Mizuno launch Pro irons to the global golf market with forged 221, 223 and 225 aiming to create history as the brand's most forward-thinking irons ever.
Mizuno Pro has always been the brand's most forward-thinking, cutting-edge product line-up with engineering concealed within precise playing profiles that are preferred by the game's elite players.
Until now the forged irons have been exclusively available to the Japanese market, with the nation's golfers putting a super-premium on high quality materials and outstanding craftmanship while, in the western world we've become accustomed to Mizuno TP and MP irons being the forged iron choice for traditionalists and shot shapers.
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But, as the Mizuno aims to attract and maintain a younger and more connected audience, they have decided to consign that protectionist thinking to the past and take the Pro 221, 223, 225 and Fli-Hi irons worldwide.
The irons are exactly the same as those available in Japan, down to the beautiful logo, which is inspired by the 1981 branding. That's where the retro feel ends, though, with Mizuno insisting the 221, 223 and 225 will create their own history.
Mizuno say the Pro 221, inspired by the brand's iconic blades, is the ultimate muscleback iron, while the Pro 223 is an elite players cavity iron, and the Pro 225 is a hot metal blade design.
All three showcase the recent feel orientated introductions of Grain Flow Forging HD and soft copper underlay, offering a superb blend of power and playability.
"The concept of Mizuno Pro can be misunderstood – we're not trying to design instant classics or works of art," said Chris Voshall, Mizuno Golf's Product Manager. "Mizuno just hides technology incredibly well. This could be perceived as the ultimate betrayal of Mizuno Pro. But the true essence has always been to make history – not be stuck in it,"
"From an engineering perspective – the Mizuno Pro 223 is probably the biggest step forward of all three new irons," said David Llewellyn, Mizuno Director of R&D for Mizuno.
"The 221 and 225 are refined versions of their predecessors (MP-20 & MP-20 HMB) – but the 223 is a completely new concept. An incredibly compact player’s profile - smaller in every way than the iron it replaces. With Chromoly Forged and a hidden micro-slot from 4-7 iron,"
Let's take a closer look at the Pro 221, 223 225 and Fli-Hi irons, which are available from February 3.
RRP: £165 per iron
Availability: 3-PW (RH only) | Stock shaft: Choose from 21 premium options
7-iron loft: 34º | Forgiveness rating: 1 (Muscleback/Blade)
Inspired by their iconic blades, Mizuno say the forged Pro 221 is the ultimate muscleback iron.
Refinements in shape and weight placement make them more playable, while the bevelling makes the 221's face profile appear shorter and top line appear narrower, but without the loss of mass in the upper blade.
The 221s are smaller and more compact in the scoring irons than the MP-20 that they replace. They also feature Mizuno’s shortest CG / shaft axis which is consistent from 3-iron to PW, allowing for controlled shot shaping through the set.
Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan where Mizuno irons have been produced since 1968, they feature a soft copper underlay to ensure feel and feedback are identical to Mizuno’s most revered irons of the 1980s.
"We're obviously working in small increments on a Mizuno muscleback – we have to dig quite deep to get any negative feedback,” says David Llewellyn. “The copper underlay and Grain Flow forging was such a great foundation on the MP-20. Players with a good eye will enjoy the subtle shape changes through the set – especially the 8, 9, PW."
WATCH: Luke Donald tests the new Mizuno Pro 221, 223 and 225 irons
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RRP: £180 per iron
Availability: 4-GW (RH & LH) | Stock shaft: Choose from 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 32º | Forgiveness rating: 2 (Players’ Iron)
A forged, tour size, cavity back with fast chromoly face, Mizuno say the Pro 223 iron is a completely new concept that is designed to feel at home in tour players' hands.
The 223 heads are smaller than the previous MP-20 MMC, thanks to a chromoly face (which wasn’t in previous generation) and new Microslot (behind the face of the 4-7 irons) the iron is hotter than the extremely popular Mizuno JPX921 Forged, which is much more of a players distance iron.
A completely new technology platform from 4-7 iron combines Mizuno's tested Chromoly Forging and Flow Micro-Slot – An innovation producing extreme ball speeds from a small tour-ready profile. It has a 2.4mm face thickness (0.2mm thinner than JPX921 Forged).
From 8-PW, Pro 223 are constructed from 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel for ultimate precision and control.
As with the Pro 221 and 225 irons, the 223s are Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima Japan a soft copper underlay for that Mizuno purest, softest feel at impact.
"The good way to look at the new Mizuno Pro 223 is that we shrunk the JPX921 Forged technology platform to the profile of one of our small player's cavities – comparable to the MP-62, MP-64 or MP-18Ssc," David Llewellyn, Mizuno's Director of R&D, told TG.
RRP: £200 per iron
Availability: 4-GW (RH only) | Stock shaft: Choose from 16 premium options
7-iron loft: 30º | Forgiveness rating: 2.5 (Players’ Distance Iron)
The most playable of the new Pro series, the forged 225s are a smaller, more compact, fast face players distance iron for decent golfers.
They replace the hollow-body MP-20 HMB (Hot Metal Blade), which found a place in many decent players' bags, and is the most playable iron in the series.
The Pro 225s feature Grain Flow Forged 4135 Chromoly in the face and neck in the 2-8 iron – consistently 0.2mm thinner across the face. This combines with a COR Forged Hollow Body and 28.5g Tungsten weight in the 2-7 iron to produce a higher, more stable flight and enhanced ball speed.
The 8–PW have forged 1025E mild steel heads with stabilising 431 steel backweights. Expect a blade type look at address with a noticeably smaller profile in the mid and short irons when compared with the MP-20 HMB.
Mizuno say the 225s are equally effective as long and mid-iron alternatives for elite players or a complete set for low to mid handicaps.
As with the 221 and 223 irons, the Pro 225s are also Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, with the soft copper underlay for great feel and feedback.
"The original Hot Metal Blade was the extension of our hybrid iron technology into a full bladed look set," David Llewellyn, Mizuno's Director of R&D, told TG.
"The new Mizuno Pro 225 pushes the profile and size deeper in the realms of the tour – but commits more fully to the pursuit of ball speed."
Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi Driving Iron
RRP: £250 per iron
Availability: 2-iron, 16.5º); 3-iron, 19º; 4-iron 21.5º (RH only).
A long iron replacement with a priority on ball speed – the Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi is designed to be played with a graphite shaft.
Relieved of the constraints needed to flow through a complete set, the Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi has a longer head length, a little extra offset and a wider sole than the Mizuno Pro 225 long irons. With Mizuno's first ever Maraging MAS1C face in an iron, delivering vastly increased ball speeds, it’s a powerful driving iron.
"Over the last couple of seasons, we've noticed that there are two types of tour player – those who predominantly use their long iron hybrids into greens and others who use them to hit more fairways," Jeef Cook, Mizuno's PGA Tour Manager told TG.
"With the Mizuno Pro 225 and Fli-Hi, we've got options for both – or to meet changing demands players might encounter at different types of courses."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Jerram is the Digital Editor of