Equipment: Mizuno JPX900 irons reviewAugust 15, 2016 Golf Equipment
We've got three new irons from Mizuno but which ones will work best for you? Equipment editor James Savage puts them to the test
First impressions of the Mizuno JPX900 irons
It’s always very exciting to see some new Mizuno irons as you know they will look, feel and perform fantastically well.
They’ve sprung a few surprises this year by launching three new Mizuno JPX900 irons – each with a different look and feel, and each aimed at a different kind of player.
We’ve got JPX900 Hot Metal, JPX900 Forged and JPX900 Tour.
I’d always considered the Mizuno JPX irons to lean more towards the game-improvement market but the previous JPX850 Forged were such a big hit with players of all abilities – from high handicappers to tour players – that we’ve now seen more of a shift.
The Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal are the largest and most confidence-inspiring of the three, the JPX900 Forged are much sleeker while the JPX900 Tour are more of a traditional blade.
For me, there’s more shelf appeal with the Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal compared to the previous JPX850 non-forged model. So much so that I think you could blend all three of these new irons into a combo set.
There’s a satin finish on the JPX900 Tour which really make them stand out at there’s nothing like them on the market at the moment.
Technology in the JPX900 irons
We’ve got three different materials in each of the irons which is key to their performance.
Mizuno have used Chromoly in the JPX900 Hot Metal which they say has allowed them to add their thinnest-ever face which will really get the ball coming off at high ball speeds.
It is also a very versatile metal which opens up the door for more precise lie and loft adjustments for proper custom-fitting.
In the JPX900 Forged we again see Mizuno using the performance benefits of Boron. The Boron-infused steel gives a really nice soft feel but still produces high ball speeds.
Boron is a very dense material which means Mizuno can pack a load of performance benefits into the iron while still maintaining a look that elite players will enjoy.
They’ve also added a pocket cavity which means 21.5g of weight can be redistributed for added stability and improved performance on mis-hits.
The JPX900 Tour is forged from a single billet of 1025E carbon steel and Mizuno say it is the purest most solid-feeling iron in their history.
Again more weight has been pushed to the perimeter for more stability but there are straighter lies, a sharp toe profile and a compact head to promote workability and distance control for the better player.
Performance/verdict on the JPX900 irons
I was a huge fan of the JPX850 Forged and had them in my bag. They just looked so good and even as a 17-handicapper, they offered me enough help and forgiveness.
So immediately I was thinking that these would be the irons for me out of the three.
I spent time hitting each iron and what I found was the Hot Metal was performing best for me. I was hitting the numbers I expected to on a far more consistent basis.
The feel off the JPX900 Forged and the JPX900 Tour was absolutely superb. They were both an absolute joy to hit.
But for me, the performance was much more consistent with the Hot Metal.
Yes the head is a little larger on the Hot Metal compared to the Forged but I don’t think there’s a huge compromise to be made on the looks.
If you find the middle of the clubface regular then it will be a tough choice between the JPX900 Forged and the JPX900 Tour.
As you move into the longer irons, the choice may be a little easier and that is why I think combo sets are such a good option.
The Tour 5-iron looked a little scary to me, the Forged 5-iron looks much more user-friendly. It has less of a bladed look to it, it more rounded and slightly larger.
What Mizuno have got here is an iron for every single type of player. They all look and feel superb so it’s just about finding which one for you is going to get the job done.
I have to say I’m quite surprised by the Tour as it will be competing in the same market as Mizuno’s MP irons. It may even temp people away from the MP line.
But the phenomenal success of the JPX850 Forged showed that there is a huge appetite for the JPX brand.
So will this be the end for the MP line? I very much doubt it and I’m sure we’ll see some stunningly beautiful new iterations over the next 12 months.