Mizuno has long been a "name" in the golf industry. The irons they produce have been the gold standard for many tour players and can be found in the bags of quite a few good players at clubs around the world. I've owned a set and been a fan for a long time.
One area that they have struggled in market share is woods. Whether it's drivers, fairway, or now hybrids, Mizuno hasn't quite captured the hearts of golfers in this category quite as much as their irons have. That hasn't stopped Mizuno though. Over the past few years they have started showing up in bags of players of all skills.
The new MX-700 Hybrid is one of those clubs. I put a hybrid in my bag over three years ago and have loved it. More players than not sport at least one hybrid in their bags and Mizuno wants that market share. Their latest introduction, the MX-700 Hybrid, is aimed at a mid-level player looking for some more forgiveness but not sacrifice the feel and feedback that most Mizuno players have come to love. Will it do the job? Read on to find out.
Build and Technology
The MX-700 Hybrid, as you would expect from Mizuno, has a very solid build. The face is made up of a thin and light weight ES230 "Hot Metal" steel face which helps produce an increased ball speed. That face is then plasma welded to a 4-31 stainless steel body. According to Mizuno, this "expands the COR area resulting in high, long and accurate shots."
One of the more progressive design aspects of the MX-700 Hybrid is the "Drop Down Crown." The top of the club has a higher section along the face of the club and then drops down - steeply - towards the back of the club. This design has been done specifically to drop the center of gravity (COG) lower and deeper, a trend in many woods and hybrids today.
Mizuno, like other companies, has also developed a shaft specifically for their hybrids. Their Exsar HS4 Hybrid shaft is the stock version that comes with the MX-700 and was designed to maximize its performance.
Look and Feel
Not only does Mizuno have some of the best performing irons out there, they are very good looking as well. The MX-700 is a mixed bag to me with some parts I like and some that I'm indifferent about.
The top of the club looks very similar to my old TaylorMade Rescue TP. The front of the club is grey and then switches to a dark blue with some light design patterns in it. While I wasn't a big fan of the look of the TaylorMade TP, I like the MX-700 a bit more. It isn't perfect in that I prefer a more seamless look with a color transition that isn't as drastic. My guess is that Mizuno wanted to differentiate and highlight the "Drop Down Crown" design on the top of the club - as seen on the right.
The bottom of the club is a bit busier with a similar grey-to-dark blue transition with a darker grey between the lighter "steel" color and the blue. Set in the steel and blue are some nice yellow accents. I'm not as picky about the bottom of the club since you don't look at it until you are putting it back in the bag after you've hit it. If I had to rate it, it would be good.
As for the feel of the MX-700, that is where it really shines. It doesn't feel too heavy or too light in your hands and sets down very well behind the ball and doesn't fall open as some woods and hybrids tend to do at address.
When hitting the ball it gives you a good crack and not the high-pitched sounds some woods might produces. You won't barely feel the ball come off the face though as this is more a game-improvement club and won't provide a lot of feedback, so keep that in mind. Regardless, the MX-700 is good on the looks side but great on the feel, which is more important to me.
There are a few different areas I like to evaluate hybrids when performing a review. I'll start with one of the hardest shots for me personally - the high and soft 225-yard shot.
I'll repeat from previous review, but this is a shot I wanted in my bag for years and could never produce it. A 3-wood is too hot (and too much) and I can't carry a 2- or 3-iron that far. My low ball flight and lack of Tigeresque club head speed keeps me from carrying any iron longer than 210 and not screaming through the green. The hybrid, though, offers the true solution.
I've owned two TaylorMade hybrids over the past few years that gave me the desired result to the above problem. When struck well, I can carry a ball over 225 yards and it won't go skidding through a green. Any replacement or new hybrid must have this shot. It's a requirement for me.
To perform a test to see if the MX-700 Hybrid was able to produce the desired result I hit a sequence of balls from about 225 out with both the MX-700 Hybrid and my current TaylorMade 19° hybrid. The TaylorMade performed as I've described. I was able to carry the ball onto the green without too much difficulty. The ball flight was high, but did not float or seem to spin too much. The MX-700 Hybrid had a very similar result and only differed in a couple ways. First, the ball still bored through the air but was slightly higher, possibly due to the extra degree of loft on the Mizuno. Second, because of this slightly higher ball flight the balls landed just short of where the TaylorMade did. Not a big difference, but the Mizuno seemed slightly shorter.
The next area I took the Mizuno out to test was off the tee. Often times on short par fours I like to have another option other than a fairway metal or iron. I can't hit the stingers like the guys on tour but a hybrid that I can hit relatively straight and for decent length is a good alternative. I thought the Mizuno did admirably in this area. I never popped the ball up off the tee and could routinely hit the ball 230+. If you're playing a short par four with a tough angle and want place the ball more accurately, the Mizuno is a very good option.
The last area I like to review hybrids is in its "recueability" - which is the ability get you out of trouble. There are three rescue shots I like to run through with any hybrid. The first is out of some thick rough. I had no problems at all getting down the ball with the Mizuno. In fact, it probably outdid my TaylorMade in that respect. The bermuda grass isn't too thick right now but I found some tall fescue that wasn't a match.
The next trouble area to test was the thin lie. The Mizuno performed well. I was able to make a clean strike and still advance the ball close to what I'd expect with a normal lie. The TaylorMade is slightly better in this category of shot but not too far off.
The punch shot is the last shot I tried out. You could be behind a tree or playing a links golf course in the UK. Regardless, the punch shot comes in handy at times. I was able to make clean contact but the ball was launched a bit high for my liking. This is one of the areas that probably come at a sacrifice of the 225 yard shot. If you want a higher launching hybrid, it may not translate into a good punch club.
Overall, Mizuno has a very well performing hybrid on their hands. You won't find too many shots that you can't pull off with this new club. You wouldn't know this hybrid was targeted at a game improvement market.
Options & Extras
There are numerous options that come with the new MX-700 Hybrid. I received the 20 degree version but there are also a 17, 23 and 26 degrees available.
As for shafts, like I said earlier, the Exsar HS 4 is the stock shaft and does the job just fine. If you really want a different shaft, then Mizuno can put in just about any of the main shafts on the market including steel shafts. Graffaloy, Fujikura, UST ProForce V2 and the Mitsubishi Diamana are just a few of the options.
The headcover is similar to my TaylorMade and is a solid accessory that fits snugly around the clubhead. No worries about losing this headcover if you hit some hard bumps with your cart. It even looks nice too.
I give the MX-700 Hybrid a big thumbs up. I thought that something that's considered a game-improvement club would feel all together different. I even had another low single digit handicap golfer give it a few swings and he instantly liked it.
The 20° may be a bit high for me, but the forgiveness in the Mizuno was noticeable. I may have not been able to hit it as far as my current TaylorMade, but I hit less bad shots - which is never a bad thing. If you're in the market for a new hybrid I'd suggest checking the new Mizuno out. I think it could fit in the bag of golfers with just about any handicap alongside all those irons I've seen.