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First Look! – Mizuno 2014 MP-Series Irons

Post image for First Look! – Mizuno 2014 MP-Series Irons

Cutting right to the chase, this is a post about eye candy. More specifically Mizuno eye candy. And I think many are in agreement that when it comes to iron-based eye candy, nobody in golf does it any sweeter than Mizuno.

I can try and sugarcoat it for you (like a Sour Patch kid, for example), but many of you probably aren’t interested in anything more than a gratuitous picture thread. There’s no denying that what we’ve seen so far is basically golf porn of the highest order. It’s hot…like classy European hot. No fat chicks here.

My point is, for those of you whose pants are suddenly fitting a little tighter, feel free to skip ahead to the pictures. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of instant gratification every now and again.

For the select few of you who are a little more curious about what Mizuno is up to (and in reality, I’m not able to provide any design and engineering details), I’m willing to make the case for you that Mizuno, along with a few others have jumped on to a new trend in golf equipment marketing. Until I come up with a better name, I’m calling it The Zero Information, Non-Release-Release.

Seen, But Not Heard

When Mizuno’s European division started releasing pictures of Mizuno’s new irons and wedges my thought was that with the Open Championship in town (at least in terms of relatively geography), the guys in Europe got overly excited (who can blame them), and let the proverbial cat out of the bag ahead of the Mizuno’s oft-predictable schedule.

With media types like myself blowing up their phones, what a nightmare this must be for Mizuno USA.

It turns out, that’s not remotely close to what happened…except for the part where we blew up their phones.

Recent History Repeats Itself

You might recall that not too long ago, pictures of Titleist’s 714 series irons started showing up on the company’s social media channels. Titleist called the irons “Tour Prototypes”, offered next to zero design details, and promised to release more information in the fall.

Golfer’s loved the eye candy while I (and I assume other writers) lamented the total lack of actual information. We (MyGolfSpy) even suggested that the Titleist release was a blunder of sorts that reflected Titleist’s inability to keep pace with the rest of the golf world. It turns out they may have been ahead of the curve.

Fast-forward to July 8th…seemingly out of nowhere TaylorMade begins releasing photos of their “Tour Prototype” driver through the company’s social media channels. When pressed for information, company representatives remained largely mum on the curious bits of technology (the SLDR weight, the gaping hole (with apparent screw hole) next to said slider…err SLDR, and what if any new hosel technology has been baked into the design). When I pressed for the smallest of details, I got the shortest of replies; “Speculate“.

TaylorMade being TaylorMade, they one-upped Titleist a bit by posting tour player reaction videos. And speaking of those tour pros, despite the driver not initially making its way into the hands of any TaylorMade A-listers, guys like Boo Weekly, Ken Duke, and others took to Twitter to rave about how much ball speed the new driver had given them. Some even posted launch monitor photos. I’m sure that all happened organically. TaylorMade had nothing to do with it.

And yet, despite the photos, and the tour validation (be it real or scripted), TaylorMade remains silent with respect to any of those design and performance aspects that hardcore gearheads crave.

In both cases, Titleist and TaylorMade have basically said, you can see the product, but you can’t hear about it (except when our tour guys tell you how awesome it is).

Fast-forward again…this time to the beginning of this week when pics of Mizuno’s new MP-4 and MP-54 irons started showing up on the company’s social media channels (stop me if you’ve heard this before).

To Mizuno’s credit, they didn’t bother to insult anybody’s intelligence by calling anything in the new MP-series a “Tour Prototype”. This is real product, folks, and Mizuno’s willing to own up to it.

As with Titleist and TaylorMade, Mizuno is also being extremely tight-lipped on the actual design of the products. The photos give you just enough to create rampant speculation. All that R&D stuff…that can wait until closer to the actual launch.

What’s the Deal with This Strategy?

While chances are you won’t find anybody who will flat out admit to it on the record, the controlled release of pictures (and nothing but) is all about control and buzz building. I would suggest to you that while a steady trickle of photos is the best way to build excitement and anticipation, the release of actual information can kill that buzz just as quickly.

“With this new release we’ve incorporated very subtle, minute, performance enhancements that the overwhelming majority of golfers, upwards of 99% really, will never actually notice either on the range or out on the course. We’re obviously going to make the repositioning of mass and the relocation of center of gravity foremost in the technological discussion since we know these are the kind of things that golfers want to hear. However, if we’re being completely honest about this release, what we’re really talking about are significant cosmetic changes that provide the justification for putting a product with very little to differentiate performance from its predecessor on the shelf. At the end of the day all the average golfer really wants is something newer than what’s in his buddy’s bag. With this release we’re offering him just that”. – Nobody at Any Golf Company…EVER.

Despite being among the first, Titleist probably benefits the least from the strategy. They’ve controlled the release, and that’s a win (and that’s plenty good enough), but Titleist is almost certainly going to remain true to tradition. You basically know what you’re going to get. With new product, particularly new irons, there very likely aren’t going to be any surprises. Titleist fans like it that way, and it’s definitely part of what makes Titleist Titleist.

For TaylorMade the strategy is even more divine. Right now, with almost no actual information, SLDR could be almost anything. Does the actually SLDR work, OMG! check out the ball speed, what’s the deal with that hole near the Fade Setting? Even if they’re not, the possibilities are endless.

Maybe you love it. Maybe you hate it. It doesn’t matter. Right now SLDR could be anything. SLDR is everything you’d ever want a driver to be. And even if our keen sense of reality tells us that in all likelihood SLDR is just another driver like most any other, there’s still an aura of mystery that surrounds it. That’s what TaylorMade wants.

Once the actual details are released, they mystery disappears, and the excitement along with it. Once we know exactly what we are dealing with, it can only be what it is. Nothing more.

And That Brings Us Back to Mizuno…

In this game, Mizuno isn’t really any different than anybody else. Even for Mizuno there’s plenty of momentum to be built from photos alone. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, why bother putting so much as a single character in print before you have to?

Pictures are made all the more powerful when you’re Mizuno and you habitually create among the most beautiful irons in golf. In that respect the pictures suggest nothing has changed, and that’s what Mizuno fans crave. If you’re Mizuno you’d be foolish to say anything before necessity forces your hand.

We Know a Little…But Not Much

While Mizuno is as tight-lipped as Titleist or TaylorMade about their new releases, here’s what we know about the forthcoming Mizuno releases right now:

The MP-4 continues the cycle of provide a replacement for Mizuno’s most player-centric (blade) iron every 2 years. The MP-54 replaces the now 3 year old MP-53; which as it happens falls at the opposite end of Mizuno’s MP series (it’s the most forgiving in the MP series). The MP-64 (released about this time last year), and the awesome MP-59 (released about this time 2 years ago) remain current.

While I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of what I may or may not know right now, this fall is shaping up to be big…maybe the biggest ever for Mizuno. There is plenty more to come, and you can expect a similar approach (trickle the photos, info to follow much later) with the other new stuff as well.

Mizuno wants you to be excited about the MP-4, and the MP-54, and everything else that comes behind it. Most of you already are.

For now the MP-54 is nothing less than the most exciting new cavity back on the market (or soon to be on the market). The MP-4…my god, it’s destined to be one of those timeless Mizuno irons that’s talked about for decades to come. It’s a classic, and it hasn’t even been released yet.

This is exactly why the strategy works, and while we’re going to see more of it. For fans of any given brand, the zero-information photo releases offers the consumer a product that offers everything that’s possible. And while that can open the door for tremendous disappointment if your product fails to deliver on the promises your photos make, when you’re Mizuno and your irons basically never fail to deliver on the their promise, what do you have to lose?

Seriously…Look at These Things…They’re Perfect

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Hula_rock July 17, 2013 at 11:18 am

Old news…… hahahahahaha :)

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finalist July 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

I can’t stand the Mizuno Road Runner logo. It means nothing to me as far as an emotional response, and it’s too vague to be anything obvious to the newbie… is it and upside down “A”, is it a weird ninja star, is it a fishing hook, is it a bull’s head with funny horns??

And what’s with all the major OEM irons having at least three graphics on them. Main corporate logo (Road Runner), company logotype (Mizuno) and model graphic? All those engravings detract from the clean lines.

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blu July 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

What else is the back of the club supposed to be for?? other than a bill board for advertising?

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Golfspy Dave July 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Hope the putters make the US market…

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Adam Huckeby July 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm

those blades are SICK!!

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Adam Huckeby July 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm

SIIIIICCCKKKKK!…

i think their logo is clean and classic looking personally. Certainly more character than some IMO.

However if I was designing the putters i would have opted for a less “Loud” and more expensive looking treatment for the logo on the back of the blade. But other agendas such as cost and brand recognition probably drove that decision.

Anyway blades don’t get better looking than that if you ask me. “mizuno if you are reading this and have and extra set I think i can help you get rid of them”

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Pim July 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm

The mp53 looks much better than the 54, the mp4 is just pffff…….

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luke-donald-duck July 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Nevermind the irons, give me one of those putters! Actually, I’ll take the irons AND the putters, thank you very much.

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RAT July 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I like what I see! Waiting to see them in person.

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Scott123 July 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm

LOL…the roadrunner is a japanese logo that just happened by mistake but they kept it.. Sweet looking MP4′s, the power bar looks like it will have great feed back….Look forward to hitting these babies.

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John Loffler July 18, 2013 at 5:12 am

As usual awesome, but, and its a big BUT, will they be available for lefties – until now Mizuno have been by a mile the company least concerned with left-handers

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Bob July 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm

It doesn’t look good for us lefties, I’m afraid. Mizuno has cut their LH offerings to a minimum. They haven’t burned the bridges completely, though, as their wedge lineup (including the new T4′s) for example is available left-handed in standard lofts. The question is, should you get the MP-59′s while supplies last or hold out for potential new offerings?

Not being concerned about the left-handed market is pretty much standard for Japanese equipment manufacturers, BTW. Bridgestone is pretty openly RH only and I don’t recall seeing any LH options from Srixon either. There’s always Miura, I suppose, if you can afford them.

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Chris G August 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

Lefty here. I have mp52 with Nippon pro 95 shafts. Faces are worn out and will upgrade soon. Sure hope these new offerings can accommodate us lefties. Maybe if Phil or Bubba played Mizuno we would be recognized as a viable market segment. Come on Mizuno,lefties play golf too!

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Pab July 18, 2013 at 7:32 am

I think I soiled me britches!! I wonder what the trade-in value of my MP-59′s are!? Those M-4′s are SAWEET!!

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Matt @ Down South Golf July 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

Like the look of those MP-54s!! Might be my next set..

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jim July 18, 2013 at 10:54 am

Anyone know the offsets for these. Last set I had were MP14′s. Like the old trad lofts but less offset is better.

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tider992010 July 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

The MP-54′s look a little liek the MX line but prettier. Very nice looking sets!

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Mark July 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

Daaaaaannngggg! Those MP-4s are GORGEOUS!!
If were to ever go back to a blade, I’d “Go to Mizuno MP-4. Go directly to Mizuno MP-4. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.” ‘nuf said!

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Kevin Smith July 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Really just don’t like the Mizuno sticks

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Craig July 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Sweet!

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Bob July 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm

It kind of makes sense for the Mizuno MP series, though, doesn’t it? They don’t really need to go into specifics about the ‘tech’ that goes into the clubs. In a nutshell:

Q: Are the new irons substantially longer than the previous model?
A: Did you see a TaylorMade logo anywhere?

Q: Are the new irons significantly more forgiving than the previous model?
A: Did you see the part where it says ‘MP’?

Q: How do they feel?
A: Did you see the part where it says ‘Mizuno’?

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RP Jacobs II July 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I like that they’ve taken some of the “muscle pad” outa the toe, and the 4s, at least in thes pics, look to have a smaller profile than the 69s through the muscle pad. The 69s look like a GI MB, if that makes sense, so it’s nice to see them slim the face-back & muscle pad down.

The 53s were considered to be the best “pocket” cavity back irons on the market and the 54s look to be well designed to more than hold their own against the 714 AP2s & RocketBladeZ Tours. I must say that the 53s were “cleaner” looking and more attractive than the 52s and the 54s are cosmetically superior to the 53s.

Mizzy’s mantra has always been that, “We will not release a new iron unless it is technologically superior to the iron that it is replacing.” I find it amazing that that technological superiority is achieved every two years like clockwork with the MB iron, LMAO. I don’t know if you can say that about the 53s, 54s or the 68s, 69s or the 4s, however cosmetically, they are improving. And that’s saying something cuz many consider the 68s to be a masterpiece. I think that that’s a little strong, though they are beautiful, lol.

I still believe that the 68s are the finest MBs that they’ve released since the 33s, so they will be staying in my bag. I do like the minimalism in the 4s. Ya gotta accept that you’re gonna have the series name/number, running bird, “Mizuno” & the iron number on the club, so I like the way that they did it. Typical, low key, minimalist Mizzy approach.

The 4s are sweet looking.

They’re Mizuno. What would ya expect?

Have a great season

Fairways & Greens forever

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Ian July 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

Holy crap, those 4′s are stunning! The 54′s are sexy. And those putters!! Mizuno just hit it outta the park. I will make a trip to my golf retailer JUST to see this new lineup in person. Love the Road Runner too. Meep Meep!

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MeexJnr August 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Shame non of their woods re used on tour

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Sandy August 6, 2013 at 1:38 am

Good article, but where are the pics of the new 825-EZ FORGED irons.????

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Golfspy Frank August 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

The things I would do to get my hands on a set of those 4s…

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BiggDaddyDj August 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

Wow, These are Damn Perfect, Mizuno has out done themselves again, just when you think it can’t be done any better……….And then……Wow, are you kidding me, am in love again, now I have to figure out, How to tell my wife again, Not sure what number am up to on that one……LoL…..Thx Mizuno…….Ur not making my life easy, But am enjoying the Hell Out of it…..Keep them coming, Thx again…….

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John Vu August 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I was fit into some TM TP MC’s a couple years ago and am playing Rocketbladez tours now. The tours are giving me the higher launch I wanted vs. the MC’s. But I just do not like how the Rocketbladez tours look. 54′s on the other hand are beautiful. Does anyone have an idea how the 54′s would launch?

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RP Jacobs II August 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm

John, though I have not hit the 54s, I bagged the 53 for 4 rounds, more to see how they felt, flew and performed than anything else. I play the 68s, with the Staff Fg 59s as back up. I also played the 63s in a combo with the 68s for a few months before going back to straight 68s, 4i-PW. Bottom line, the 53s felt “firmer” than the 68s, however this was to be expected. Compared to the AP2s that I hit, a similar “Pocket” CB, they felt like heaven. They do launch higher than the 60 series, and the extra weight in the bottom portion at the pocket definitely helps lauch them higher. They do not balloon and they have a nice trajectory.

I liked the looks of the 53s much better than the 54s. To me, and bear in mind that I’ve played blades for 46+ years, however the 54s look like GI irons. And I’m sure that you could get a better deal on the 53s when the 54s come out.

I’d take the 53s all day, and I’d take both against the BladeZ Tours, however I’m a little biased as I’ve played Mizzy for 26+ years.

Hit em both and see what ya think. Ya can’t go wrong either way.

Have a great season

My Best,
Richard

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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John Vu August 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thanks RP. I was thinking the same thing about waiting for the 53s to go on sale.

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Jake January 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Weak. I don’t see Mizuno around much. Think they may be out of golf soon.

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RP Jacobs I January 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

Jake, regarding Mizuno, though They are not the size of your TMaGs or Callys, they have a substantial presence in both the forged Players market, with their MBs, CMBs & CBs, and in Europe and Japan.

Having played their MP irons for 27 years, I can assure you that they’re not goin anywhere.

If you ask any Player,”forged players’ irons?” roughly 50-55% will answer “Mizuno.”

They are just not a dominant player in the GI or SGI market segment.

That’s ok cuz Cally & TMag aren’t dominant in the Players’ blades market

Thanx for postin and have a great season Jake :)

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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Scotty January 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

Nothing has tempted me to get rid of my MP 60′s like those MP 4′s are. Honestly that is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in golf.

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