.
I haven't been on a launch monitor as I didn't even get a chance to hit them before I bought them. I got a chance to see them early and I just really like the way they look. I figured if I don't like them I can always use the policy that allows you to return them for a different set. And because it was so cold I really don't know about distance with any detail. It was freezing and I had 3 layers on so I hit a lot of 3/4 shots. I'll have to get on a launch monitor to see what distance gains I might have so I won't really comment on distance except to say that even in those conditions I didn't see a drastic drop off in distance from my current gamers in good weather so I suspect they will be longer than my TMBs.
I like my TMBs. I hit them well and I've played some solid golf with them. Essentially there are only a couple of things I don't like about them which is why I've been looking at new products. First is the feel/sound. They definitely have a louder sound and a more firm feel than most clubs I've owned . I've historically been an MP player. The TMBs are really loud on marginal strikes. That's when you hear the hollow clanky sound from them. Second is I still think they have some work to do on the COG. If I could give Titleist feedback it would be to get the COG higher in the shorter clubs. I hit my 7-PW very high and I'm not a high ball hitter. I'm a mid-flight player and that's what I prefer. I had 716 TMBs originally so I've been playing the T-MB full set for a long time. I've just tolerated the high ball flight in the shorter irons because as I said I've played some good golf with them. Last, while they are forgiving for their size I definitely was looking for a little more forgiveness and something that 'looks' more forgiving as I only play about once a week now and I rarely practice.
I really love the way they look which is why I bought them. Very modern and sleek. Similar to the Forged, but it looks like they may have slightly less offset than the Forged. I prefer very little offset. As for the overall design I find the size to look similar to the I210. Slightly longer blade length in the 4 and 5 irons. They were exactly what I was looking for. I was also looking at the i210, the i500 and the new Apex. My 2 favorites from an appearance point of view were the i210 and now the HM Pro. The Apex has too much offset (or they do a bad job of hiding it). The i500 is nice, but looks like an iblade to me at address and again I was looking for something slightly more forgiving looking. So to me the i210 and the HM Pro are very similar at address. Some people mentioned that on the 4 and 5 iron you can see a little of the back of the club at address. While that is true in my living room on wood floors I never noticed it on the golf course playing off grass.
This was the biggest surprise. I wasn't sure what to expect. I hit the Hot metals one time. The regular ones as a buddy bought a set. But literally I hit 2 balls. I've hit the Forged quite a bit as I considered buying them. Obviously none of these feel like an MP and at this point I'm okay with that. I will sacrifice some feel for performance. To a point. For a cast club the i210 feels about as good as anything I've hit. I find these to be similarly solid, yet soft. They say they put some kind of sound ribs(I have no idea what that means) to hit specific vibration patterns(again, no idea). However I think they feel great so whatever Mizuno actually did, they did a really good job at making these have a really nice feel. Again I was playing in just miserable weather. I was using a Pro V1X. The sound is just really solid and powerful. Not sharp at all. They don't feel or sound like the Ping. But they both felt very solid to me and certainly on the soft side for a cast club. The HM Pro feels much better than I expected so from that point of view I'm ecstatic. That's basically a bonus.
Just like with the feel/sound I had no idea what to expect. They're Mizunos so I knew they'd be good clubs. But I had no idea how they'd perform. Particularly ball flight which is near the top of my list for reasons to buy new clubs. As I mentioned I have no idea how far I will inevitably hit these, but I anticipate hitting them 6 or 7 yards farther than my TMBs given the lofts in the long and mid irons. I hit a fairly straight ball so I'm rarely trying to move the ball a lot. If I do I'm typically hitting a little cut. I had no issue moving the ball the way I prefer. There are a few holes on this course (Pine Dunes in Frankston, Tx. The middle of nowhere, but a great golf course) where you can drive the ball on the wrong side of the fairway and depending on the pin get stuck behind big tall trees and be forced to move the ball substantially to hit the green, much less get near the hole. On those occasions I was able to move the ball quite a lot which I didn't expect. I can move them substantially more than the T-MBs. My opinion is that the HM Pro spins more. Which is a good thing. Something I didn't mention is the TMBs don't spin enough. They stop because of the height. The HM Pro definitely has more spin, but not too much which brings me to ball flight. I find the new 'player's distance' irons don't spin enough. I was really happy to see that my standard ball flight was a strong mid trajectory. And I could easily knock them down when needed. Frankly the versatility with the ballflight is exactly what I was looking for and my biggest question with them before I hit them. Particularly with the short irons. The 4 iron is going to kick my Callaway UT out of the bag. It is an awesome tool. It feels as forgiving as the Callaway and again I was able to flight is much more easily. As for stopping, I had no issue stopping the ball. They did exactly what I want them to do. One hop and stop. Also, the distance control is outstanding. I never had one get away from me. The distance was very predictable. I had a number of 115-120 yard punch/knockdown pitching wedges I hit for example and the ball consistently went exactly the distance I expected. Additionally given that we played the same course 4 straight rounds in the same conditions I had basically a lot of the same distances round to round and the clubs consistently produced the same result.
So far I'm really pleased and looking forward to hitting them indoors with a launch monitor as well as in good weather on my home course. At this point they've checked every box that needed to be checked to get me to put the TMB away and potentially sell them. They look great, they feel great, and the performance is just fantastic. I'm not sure exactly why Mizuno felt the need to add this set to the mix given they have the Forged, but I'm glad they did. I was told they didn't know if they would initially bring them to the US market which is why most people had no idea they were coming. But basically if you're looking for a powerful, forgiving, great looking players club you should look at them. I would, and did, choose them over the Forged. They're a little more forgiving, they (to me) look slightly better to me at address. AND they're $300 cheaper. Feel wise they aren't better or worse to me. Just different.
After I get some time on a launch monitor this week I'll report back.