That was the question Mizuno's designers and engineers asked themselves. Their answer: the new MP-54 irons
, the follow-up to Mizuno's MP-53 set.
"Over the past several years, Mizuno's MP iron category has expanded to a point where consumers expect a 'player' iron look and feel with the forgiveness of today's technologically advanced equipment," said Vice President of Product Management Chuck Couch of the challenge Mizuno faced.
The MP-54s are created for better players – those with handicaps from scratch up to about 12 – who want a bit more forgiveness than classic blades provide. At various stages of development and testing, Mizuno staff players including Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Jonathan Byrd provided their feedback.
What makes them unique is the ''Milled Step Muscle'' in the 3-iron through 7-iron. As is the case with many Mizuno clubs, each MP-54 is forged from mild carbon steel, and the 3- through 7-irons feature a thick muscleback with a 4-millimeter-wide slot.
This Milled Step Muscle allowed the engineers to reposition the removed weight around the head's perimeter, which increases stability on off-center hits. It also creates a deeper center of gravity for more forgiveness and a higher ball flight, all while maintaining the necessary heft behind the ball to deliver a solid impact.
The scoring irons – 8-iron down through pitching wedge – don't have the slot. Instead, they feature Mizuno's Solid Muscle Design – essentially, a solid clubhead, thicker in its bottom half, to improve playability. Those attributes also are enhanced by a perimeter grind on both the heel and toe, and the clubs feature Harmonic Impact Technology (H.I.T.), in which Mizuno's engineers tune the clubhead design to maximize feel and feedback.
By comparison, Mizuno says the MP-54 clubheads will be about the same size as the MP-53s, but will offer a more heavily beveled sole for cleaner turf interaction. And, of course, the cavity cut into the MP-54s gives them a lower center of gravity than the MP-53s.
are available now in both right-handed and left-handed models, and will carry a suggested retail price of $999.99. They come outfitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts and Golf Pride M-31 58 round grips, though a variety of custom shafts and grips also are available. Custom set make-ups also can be assembled from in mixed or combo sets or with MP-H4 long irons.