Something happens to golfers when they see a forged muscle back iron, golf’s smallest, least forgiving type of iron that only a small percentage of golfers have the talent to use effectively.
The response is similar to how motorists feel when they see an accident on the freeway. They know that shouldn’t look, that it’s potentially hazardous for them to do so, but they just can’t help themselves.
Mizuno’s new MP-4 irons will take many golfers’ intrigue with muscle back irons a step farther. They have a classic shape and understated graphics that traditionalists will praise, and according to Chuck Couch, vice president of golf product for Mizuno, they feel as good if not better than any iron Mizuno has ever produced.
To say that a golf club has good feel sounds like a subjective statement, because good feel often means something different to different golfers. But Couch said that Mizuno has established a way to quantify feel and improve it scientifically, which is exactly what the company has done with the muscle back MP-4 irons, as well as with its new forged cavity back MP-54 irons.
Mizuno MP-4 Irons
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The first thing most golfers will notice about the MP-4 irons is that they look small at address, and that’s no illusion.
In most iron sets, the blade lengths of the irons get longer as the clubs gets shorter. That’s because of the weight progression of the heads – short irons (which have shorter shaft lengths) have to be heavier than longer irons (which have longer shaft lengths) for the clubs to have a similar balance point, or swing weight.
For example, Mizuno’s previous muscle back iron, the MP-69, had a blade length that grew 1.5 millimeters from the 3 iron (74.5 mm) to pitching wedge (76 mm). That doesn’t sound like a big difference, but for the exacting golfers who tend to play muscleback irons, it’s noticeable.
Above: The “Pure Muscle” on a Mizuno MP-4 model 7 iron.
Instead of increasing blade length, engineers added weight to the MP-4 irons by increasing the size of the muscle pad behind the sweetspot of the irons, which is the reason for the irons’ pronounced bulge, or “Pure Muscle,” in the back. According to Couch, the added mass amplifies the MP-4’s “Harmonic Number,” the frequencies created at impact that golfers equate with feel.
By raising the harmonic number, and tweaking the shape of the muscle pad to ensure that the frequencies have even levels, Couch said engineers can create a more pleasing sound that translates into the “sticky, soft feel” at impact that golfers rave about.
Mizuno MP-54 Irons
If most golfers are honest with themselves, they’ll come to the conclusion that irons like the MP-4 aren’t for them. Couch speculated that not even Luke Donald, Mizuno’s highest-ranked professional golfer, will play the MP-4 irons. He’ll likely stick with the MP-64 irons, which are slightly larger and more forgiving (Click here to read our full review on the MP-64’s).
The MP-64 irons were one of our top-rated irons for 2013, but even for some of Mizuno’s staff players they’re still smaller and less forgiving than they’d like. That’s why Mizuno decided to create the MP-54 irons, which like the MP-4 and MP-64 are forged from 1025E “Pure Select” Carbon Steel to help create the soft, solid feel Mizuno irons are known for. But they’re slightly larger than the MP-64’s, which Couch said allowed engineers to take total advantage of modern iron technology.
The MP-54 irons have longer blade lengths, thicker top lines, more offset and a thicker sole than the MP-64 and MP-4 irons. Their most important characteristic, however, is the 16 grams of weight that Mizuno removes from the cavities of the 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 irons (see photo 1). That discretionary weight was repositioned in areas that give the irons a higher peak trajectory and more forgiveness than Mizuno’s smaller-sized irons.
The MP-54’s 8 iron, 9 iron and pitching wedge do not have the weight removed from the cavity, however, which gives the clubs a flatter, more penetrating trajectory that better golfers prefer with their short irons (see photos 2).
Couch emphasized that the “Step Muscle” design – a.k.a. the hole that’s left in the cavity after milling out 16 grams of weight – does not compromise the feel of the irons.
“We left as much maximum thickness as we could behind the impact area, and use that to drive our feel,” Couch said. “And we used H.I.T. [Harmonic Impact Technology] to make the irons feel amazing.”
The MP-4 and MP-54 irons, which will hit shelves on Sept. 9, come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and will retail for $999.
Both sets have similar lofts – the 6 irons measure 30 degrees, the pitching wedges measure 46 degrees — to allow golfers to mix and match Mizuno iron models for a combo set.
PXG expanding Battle Ready putter collection with Closer and Spitfire
PXG is expanding its Battle Ready Collection of putters with the all-new: Closer and Spitfire models which are 100 percent milled and have been engineered to combine high MOI with prominent alignment features to increase confidence on the greens.
“Golfers love options. And our new Battle Ready Closer and Spitfire are two of the very best putters you’ll ever use. Period. These putters are fully optimized, from CG and MOI to stability and alignment so that you can sink more putts” -PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons
Battle Ready Closer
The Battle Ready Closer is a high MOI wide-body blade featuring high-density tungsten in the heel and toe to increase the putter’s stability compared to the previous model and optimize the center of gravity.
Beyond the flange sightline, the geometry of the head is intentionally built around parallel and perpendicular lines for easy alignment.
Battle Ready Spitfire
The Spitfire is a “wide-winged” mallet with the wings built using tungsten to create a very high-MOI and to also aid with alignment.
- Optimized face pattern – Like with previous PXG putters, the pyramid face pattern optimizes the ball speed across the putter face by reducing speed on center strikes while also retaining speed towards the heel and toe, all providing a soft feel. The face ensures consistency in all parameters that affect roll including; initial ball velocity, launch angle, spin rate, and skid.
- Tungsten weighting – For maximum stability, the putter has an added tungsten frame along the perimeter to boost MOI and create a deeper center of gravity. The Tungsten works alongside the lightweight aluminum frame to remove mass away from the center while still having ports for weight customization.
Price, specs, and availability
Both the Battle Ready series Closer and Spitfire putters will retail at $525 but are being introduced at a special introductory price of $295. For more information or book a putter fitting, visit PXG.com or call 844.PLAY.PXG.
Specs will vary based on putter configurations, but each putter will have the option for a plumber’s neck, Heel Shafted, Double Bend, or Armlock – provide additional customization based on a player’s unique stroke style.
Lots of new and old gear in play at Wells Fargo Championship
With the next major of the golf season, the PGA Championship, coming up in just a few weeks at Kiawah Island, players are gearing up and pulling out all the stops when it comes to dialing in their clubs. For many players, this means getting news clubs in the bag, and for others, it also means potentially going back to some old favorites that just “feel right.”
Already this week, we spotted Rory McIlroy going back to his TaylorMade Rors Proto irons, and after closely inspecting the many tour gallery pictures from the Wells Fargo, there was a lot more we spotted.
Here’s the rundown.
Justin Thomas continues to stick with Titleist TS3
Although he did test the TSi Series drivers when they were released, Justin Thomas continues to stick with the same TS3 driver that helped him win The Players earlier this year.
Jason Dufner with new Cobra 3D printed putter
The Duf-man has been in tinker mode with the putter for a while now, and this week, he had a new (presumably) 3D printed fang style Cobra putter on greens at Quail Hollow. We did catch up to him later in the day where he had another Cobra putter he has been using for a while, so I guess it’s going to be a game-time decision come Thursday.
Patrick Cantlay getting used to his new Scotty Cameron
Patrick has long been a blade putter guy, but a few weeks ago he was seen with an Odyssey 2-Ball at the RBC Heritage, and this week in Charlotte he was using a Scotty Cameron T-5.
Corey Conners with new Ping i59 irons
The new Ping i59 irons are the talk of GolfWRX right now and for good reason — they look really cool! Ping staffers must be taking notice because not only has Viktor Hovland made the switch but so has Corey Conners (above) and Hunter Mahan (below).
The switch has also been confirmed thanks to Ping’s continuously updated WITB section of their website.
Bryson back to Cobra LTD
After testing a new “Bryson prototype” Cobra RadSpeed driver at the Masters in April, Mr. DeChambeau is back to the Bay Hill-par-5-driving Cobra LTD. Considering his driving was such a strength in that win, it looks like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Pat Perez with PXG Gen4 irons
Pat Perez changes his Jordan shoes a lot more often than he changes his irons, but this week he has a new set of PXG 0311 Gen4 irons in the bag, which are easy to spot thanks to their signature weight screw in the back of the head.
To keep up to date with all the discussion around equipment this week at Quail Hollow and to see all of the galleries head over to the GolfWRX forums: 2021 Wells Fargo – Discussion & Links
Anyone play a 9-wood? – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing 9-woods. WRXer ‘Uglande’ wants to know if there is a place for the 9-wood in the bag, especially after the revival of 7-woods in the modern game, saying:
“4-iron is a tricky spot for a lot of us, and I have never gotten along with hybrids. Is bagging a 9 wood that crazy of an idea? If Dustin Johnson can hit a 7 wood, why isn’t a 9 wood a realistic choice for the rest of us mortals?”
And our members have been having their say on the matter in our forum.
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.
- tbowles411: “Sure do. Love it. It gives me around 200 yards off the tee and off the deck. It makes the long game easier for me, by a LOT!”
- Feelingofgreatness: “9 wood is generally higher MOI, higher launching and across the spectrum more backspin and less hook bias.”
- Argonne69: “Yeah, I replaced my 4h with a 9w a few seasons ago. I had trouble getting the hybrid airborne at times, but the 9w launches easily. I also have a 7w.”
- mosesgolf: “Yup. I love mine, which replaced the 4 iron. It is so much easier to hit and elevate.”
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