Many players get into golf by playing game-improvement irons and, sure enough, their games improve. Then what?
That was the question Mizuno's designers and engineers asked themselves. Their answer: the new MP-54 irons, the follow-up to Mizuno's MP-53 set.
"Over the past several years, Mizuno's MP iron category has expanded to a point where consumers expect a 'player' iron look and feel with the forgiveness of today's technologically advanced equipment," said Vice President of Product Management Chuck Couch of the challenge Mizuno faced.
The MP-54s are created for better players – those with handicaps from scratch up to about 12 – who want a bit more forgiveness than classic blades provide. At various stages of development and testing, Mizuno staff players including Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Jonathan Byrd provided their feedback.
What makes them unique is the ''Milled Step Muscle'' in the 3-iron through 7-iron. As is the case with many Mizuno clubs, each MP-54 is forged from mild carbon steel, and the 3- through 7-irons feature a thick muscleback with a 4-millimeter-wide slot.
This Milled Step Muscle allowed the engineers to reposition the removed weight around the head's perimeter, which increases stability on off-center hits. It also creates a deeper center of gravity for more forgiveness and a higher ball flight, all while maintaining the necessary heft behind the ball to deliver a solid impact.
The scoring irons – 8-iron down through pitching wedge – don't have the slot. Instead, they feature Mizuno's Solid Muscle Design – essentially, a solid clubhead, thicker in its bottom half, to improve playability. Those attributes also are enhanced by a perimeter grind on both the heel and toe, and the clubs feature Harmonic Impact Technology (H.I.T.), in which Mizuno's engineers tune the clubhead design to maximize feel and feedback.
By comparison, Mizuno says the MP-54 clubheads will be about the same size as the MP-53s, but will offer a more heavily beveled sole for cleaner turf interaction. And, of course, the cavity cut into the MP-54s gives them a lower center of gravity than the MP-53s.
The MP-54s will be available at retail on Sept. 9 in both right-handed and left-handed models, and will carry a suggested retail price of $999.99. They come outfitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and Golf Pride M-31 58 round grips, though a variety of custom shafts and grips also are available. Custom set make-ups also can be assembled from in mixed or combo sets or with MP-H4 long irons.
For more information, visit www.mizunogolf.com.
After making a splash with new counter-weighted, high-MOI putters like the Ghost Spider S and Daddy Long Legs earlier this year, TaylorMade Golf is rolling out a new collection of Ghost Tour Series putters for golfers who prefer traditional shapes and weighting.
The new ensemble includes three blade-style putters – the Daytona 12, Daytona 62 and Sebring 62 – along with four mallets – the Maranello 81, Fontana 72, Monte Carlo 12 and Corza 72. As you can easily see, many of these putters join the long list of TaylorMade putters named for prominent race tracks around the world.
''We spent a full year perfecting every detail on our Ghost Tour putters, making each one a thing of beauty, elegance and excellence,'' said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's director of iron, wedge and putter development. ''Golfers will be blown away when they set each of these putters down for the first time, and again when they experience the performance.''
The new putters feature a black ion plating on the sole as well as a coat of durable white paint to provide contrast against the green. Black parallel lines on the trailing edge form the first- and second-read alignment system to further aid in alignment.
Each new flatstick includes a multi-material 8020 PureRoll insert (80 percent Surlyn and 20 percent aluminum) to promote smooth roll, distance control and enhanced feel. Each model also features a rubber TaylorMade grip and a stepless chrome shaft – and, for the first time, golfers can upgrade to the same shaft in matte black finish that some PGA Tour players use to help reduce glare.
The Ghost Tour Series putters are priced at $149 each, with the optional matte black shaft going for an extra $40. They come in lengths of 33, 34 and 35 inches, and will be available at retail on Sept. 1 (except for the Corza 72 model, which will be out in November).
For more information, visit www.taylormadegolf.com.
One of the hottest recent trends in golf equipment is the rising popularity of putters with oversized grips. Datrek Golf has responded to this development in its new Lite Rider bag, which contains an expanded putter well designed to handle those extra-big grips.
The Lite Rider, part of Datrek's 2014 line-up, is designated as a cart bag. But as it weighs in at a mere 4.7 pounds, it could easily double as a carry bag. And as we've come to expect from Datrek, it also includes a 14-way organizer top and the IDS (Individual Divider System) to keep your clubs from banging around while the bag's in motion.
Made of durable nylon fabric, the Lite Rider has seven pockets that are all easily accessible when the bag is on a cart. The pockets include two oversized apparel pockets, a large ball pocket, a fleece-lined valuable pocket and an oversized insulated cooler pocket.
The Lite Rider has two soft-grip lift assist handles for easier loading and carrying, along with a Velcro glove holder and holders for tees, a divot tool, a pen and an umbrella. The bag's bottom has rubberized feet for added stability on a riding or push cart.
The Lite Rider is available in seven color combinations: white/black, white/red, black/charcoal, black/red, black/royal and charcoal/pink and navy/lime. The suggested retail is $169.95 and it will be available in golf shops and golf specialty stores on Oct. 15.