The incredulous look on Ryder Cup star Luke Donald's face when he first hit the latest Mizuno JPX 800 irons australia spoke volumes for its impact on the World's No.8 golfer.
As Mizuno's leading-ranked staff player, he had been lined up to give his endorsement to the Mizuno MP-63 irons australia he plans to play on Tour later in the year but during a break in filming a test session, Donald also grabbed hold of a 6-iron from a set of JPX-800s, the clubs aimed at the improving club golfer.
A check on his ball speed, I was told at the media launch of these clubs at Bearwood Lakes recently, revealed an increase of nearly 10mph off the face of the JPX-800 and an increase of nearly 20 yards in distance compared to the new MP-63. The carry of the Mizuno MP-64 Irons australia in Donald's hands was measured at 193.3 yards, compared to 175.9 for the MP-63 and a ball speed of 135.6mph (126.5 mph).
But while distance per club is probably the major requirement of the club golfer, for the precision demanded by Donald, known for his iron accuracy on Tour, he would have to sacrifice a certain amount of workability, meaning that the new MP-63 will be more suited to him.
The Mizuno JPX 800 irons deliver a firm “crack” sound at impact. Shots struck in the sweet spot feel very smooth. The JPX 800 irons are extremely forgiving and still produce high and straight shots on off center hits such as the toe or heel. Personally, I enjoyed the slightly heavier feel of theseirons. Mizuno did a great job of designing a club that has fantastic feedback and is very easy to hit.
Says David Llewellyn, head of research and development, who witnessed Donald's reaction: "The JPX-800 is an incredible iron that's hard to pigeonhole. To achieve these ball speeds and MOI numbers (stability at impact), you'd expect to compromise by adding lots of offset or thick top and bottom edges. But our design challenge was to pack all this performance into a head shape that a Tour player wouldn't reject.
"It's much easier to create an iron just to either feel great or be very forgiving or extremely long. To create 'balanced performance' is much more of a challenge," he says, adding that the JPX-800 delivers a clubhead speed 3mph faster than the previous Mizuno MX-200 irons australia and a carry of seven extra yards.