Mizuno JPX800 HD
We test out the Mizuno JPX 800 irons... in HD!
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 28/03/12 5:27pm
Mizuno now have their JPX 800 irons in HD! No strangers to providing HD coverage ourselves here at Sky Sports, it only seems appropriate that we have a look at the set of these irons from the Japanese manufacturer.
Most golfers always branded Mizuno a maker of good irons, and the emergence of Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings only helps to raise their stock - but we're not all Luke Donalds so Mizuno are keen to provide hope for the rest of us.
The JPX 800 HD are super game improvement irons with the 4-7 irons having a thinner sole to promote a higher ball flight, encouraging higher handicappers by getting the ball airborne more often with the more difficult longer irons.
The sole decreases as you go down the bag towards a mid-sized pitching wedge, with each club retaining the classic Mizuno look and in no way looking like other entry-level irons.
To complete the set, the JPX Fli-Hi hybrids come in to replace the four and five irons to give the golfer an even more forgiving club to improve their confidence on the course from long distance.
The Fli-Hi hybrids
As with all Mizuno clubs the irons look stunning, the Golf Pride M-21 grip is plain but effective and altogether they give you a great feel when lining up to the ball - basically they are the JPX 800 irons but in HD!
Mid to low handicappers will obviously feel the clubs are a little too chunky for their liking, but they do thin out as you go down the bag and, after all, these are game improvement irons.
The increased height in ball flight was recognisable almost instantly, but personally the flight for me was a bit too high and at times took off a bit of distance, while there was a tendency to hang the ball out to the right.
The Fli-Hi Direct Iron Replacement - (DLR) as Mizuno label it - is a pretty good hybrid with the ball having no problems being launched high into the sky, but still moving forward and gathering every bit of distance.
Weighting-wise the clubs feel good, I thought the shorter irons were better than the longer ones, which tended to lob up a bit too high and lose distance, but all in all for game improvers you could do a lot worse. Here's what another of our golfers thought...
(Mark Kendall - Handicap 18)
Thick C-grind sole for high ball flight
Having left my trusty Nike VR Cavity irons in the car boot and put the JPX 800 HD irons in the bag and headed out, more or less, straight out on to the fairways, I was keen to learn whether Mizuno's latest offering could offer "game improvement" on an instant basis.
The first thing to say about the clubs is that - perhaps unsurprisingly given they are from the Mizuno stable - they look great and sit nicely behind the ball, quickly giving you confidence.
Billed as some of the most forgiving long irons on the market, results were encouraging from the off and the manufacturer's claim that the clubs promote increased ball flight seemed to be borne out.
A couple of 150-160 yard approaches both produced pleasing strikes, although having come up short I was left to wonder whether the increased height came at the cost of at least a bit of yardage.
From within scoring range, the shorter irons offered up decent feel and I certainly felt confident having found the heart of the putting surface with an early wedge - the same club still located the putting surface despite a less than perfect contact on the opening par-three.
I was certainly a fan (DLR) hybrids which were incredibly easy to hit and produced smooth, straight strikes both from the fairway and the longer stuff just off it.
Overall I was left impressed by the JPX 800 HDs, for the mid-high handicappers they offer genuine forgiveness and that bit of reassurance with those longer irons in hand.
For more information on the JPX 800 HD irons and the new MP 59 line used by Luke Donald, go to http://golf.mizunoeurope.com.
Thanks to Oulton Hall for the use of their facilities, go to www.devere-hotels.co.uk/Golf-Course for more details.