PLAY­ING WITH … MIZUNO JPX 919 IRONS

Cost: $249 per iron (Tour); $269 per iron (Forged); $209 per iron (Hot Metal). Tested by: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Aus­tralia Writer (GA Hand­i­cap 9.4)

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

Three iron mod­els tar­geted at three dif­fer­ent golfers. Jimmy Emanuel ex­plains why the JPX 919 series is one of the best re­leases he has seen from Mizuno.

MOD­ELS PLAYED: JPX 919 Tour (3-iron to pitch­ing wedge), fit­ted with True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold 120 S300 shafts. JPX 919 Forged (4-iron to gap wedge), with True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold 105 S300 shafts. JPX 919 Hot Metal (4-iron to pitch­ing wedge), with Nip­pon N.S. Pro Mo­dus3 Tour 105 R shafts. FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS: When I first laid eyes on the pre­vi­ous JPX 900 Tour iron I was in­stantly in­trigued, hav­ing long as­so­ci­ated Mizuno’s JPX line with over­sized, for­giv­ing mod­els and al­ways pre­fer­ring the MP range. Brooks Koepka’s con­tin­ued suc­cess with the model only served to fur­ther peak this in­ter­est.

The new JPX 919 Tour fol­lows closely in the foot­steps of its pre­de­ces­sor, and looks even bet­ter with a slightly smaller head size and a lack of colour­ful paint fill, while the 919 Forged and Hot Metal mod­els are sig­nif­i­cant vis­ual im­prove­ments on the pre­vi­ous ver­sion of each.

Off the club­face all three mod­els were very close to what I had ex­pected. The Tour felt as a forged Mizuno iron al­ways does. The Forged still had a nice, soft feel but was also ex­tremely pow­er­ful off the face. And the Hot Metal was the hottest of the three and seemed to launch straight up in the air with low spin. HOW THEY PER­FORMED: Test­ing the three mod­els on the course and the range, the ex­pected per­for­mance from each iron was con­tin­u­ally de­liv­ered in an ex­tremely pos­i­tive way. With the mod­els de­signed for dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and player types in mind, the var­ied per­for­mance was ex­actly what I would an­tic­i­pate each of the tar­get golfers would want from an iron set.

The JPX 919 Tour of­fers out­stand­ing ball flight con­trol, and a sur­pris­ing level of for­give­ness for such a small iron. Any de­sired ball flight was eas­ily achieved and mis-hits weren’t nearly as pun­ish­ing as my own blade irons.

The short irons were where the Tour model stood out for me, knock­ing shots down in windy con­di­tions was easy and great fun and the slightly stronger ball flight than my own irons meant I gained a me­tre or two con­sis­tently through­out the bag.

From a feel per­spec­tive the Tour was out­stand­ing and is more than de­serv­ing of the Mizuno name, which al­ways evokes thoughts of irons pos­sess­ing a pure feel.

De­spite not be­ing the style of iron I would typ­i­cally opt for in my own set, the JPX 919 Forged stood out to me as the big­gest im­prover of the new series when com­pared to the pre­vi­ous 900 mod­els. The ad­di­tion of Boron to the Grain Flow Forged HD metal al­lows for a thin­ner club­face with­out sac­ri­fic­ing feel. Make no mis­take, the JPX 919 Forged aren’t the same as com­pany’s MP-18 irons off the face, but they are cer­tainly one of the bet­ter feel­ing dis­tance irons I have tested.

The ball flight with the Forged was very strong and re­sulted in it even best­ing the Hot Metal on oc­ca­sion for me when hit­ting the same club side by side. This, com­bined with the feel and de­cent level of work­a­bil­ity the 919 Forged of­fers, se­ri­ously im­pressed me.

Im­prove­ments to the feel, ap­pear­ance and ball flight in the de­sign of the JPX 919 Hot Metal makes it a game im­prove­ment iron that will be more palat­able for a wider range of play­ers. And

dur­ing my test­ing I strug­gled to re­mem­ber an­other iron that pro­vided as good a com­bi­na­tion of for­give­ness and feel that while the firmest of the three irons is in no way hard or harsh.

The short irons and wedges look very playable at ad­dress and al­though a lit­tle jumpy off the face for me when try­ing to hit less than full shots, were ex­tremely con­sis­tent in both flight and carry dis­tance. But it was the long irons where the Hot Metal re­ally shined. The ball felt like it ex­ploded off the face and the flight was high and more of­ten than not dead straight. Work­ing the ball with the Hot Metal took plenty of ef­fort but could be done, how­ever with the al­most au­to­matic straight flight that will suit the player the most for­giv­ing model is aimed at this isn’t re­ally an is­sue.

With the JPX 919 series, Mizuno has done an ex­cel­lent job of pro­duc­ing three mod­els that of­fer three dis­tinct ball flights and ben­e­fits. I was most drawn to the Tour model for its sim­i­lar­ity to the irons I typ­i­cally play. The im­prove­ment of the 919 Forged on its pre­de­ces­sor stood out to me, while the Hot Metal has main­tained its out­stand­ing dis­tance and added bet­ter feel and very playable high ball flights.

Al­though I would be very com­fort­able play­ing a full set of the 919 Tour, the power and for­give­ness of the Forged would tempt me to add a long iron into the mix if I were to in­vest in a set. A com­bi­na­tion of Forged and Hot Metal sim­i­larly mak­ing sense for play­ers look­ing for a lit­tle ex­tra for­give­ness.

The range of head op­tions in the JPX 919 series is the best I’ve seen from Mizuno in terms of de­liv­er­ing var­ied per­for­mance to match dif­fer­ent golfers’ needs, while the fit­ting soft­ware and shaft op­tions takes this even fur­ther.

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