Golf review: Mizuno MP-59 irons reward for top players

The muscleback design gets a touch of forgiveness thanks to a titanium insert.

When it comes to irons, there are blades and then there are cavity backs. And typically the more cavity, the more forgiveness.

Mizuno, as big a name as you’ll find when it comes to building irons designed for the best players, has refined, tweaked and re-invented its models within the blade-cavity back category. In their MP-59 line, Mizuno introduces titanium to the picture, promising to “deliver full cavity forgiveness in a player’s half cavity design.”

The look is pure Mizuno, classic and clean. But how do they perform?

Mizuno MP-59 Technology

According to Mizuno:

The MP-59™, the next generation of our award winning Ti Muscle™ Technology, delivers full cavity forgiveness in a player’s half cavity design.   During the elaborate Grain Flow Forging process, the pure Titanium material is forged into the muscle of the MP-59 to deliver a 5% larger Sweet Area compared to the MP-58, the iron that debuted Ti Muscle Technology while taking home “Editor’s Choice” in Golf Digest’s 2010 Hot List.

The lightweight characteristics of the pure titanium allows for the ideal amount of thickness behind the impact area to deliver consistent solid feel while simultaneously providing a dramatic increase in perimeter weighting for enhanced playability.

To date, only Mizuno’s patented Grain Flow Forging process can deliver this technological advancement that produces these amazing gains in forgiveness, all within a compact, traditional head shape.

  • Forged Ti Muscle™ Technology delivers increased forgiveness and solid feel in a player’s head shape.
  • Scientifically designed to optimize sound and feel at impact utilizing modal analysis and Harmonic Impact Technology (H.I.T.).
  • Patented Grain Flow Forged 1025E “Pure Select” mild carbon steel and pure titanium combine to provide the ultimate soft, solid, and consistent feel.

Mizuno MP-59 irons playing review

MP-59 REVIEW AT A GLANCE
Pros:

  • Beautiful, classic look at address
  • A fantastic blend of workability out of any type of lie
  • The soft feel you come to expect from Mizuno’s top-line forged irons
  • Mizuno’s fitting system with shaft optimizer


Cons:

  • Despite similar lofts, these irons fly one club shorter than my JPX-800 Pros
  • Severe mishits return significant feedback and will lose distance
  • Mizuno says these irons suit handicaps from 0-12, but double digit players may struggle with consistency.

Bottom Line:
Between the world of super-demanding blades and undesirably unworkable cavity backs is the MP-59, a premium offering from Mizuno for the top-line ball striker who likes the assurance of some forgiveness.

MP-59 PLAYING REVIEW, THE DETAILS
Look:

When it comes to good looking, classic irons, Mizuno has the market cornered. Even as they add space age materials into this line, the design is straight forward. A thin top line, minimal offset and subtle head shape make this head look imminently hittable. The muscle on the back of the club suggests a “meaty” iron that will deliver a solid blow at impact.

Performance:
If you’re going to play the MP-59, and play it effectively, you’ll want to bring a sharp iron game to the relationship. These are certainly not game-improvement irons, and Mizuno is not marketing these to the occasional golfer who’s struggling to break 90, let alone 100.

What the MP-59 will deliver, if not game improvement, is game enhancement. Well struck shots fly true and bore through the air. My experience has found that well struck shots are rewarded, especially when trying to work the ball left or right, and high or low. On the flip side, off center hits, most notably balls hit a little heavy or a little thin, not only suffer the consequences, but the fantastic feedback these irons deliver help you identify just where you hit the face.

The best way to explain is that with my previous Mizuno irons (the game-improvement JPX-800 Pro), I hit more greens, but had far fewer realistic birdie putts. With the MP-59s, I’m making more birdies, but also find myself scrambling more often to salvage pars.

Over the course of six rounds and several sessions at the range with the MP-59s, I have found that they fly about one club less than my JPX-800 Pros. This could be a combination of a shaft that’s half a flex stiffer and a specific effort to swing smoother in order to catch the sweet spot more regularly. I have also found myself choking down on the MP-59s, with the same idea that good ball striking is more important than maximizing distance.

Feel:
There’s nothing sweeter than a pure iron shot struck with a Mizuno forged club. It’s got that perfect blend of soft and deep. People call them buttery for a reason. Of course when you miss the sweet spot badly, expect a sting in the hands, which I figure is the clubmaker’s way of teaching you to get better.


Conclusion:

Looking at Mizuno’s lineup of irons, they buck the trend set my most other manufacturers who offer one players’ iron (and finding blades is getting harder and harder), one players’ cavity, a game improvement and a super game improvement set. Mizuno finds the nuance between these categories, primary among their irons targeted at low handicappers. The MP-59 will appeal to the player who loves the look of the classic muscleback style blade, but appreciates the subtle forgiveness provided by a titanium inset.

If you’re a single-digit player, you owe it to yourself to take the MP-59 for a test drive. For that matter, but the entire Mizuno lineup to the test and see just one suits you best. My guess is they’ll have something that’s just right.


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