The names muscleback irons and Mizuno are linked in the minds of many golfers for good reason. Modern “blade” design irons used by better players all owe a tip-of-the-cap debt to the company for some of the most playable forged irons ever manufactured which characteristically lack a lot of forgiveness making them difficult if not impossible for most of to play.
“Most modern muscle backs and limited ‘tour edition’ irons can be traced back to the great Mizuno blades. Though what makes a Mizuno iron truly exceptional is everything you can’t see,” said David Llewellyn, R&D Director, Mizuno Golf.
Mizuno’s latest are a line of irons forged in Japan which will reach retail in September: MP-20 (Muscle Back), MP-20 HMB (Hot Metal Blade) and MP-20 MMC (Multi Metal Construction).
MP-20 – Heavily influenced by past Mizuno blade muscle backs. Grain Flow Forged HD from a single billet of 1025E mild carbon steel, layered with copper plating then protective nickel chrome exterior. $1,300 with steel shafts.
MP-20 MMC – Second generation of their Multi-Material Concept with thinner topline and a titanium internal plate and tungsten sole weight. Forged from same steel as MP-20 also with layered copper with either satin or chrome finish. $1,225 with steel shafts.
MP-20 HMB – Hollow Muscle Back with face and hosel forged from chromium alloy lasered welded to stainless steel body. Tungsten weight in heel and toe in long and mid irons. Copper layer between body and satin finish exterior. $1,400 with steel shafts.
Tour Edge Hot Launch 4 Irons
Completing the Hot Launch 4 family Tour Edge Golf has announced the HL4 Iron set, the HL4 Iron-Wood set and the HL4 Triple Combo set.
Larger undercut cavity to improve MOI, launch and forgiveness
Wider sole and shallower face height for lower and deeper CG
431 Stainless Steel for better accuracy and feel
Improved launch with stronger lofts$420 steel shafts and $490 graphite shafts
Available individually or as a complete set
Progressive sole width offset and top line
Thin forged face for improved launch
Hollow hyper-steel body
$530 steel shafts and $600 graphite shafts
HL4 Triple Combo
Two HL4 hybrids (22°, 25°), two HL4 Iron-Woods (29°, 32°) and three HL4 Irons (35°, 40°, 44°)
$570 steel shafts and $600 graphite shafts
Ping Glide 3.0
Glide wedges almost at once developed an instant and enthusiastic following when first introduced in January 2015, updated them with the Glide 2.0 in 2017 and now makes further improvements with Glide 3.0.
“In the Glide 3.0 series, we’re broadening the appeal of our wedges and providing more differentiation within our own line and the rest of the marketplace,” said John K. Solheim, PING President. “We approached the design with a goal of creating higher-spinning, great-looking wedges that also deliver more forgiveness with the improved feel from our other proven technologies. Every detail in the Glide 3.0 is designed to improve short-game performance, from the longer grip for choking down to the Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish that helps the wedge glide through the grass.”
Of particular note is the inclusion of and Eye2 Grind matching the original Eye2 Sand Wedge first seen 40 years ago. Multiple loft/bounce combinations are available. Standard Sole (SS) grind (46°/12°, 50°/12°, 52°/12°, 54°/12°, 56°/12°, 58°/10°, 60/10°). Wide Sole (WS) grind (54°/14°, 56°/14°, 58°/14°, 60/14°). Thin Sole (TS) grind (58°/6°, 60°/6°). Eye2 grind (54°/10°, 56°/10°, 58°/8°, 60°/8°). $160 per club steel shaft, $180 per club graphite shaft.
Titleist U-Series Utilities
It seems like one of the hottest topics in clubs this year is the utility iron or driving iron and Titleist has revamped their offerings with the U-500 and U-510 Utilities. Available August 30 for $250 per iron. U-500 is a utility iron designed for better player’s wanting a long iron to aid their ability to hit well-controlled trajectory and distance shots. It is built for high launch and high descent angle. Compact shape with tungsten weighting (98 grams on average) for a produces a low center of gravity and high MOI for balance and stability. Titleist’s thinnest, forged SUP-10 L-Face insert in three loft choices: 2-Iron (17º), 3-Iron (20º), 4-Iron (23º).
The U-510 is for those wanting hybrid-like performance in a high-launching, easier-to-play utility with an iron-shape head. Larger, wider sole and a 1-iron is available. Tungsten weighting and forged SUP-10 L-Face insert. Loft Options: 1-Iron (16º), 2-Iron (18º), 3-Iron (20º), 4-Iron (22º).
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Gear at the British Open
Ball: Titleist Pro V1/V1x 103 and Chrome Soft/Soft X 19
Wedges: Vokey 196 (sand, lob & approach), second most played 76
Utility irons: Titleist 41
Hybrids: Titleist 9
Putters: Odyssey 65, second most played 38
British Open winner Shane Lowery
Driver: Srixon Z 585 (9.5°) – with Mitsubishi Diamana White 70X shaft
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M4 (15°) – Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6 X shaft
Irons:: Srixon Z U85 (2) – Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White TX Hybrid shaft; Srixon Z U85 (3) – KBS Tour 130X shaft; Srixon Z 585 (4 & 5), Srixon Z 785 (6-PW) – KBS Tour 130X shafts
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50°, 58°) – KBS Wedge shafts
Putter: Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball
Ball: Srixon Z Star XV