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As the editor of Golf Gear Advisor, I have spent many years playing the Mizuno MP-15 irons and I am very uniquely qualified to provide a very thorough and unbiased Mizuno MP-15 Irons Review.
Mizuno is one of the best-known brands in the golf equipment world. While they don’t advertise as much as some of the American companies, they have been recognized for decades as producing some of the finest irons on the planet.
Even some PGA Tour players, such as Brooks Koepka, have played their irons completely voluntarily, without any equipment contracts at all (and won all four of his majors doing so).
While classically known for their extremely high-end players irons, Mizuno over the years has branched out more and more aggressively into the “players cavity” and game improvement iron sectors, and made some very significant contributions.
The Mizuno MP-15 irons offer a great look at Mizuno trying to stay true to their classic “MP” players lines while blending in some touches of forgiveness and moving some weight around a little bit.
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Mizuno MP-15 Irons Features:
The Mizuno MP-15s fill an increasingly popular spot amongst golfers, so much so that it cannot be called a niche any more: the “players cavity.” This club is a great example of the entire genre, using a soft forged body but with a cavity and a tungsten weight added. The result is a very very basic and modest tweak on the infamously hard-to-play blades, and an option that is becoming more and more popular with mid-and-low-handicap amateurs as well as top touring professionals.
Mizuno is most famous for its classic blade irons that make zero sacrifices when it comes to purity of technique for the user and reward that player with purity of feel on impact. These clubs represent Mizuno’s attempt at maintaining that buttery soft feel they are known for while building in some technology to help the golfer.The main way they do this is by cutting a cavity in the back of the club, but maintaining a MUCH thinner topline than a game-improvement set and a full-bodied “muscleback” shape to the lower half of the club where there is no cavity cut. This results in a much more subtle cavity back approach that isn’t visible from the player’s view and provides some forgiveness on off-center hits while still giving a very “thick” feeling on well-struck shots.Tungsten Insert
Mizuno has made many MP-variety clubs that are almost similar to this set, such as the MP-63’s, where you can see that the head is cut in almost an identical pattern. The big difference with this set, however, was that Mizuno started incorporating a tungsten weight in the back of the club, a trend that has continued and evolved with their MMC (multi-material construction) lines that have been released since.
This tungsten weight insert, a popular choice for modern clubmakers, utilizes a much denser and heavier metal than steel and its placement in a club allows the clubmaker to move more material to the perimeter, without changing the overall weight, and maintaining mass behind the strike location to achieve a more solid feel with a center strike.
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Grain Flow Forged
The thing that has always set Mizuno apart is their commitment to using high-quality forged steel in their players’ irons. The MP-15s continue this tradition, despite adding a couple of game improvement features. This firmly sets the club apart as a modern alternative for the traditional golfer, and allows players to experience the feeling of playing a fully forged clubhead without having to suffer through the agony of playing blades when you aren’t a TOUR-level ball striker.
Just like everything else about the MP-15s, they strive for a kind of “in-between” or “best of both worlds” approach. Given that nothing will ever have as thin of a topline as a truly solid blade iron head, these attempt to make the topline as thin as possible and do quite a good job of making something that is tolerable to the eye of a premier ball striker.
Likewise, they provide a definite offset, but very minimal, and certainly nothing like your standard game improvement sets. The same goes for the sole width. You cannot compare them to Lee Trevino’s butterknives by any means, but they do everything they can to add a little bit of functional bounce and sole width without making too noticeable of a departure from the elegant designs that Mizuno is famous for.
The size of the head is going to be a few millimeters larger heel-to-toe than a pure blade, but a far cry from any set that would advertise as “oversize” at least in the modern marketplace.
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Complete Set Makeup
As many classic iron players prefer to put as many irons in their bag as possible, these are offered by Mizuno in sets up to 3-PW. The 21 degree 3-iron is a club that most players in this range, however, may opt to substitute for a hybrid club or merge their set with another club from Mizuno’s line such as the Fli-Hi, JPX, or MP-H5 sets which have more game improvement features.
The lofts on these clubs are not “Tiger Lofts” but they are lofted with what most consider to be players’ lofts in the modern game, meaning a 34 degree 7-iron and a 46-degree pitching wedge, which allows the golfer to easily cover the rest of their full set with three additional wedges.
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Workability and Forgiveness
We’re going to cover these two topics together, because as you may have seen is the trend with the MP-15s, Mizuno has tried to find the middle ground on both of these features, which often run as a mandatory trade-off between one or the other.
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Since we don’t really have actual data on “workability” or “forgiveness” for most clubs, a lot of it comes down to the user’s perception, and that is always against a baseline of other clubs they have hit. For that reason, you will see a lot of players who come from playing blade irons hit MP-15s and say they are incredibly forgiving. You will also see players who come from a super game improvement set say that they are very punishing on mis-hits.
The same goes for workability. Blade iron players often comment that MP-15s go “too straight” while players who cannot imagine such a criticism find them to be very workable compared to a hollow-bodied game improvement set.So what gives, then? From this perspective it seems like Mizuno has created a set of irons which nobody would like! But the fact is that these irons are in the “goldilocks zone” so to speak for avid players who just want a little bit of technology in their clubs. In fact this category of club is the most-played category of club even for tour pros, with pure blade use, while still having a definite presence on TOUR, being on the decline in recent years.
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These clubs are advertised to appeal to the 0-10 handicap range. While we feel that is accurate, it is more accurate in the 0-5 handicap range and in the 5-10 range you can start making some decisions or blending your set. The reality is a better player is going to have an easier time adapting to these clubs than somebody trying to move up from a high handicap range, and the reality is that the game improvement and super game improvement clubs have made so many advances that the gap is larger moving into this category from that direction.
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That said, a 10-handicapper can definitely play these clubs it’s just a matter of whether they want their best shots to feel more pure, and relish that feeling, or their worst shots to carry farther and stay straighter (in which case they may opt for a larger clubhead with more cavity and a more forgiving sole design).
The other consideration is that these clubs have very traditional lofts, so if you are coming from a game improvement set you may have to ignore the numbers on the clubheads for awhile as they may be anywhere from 1-2 clubs weaker, but this isn’t really a consideration when the clubs are still covering almost the same range of degrees, just with different numbers on the heads.
Our Experience Using Mizuno MP-15 Irons
These clubs were purchased to kind of do what wasn’t recommended above, but actually may be perfect for some golfers. They were used as a set to “grow into.” They are a great training set for somebody who is working towards being a player, or likewise a player who just doesn’t get to grind on the range as much anymore and wants to take a little pressure off of their strike without sacrificing too much of what they’re used to in looks and feel.
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For the aspiring player, these clubs have worked out great because they train a lot of things that you want when you are training a swing. First of all they have traditional lofts, which some would call weak, which encourages the player to deloft the clubhead through impact and play with forward shaft lean instead of standing the club up like many game improvement sets encourage. Secondly, they really give a ton of feedback while still maintaining some playability for a mid-handicap player.
When these are hit off of the toe, you are going to know it. You will certainly not be rewarded but you will still be able to pick up the pieces and move on with a shot that landed short of your target. Most importantly you will get automatic feedback in your brain and body. Then, when you flush the ball with these, it’s almost impossible to not pose and club twirl as the sound and feel is of that Moe Norman “feeling of greatness” that keeps all golfers coming back. This also, very practically, reinforces the good swings and creates good suboncscious patterns, and also causes the ball striker to be disciplined and train themselves to prioritize the quality of strike.
Pros and Cons of the Mizuno MP-15 irons
This is our overall summary through research and personal testing of the Mizuno MP-15 irons:
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Mizuno MP-15 Irons Review Final Thoughts
As we mentioned, Mizuno is trying to land these clubs in the “goldilocks zone” where everything is “just right” and players can get the best of both ends of the spectrum in their irons. Ultimately, while trying to find this sweet spot, they are a success, but this particular iteration falls slightly more on the “players” side of the spectrum than the “cavity” side of the spectrum when it comes to “players cavity” selections, therefore making them a GREAT option for the right golfer, but maybe not appealing to a wide range of players.
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These clubs would be ideal for a blade player that wants a soft entry into building a little bit more leeway into their game. They are a larger leap for somebody accustomed to game improvement clubs, as there are forged-face-only sets that err more towards that side of the market. We think that these clubs are best suited to a blade player who is ready to try something else, but the next best thing would be a player who is training themselves to be a competitive player and doesn’t mind “growing into” a set of clubs and has a big-picture mindset on the development of their game.
All of that said, the more and more that players rely on data and testing, the more and more of these type of clubs are going into even the most elite ball strikes’ bags. Some will start with replacing just the longest irons, and many have transitioned to playing these slight-cavity “players distance” sets with minimal offset and traditional lofts for all of their irons.
These stay true to the classic Mizuno feel and look while providing just a few subtle but significant advantages to the player, which is exactly what Mizuno set out to do. If you fit the niche they were made for.
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