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Mizuno MX-700 Driver Review

Jun. 27, 2009     By     Comments (15)

The MX-700: Best Mizzy Driver Ever? Maybe…

MX-700 DriverMizuno claims that "the MX-700 possesses the lowest and deepest COG, has the largest MOI, and is by far the longest and most forgiving driver in Mizuno's history."

After reviewing Mizuno's MP-600 last year, I was very interested in seeing what the company would do with their "average player" follow-up to the MX-560. The knock (and the only knock in a lot of people's minds) against the 560 was the sound. It had a very loud and unpleasant impact sound.

As the "MP" implies in Mizuno's lineup, the MP-600 is intended as a driver for better players. It features a neutral to open face angle at address and little or no slice correction (other than Mizuno's Fast Track weighting system, that is). The MX-700, with its "MX" moniker, is aimed at any golfer looking to maximize distance, get a little help launching the ball, and reduce, if not eliminate, a slice.

So does the MX-700 live up to its billing? Read on to find out.

Design and Technology
Mizuno has given the MX-700 what it terms a "Hot Metal" Ti-9 titanium face, plasma welded to a 6-4 titanium body. The Hot Metal face is said to have a unique, vertically aligned grain structure, designed to expand the coefficient of restitution (CoR) area and increase ball speed for long and straight drives, even on off-center strikes.

The MX-700 sports a big hot face

Mizuno certainly seems excited about the face technology it has built into the MX-700:

"The Ti-9 'Hot Metal' face in the MX-700 is the first of its kind, and is designed to enhance initial ball velocity from every spot on the club face." said Dick Lyons, VP and General Manager, Mizuno USA Golf. "This breakthrough face technology combined with an optimized launch angle, spin rate, COR area, and Moment of Inertia make the MX-700 the longest and most forgiving driver you're going to find."

The head is yet another from the "geometric" school of driver design. This head shape is intended to create an extremely low and deep center of gravity (CoG) and a centrally located sweet spot for enhanced vertical stability. The important part of all this engineering is that it is designed to produce low spin and a high, penetrating ball flight. Mizuno's "Power Hull" body construction places internal reinforcements to positively affect feel and sound.

Esthetics
The MX-700 has a large clubhead. Yes, it's within the limits at 460cc, but it's a big 460. I've been playing a Titleist 907 D2 for the last 18 months and the MX-700 appears much larger, as most drivers in the game-improvement realm do. The top of the clubhead stretches back from the face in a big "U" shape. That's where the club gets its high MOI (moment of inertia). It's the kind of thing that you'll probably notice the first few times you address the ball, but if the results pay off you'll probably be willing to live with it. And if you've been playing any of the other large square or U-shaped "geometric" drivers, you might even think the MX-700 looks normal or smaller at address by comparison.

Better drives thru geometryMizuno gives us a crown decal to aid in alignment. There's a large U-shaped pattern around the edge of the crown and an "MX" alignment mark in the middle. I wasn't crazy about it the first time I saw it, but I also wasn't greatly troubled by it. Suffice to say it is less intrusive than some crown decals out there.

Like the MP-600 before it, the MX-700 continues Mizuno's departure from the blue color scheme for its woods. While the 600 was black, the MX-700 is a nice charcoal accented by the silver of the alignment decal. Even the Exsar D4 shaft is now black, instead of the line's "any color so long as it's blue" color range of years past. The combination looks nice in an understated sort of way. A gold shaft decal just below the grip adds just a touch of flash.

This is purely hypothetical, but I can't help thinking that this color change may be Mizuno's way of saying, "We are getting serious about woods now."

When it comes to the sound, the MX-700 is an improvement over the MX-560. It's still a bit loud from a traditional standpoint, but not nearly as loud as its predecessor. It compares favorably with other geometric-style drivers on the market today.

Performance
To check out just how serious this Mizuno was, I headed off to the range to get a taste of how the MX-700 performs. My first drive produced an audible "wow." I looked around to see who said it and realized it was me. Seriously, the ball really jumps off the face, high and long.

As I would expect with an MX club, there's a lot of forgiveness built into the MX-700. For starters, there's a generous sweet spot built into that large face. It's very easy to get the ball into the air, and mishits around the face still travel a respectable distance. I found that I was getting more carry with the MX-700 than I have with any driver, but the ball still ran out well once if finally came down.

I felt that the MP-600 was one of the most accurate drivers I'd played. The ball went right where I aimed it more times than not. It wasn't the most exciting driver I'd ever played (it didn't seem to have that occasional exceptionally long ball in it), but it was very good at finding fairways with respectable distance.

The MX-700 in contrast is very exciting. The ball can seem to fly forever. A lot of the time that's very good, but start it in the wrong direction and that can be very bad. This is not really a criticism of the driver. It does what it's supposed to. The problem is my tendency to swing a driver too hard. Having a club that launches like the MX-700 that is lightweight, as well, just makes me want to swing harder… with predictable results. However, as long as I control my swing speed, I found it fairly easy to keep the ball in the short grass.

Heart and sole of the MX-700

The MX-700 launch angle is truly amazing. For this review, Mizuno sent a 10.5° model with the stiff mid-launch shaft, as requested, but it clearly launched too high for me. (A recent change in my setup has changed my line-drive tee shots into what seems in contrast to be soaring drives. My golfing buddies can no longer tease that I can castrate a groundhog with my tee shots.)

A local Mizuno rep traded out the 10.5° for a 9.5° and I couldn't be happier. It still launches quite high for me but with a more penetrating ball flight and reasonably low spin. That means that despite the high trajectory, the ball still manages to run out upon landing (wind or soft conditions notwithstanding).

The switch also gave me the opportunity to compare the two lofts. Like many manufacturers, Mizuno appears to put a little more help for slicers into the 10.5 than the 9.5 has. I tend to fight the hooks off the tee as it is, and the 10.5 produced a few too many high left snappers. The 9.5 still favors a left-ish ball flight, but not as emphatically as the 10.5 did. With just a couple strips of lead tape (old school "movable weight technology") on the toe, the 9.5 became willing to produce a nice controllable fade, which was elusive prior to the addition.

The MX-700 is not meant to be extremely workable (and it isn't), but players who normally work their tee shots left or right will find modest success with this driver. Because of the right-to-left bias, I felt more comfortable hitting a fade (a draw could turn into a hook too easily). I just aimed down the left center, and if it faded I was in the center or right center of the fairway. And if the bias got the better of me and ball went straight or even drew a little, I was still on the short grass or close to it.

Specs and Extras
Players who already launch the ball high with the driver will be disappointed to see that the lowest loft available in the MX-700 is the 9.5°. Clearly Mizuno is aiming the MX-700 squarely at mid and high handicappers who typically need more help getting the ball in the air.

The engine of the MX-700

The Exsar DS4 shaft is a good performer. The stiff version that I tested was stable enough on hard swings, while still being easy enough to load on a smooth swing.

The Club is available in 9.5° and 10.5° lofts for righties and lefties. A high-launch 12° model is available for righties. All models have a lie angle of 61° and a length of 45.5" - a half inch over the semi-standard 45 inches.

A traditional-style headcover

Flex      Weight    Torque    Ball Flight
----      ------    ------    -----------
Stiff       59g      3.7°      Mid
Regular     55g      3.9°      Mid-High
Lite        50g      4.5°      High
Ladies      45g      5.0°      High

Standard Shaft: Mizuno's Exsar DS4™ graphite (regular, stiff). Standard Grip: Mizuno/Golf Pride M-21 58 Round. Custom options are available through Mizuno's Custom Club Department. Suggested Retail Price: $360.

Conclusions
The Mizuno MX-700 driver is a very good driver. It will be a particularly good fit for players who drive the ball straight or fade it off the tee. Those players with a low launch will find plenty of help in the MX-700. Slow swingers should consider the 10.5 or 12° version to maximize air time. The 9.5° driver could be played by mid to lower handicappers who desire a higher ball flight and a little right-to-left bias off the tee.

Tee it up!So is this the best Mizuno driver ever? With one qualification, I have to say yes… This is the best driver I've seen from Mizuno for the average golfer.

The MX-700 is not going to be a big hit with the lower handicappers who want to be able to work the ball or who already have draw tendencies to their swings, but it is an MX after all… not an MP. It's not meant for those guys. Still, if Mizuno were to expand this line to include a neutral or slightly open-faced 8.5° version of the MX-700, I wouldn't be surprised if low handicappers and even some tour pros started playing it by choice. I know I'd give it a shot. (And that should tell you how high I launch the 9.5° version… I don't think an 8.5° would be any problem.)

It's a shame that this driver is hitting in a down economy year. I suspect that it could sell record numbers of drivers for Mizuno, but maybe not this year. Still if you are in the market for a driver, you should absolutely take a look at the MX-700. The hot face launches like no one's business. Mizuno has not been a big name in drivers traditionally, but the MX-700 just might help change that.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (15)

Discussion

  1. mike says:

    it is a great driver, and yes, the face is VERY hot. however, i had to put my old driver back in my bag after 2 months with the mx-700.
    it started out great (honeymoon period). my first round i hit 14/14 fairways with it and it was consistently 10-20 yards longer than my previous driver (FT-i). but after that first great round with it, i just had control problems with it and couldnt keep it in the fairway. i know thats because of me and not the driver, but still i had to go back to the FT-i. i wish i could learn to keep it in the fairway like i can with the ft-i because like the review says, its a VERY long driver with an extremely hot face. i guess i just need to hit the range with it so i can figure out how to keep it in the short grass

  2. Blake says:

    Mike:

    You might try cutting down the shaft to 45" or 44.5" (then have the swing weight re-adjusted to your liking).

    I had a similar experience with a Taylormade Tour Burner with a 45.5" Proforce V2 shaft. I had a honeymoon period for a round, then the wheels came off. I could hit it long, but missed alot of fairways. No control at all, and for me it was the combo of longer shaft and lighter swing weight. Of course, this is a Taylormade mantra these days. I think it is a terrible idea, at least for me and my swing. Pure follow-the-leader, marketing b.s. if you ask me.

    If you already have decent distance and can get the ball off the ground without problem, then I say stay away from the long shaft/light swing weight drivers. If you have a slow swing speed and have trouble getting the ball in the air, go with a light swing weight, high loft driver, but cut the shaft down to 45 or 44.5". This will allow you to: (a) hit the sweet spot more often (hitting the sweet spot with a shorter shafted club v.s. not hitting the sweet spot with a longer shafted club, the shorter shaft hit on the sweet spot will travel farther every time), and (b) keep it in the fairway.

    Longer shaft + Super Light Swing Weight = NOT Longer, just WRONGER.

  3. Simon says:

    I'm enjoying this driver, the impact sound is great, it is forgiving and I seem to hit it longer than my previous driver. The control problems mentioned by Mike are interesting, I do have some control problems but my sense is they are down to getting more yardage out of my drives than I was previously able to.

    Recommend trying this driver!

  4. SAM says:

    i tried this at a demo last month,actually went to demo the adams speedline and this club just blew that and any other i've tried so far, did hit it higher than my tour burner but at least 20 yds farther,just wondering if mizuno is going to come out with a mp model

  5. rich k says:

    Great review and the club plays exactly as described. I bought the 10.5 degree with Exsar stiff as I thought I could improve ball flight and carry distance from my Titleist 907d2 10.5* with YS6 stiff shaft. I did so without any issues. I play to a 6.5 index and think that any player who needs a higher launch and has a smooth swing will benefit from this club. The 10.5 degree has a slight draw bias but did not produce any hooks for me. The difference between my Titleist and the Mizuno is that bad swings on the Mizuno still are playable with decent distance. The sound is a little high pitched but is not anything different from the Callaway clubs. My good drives with the Mizuno were slightly better than my good Titleist drives but the ball flight was really the difference between the two. I don't think this club is meant to be workable so if you need to hit a fade, forget it, not going to happen without some skill. I tried the Titleist 909d Comp and think the Mizuno is right up there for less money.

  6. At times great - but control problems at other times - Neil Daly Colorado

  7. Griff. Australia says:

    Great review. I was going to replace my Titleist 909 DComp stiff to same with a regular shaft. Even though the DComp was the best driver I have owned I decided to try the Mizuno. What a great driver, very similar look and feel as the DComp but much straighter - love it! First time I used it I missed only one fairway and that was by small margin. First time I have sold a driver and replaced it with a new one and come out in front $$. Bonus!

  8. andy johnstone says:

    I'm a huge hitter at the best of times, but when i go wrong I hook. Found the solution with this club, yes it draws but with the combination of 9.5 loft which has no offset and a stiff voodo shaft well I think Ive just invented the worlds best club combination. Im a 6 handicapper and as one reviewer said all it takes is a little bit of lead, if youre brave enough to do so. But by getting the heavier voodoo shaft causing the ball flight to teter on dead straight to draw it is so easy to slightly open the face and feel confident in doing so as the clubhead does not dominate.

    Urge anyone to try this combo youll love it

  9. Sean Murray says:

    A cannon. I tested it against about 8 other drivers and bought it because it was the longest and straightest on the range. After the honeymoon phase, it turns over a little too easy, but that might be because of the set up. Seems like if I set up just a tough open, it goes forever. What looks square to my eye may be slightly closed, and then it hooks. My previous driver was a Cleveland Launcher 460. A good swing with the Mizuno goes 20 yards farther. More 300 yard drives from July 1 through the end of the year than the previous 3 years combined.

  10. Bratch73 says:

    To Blake, could not agree with you more sir. I recently got my 700 and found it to be near on uncontrollable on the range and on the course. I was half way through a round at the weekend and swapped it out for my father in law's shorter Diablo and was back hitting the fairways again. I didnt realise the shaft was longer than standard (a good inch i would say) and i just could not control it.
    May be a stupid question but would it be worth it to cut the shaft down or get a new shaft put in.
    Any thoughts guys?

  11. Garry Kind says:

    I am an older player, not very long off the tee, 220 to 240 when playing well. Changed from a Hogan 12 degree, then a Sumo 10.5 degree to this club. On average this one kills both of the others, it is more consistent, and averages longer, maybe 10 to 20 yards.
    Being the newest driver I have used it should be, and is, the best driver I have played.
    I still tend to fade the ball, and do not get a lot of height, due to a swing fault my local pro is trying to get me to correct, now if I can who knows how much my game will improve because I beleive the drive is the most important shot in the game, it sets the tone for the way you play the game.
    Mizuno makes great gear, best I have had to date, at last count I have had over 10 sets of clubs, none match Mizuno, Cobra was closest.

  12. SKW says:

    I had been away from regular golf for a while and started back up with a vengence. Driving was my number one issue to address. My irons came back first, then the short game, but I was a complete mess with my driver and 3 wood. A friend let me borrow his mx700 3 wood. I had instant success from the tee and fairway. I purchased a driver and instant success again on the range and the course. I am half of a year now into the driver, 3 wood, hybrid combo. I love each and every club. I have confidence at address. I am playing the same gentle draw I have always played but with additional yardage and control. The only drawback seems to be from friends giving me grief, until they try the club for themselves. So far there are four of us that have the mx700 in our bags and the number seems to be growing. Im curious to see whats next from mizuno.

  13. Mark says:

    I bought this driver (fall 2010) and I'm loving it! I had the RAM FX-i before this and I couldn't believe how much better the MX-700 is. Just imagine it, I was a 36 handicap and the first time I played this driver I went to 33,5. I measured from the 150m poles that the longest drive (I could measure that round) was ~260meters. At one PAR5 I overshot the green with my second shot. At the end of the season I was at the driving range and there was this guy that I know to be a single digit handicapper, he was blasting the new Taylormade R9 and I overshot him nearly every ball. :) Truly a game change club for me. I can sincerely recommend it to anyone looking for a great and affordable driver.

  14. Mark says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I compared this to several different and more expensive drivers, and found this to be the LONGEST and easiest to hit. I tried Cobra S2, Taylormade R9 and Burner Superfast, the Titleist 909 D2, Mizuno MP-630, Callaway FT-iQ and some Nike driver I can't remember right now.

    I have the 10,5 with the Exar Stiff shaft.

  15. Allan says:

    I was useing a ft-iq driver for a while . This Mizuno driver is fantastic . The key to this driver seems to be a smooth swing , with a bit of lag . This thing will crush the ball . I play close to 20 rounds a month , and have a rotator cuff problem w/my right shoulder . If you can't swing as hard as you think you need to , this one will wok for you . And , the funny thing is , your buddies wont believe how far he drives go , with minimal effort .

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