In a time when visible technology holds a certain value in the golf club industry, some manufacturers are choosing to keep it under wraps. Appealing aesthetics always draw attention and Mizuno, the Japanese-based sports company with a 115-year history is favouring that dynamic in their latest Mizuno Pro irons and Fli Hi driving iron.
That’s not to say the clubs don’t have plenty of features, but for the most part, they are kept under the hood in this new line which includes The Mizuno Pro 221, 223, 225 and Fli-Hi.
Chris Voshall, the golf club virtuoso who holds an important place in the Mizuno brand as both a Product Manager, and insightful voice, says it well.
“The concept of Mizuno Pro can be misunderstood – we’re not trying to design instant classics or works of art. Mizuno just hides technology incredibly well. This could be perceived as the ultimate betrayal of Mizuno Pro. But the true essence has always been to make history – not be stuck in it,” says Voshall.
The trio of irons provides a mixture of looks preferred by better players but each model blends in features that various players are looking for, as the company alludes to in their release about them: ” The Mizuno Pro 221, 223, 225 and Fli-Hi have been designed as elite player’s irons, but with a little rocket fuel added into the mix…”
Each sports a head that uses Grain Flow Forging HD and soft copper underlay for a soft, yet powerful feel.
The Mizuno Pro 221 is a full-on muscle-back, the Pro 223 fall into the player’s cavity segment, while the Pro 225 adds in the pop of Mizuno’s Hot Metal heritage in a blade look.
“From an engineering perspective – the Mizuno Pro 223 is probably the biggest step forward of all three new irons. The 221 and 225 are refined versions of their predecessors (MP-20 & MP-20 HMB) – but the 223 is a completely new concept. An incredibly compact player’s profile – smaller in every way than the iron it replaces. With Chromoly Forged and a hidden micro-slot from 4-7 iron,” says David Llewellyn – Director of R&D for Mizuno.
The descriptions from the brand themselves:
MIZUNO PRO 221 “The Ultimate Muscleback”
Inspired by the iconic blades of Mizuno’s past, the Pro 221 has evolved to be more playable through incremental refinements in shape and weight placement. The irons have been bevelled for the appearance of a shorter face profile and narrower top line, but without loss of mass in the upper blade. The 221’s are dramatically more compact in the scoring irons than their predecessors. They also feature Mizuno’s shortest CG / shaft axis which is consistent from 3-iron to PW, allowing for controlled shot shaping through the set.
Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan where Mizuno irons have been produced since 1968, they feature a soft copper underlay for a uniquely satisfying Mizuno sensation at impact.
“We’re obviously working in small increments on a Mizuno muscleback – we have to dig quite deep to get any negative feedback,” says David Llewellyn. “The copper underlay and Grain Flow forging was such a great foundation on the MP-20. Players with a good eye will enjoy the subtle shape changes through the set – especially the 8, 9, PW.”
Availability: 3-PW / RH only
Pricing: Mizuno Pro 221 $250 per club (CDN)
MIZUNO PRO 223 “Elite Players Cavity”
Mizuno Pro 223 delivers everything tour players need to compete on extended, more demanding layouts – but never thought to ask for. The 223’s conceal a ball speed-enhancing construction within the frame of a compact players cavity. A completely new technology platform from 4-7 iron combines Mizuno’s tested Chromoly Forging and Flow Micro-Slot – An innovation producing extreme ball speeds from a small tour-ready profile. It delivers a face thickness of just 2.4mm (vs 2.6mm JPX921 Forged).
From 8-PW, Pro 223 are constructed from 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel for ultimate precision and control.
The irons are Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima Japan with a soft copper underlay for that Mizuno purest, softest feel at impact.
“The good way to look at the new Mizuno Pro 223 is that we shrunk the JPX921 Forged technology platform to the profile of one of our small player’s cavities – comparable to the MP-62, MP-64 or MP-18Ssc,” says David Llewellyn.
Availability: 4-GW / RH & LH
Pricing: Mizuno Pro 223 $250 per club (CDN)
MIZUNO PRO 225 “Hot Metal Blade Design“
The Mizuno Pro 225 represents the second generation of Mizuno’s staggering Hot Metal Blade and is the most playable of the Mizuno Pro series. It’s more compact than the original with a revised CORTECH multi-thickness face for even quicker ball speeds.
The Hot Metal Blade design features Grain Flow Forged 4135 Chromoly in the face and neck in the 2-8 iron – consistently 0.2mm thinner across the face. This combines with a COR Forged Hollow Body and 28.5g Tungsten weight in the 2-7 iron to produce a higher, more stable flight and enhanced ball speed.
In the 9-PW, 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel is used with stabilizing back weight for greater precision and a more penetrating flight.
The 225’s are equally effective as a long / mid-iron alternatives for elite players or a complete set for low to mid handicaps.
The irons are also Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, with a soft copper underlay for a uniquely satisfying Mizuno sensation at impact.
“The original Hot Metal Blade was the extension of our hybrid iron technology into a full bladed look set. The new Mizuno Pro 225 pushes the profile and size deeper in the realms of the tour – but commits more fully to the pursuit of ball speed,” says David Llewellyn Director of R&D.
Availability: 4-GW / RH only
Pricing: Mizuno Pro 225 $250 per club (CDN)
MIZUNO PRO Fli-Hi “The Authentic Driving Iron“
A long iron replacement with a priority on ball speed – the Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi is designed to be played with a graphite shaft. Relieved of the constraints needed to flow through a complete set, the Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi has a longer head length, a little extra offset and a wider sole than the Mizuno Pro 225 long irons. With Mizuno’s first ever Maraging MAS1C face in an iron, delivering vastly increased ball speeds, it’s a powerful driving iron.
“Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve noticed that there are two types of tour player – those who predominantly use their long iron hybrids into greens and others who use them to hit more fairways. With the Mizuno Pro 225 and Fli-Hi, we’ve got options for both – or to meet changing demands players might encounter at different types of courses,” says Jeff Cook, PGA Tour Manager, Mizuno.
Availability: 2-4 iron only / RH only
Pricing: Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi $300 (CDN)