When we last checked in with Mizuno at the Bag Drop they were introducing a hybrid fitting system. Apparently that didn't wear Mizuno out as they've recently unveiled eight - yes, you read correctly, eight - new products covering every type of club in the bag, every skill level, and every gender.
This week's Bag Drop is Mizuno-heavy, with a new MP iron, new Bob Bettinardi putters, new wedges, drivers, fairway woods, hybrid iron sets, women's sets, and more.
Read on for the details.
When you ask most golfers about Mizuno, they'll talk about their irons first. Long held in high esteem by good golfers, Mizuno has done well with their MP line of irons with better players.
The MP-57 seeks to expand that realm by offering a the first MP iron with a full cavity design. The MP-57, like the other MP irons, uses Mizuno's Grain Flow Forging technique and Cut Muscle technology, which combine with the cavity to offer a larger sweet spot and the most playable, forgiving MP iron to date.
Mizuno says that the MP-57's cavity/cut muscle blend will offer an extremely consistent and predictable ball flight while still allowing for a degree of workability and a little extra forgiveness than other MP models.
The MP-57 also offers a rolled leading edge, cambered mid-sole, and rolled trailing edge to deliver consistent striking ability from all types of lies. Those who wish to tempt fate (given the USGA's possible U-Groove legislation) should note that the MP-57 features modified U-grooves that produce "the ideal spin rate for maximum playability in all conditions." The MP-57 is coated in a durable double nickel chrome finish for a snazzy, shiny look.
The MP-57 will be offered in right- and left-handed models with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 and R300 steel shafts for an MSRP of $1,000 or with Project X 5.5 shafts for $1,100. Exclusive Mizuno/Golf Pride M-21 58 Round grips will come standard, and other shafts, grips, and lie adjustments are available through Mizuno's custom department. These clubs, like everything else covered in this Bag Drop, ship in September.
MP-T Series Wedges
Mizuno is calling 2007 their "most successful year ever" in the wedge category with their MP series of forged wedges. They look to continue their success with the MP-T Series of Grain Flow Forged wedges, one of the few forged wedges you'll find these days (Vokey wedges, contrary to the beliefs of some, are cast).
The MP-T Series will offer golfers a consistent, solid, and soft feel with a classic teardrop head shape, minimal offset, and an innovative C-grind sole that offers players maximum versatility around the greens. Mizuno, with the MP-T complementing the MP-R series, now offer a full lineup of forged wedges with several finishes, head shapes, sole designs, and a variety of loft and bounce configurations.
The MP-T series is a result of PGA Tour player input, CAD work, and "extensive" R&D. The C-grind sole offers significant relief int he heel and toe areas for increased versatility, a rolled leading edge for minimal digging, a cambered mid-sole for consistent strikes, and a beveled trailing edge that minimizes turf drag.
The MP-T series offer "CNC Max Milled" square grooves for optimum spin and each wedge will be offered in Black Nickel and Chrome. The "Raw Haze" finish previously available is, sadly, no longer being offered.
Each MP-T wedge will be 35 inches. Available lofts are 47°, 51°,53°, 56°, 58°, and 60°, with a variety of bounce configurations. The standard shaft is the True Temper Dynamic Gold "Wedge" flex with the exclusive Mizuno/Golf Pride M-21 58 Round grip. Other shafts (including graphite) and grips are also available through Mizuno's Custom Club department.
MSRP for the MP-T series in both the Black Nickel and Chrome finishes with steel shafts is $120. Both finishes should be available in September.
The most interesting thing about the Mizuno MP-600 driver is easily the "Fast Track Technology." Mizuno claims the Fast Track Technology (FTT) is a "revolutionary system that allows the golfer to quickly and easily tune their ball flight." In other words, think "movable weights."
Mizuno's FTT works by allowing the golfer to position two eight-gram weights in six distinct locations along the perimeter of the driver's sole, offering 15 different ball flight options in order to maximize distance and control.
The track is located around the perimeter and towards the back of the 460cc titanium head, which helps to move the center of gravity low and deep in the clubhead to create a high launch with a strong, boring trajectory, regardless of the position of the weights.
The MP-600 driver features a CNC milled, plasma-welded "CORTECH" face with varying thickness to maximize ball speed across the entire face. Best yet, the MP-600 doesn't have a bunch of different weights and it will ship with the wrench. The MP-600 conforms to both USGA and R&A rules of golf.
The MP-600 is available for righties only in 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5° lofts. Mizuno is offering an Exsar DS3 graphite shaft (regular, stiff flexes) as standard with custom options available. The driver's MSRP is $479.99 and is available in September.
Bettinardi Black Carbon Putters
Mizuno's relationship with putter craftsman Bob Bettinardi is seeing a bit of an expansion with the new Black Carbon Series. The putters feature an innovative Feel Impact Technology Face (FIT Face) and are precision milled from a single block of pure carbon steel for consistency.
Mizuno also says "the uniquely milled face (see the honeycomb pattern in the image at right) reduces the surface area where the ball makes contact with the putter by 70%, delivering extremely solid feel to each putt." The Black Carbon Series features a black chrome finish.
The Black Carbon putter series will launch with three unique headshapes, each milled from 11L17 Carbon Steel. The BC1 is a heel-toe weighted putter featuring square edges on the trailing flange, a standard-length plumber slant neck for a unique appearance and perspective. The BC2 is a modified rocker-back style putter with a rounded trailing flange and a standard-length plumber neck for easy framing. The BC3 is a heel-toe weighted mallet with a wide flange. All Black Carbon putters are available for righties only and will feature 4° loft and 71° lie angle, proprietary True Temper shafts, and Winn AVS Honeycomb Sun-Gold/Black grips. MSRP is $300.
Says Bob Bettinardi of his babies:
I want every golfer to know that I have put my personal stamp of approval on not only the Black Carbon Series putters, but every Mizuno Bettinardi putter that is milled at my Chicago facility. Each putter is checked for 20 tolerances by multiple quality control inspectors before they receive my approval. If the slightest imperfection or flaw is discovered, that putter is immediately destroyed, a policy I implemented when I began designing and manufacturing high performance works of art.
MX-950 Hybrid Irons
If nothing else, the MX-950 proves that Mizuno does not make equipment solely for low-handicap golfers and pros. Mizuno calls these the "most technologically advanced game improvement iron set the industry has to offer" and says it's ideal for mid- to high-handicap players who are looking for ease of launch, unparalleled forgiveness, and maximum enjoyment. The MX-950 isn't a player's set of irons by any stretch of the imagination.
Mizuno utilized multiple technologies in the MX-950 hybrid set. The 3- and 4-hybrids feature internal high-density tungsten weights to create high moment of inertia (MOI, or stability on off-center impact). The 5-7 irons feature Grain Flow Forged "Hollow Technology" irons with the same tungsten weights to increase MOI. The 8-iron through lob wedge are Grain Flow Forged 1025E mild carbon steel. Mizuno's Hybrid "H.E.M.I." COG (center of gravity) design is utilized in each iron in the set to provide maximum energy transfer from clubhead to ball.
In addition to all the technology, the MX-950 3- and 4-hybrids have a two-tone paint finish which fades from black to blue. The 5-LW are plated in durable double nickel chrome with a mirror satin finish to reduce glare. They also feature modified U-grooves to produce the ideal spin rate for playability in all conditions.
Unlike virtually any other set of hybrid irons, the MX-950 can be custom built to a golfer's individual specifications (so long as you're a righty). Standard, they're offered with the True Temper Dynalite Gold Super Lite shafts (R300, S300) in steel and Mizuno's Exsar IS2 shafts (regular, stiff) in graphite. MSRP for a 3-PW set is $1,000 for steel and $1,180 in graphite. An MX-950 gap, sand, and lob wedge are also available.
F-60 Fairway Woods
Leaving no style of club out of the mix, the F-60 covers the fairway woods in this massive list of Mizuno introductions. The F-60 possess an extremely deep and low center of gravity attained through an ultra-lightweight titanium crown and strategic re-positioning of saved weight. The stainless steel face and body are affixed to the crown through a patented brazing process.
The lightweight titanium crown takes up only 3% of the total weight of the clubhead. The weight saved by using titanium instead of steel allowed Mizuno engineers to reposition the CG low and deep to create a fairway wood that launches the ball quickly for maximum distance and control. The CORTECH face design uses varying thickness to maintain a high ball speed across the face for maximum distance.
The F-60 fairway woods are available in lofts of 13.5°, 15.0°, 16.5°, 18.0°, and 21.0° in right hand, and 15° and 18° in left hand. Mizuno's Exsar FS3 graphite shaft (regular, stiff) is the standard graphite shaft and the exclusive Mizuno/Golf Pride M-21 58 round is the standard grip. Custom options, as always, are available. MSRP is $240.00.
The SORA Collection is aimed squarely at the female golfer. After intensive research and interviews with hundreds of women golfers, Mizuno debuts this complete set of clubs designed for ease of play, increased enjoyment, and improved results.
Many women have trouble launching the ball, so Mizuno positioned the center of gravity very low and deep within each club to help the woman golfer get the ball airborne. Engineers also expanded the loft differential between woods to a consistent 4° and between irons to 5° to minimize or eliminate the tendency for women to hit a lot of clubs approximately the same distance.
The SORA collection features a forgiving 460cc titanium driver, high-launch stainless steel 3-wood, 5-wood, 7-hybrid, and six (6-PW) extreme pocket cavity design stainless steel irons as well as an oversized mallet putter which is easy to align and features a soft polymer face insert.
The set comes complete with a 9" cart bag that features seven large pockets and a detachable pouch. It's replete in the same striking color pattern that's shared by the shafts, grips, and headcovers of the rest of the SORA collection.
SORA irons and woods will be offered with Mizuno's new SORA graphite shafts as standard with the Winn SORA DSI womens grip. MSRP for the set - four woods, six irons, a putter, and the cart bag - is $850. The SORA collection will be offered in right-handed standard and petite models.
Mizuno's game-improvement MX line isn't being left out this time around and sees the addition of a new driver, the MX-560, to its stable. The MX-560 delivers extreme forgiveness and distance for all types of golfers.
Featuring the H.E.M.I. (High Energy Mass Impact) geometric head shape, the MX-560 optimizes moment of inertia (MOI, or resistance to twisting) in both horizontal and vertical axes for maximum forgiveness. The CNC milled and plasma-welded CORTECH face delivers maximum USGA allowable ball speed across the entire face for unbelievable distance.
The MX-560 measures 460cc and produces, according to Mizuno, a "solid, explosive, and powerful sound at impact." A Mizuno rep says that "each element of the MX-560 driver is designed to enhance initial ball velocity from every spot on the club face which translates into long drives. By optimizing the key factors of launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, and MOI through state-of-the-art technologies, the MX-560 is the ultimate weapon to achieve maximum distance and forgiveness for any type of golfer."
The MX-560 driver is available in lofts of 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 12°. A lefty model is available in 9.5° and 10.5°. Mizuno's Exsar DS3 graphite shaft (regular, stiff) is standard, as is the Mizuno/Golf Pride M-21 58 Round grip. Custom options are available. MSRP: $360.