Mizuno has always had a well-earned reputation of producing excellent players’ irons, but in the last few years the Japanese company has really made a push into game-improvement models. And why not? With all the technological and manufacturing improvements, clubs don’t have to be one thing or the other these days. In other words, they can still have that legendary Mizuno look and feel yet be easy to hit.
Still, there are subtle differences—a thinner top line here, a bigger sole there—that appeal to different handicaps, so that’s why there are two versions of the JPX-825. The forged Pro model (above left), which Charles Howell III uses, features a deep milled pocket cavity in the 4–7 irons that frees up 17 grams of weight that engineers put in the toe and heel for extra forgiveness. The 8–GW has a little more thickness behind the sweet spot for a more penetrating and accurate ball flight. A beveled topline makes it appear almost like a traditional Mizuno blade at address.
With a sweet spot 15 percent bigger than its predecessor, the JPX-800, the standard model just happens to be the longest and most forgiving iron in the company’s history thanks to an ultra-thin face with multiple thicknesses. If the ball flew any higher off these clubs, courses would need to set up a control tower. The other great thing: it doesn’t look like a croquet mallet like most super game-improvement irons do.
With these new models, Mizuno could very well give Callaway, Ping, and TaylorMade competition in the high-handicap category.
Pro: $900 steel, $1,100 graphite; Standard: $700 steel, $900 graphite