IRONS TO TOUCH YOUR SOUL:
THREE NEW MP-18 IRONS HAIL NEW ERA IN BETTER PLAYERS’ IRONS
Mizuno, the Japanese equipment manufacturer long renowned for its beautiful, industry-leading forged irons, is proud to announce the launch of three new MP-18 iron models, designed to help find the artist in every player.
Mizuno, founded in Osaka, Japan in 1906, has long held an enviable industry- and tour-wide reputation for crafting the finest forged ‘players’ irons’ on the market, bringing golfers the ultimate blend of looks, feel, playability and workability. For years, the brand’s highly acclaimed MP Series, and more recently JPX irons, have been the choice for many of the world’s greatest players, and the best players at club level too.
The launch of the new MP-18s heralds a new era in players’ irons, and is set to enhance Mizuno’s reputation even further when they arrive at retail in September 2017. With three distinct models and head types there is greater scope than ever before for better players to mix and match models to create the perfect set for their needs.
Grain Flow Forged in the brand’s exclusive Hiroshima plant and refined by Mizuno’s renowned master craftsmen in YORO Japan – including the legendary Turbo – the MP-18s have been inspired by every great player to ‘pure’ a Mizuno iron since 1933.
MP-18 / The Craftsmen’s Muscleback
Sculpted by the brand’s YORO master craftsmen, the MP-18 is a throwback to the muscle-backs of Mizuno’s past. A shorter blade length, cambered top line and steep progression into sharp, compact wedges are all hallmarks of Mizuno’s master clubmakers, who have honed their skills on the irons of countless Major winners over the years.
“We significantly shifted the balance of science and art with the MP-18s,” says Chris Voshall, Senior Club Engineer. “You can instantly notice a greater input from the master craftsmen in that the MP-18 is more like the blades that made Mizuno famous – just more precise in its flow and manufacturing. At impact, this is just about perfection.”
Mizuno’s most experienced, skilled craftsmen have put their finishing grinds and touches to every iron from 3-PW. Grain Flow Forged from a single billet of 1025 E Pure Select mild carbon steel, MP-18 irons have an even softer feel thanks to an evolved Grain Flow Forged HD (High Density) process that concentrates the grain in those billets more tightly for incredible, precise feedback.
The shorter blade length and low heel profile carry over from previous Major-winning iron models, while the ultra-thin topline has been further refined with an additional camber. The scoring clubs from #7 to pitching wedge then boast a progressively smaller, more sharply refined head.
“You can sense Turbo’s signature on the MP-18s,” says Nick Faldo, Mizuno staff player and six-time Major winner. “They remind me of the blades we worked on together all those years ago.”
MP-18 SC / The Player’s Cavity Back
The SC (Split Cavity) model is a compact cavity back. The slightly wider, cambered sole brings a greater degree of playability than the muscle-back, although thin, tapered top lines, short head lengths and smaller wedges mean this is still very much a tour-ready iron.
MP-18 SC irons are again the handiwork of Mizuno’s most experienced, skilled YORO craftsmen and are Grain Flow Forged from a single billet of 1025 E Pure Select mild carbon steel via the same HD process as the muscle-back for the same incredible, precise feedback.
Compared to the MP-18 muscle-back, the heads are just 0.5mm taller – with the YORO signature low heel design – and the top lines just 1mm thicker, again with a refined camber. The pitching wedge is also smaller than the other irons in the set.
“The MP-18 SC is an iron that combines a lot of practical needs – stability, workability and softness at impact – with our craftsmen’s desire for immaculate looks over the ball,” says Voshall. “Although the sole is a little wider than the muscle-back, from every playing position, the two models blend beautifully as a mixed set. The MP-18 SC wedges don’t taper off as dramatically in size as the muscle-back, so between the two models better players will find something that suits their eye.”
MP-18 MMC / Multi-Material Construction
The final member of the new MP-18 iron family is the MMC, the fruits of a three-year project lead by Mizuno’s YORO master craftsmen to develop a highly stable, forgiving multi-metal construction iron, which also satisfied their aesthetic desires and demands at address. Even with both lightweight titanium and heavier tungsten components sealed within its 1025E mild carbon steel head, the MP-18 MMC maintains a similar ‘tour ready’ profile and size to the MP-18 SC.
The MMC’s multi-material stability design uses lightweight Titanium (8g) and heavier Tungsten (20g) to deliver surprising off-centre performance, with the same High Density (HD) feel as the other two models. The short irons feature a dual-metal design, with the absence of the tungsten toe weight found in the longer irons keeping the scoring irons more workable. The MP-18 MMC model features a players’ compact profile, which is similar in size to the MP-18 SC but with the added forgiveness of multi-material construction.
“The MP-18 MMC is the first multi-material MP iron built in the vision of our master clubmakers, which sets standards for looks and aesthetics that this kind of multi-metal construction typically prohibits,” says Voshall. “It extended our normal two-year development cycle by a full year – but raising the bar that little bit higher delivered a landmark iron.”
The MMC model will flow beautifully into any MP-18 split set, with the degree of offset carefully calculated to work equally well with a custom-built mixed set of either MP-18 and MP-18 SC, once lofts have been weakened to match either set.
MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi / The Player’s Long Iron
The MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi is the finishing touch to the new MP-18 family – the long iron replacement now used by every Mizuno tour player that offers a higher-flying option from long range with steeper landing angles. The latest Fli-Hi’s sleek new profile now envelopes a Maraging steel face, a Tungsten toe weight and an internal pocket for enhanced ball speed and ease of use.
The Fli-Hi’s Multi-Material stability design uses that Lightweight Maraging steel face and Tungsten toe weight (20g) to generate a high, stable ball flight, with the topline again a mere 1mm thicker than in the corresponding MP-18 muscle-back.
“The Fli-Hi is very much a fixture now on tour,” says Voshall. “Even the most classically minded players have converted to the #2 and #3 iron replacements. These are worlds away from heavily offset ‘game improvement’ hybrids – but much easier than a traditional long iron to flight and land in firm conditions.
For further information on the new MP-18 iron family and Mizuno’s full range of golf equipment, apparel and accessories visit: golf.mizunoeurope.com.
RRPs and options
MP-18 £135/€175 per iron
Available: #3-PW, Right Hand only
MP-18 SC £135/€175 per iron
Available: #3-PW, Left and Right Hand
MP-18 MMC £150/€195 per iron
Available: #4-PW, Right Hand Only
MP18 MMC Fli-Hi £150/€195 per iron
Available: #2, #3, #4, #5, Right Hand only
Rob Brooks @golfnation_