MIZUNO UNVEILS STRIKING NEW MP-20 IRONS WITH COPPER PLATING FOR ‘LAYERS OF FEEL’
Mizuno, the Japanese equipment manufacturer long renowned for its beautiful, industry-leading forged irons and technically advanced golf clubs, has unveiled three new MP-20 Series iron models featuring copper-plating within the heads to add ‘layers of feel’ at impact.
Mizuno, founded in Osaka, Japan, in 1906, has long held an enviable industry- and tour-wide reputation for crafting the very finest forged irons in the game, offering golfers the ultimate blend of looks, feel and workability.
The three new MP-20 iron models have evolved from the DNA of Mizuno irons that shaped the modern game, launched Major-winning careers and inspired generations of ‘tour edition’ musclebacks. Exclusively Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, where Mizuno has refined the art of feel for more than 50 years, the heads of all three MP-20 iron models feature copper plating, just as in the brand’s legendary TN87 model, for an impact sensation recognised as Mizuno’s purest ever.
The new family comprises MP-20 MB, MP-20 MMC and MP-20 HMB models, each with its own unique appeal, each designed to either stand alone or blend into custom combo sets and each featuring soft copper plating beneath a protective nickel chrome to deliver that legendary Mizuno feedback and feel.
MP-20 MB is a pure muscleback, heavily influenced by the most revered blades of Mizuno’s past and Grain Flow Forged HD from a single billet of 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel. MP-20 MMC is hailed as an ‘Elite Players’ Cavity’ and represents the second-generation of Mizuno’s multi-material concept. It is also forged from 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel but with a thinner topline and refined scoring irons. It shares the chassis, set flow and proportions of the MP-20 MB, but offers enhanced playability courtesy of a titanium muscle plate and tungsten sole weight. MP-20 HMB is then a new breed of hollow-headed ‘Hybrid Muscle Back’ in a tour-ready profile that features Mizuno’s forged Chromoly material in the face and neck. It is inspired by the proliferation of long iron replacements on tour but extends the concept right down to the wedges.
“Most modern musclebacks and limited ‘tour edition’ irons can be traced back to the great Mizuno blades,” says Mizuno’s Chris Voshall, “though what makes a Mizuno iron truly exceptional is everything you can’t see. If you could peel back the chrome plating, you would find a sandwich of nickel and soft copper before the Grain Flow Forged HD chassis. Under a microscope, you can see a perfect flow of grain within the steel from the hosel to toe, compacted tighter in the hitting area. Designers can mimic our lines, but not what’s inside.”
The MP-20 HMB offers a full set of performance hybrid irons in a sharp ‘tour-ready’ profile, built on the ball speed of Mizuno’s Chromoly material in the face and neck, supported by a precision stainless steel body and tungsten weighting. It offers the proportions, topline and offset transition of a classic Mizuno players’ muscleback with a generous sole width that’s hidden at address, and is designed to help consistent players pursuing added ball speed without sacrificing their shot-making options.
The heads feature a brush satin durable plated finish and a complex, loft-specific construction. From 2- to 8-iron, Mizuno’s multi-thickness Grain Flow Forged Chromoly face and neck is dialled in to be consistently hot across the clubface. From 2- to 7-iron, twin 12g tungsten weights deliver stability and an easy launch, while use of a softer 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel from 9-iron to PW makes the short irons soft and responsive. MP-20 HMB is designed to be played as a full set or mixed with any MP-20 set, with recommended break points between the 4- and 5-iron or 7- and 8-iron for blended sets.
“A few years back it was a surprise to see truly elite tour players with more than one long iron replacement,” says Mizuno’s Chris Voshall, “but now that we’ve found their acceptance point on offset, size and proportions, there’s a new set who are open-minded to the 5-iron and beyond. We’re excited to see what happens when they experiment with the HMB.”
Availability: RH #2-PW; LH #3 – #4 iron (as a split set with 5-PW MP-20 MB)
This pure muscleback’s ‘tour-ready’ profile has been honed by studying elements of Mizuno’s most played/retained tour iron models by both contracted and non-contracted tour players, with usage among the tour’s new breed of ‘free agents’ adding a new perspective. A discreetly tapered topline and cambered sole allow a fuller spread of weight to enhance vertical stability and forgiveness on strikes from high or low in the face, while retaining a traditional muscleback appearance.
The topline has been refined in response to tour player preferences and is Mizuno’s thinnest among recent generations of MP irons, while the blend of satin and mirror chrome finishing has been engineered to eliminate areas of high glare in the playing position.
“We kept asking ourselves why players still talked about the feel of older Mizuno blades – TN87, MP14, MP29, TP9,” says Voshall. “Despite our Grain Flow Forging process tightening up and an evolving CAD process that predicts vibration patterns, we were still missing something. The one element left from the old classics was a layer of copper. After blind testing our players at the Valspar it was more than nostalgia – our test pool universally preferred the prototype with copper plating.”
Availability: RH #3-PW; LH #5-PW (as a split set with #3-4 HMB)
The second generation of Mizuno’s multi-material concept is engineered to be more playable than the MP-20 MB courtesy of its titanium muscle plate and tungsten sole weight. It promises stability in a tour-preferred profile, with a titanium muscle spreading weight for forgiveness on off-centre strikes while maintaining centre-portion thickness for the feel and feedback associated with a muscleback iron.
The multi-material construction comprises a Grain Flow Forged 1025E mild carbon steel chassis and Ti muscle pad throughout the set, with a 12g tungsten toe weight from the 4- to 7-irons that adds ease of launch in a compact playing profile. A second Ti muscle pad improves set flow by allowing for a narrower sole from 8-iron to pitching wedge. The topline is dramatically thinner than on the MP-18 MMC (0.3mm thinner in the 4-iron and 0.4mm in the pitching wedge) while remaining only 1mm thicker at address than on the MP-20 MB. The chrome finishing is again a mix of satin and mirror.
“The new MMC is the smaller, sharper version of the original,” says Voshall. “For a player with a traditional eye looking for a little stability on off-centre strikes, but comfortable with their distances and ball speed, this is the iron.”
Availability: RH 4-PW
MP-20 SEL (Left Handed)
Based on the most popular right handed, blended set Mizuno has created the perfect mixed set for left handers – the MP-20 SEL. Precise, shotmakers MP-20 muscle back mid to short irons #5-PW, and stable, easy launching MP-20 HMB long irons #3 and #4, with lofts adjusted for perfect distance gaps throughout.
Availability: LH #3 – #4 HMB; #5-PW MP-20 MB
Mizuno has strived to “create the best products for consumers” for 113 years, and all three models in the new MP-20 iron family adhere firmly to that original spirit and desire, while offering the best performance benefits that modern technology can bring. #ReachBeyond