T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair .
I recently had the chance to take a sparkly, brand new set of Mizuno's MP-54 irons out to the driving range for a test spin.
This beautifully crafted Grain Flow Forged set features a Tour-player like look at address -- a thin top line -- but with its "STEP-Muscle" design and small cavity-back, this blade-style iron provides the type of forgiveness you'd expect from a game-improvement iron.
"This iron tasked our R&D team to improve upon an already winning formula from our previous model -- the MP-53," said David Llewellyn, Manager, Golf Club R&D. "We took a deep look into the intricacies of the club design, the physics of the golfer’s motion and the desired performance on the range. The result is an inspiring iron with sleek design that is still MP, still traditional, yet aggressive.”
Traditional and aggressive is a perfect description of this iron.
Check out this video, where the folks at Mizuno describe the new MP-54 along with PGA Tour star Charles Howell III:
The 3 through 7-iron feature the Milled STEP Muscle design at the center of the MP-54. In simple terms, the position of the weighting increases stability on off-center hits allowing for more forgiveness.
The slightly thicker sole of the MP-54 is made from mild carbon steel and with rounded out Harmonic Impact Technology, a vibration management technology, the club gets through the ball and the turf with ease, playing more like a blade sole.
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"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 Chuck Couch, VP of Product Management, Golf Division. "Golfers will quickly start to embrace the MP-54 philosophy after experiencing what this iron can do."
Personally, I'm a big fan of the sound that the ball makes as it comes off the clubface. The sound from the MP-54 is as good as any I've heard. It's crisp, solid and even the off-center hits sound flush. At the same time, the feel coming off the club is soft, which provides excellent feedback.
The MP-54 became available at retail in September. They cost $999 for a set of eight clubs. The beauty of Mizuno is that all clubs are available on a custom-order basis. If you have a personal preference when it comes to shaft or grips, Mizuno can create the set you desire.
THE VERDICT: While lower handicap players will love the MP-54 irons thanks to the incredible feel they've come to expect from Mizuno, this is also the perfect club for those avid golfers who are thinking about -- but my have been afraid -- to take the step up from a deep cavity iron to the blade category. In the MP-54 irons, you get the Tour-look without sacrificing the forgiveness. It's the best of both worlds.
To learn more about the MP-54 and all of Mizuno Golf's offerings, visit www.mizunousa.com/golf .
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair .