Mizuno JPX 800 Irons Review
Nov 10, 2010 (Updated Nov 23, 2011)
Review by Bill Brott
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Great Balance, Exceptional Feel, Very Good Distance, Good Looking Too!
Cons:Having to pay a premium price for this premium club.
The Bottom Line: If you shoot in the lower nineties, sport a semi-repeatable swing, and are just learning how to work the ball, these great feeling irons are an excellent option.
At a recent outing to Edwin Watts, I got the chance to engage the Mizuno Rep with a lot of questions, and since it was a Demo/Fitting Day he told me he'd let the clubs and launch monitor do all the talking. Needless to say, I walked away very impressed. These are the type of clubs I reserve the 5th star for when it comes to feel. Mizuno never ceases to amaze me when it comes to building a club that simply feels great, and does what you want it to do launchwise without fighting you as to directionality or trajectory. Make no mistake about it, Mizuno builds the Luxury Sport Sedan of the Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement categories. The JPX 800 features a lot of newer technologies that Mizuno has been experimenting with for a long time. These are their longest standard game improvement irons ever.
Recommend this product?
Yes I want on and on about feel, but if these babies didn't deliver in the distance department, it's doubtful that you would bother reading the rest of the review. These are the second longest set of irons I have hit this year. The Wilson Di 11's still outdistance them by roughly 1/2 a club, but a lot of that is due to the stronger lofts that they sport as compared to these. As far as all the other models out there being brought to you by the big boys, Callaway Diablo, TaylorMade Burner, Nike Machspeed, etc...., these leave them in the dust by about 1/2 a club, and that's not got anything to do with stronger lofts. It's simply better use of metallurgical knowledge on their part. The corporate line has the usual whizz bang type of hype to it----"MAX COR Technology." (Damn those marketing boys are good.)
The fact is simply that Mizuno, like several other companies, have figured that alpha maraging steel makes a hotter iron face than does titanium. An iron's face does not allow enough space for the spring-like effect to take place with titanium. It takes a driver or an over-sized fairway metal in order for that to happen. Mizuno, whose metallurgical savvy has been well known for years, have come up with a super hot alpha maraging steel alloy, and found a way to pound it so thin that the face has no choice but to act like a spring on impact. Whether you buy into the hype of "Max COR Technology" or not, the fact remains that the science behind it is very good, and that Mizuno has found a way to make their iron faces thinner, and thus springier.
These are definitely "Game Improvement" irons more than "Super Game Improvement Irons." Basically, what you give up in forgiveness gets made up for in both feel and workability. You can't exactly work these like blades, or some of the even thinner soled Game Improvement Irons, but you can easily hit a high cut, power fade, and baby draw--no questions asked. Basically, you can get more forgiveness from the more shovel like Super Game Improvemnt clubs, but if your game is progressing past just "Long and Straight" these offer more than just a fair amount of forgiveness.
Balance and Feel---5 Stars
Hey wait a minute there Bernie Boy---these aren't forged clubs? How the heck can they get a 5 Star Rating? Well the fact remains that if you went to go hit these, and no one told you that they weren't forged, there's a very good chance that you would not know this. The feel is absolutely fabulous. These feel at least as good as some of the so called forged clubs on the market that use a "HOT FORGED" process, and better than many others that use various other forms of it. Mizuno Foundry still makes the best feeling mass produced forged clubs on the market. It only follows that they would know what it takes to imitate that feel when building a distance club. They have achieved this in spades.In a blindfold test, people who are still clinging to lesser known blades from ten years ago or so might not recognize that they are holding a non-forged game improvement club in their hands. It feels that good throughout the swing, as well as at at impact. It goes without saying that these are possibly some of the most finely balanced Game Improvement Irons I have ever layed my paws on.
Techs and Specs --5 Stars
While the 4-7 Irons in this set utilize the aforementioned "Max COR Technology", and "deeper varigated pocket cavities," the 8I-Pitching Wedge use a "Power Bar" across the back. As metioned, none of these technologies is exactly new, nor is the "multi -material vibration dampening medallion" As with the Wilson Di 11's I reviewd earlier this month, the execution of these technologies as a unit, and the borderline old school craftsman-like feel to the unit as a whole is just short of amazing.
It's that type of old school attention to detail that really rockets these things up there though. The "Triple Cut Sole" is actually a rather clever use of the bevel of the sole as well as the factory grind of the entire sole. "Double Nickel Chrome Plating" is also a very nice touch that helps increase the feel while adding to the durability of the clubs overall. The "Modified U Grooves" are a great measure of how well a company stays on top of their market. These clubs are able to make a ball spin like a Channukah Dreadle, yet they still manage conform to the new 2010 rules for competition.
The usual suspects are still the factory fitted True Temper Dynalites in steel, and OEM Exsar IS4's in graphite. Loads of other shafts are available from the custom shop. I still suggest you get fitted for any set of irons, as you may need the clubs set up sligtly upright or flat depending upon your swing.
It's obvious that Mizuno has road-tested all of the individual technologies in the Asian Market before bringing them altogether as a unit for the U.S. market. These JPX 800's carry many features that Mizuno has never brought to the U.S. until now. What I really like about them is that they fit a niche that hasn't been served just yet. Whereas many Super Game Improvement Irons border on Game Improvement Irons, these are Game Improvement Irons that border on Super Game Improvement Irons. If you've already got that semi-repeatable swing, and you're looing for that club that can get you from the lower nineties to the lower 80's (and possibly beyond that) these may very well be them. If your game is about feel and beginning to show signs of needing to work the ball just a shade---these are some of the better clubs out there.
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