(Written by Golfspy Dave) Some of you are going to be quite angry when you finish reading this article. I’m not kidding. Some of you may break something, or at least say unkind things to me through your computer screen. It’s going to happen. It’s kind of like the Sesame Street children’s book, The Monster at the End of this Book. You remember it, right? Grover gets more and more agitated as you turn pages because he is afraid of the monster at the end of the book. That book has a happy ending (spoiler alert!), as Grover figures out that he’s the monster. Such a cute, happy ending. Not so here. You are still going to be pissed off.
Anyway, what I have for you to peruse today is Mizuno’s MP A-Series putter line. For those of you in the putter know, Mizuno has a very nice putter pedigree. Some of the greatest names in the putter game have worked with Mizuno golf to produce some top-notch putters. Who am I referring to? What big names? How about T. P. Mills and Robert Bettinardi? That big enough for you? I have owned a few of the Bettinardi Mizunos and I will tell you that were exceptional. When their partnership ended in 2010-ish, Mizuno putters sadly disappeared from the putter corrals across the United States. At least putter addicts will always have eBay.
I ran across the Mizuno MP A-Series of putters one day while surfing for putters. Chewing that sandwich, minding my own business, and then, “KAPOW”, Mizuno putters! Not only did I find a new line-up of Mizuno putters, but also I found a line-up of premium putters. Forged carbon steel, CNC milled, and a unique alignment system. I was hooked, and compelled to share my discovery. And so my faithful reader, without further ramble, I bring you the Mizuno MP A-Series Putters!
General Specs: Mizuno MP-A Series Putters
- Forged 1025 Carbon Steel
- CNC Milled
- Black IP Finish
- Top line alignment bevel
- Face “Score Lines” to reduce skid and promote true roll
- Oversize Winn grip
- Three Head shapes (A301, A302, & A303)
There is a lot going on with the A301. In general terms, it’s a high toe blade with a plumbers neck. It is the narrowest of the MP A-Series line in terms of depth from face to flange, but it is also the longest from heel to toe. Check out the large cavity. This neck creates a bit of toe hang (4:30-5:00) than one would expect from a plumbers neck, and will most likely fit those of you with a slight arcing stroke or strong arcing stroke.
The A302 reminds me a bunch of one of my favorite putters from recent years, Odyssey’s Black Tour Designs #1 Wide. While there are some similarities with that Odyssey, I definitely prefer the softer feel of the A302 along with its 4:00 toe hang, placing this putter in the bag of the slight arcing player.
The A303 is the mallet in the MP A-Series line, but it too is a unique offering in the putter market. It is rare that you will find an off the shelf mallet with a short flow neck. The interesting thing about this mallet is that the neck is that it creates non-mallet toe hang (4:30) and stroke playability (slight arc). The A303 actually has a bit more hang than the A302. This mallet can hang! I also really appreciate the double alignment lines as opposed to the more traditional single line.
I don’t know what the “IP” stands for in the Black IP finish. I think I get the “black” part. Maybe the IP is for industrial polymer, or insoluble protectant. I could find out, but it’s more fun to speculate. I think that the IP stands for irresistibly pretty. The MP A-Series putters are great looking putters. They have a simple black and white color scheme that nicely contrasts the atypical head designs. The headcover and grips continue the black and white theme. Full tuxedo style.
These putters are smooth operators. The forged 1025 carbon steel is amazingly soft. I’m not going to go coo coo for carbon, but man do I like the feel of carbon putter heads. The face milling and “Score Lines” do put a nice roll on the ball. I didn’t find the roll as stout as that delivered by the Yes! C-Groves or Nike’s Polymetal Grooves, but there is definitely nice acceleration off of the face. Combine the MP A-Series with a nice urethane-covered tour ball and you have a recipe for a silky batch of IP Black delight. OK so maybe that’s a bit over the top, but the bottom line is that the Mizuno MP A-Series putters feel exceptional.
Along with the unconventional head shapes, Mizuno has dropped another curve from the norm into the MP A-Series: The Top Line Alignment Bevel. If you look at the address and the face photos for the three putters you will definitely notice the white line on the top of the face. Don’t be alarmed; you are supposed to notice it. Initially, I wondered if the line was supposed to disappear when you had the putter at the correct loft (new putter tech?). However, after de-lofting it to about -25° at address, I realized that it is supposed to stay visible while you line up the putt. The white line, sitting parallel to the black body allows you to better align the putter square to target. I found the system to be very effective paired with the dual lines on the A303. I’ll swipe a quote from the Mizuno product page:
“Just bevelling off that thick top edge made these classic shape putters much easier to square up. We’ve worked on markings parallel to the putter face with our Line 90 putters – for a lot of people they seem to work much better than the traditional line back from the face. A deep Black IP finish, allowed us to contrast that edge with a white marking – which really makes it stand out.”
Andy Kikidas – Tour Operations Manager
Interesting, huh? Maybe my loathing of sight lines all of these years has been misplaced. Rather than bemoaning lines in general, I should have been complaining about the “traditional line back from the face”. It’s definitely an interesting take on the concept of alignment. I do believe that it does indeed help to square the face. The white line on the face definitely stands out against the Black IP body.
The One For Me
It’s a bit tougher to pick the Mizuno MP A-Series: Golfspy Dave Edition this time. Initial impulses drove me to the A302, but the A303 was also very effective for me on the course. I actually enjoyed the A301 as well. I love how the high toe sets up at address. All in all though, if I had to select only one, it would be the A302. Or maybe the A303.
Mizuno’s MP A-Series putter line is one of the nicest line of production putters that I have seen in a few years, probably since the Bettinardi Mizuno putters. How can you go wrong with these carbon-steel creations? Mizuno has put together some interesting head shapes, a great black finish, and a novel alignment system. These putters are nice. How nice? Well, one of the local teaching pros, who is sponsored by Mizuno, offered to buy the A303 from me about twenty seconds after he rolled it. Love at first feel.
But Dave, why would a Mizuno pro want to buy the putter from you? Do you remember when I said this article was going to make you mad? Well, here’s why. The Mizuno MP A-Series line is not sold in the United States. Angry? Irritated? Did you just read about these great putters and then learn that you can’t find them at your local shop? Well, some of you did. Kudos to you international reader. Mizuno Europe can hook you up with a MP A-Series. Now, no more complaining about anything else that is only available in the USA. Not having these putters in our shops makes us even.
Let Mizuno Know How You Feel
As for my compatriots in the USA, don’t bring your torches and angry mob to the mygolfspy offices. Instead, use that energy to let Mizuno know that there is a market here for these beauties. If enough of us let them know that we want them, who knows what could happen!