Mizuno has long been known as being among the top, maybe even the, top brand for forged irons. In the last 10-15 years, Mizuno has expanded its iron line to include options for every skill level and playing style. For right or wrong, however, its metal woods options have almost always trailed the industry leaders in terms of public perception for their playability and technology.
Mizuno’s JPX-850 was a very solid driver. But it was distinctly geared to the “better” player, with too little spin to keep the ball in the air at lower swing speeds. The JPZ-EZ is a forgiving “game improvement” driver, but also promises lower spin.
With a name like EZ, you can bet this one is aimed at Joe Everyman Golfer. So, does it deliver on that game improvement promise? Read on to find out.
The dusty blue Fujikura SIX XLR8 shaft goes very well with the gray crown, making the EZ a very attractive club. The sole of the club is black with splashes of blue and white that again fits very nicely with the shaft. The Mizuno roadrunner serves as an alignment aid to help players find the center of the club face.
It’s a large looking club head, but that is not out of the ordinary these days. A black or darker gray color on the crown might have allayed that a bit. But then again, a larger looking club head is reassuring, and who doesn’t need to feel a little more confident at address?
I have just two quibbles with esthetics of the EZ. First, why do we need decals on the crown? Along the edges near the toe and heel, Mizuno has added a little extra white and blue filigree as decoration. It’s not like painting flames on a driver, but to me it makes it look less serious. I’d prefer a plainer appearance in a driver.
Second, the EZ is a bit on the LOUD side. It’s nowhere near as loud as some of the square drivers were a decade ago, but it is louder than most brand-name drivers of late.
Mizuno packs the JPX-EZ with several features usually reserved for better player drivers. In particular, adjustability is typically fairly limited in true game improvement drivers, usually just providing a movable weight to be moved from back to way back in the club head or providing loft adjustments through the hosel. With the EZ, you get both of those and then some.
The EZ on the other hand lets you dial in the COG to best fit your typical swing. Mizuno’s Fast Track Technology has morphed from a solution that was actually contained on a track to now consisting of three potential weight ports with a movable 10 gram weight. The ports are located near the heel, near the toe, and way back at the rear of the club, allowing the player to tune the club to their particular ball flight.
With one weight and three places to put it, the EZ makes adjustability, well, easy. Put the weight in the back to promote a neutral ball flight with maximum height and forgiveness. The weight placed in the heel or in the toe discourages a slice or hook, respectively.
Additional adjustability comes in the form of Mizuno’s Quick Switch hosel. A simple torque wrench adjustment lets a player switch among eight loft settings, from 8.5 to 12.5. This also allows the company to manufacture one club head, a major bonus for inventory and fulfillment.
But the tech doesn’t end with adjustments. The club head is built to provide massive MOI. Mizuno has stretched the chassis a bit with the EZ. But optimized internal weighting also allows for a deep face. Read: “big sweet spot.” With the center of gravity positioned low and deep in the club head, the EZ is designed to hit it straight, high, and long all day long.
The Rebound Crown on the EZ is supposed to eliminate the stiff section around the clubface, and in process encouraging greater ball speeds and, consequently, distance.
Prior to the EZ, it had probably been five years since I last hit a Mizuno driver, and I have to say that may have been too long. I was very impressed with this one. This driver simply wants to hit the ball straight, and it wants to hit it far.
The mid-launch EZ translates to a dead-straight, quite high ball flight on my better swings and usually something playable on my less than good swings. It delivers better than most on forgiveness.
Once you zero in on the correct loft, the EZ launches higher and carries as far as most other drivers I’ve hit this year. By that, I mean, it is downright long, as in make-your-friends-jealous long.
The Fujikura SIX XLR8 shaft seems to prefer a smooth transition, but is reasonably tolerant of more jerky motions. Stopping at the top and accelerating smoothly into the downswing has always been my Achilles heel. Reasonably smooth swings with the EZ produced surprising distance acceptably near my intended line of play. A too-fast transition (classic hacker behavior and something I am quite prone to) may occasionally cause that low-kick shaft to fire early, potentially sending your ball on a hooking flight.
Reasonable swings, even with imperfections, were typically rewarded with long, straight(ish) ball flights providing very playable results. Pros miss fairways too, but the trick is not to miss them by too far and to miss along a line where you can still get to the green. The EZ will help a lot of players do that while still providing ample distance.
Loft: 10.5 (adjustable +/- 2°)
Swing Weight: D4
Face angle: Square
Stock Shaft Length: 45.5″
The stock shaft is the Fujikura SIX XLR8, which provides surprisingly stable support for the club head (for a game improvement driver) with all but the most violent of swing transitions.
The Mizuno JPX-EZ retails for $399.99, and is available for right and left handers.
“Wow. This is a Mizuno?” That’s the kind of response you get from people who hit the JPX-EZ for the first time. That’s not really a dis against Mizuno, it’s just that when people think of Mizzies, they think of irons, and more specifically forged irons. But it might just be time that golfers start to consider Mizuno through the entire bag.
I have to say, the Mizuno JPX-EZ driver is not a club that would have normally sought out, and yet, I’m glad that I was able to put it through its paces. The EZ, as its name implies, is very forgiving. More surprisingly, it is also deceptively long.
The EZ’s propensity to hit long straight shots will be very useful in a great many players’ bags. Some harder swingers, especially those with abrupt transitions from the top, may find the kick of the Fujikura Six XLR8 shaft to lead to the occasional snap hook, but overall the XLR8 tolerated my hook swing pretty well. And smooth swingers will love the extra distance it provides. Never fear, however, additional shafts are available as custom options.
Cut to the chase: the Mizuno JPX-EZ is as long as many better known drivers. And it’s straighter than most of them. Players who want to work their drives left or right, will find better options elsewhere. But if straight and long sounds like a good driving formula to you, and you can deal with a loud impact, the EZ is worth a tryout, at the very least.