I wouldn't want to make a promise that I didn't keep, so here we are again this week, rounding out the last few details on Mizuno's new releases. To recap, we took a look at new irons, hybrids and wedges in the MP series, and now we look at the newest in the MX series of game improvement irons . If you missed last week, click here to have a look at the latest in the MP line from Mizuno.
The MX series has historically been Mizuno's line of game improvement irons for a while, and though the new MX-1000 may fall squarely in that category, the MX-300 is meant to bleed the edge between game-improvement iron and player's iron. With so many different options to choose from, there's a Mizuno iron made for every type of player out there. They've built an almost cult-like following with their superb feel and performance, and I'd expect the new MX-1000 and MX-300 to add to that. With that said, let's have a look at these two new irons.
For starters, Mizuno is calling the MX-1000 the longest, straightest iron they've ever created. What makes the MX-1000 so much longer than previous irons? There are actually multiple design features contributing to such a claim. First, thanks to their Hot Metal Technology, Mizuno pushed COR to its legal limit. Unfamiliar with COR?? In a nutshell, it's the measure of the "rebound" effect a club has (golf balls have COR as well).
Without drifting too far off-subject, pushing the COR limit is great but as a game improvement iron, another equally important three letter acronym is MOI, which the MX-1000 has plenty of. MOI is optimized by the use of Hollow Technology, which allows the internal weighting to be pushed away from center, allowing the player to get away with less than perfect contact. The Hollow Technology also allows for the center of gravity to be pushed low and deep, making it easier to launch the ball high and straight. To help reduce excessive digging, and increase playability from all lies, a wide beveled sole design with a rolled leading edge and aggressively beveled trailing edge was used.
It is worth noting that the MX-1000, like the MX-100, does not make use of Mizuno's Grain Flow Forging process. The Hot Metal construction is created by plasma welding a thin WS230 maraging steel face to stainless steel body. An electroformed medallion and two-toned double nickel chrome finish top it all off. Finally, modified U-grooves (yes, they are conforming) are cut into the face to provide an ideal spin rate from any lie.
Looking at the picture, you'll see that this may qualify as one of Mizuno's less subdued irons, in terms of appearance. If you look closely, you'll see that the grey channel in the cavity is textured with tiny Mizuno logos, and the rest of the cavity deviates from the normal blue/yellow combination in favor of black and grey. I'll let you form your own opinion on the esthetic qualities of this club, but I'm not exactly wild about the look of the cavity. Regardless, I'm also a firm believer that the look of the cavity doesn't matter all that much, as you don't see it at address. While the topline of the MX-1000 may be a little thicker than the rest of Mizuno's irons, it certainly doesn't look to be distractingly thick at all, and should set up quite nicely.
Options and Availability
There are three stock shaft options available: the True Temper GS95 (in both R300 and S300 models), the Grafalloy Po Launch Platinum, and the Mizuno Exsar IS4. The MX-1000 is available for both right and left handed players, and can be full customized by Mizuno's Custom Department. The aforementioned distance and forgiveness come at a price though, as the MSRP is set at $1350. Luckily, these can be easily found pretty easily for a little less than $1000 right now.
While the MX-1000 may be a true, full-fledged game improvement iron, the MX-300 intends to blur the line between player's iron and GI iron. The MX-300 is geared towards the player looking for something slightly more forgiving than the MP line, and therefore is touted as the "player's game improvement iron". With an appearance similar to the older MP-23, the MX-300 should appeal to all players, but most of all, the player that's looking for that optimal mix of forgiveness and control.
The MX-300 combines a lot of the qualities that have made Mizuno's irons so popular. First and foremost, the Grain Flow forging process was used in combination with Modal Analysis in order to fine-tune the feel that so many Mizuno fans have come to expect.
The Y-Tune Pro Technology in the MX-300 is an updated version of the Y-Tune Technology used in previous clubs, such as the MX-200. The Y-Tune Pro Technology is a specially configured cavity back designed to provide an enlarged sweet spot for more forgiveness and ball control. The 3-7 irons make use of a milled pocket cavity, which relocates 12 grams of weight low and deep on the club head. The 8-GW employ a power bar that should give the player and extra amount of control in the scoring irons.
A traditional appearance is achieved by maintaining a semi-thin top line, compact head size, and modest sole. Black weight pockets can be seen in the cavity, in conjunction with the Y-Tune Pro Technology. Like the MX-1000, the traditional blue cavity is dropped in favor of black and grey, though I feel it looks much more subtle and pleasing in it use in the MX-300. Many players will also be happy to find that the MX-300 also has a minimal amount of progressive offset throughout the entire set. A double nickel chrome plating finishes off the iron before the modified U-grooves are cut into the face.
The MX-300 is Grain Flow forged from the same 1025E "Pure Select" mild carbon steel used in the MP-58 and MP-68 players irons. The dual cambered sole features a generous leading edge and rolled trailing edge, designed reduce digging throughout impact.
Options and Availability
Again, lefties get left out in the cold, as the MX-300 is only available in right-handed models. The standard shaft is the True Temper Dynalite Gold, though you have the option of the R300 or S300. If you prefer a different shaft, custom grips, or adjusted loft/lie angle, the Mizuno Custom Department is available to meet all of your needs. It is notable that the standard set includes 4-GW, though a 3 iron is available. The MSRP is $900, which is considerably lower than that of the MX-1000, but as usual, you can expect to actually pay $100 less.
Between last week and this week, we've had a chance to see what's new from Mizuno for the fall of 2009 and 2010. If you take a look at Mizuno's website, you'll not only see the clubs we covered here, you will also see the ones we looked at around this time last year. That's a total of eight current iron offerings available! And to think, we like to make fun of TaylorMade for the multitude of drivers they keep on the market, but Mizuno has slipped under the radar somehow? Not anymore!
OK, that was really a joke, but I do think that having that many options can be both a blessing and a curse. I say it can be a curse because to a newcomer, it can lead to a great deal of confusion on what to buy, and what will work best for that player. The good greatly outweighs the bad though. The biggest positive I see out of it is a great deal of versatility. A player who really knows exactly what he's looking for has the option to put together a great combo/mixed set.
Because I care, I do want to make you aware of something you may want to watch out for if you decide to go that route. Pay close attention to the lofts. They can vary a significant amount when you mix the MX-300s and the MP-58/68 sets. This variation can be as great as 2° for the same club between these two sets. All of these clubs are available now, so check them out at your favorite shop and let us know what you think in the comments below!