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Mizuno MP-63 Irons Review

Nov. 26, 2010     By     Comments (18)

Mizuno's Diamond Muscle. Better than Cut Muscle (or Dual Muscle)? It just might be.

Mizuno MP-63 IronsA few years ago, I sold a set of Mizuno MP-60s and have been ruing the decision pretty much ever since. At the time, I thought I'd found a better fitting set for my game (plus, newer clubs are always better. Right?). Unfortunately, I haven't found an iron with that same sweet feel that those MP-60s had. The MP-57s were very close, but the MP-52s and 62s seemed to lack the buttery feel that solid impact delivered with the 60s. Plus, that "Cut Muscle" design employed by Mizuno on the MP-32, -57, -60 and -67 made for some very good looking golf clubs.

Would the MP-63, Mizuno's latest entry into the better player's cavity back market, live up to my gilded recollections of the MP-60? Let's take a look at Mizuno's new "Diamond Muscle" irons.

Is a Tour Cavity Back for You?
Before you say, "Oh, a player's club. I don't think I have the game for that." Consider what that really means.

Mizuno claims that MP-63 is the evolution of the company's most popular tour iron the MP-62. Assuming you are not a tour player or top amateur, should you look farther down the Mizuno line for some more forgiveness? Well, yes and no.

Naturally, Mizuno is targeting lower handicaps with the MP-63. In the crowded MP line, the 63s occupy the slot between last year's MP-68 (Mizuno's current "tour blade") and the MP-58 (which promises a little higher launch and slightly more forgiving option). The other new MP iron, the 53 provides the most help in the MP line, with even higher launch and more forgiveness. With four current MP models, Mizuno offers more options for better players than most other manufacturers.

Diamond Muscle

Just because a club is targeted at "better" players does not necessarily mean that it has nothing to offer less skilled players. While some clubs will mask your mistakes more than a player's iron will, they also will resist most attempts at working the ball, even if you consider that an important part of your game or something you are trying to learn. It's the old debate of whether MP-63s are good for your game, which you can find debated time and again in the The Sand Trap forum.

When it comes to selecting golf clubs, some introspection is in order. If practice is not part of your golf experience and you just want to play a weekend round from time to time, perhaps a game improvement or even max game improvement iron is the way to go. But if you are trying to get better or if you just enjoy hitting draws and fades to get around the course, there is no reason to deny yourself those experiences. It may cost you a stroke here and there, but they also might help you improve and being able to work the ball around trouble can come in handy from time to time.

Design
I don't know exactly what Harmonic Impact Technology (HIT) is exactly, but it sure sounds cool.

While developing the MP-63s, Mizuno tapped their tour team to blindly try out various new concepts. The winner, reportedly unanimously, was the "Diamond Muscle" design, the latest in the line of "muscle" themes Mizuno has used in recent years, beginning with the Cut Muscle clubs, continued with the Dual Muscle MP-52 and 62, and last year's Dual Muscle Titanium MP-58 and 68.

One of the primary design goals of the MP-63 was to improve on the feel and playability of the MP-62. So they copied the head size, top line, offset, and sole width, and then set to tuning the sound and feel and enhancing the grind to improve the irons' versatility in shot making. The former involves the aforementioned Harmonic Impact Technology, while the latter primarily has to do with the visible 360° grind on the trailing edge to improve turf interaction.

In reality, Harmonic Impact Technology is a cool way of saying that Mizuno studied the sound the clubs make when they strike the golf ball and tuned the clubs' design to optimize the experience for players. Much of what is experienced as "feel" is actually sound, though a well struck shot with a quality forged iron produces a sensation of solid, almost soft impact. The result of the tuning was the "Diamond Muscle" design.

Long irons have larger cavities.

Longer irons in the set are slightly larger than the compact short irons and feature deeper cavities to enhance forgiveness and precision through the set. Another way to say that is that the long irons are easier to hit than long irons in other player's sets that have the same club head size as the short irons.

The MP-63s are Grain Flow Forged from 1025E "Pure Select" mild carbon steel at Mizuno's Hiroshima factory. The irons feature USGA/R&A Condition of Competition-conforming modified U-grooves.

Esthetics
Mizuno MP irons are typically among the prettiest golf clubs you can play, at least from a major manufacturer. The MP-63s fit into that tradition nicely. From the thin topline to the clean soles sporting only the iron number, the MP-63s look all business, in the same way that a well-crafted bamboo fly rod does. The best always combine art and function.

Love that topline!

While I still prefer the look of the Cut Muscle MPs, the 63s are sharper looking than their predecessors. There was something about the Dual Muscle look that never quite did it for me. The Diamond Muscle on the other hand is attractive and understated. Unlike so many clubs these days, the 63s do not sport colorful decals in the cavities or much décor of any type. The only additions to the number stamp on the sole are the Roadrunner (moved from the sole in previous models) and Mizuno stamps in the cavity, and "MP-63" stamps and on the toe-side muscle bulge.

At address, there is nothing to distract your eye. To me, the 3-iron looks impossibly thin, but I've been playing Titleist AP2s for two years and there is a big difference in the amount of club you see between those models.

Performance
Looks only get you so far. When the rubber hits the road (or the cart path), how a club performs is what really matters.

The MP-63 does not disappoint. I was a little apprehensive about going back to the 60-level of Mizuno's MP lineup. My game is not quite as tight at the moment as it once was. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of forgiveness that these clubs offer. Don't get me wrong. You need to hit the sweet spot to get the full distance and optimal ball flight out of these clubs, but that sweet spot is bigger than I would have guessed it would be. While player's clubs traditionally had sweet spots the size of dimes, the MP-63s seem to have at least a half dollar-sized sweet spot. Hit one on the heel or toe and you will know it. But if you make contact reasonably close to the middle and a few grooves up the club face, good things and good feelings will occur.

MP-63: Good looking and playing.

Ball flight is lower with the 63s than with most others in the MP line, but I had no problem getting the ball up over trees when I needed. Put a good swing on the ball and these irons do exactly what you tell them to do. Draws and cuts are equally easy to pull off. Hit side by side with my current irons (AP2s), the MP-63s played a few yards longer through the set with a similar ball flight.

Feel is improved over what I remember from demoing the MP-62s. A good swing and contact produces a feeling of squashing the ball against the clubface. While an off-center strike feels much like that with any other better players' iron, solid contact is rewarded with an absence of vibration, that buttery feel that you often hear associated with Mizuno forgings.

I would still give a slight edge to my old MP-60s in the feel category, but to get that sweet feeling you had to hit the dead center of the sweet spot. With the 63s, the feeling isn't quite as perfect, but it is not far off and you get it with less perfect strikes, as well.

Specifications
The Mizuno MP-63s come standard 3-PW with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. Many others are available as custom options. One of best things about Mizuno irons is that you can mix and match a set easily. Want a little more help out of your long irons? Substitute an easier-to-play model for the set's 3- and 4-irons.

Club    Loft    Lie      Bounce    Length
----    ----    -----    ------    ------
 3I      21°    59.5°      2°      38.75"
 4I      24°    60.0°      2°      38.25"
 5I      27°    60.5°      2°      37.75"
 6I      30°    61.0°      3°      37.25"
 7I      34°    61.5°      3°      36.75"
 8I      38°    62.0°      4°      36.25"
 9I      42°    62.5°      5°      35.75"
 PW      46°    63.0°      6°      35.50"

Mizuno MP-63s retail for $899. Sorry lefties. Mizuno is only releasing the MP-63s in right-handed orientation.

Conclusion
I was worried about Mizuno for a few years there. I did not find the post Cut Muscle models to be up to what I had come to expect from Mizuno. I'm now feeling better about things.

Mizuno's latest entry in the better player cavity back arena has classic good looks with 21st century technology hidden beneath. The MP-63s reward good swings, but won't totally bury you for a bad one either. While they are certainly aimed at the single-digit player, many mid-handicappers could fare well with them, as well (at the very least with the mid and short irons). As with any club purchase, demo as many as you can before buying and choose what fits your game.

Am I still missing my old MP-60s? Maybe a little, but that may be more nostalgia than anything else. With everything that the the MP-63s offer, they should definitely ease the pain. They play well and look good. Distance, accuracy, and trajectory… the 63s are strong performers across the board. The fact that I am picking up a little distance over my current set coupled with their other attributes have me thinking of switching my irons.

The MP-63s let you know where you are making contact, and reward strikes on the sweet spot with that buttery forged Mizuno feel. The fact that you don't have to be absolutely dead solid perfect to experience it and get optimal results from the club was unexpected and welcome. Yes, better players will probably get more out of these than a bogey golfer would, but depending on your goals don't dismiss any club simply because of who it's supposedto be for.

Discussion

  1. Deryck Griffith says:

    Great review and great looking set of Irons. I may just upgrade my MP57s to the 63s next summer!

  2. Keith says:

    Tried the MP-63's today at the range with the DG S300 shafts. Very nice irons. Much more forgiving compared to the MP-68's.

  3. ewen says:

    Great review and I share your feelings for this club but I've only demo'd the 6 iron and have not yet seen a set. I don't want to commit until I have been able to hit the longer irons or should I go for a combo set with the MP 53's?

    Can anyone compare the 63's with the 53's

  4. GeorgeP says:

    It's always a good idea to try them first. If you have doubts about the long irons, go with ones that give you more confidence. As I said, Mizuno is really good about customizing sets.

    FWIW -- I have not hit the 53s other than into a net, but the long irons seem a little easier to get into the air, though I personally don't like their look at address as much. I really had no problem with the 63s down to the 4-iron. The 3 is a little intimidating to me, but I could probably get used to it. I generally go straight from the 4 to the hybrid to get a 60* wedge in the bag, anyway.

  5. ewen says:

    Hi George

    I am off 8 but have been struggling recently. In recent years I have played 3-PW and 2 gap wedges but am moving to 4-PW and 3 gap wedges. With these clubs being 1 degree stronger I probably will go for 50 or 52, 56 and 60. My Mizuno custom fit recommended soft tip X100's as opposed to the DG S300's I have played for years but I could not really tell the difference. Can anyone enlighten me on what the effect of the soft tip is?

  6. Sheldon J. Hacker says:

    Great review-thanks. Can you please review the mizuno MP-53's as well? Lots of us mid-handicap golfers are wondering about the new MP53's--especially how they perform overall versus the older MX-300's (your review last year was great on these) and the Titleist AP2's.

  7. Joe Dean says:

    Just DEMO'd a set of these with the Project X 6.0 shafts (3-PW). Had them for about 2 weeks now and I can confirm they are a very nice club. I play with the MP-68's (same shaft combo above) year round. I will experiance a mis-hit probly 1 or 2 times out of 15 with the 3 and 4 irons, usually shorts me about 15 yds and will sometimes move offline. What i decided to do was take the 3, 4, and 5 irons out and replace them with the MP-63. Since I put this combo in my bag I've had a considerable improvement in that area. My home course is 6928yds from the tips and I rely heavily on these longer irons... and the MP-63's do not leave you hangin. I was extremely impressed.

    Heads up Mizuno... make it easier to buy combo sets and start helping the lefties out.

  8. James says:

    Like others, I would love a detailed review of the MP 53s. I'm currently gaming MP 68 and have hit the MP 63 into nets. Thinking about a mixed set of 53 and 63. Please review 53s if you can. Thanks!

    Ditto Mizuno on the watch out for lefty comments. You can't just blind eye the other side of the ball. I have two daughters who both play from that side of the ball and want mizuno clubs like dad.

  9. James Langmead says:

    I have the Mizuno MP30s and I like the look of these and I shall certainly have a try of these as they do look so good. I'm sure they will look and feel great the only problem is I have always found it hard to move awat from my Mp30s

  10. James Burns says:

    Nice to see a review of the MP-63 from another MP-60 (former) owner. By the sounds of it, unless I'm totally flash with the cash, then I might as well stick to my MP-60s - Yes they are beautiful clubs to play with.

  11. blkjazz says:

    I finally got rid of my MP 30s last week. About two weeks ago I took my MP 57s out of the bag and put the MP 32s back in after a long absence. I'm glad I did and it made me realize what I had been missing with the 57s. I am more accurate with the 32s and they feel great. I think the 63s might be my next set if they feel anything like the 32s or the 30s.

  12. Miniter says:

    My only concern with the new clubs is the effect that the new grooves have with the shortest irons. I bought the 53 s recently and like them, but feel that contact is not as sweet as the 62 s that I have as well. It seems that really pulling up the 9 and pw is not as sharp as the older 62 s which really bite and grip.

  13. Bill Bowman says:

    Great review and I like how you compared them to what you played in the past. I own a set of the MP 57s and consider it to be one of my better purchases! I don't think I will buying the 63's yet but nice to know I can look forward to buying someone else down the line.

  14. Niko says:

    I did a mixed set of 63's & 53's (4-7i). Shaft is FST Tour stiff. I am a 12 index but, have been struggling lately. I too had MP 60's but, could not get along with them. Went to MX 300 and then, the 63 & 53's came out. I tried them and was hooked immediately. Amazingly, I find BOTH are atypical for forgiveness for an MP iron, especaily the 53's. I've even toed some shots with the 63's and, to my surprise, didn't hurt me nearly as bad as I desrved. I am hell-bent on dropping my index and, figure I might as well play something I enjoy in the process. Besides, when you pure a shot, with an MP iron, it's like hitting marshmellows!!

  15. nparrous says:

    I would like to put in my 2 cents if I may. I have been a huge fan of Mizuno since I bought my first set of MP-32's. I tend to stay with one set of irons for a while and since those MP-32's, I have had only one other set of irons (custom MP-60's, which I still have) until now (custom MP-63's). The 60s had Dynamic gold s-300 shaft but these new clubs have the project-x 6.0 Rifle shaft. The truth is, I hit all the new irons Mizuno makes whenever they are released. The only one's I liked nearly as much as the MP60's was the 63's. They are different however, When you are striking the ball solidly with the MP60's, there isn't a better stick out there. Smooth buttery feel, high trajectory (maybe a little to high for me), just pure. The 63's, although I haven't had enough time with them, have a slightly different character. First off, I hit them a solid 6 to 8 yards longer (could be the shaft) and the trajectory is slightly lower (could also be the shaft). But the pure buttery feeling has been more elusive. When I do catch it right in the center of the clubface, there is a purity to it as if you didn't even hit it, but the ball is gone. They definately provide plenty of feedback, but I am not sure the feeling is as good as the 32's or the 60's. Part of it could be this shaft, but that will be determined with more play. One thing is for sure, they are as pretty as any club i have ever known, and the setup, sole plate and top line is pure mizuno. I also hit the MP53's which I found quite dissappointing in terms of feeling. They did not provide the kind of solid impact, buttery character even when I put it right on the screws. The 63's were much better, but as of right now, it still remains to be seen if they will live up to their predecessors.

  16. GernGolfs says:

    I noticed that the Mizuno irons have a much weaker loft than other 2011 sets. I am in the market and am really interested in the Mizunos but don't want to sacrifice distance. My age is taking care of that for me.

    Can they be "tweaked" from the factory when I order them to make the lofts a little stronger without negative affecting the performance? I know the pros do this and have for years but want to make certain that I am not barking up the wrong tree here. I was thinking maybe 2 degrees stronger per iron by the way.

    Thanks in advance for any replies

  17. spearq8 says:

    I went from MP57 to the MP63 and love them. I think the S300 shaft keeps launches a little bit too high for my liking (had Project X 6.0 on my MP57) but at the moment our greens are playing incredibly fast and so I actually don't mind the added height as it allows less run on the green. The truly feel like a blade and I wouldn't consider them a CB. The dispersion of shots is very tight and more like what you would expect from a blade rather than a CB.

  18. Mathwiz says:

    MP-52's lack the "buttery" feel? I assure you it was the Indian, not the arrow.

    I call it whipped butter when I hit mine.

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