Golf Monthly's Mizuno MP-18 Irons Review, a new range of irons aimed at the better player who prioritises feel, precision and workability
Mizuno MP-18 Irons Review
There aren’t many golf clubs that on first look send a shiver down your spine or instantly put a smile on your face, but the MP-18 irons did it with ease, even despite images doing the rounds on social media weeks before I finally got my hands on them.
With straight lines, meticulously-shaped cambers and perfectly-softened edges in all the right places, these must be as close to the perfect looking golf club for the purist – as far removed from the modern era of Face Slots, Speed Pockets and vibration dampening badges as a club is ever likely to get.
They are, as the size suggests, for the true player. The very best of ball strikers.
On the blade, there isn’t any technology here that’s going to save a miss but the MP-18 player doesn’t hit many misses.
The feel can best described as a long hit. By that, I mean the ball seems to stay on the face for an eternity. When you strike one pure from the centre, you feel nothing – like the club is an extension of your arms and you’re merely throwing a ball 170 yards with a 6-iron. The accompanying sound is muted and dull, crisp and short. Perfection.
Related: Mizuno JPX900 driver review
Unsurprisingly, forgiveness doesn’t really feature here. If that’s a shock to you, perhaps the JPX900 series is more up your street. Misses felt harsh and dropped out of the sky quickly, but those shots are soon forgotten when you hit another out of the liquid-like sweetspot.
The MP-18 SC irons are larger, but only just – perhaps by no more than a cigarette paper. The topline and sole are definitely noticeably wider but this is still a compact, players’ iron. The feel is still soft, not quite at the MP-18 blade level, but very close. They’re a little more forgiving through the turf but flew a similar distance, with a touch less spin and lower launch.
The MP-18 MMC is a livelier club to hit. Off the face it feels springy, like the ball leaves it more quickly, and has a louder sound to match. When you factor in the lofts are two degrees stronger (28° 6-iron compared to 30° for the MP-18 SC and MP-18), golfers will certainly get more distance and forgiveness from this club, although they’ll need to be willing to pay for it at £150 per club.
Finally the MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi is an excellent offering in the top end of your bag that offered me a nice penetrating flight and ample forgiveness across the face.
I like how the back edge of the sole, which is naturally visible on the lower-lofted options, is parallel to the top line, so you really don’t notice it as much as you might think.
All in all, there’s a huge amount of scope for golfers to mix and match the models within their set and the performance benefits on the different shots hit from clubs at either end of the bag should encourage them to do so, especially when you consider they all come under the MP-18 umbrella.
You could conceivably create a set with all four models in it, adding another level to the custom-fit experience you get with Mizuno, along with the impressive shaft optimiser and Swing D.N.A technology.
The MP-18 irons are a visual treat from every angle and while only a small percentage of golfers should seriously consider them for their bag, the rest of us can aspire to have them and many will find the larger models more playable than expected.