Mizuno are legends in the field of forged irons and they have produced another winner with the not so snappily named JPX-800 Irons. This is a slight departure from their usual offerings that are based on finesse and control because this baby is all about power and distance. However, with Mizuno being Mizuno, they haven’t sacrificed that great feel or the looks of this club in any shape or form. It maintains classy lines and whilst not quite as sleek as the MP line, it has a whole lot of performance packed into the slightly larger club head.
A simple cavity design looks great and the club sets up really nicely behind the ball. With a choice of several quality shafts, this is a great iron for players across a wide range of skill sets. I know of a few very low handicappers who play this club yet it is usable for anyone up to around a 20 or even slightly beyond. It’s a smart choice if you are in the market for new irons and want to gain a few yards without resorting to a breeze block on a stick.
When I hit these, it wasn’t quite the usual Mizuno experience; normally, it’s game face on and pure concentration to avoid making a fool of myself with the MP line but the JPX-800 Pro looks so tempting, so easy to strike purely and still looks like a player’s iron. Clever guys these Mizuno club designers
Boom…it’s long. Not surprising given the lofts on these puppies but even so it’s nice to watch your ball fly right out there with a bit of purpose. The pitching wedge is set at a 45 degree loft, so around a degree or 2 stronger than most forged irons and you will want to consider that when matching up your gap and sand wedges when you grab a set. These stronger lofts help work with the increased ball speed to prevent ballooning and keep your flight penetrating and tight. It’s a bit like hitting an old MX series on steroids; the feel and look is still there, it’s just a more powerful weapon.
It’s not too chunky and retains some player’s iron qualities but the top line is slightly thicker than an MP iron. I actually liked the balance of the club head design, fitting in between an MP and a game improvement very nicely. This is a game improvement class club but as I said before, that doesn’t stop it finding its way into the bags of some very low handicaps.
Ok, so it’s long, flies high and gets it out there. Can you work it around though? Yes you can, it’s not as subtle as the MP69 or 63 but I was able to hit a fade when I wanted and punch shots were pretty good too. Not as easy to keep low as a blade or muscle back but that’s the trade off with the levels of launch and forgiveness that are on offer here. I reckon with a bit of practice and more time than I had with a basket or two of balls you could get where you wanted on that front.
Feedback is good and you will love the shots that soar away into the next county via the sweetspot. Mizuno have retained that lovely sweet forged feel in the JPX-800 Pro and it makes it a pleasure to play. Factor in the ease of that playability and you have a real winner on your hands. The level of forgiveness is great and these are just fun to hit, over and over again.
If you are a fairly decent player and can shoot in the 90s or below then you really ought to give these some serious thought because they have it all. Looks, forgiveness, feel and distance, if you want more than that then you are just plain greedy. I haven’t hit many clubs that can combine the four key factors that decide many a golfer’s purchase as these. In fact I’m not sure I ever have, the JPX-800 is a great all-rounder and should develop into one of Mizuno’s most fondly remembered models.
In a fiercely competitive sector Mizuno have delivered a fantastic iron that I am sure will stand the test of time. It does what all it’s rivals do but just a little bit better and if this is the direction that Mizuno are going with their JPX line then sign me up for the ride with a one-way ticket.
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