Pros: Incredible Feel for Game Improvement Clubs, Exceptional Balance, Massive Forgiveness
Cons: Slightly shorter than the hot-rodded game-improvement clubs that tout distance above all.
Mizuno JPX 825 Irons or I Must Be on a Dairy Farm to be Surrounded by This Much Butter.
At the golf shop/local swing academy where I do the majority of my business—these are the number one recommended iron. Both the golf pros and the salesmen recommend these as their first choice for those who have developed a semi-repeating swing. They may be just a touch shorter than some of the other Game Improvement/Super Game Improvement Irons out there, but once you get over that almost trivial fact, they are unbeatable in feel, consistency, build quality, etcetera.
For those that want to hit there 7 Irons as long as the latest and greatest maker’s AstroBallz model or whatever, they simply tell them to —“Club up.” At first everybody is slightly taken aback, but these irons do one thing better than all the competition, and it is the one thing that someone developing a repeatable swing absolutely has to have. To paraphrase Dr. Ruth Westheimer…”The face of the club must communicate!”
Mizuno Clubs have always been known for their amazing feel, and these clubs are no exception. That amazng feel always tells you exactly how you hit the ball at the moment of impact. It is this type of communication---rare amongst Game Improvement Clubs, that allows you to know whether its,...”Oops I chunked it.” …. “Oops! I thinned it.”“Oops I toed it!” …”Oops! I heeled it.” Or “Wow ---I pured it!”… at the moment of impact, rather than having to witness the ball flight and trajectory post impact in order to make a judgment call. Besides, many a swing coach will tell you how deceptive judging your impact by ball flight can be—but again—I digress.
I will tell you that these have distance that is well above average, so don’t take the 4 star rating too seriously. It seems to me that the clubs I hit that do outdistance this set by ¼-1/2 a club tend to have that distance as their only real claim to fame. As with any club, I’ll take a 7 iron that gives me 150 in the fairway on an easy swing over the one that launches me 160 yards out into the woods or into the drink. The excellent almost butter-like feel on these almost encourages that easy swing, as it rings true and sweet from the fingertips all the way up through the shoulder blades. That in turn promotes “consistency of distance” which is something I value greatly.
It was that same type of feel that allowed me consistency of distance throughout my woods and hybrids that had me turn in my Tour Edge Exotics Stuff and move over to Mizuno. Because of that, all my golfing buddies swear my distance has gone up. In reality, I have lost a touch of raw distance, but the consistency of my distance hole after hole is what is eating them up. These irons play that same game, and they do it well.
Balance and Feel—5 Stars
What I wouldn’t give to be able to actually rate these higher than 5 stars in this department. It’s rare that cast clubs feel forged, but that’s just something that Mizuno is so darned good at doing. As with all Mizuno clubs, there is always just a touch of ball cling at impact, and it is buttery smooth as well. The best part is that, as I said earlier, this allows you to tell exactly where the ball and face made contact, be it upper or lower grooves, heel or toe, you will know immediately where you struck the ball and that allows for instantaneous tweaking. If the ball is constantly going right on you, then you know that the face had to be open to some degree. These allow you to tell whether you are coming over the top, or blocking your shot. Those are, after all polar opposites that call for completely different swing adjustments.
Balance is pretty much the same famous Mizuno Story. It’s not too hard to imagine one of those blindfolded statues of “Justice” with the scale in her hand, and a Mizuno Iron Shaft acting as the balance beam. I tried these clubs for balance using the toughest standards, and still, no matter what I did, it seemed as if the club head let me know exactly wherever it was at during my swing. It was that wonderful Zen-Like Awareness too. It was never vague at the transition, nor did it ever feel like it was broadcasting its location to me at full volume either. It’ s this type of feel, balance, and performance that had me switching to Mizuno Woods and Hybrids from my previous set, and may very well lead me to bagging Mizuno Irons as well.
Time after time I rant about forgiveness factors with clubs. There is a particular miss hit that 92% of all golfers are guilty of. Like it or not, the vast majority of us hit the ball too far out towards the toe of the irons face. And that goes all the way from 3 Irons to Wedges. Admittedly, some of us are worse about this than others, but almost all of us do it to some degree. Mizuno and Wilson Staff are the two companies I know of that build Game Improvement Irons that specifically address this issue better than all the others. While Wilson Clubs tend to address this via a more ovate shaped sweet spot and enlarged safe hitting zone, Mizuno also addresses it through the feel of the club. A lot of this has to do with the way our downswing approaches the ball from the transition, so it’s nice to know that this issue is one that these clubs will help you overcome as long as you are willing to listen to them. Basically, these clubs not only forgive your transgressions, but they tell you “HOW” to do better next time, instead of the rather dull and meaningless, ”You need to do better next time.”
There are several reasons all the swing coaches and all the salesmen at my favourite store make this their first recommendation for those who have developed a semi-repeatable swing. The swing coaches have told me time and again that they work hard to get their students to this stage. They know that muscular and tactile memories are the strongest allies they have in helping to get their students to the next level. If they get them to use a club that communicates exactly how and where the ball is being struck at impact, instead of one feels good no matter how the ball is struck, and turns every bad swing into at least a serviceable strike, then the student now has a set of irons they can grow with for several seasons, and one that will help them learn teach themselves during both range time and actual play.
The salesmen tell me these are great clubs for all the same reasons the pros do, plus the fact that not only do they get far fewer returns per capita on Mizuno clubs, but that the same clients will come back and thank them, and ask them what else they should buy. “In this economy repeat customers are practically a G*dsend.” I’ve tried these several times now, and the same rings true with Mizuno that has rung true with me for several seasons, you can’t beat them for feel, and if you are serious about learning the game, you need to feel how you are striking the ball. Dr. Ruth would be proud of these clubs ability , “….to communicate!”