Golf Monthly's Mizuno JPX900 driver review, a more forgiving model that its predecessor that also has extra adjustability to provide greater scope for improving performance
The Mizuno JPX850 driver was a very good club but perhaps lacked that wow factor or feeling of power when you really struck it solid and a little bit of forgiveness when you didn’t.
Mizuno claims to have put this right in its replacement, the JPX900 model, which has some new technology and different profile to encourage more golfers to give it a try, including two 8g weights that can be positioned in various places on the sole to affect launch, spin and shot shape.
While it’s still 440cc, it has a much larger profile at address than the JPX850 thanks to a shallower face allowing the crown’s length to be extended from front to back. This inspires more confidence and allows for more of Mizuno’s signature blue to be put on show.
Another feature at address is the ability to adjust the face angle independently from the loft, so regardless of whether you like to see a closed, neutral or open face angle, your preference is catered for.
The first thing that strikes you when you first send one away down the range is the sound. This driver is loud – louder than its predecessor and louder than most other drivers on the market. Is this a bad thing? No, it’s just different. It’s not an unfavourable sound by any means – it just gets your attention.
The second noteworthy thing about this driver is how easily it gets the ball up in the air. Initial testing in the 9.5° loft launched the ball at 17° – much higher than is optimum for a swing speed of 110mph.
But even with too high a launch angle and spin rate, the carry distance was still well over 270 yards. So one thing was clear – this driver has the potential to clock up some serious yardage.
Lofting down to 8.5° and putting both the 8g weights in the forward position of the middle track seemed to have cracked the code, with the average carry ascending to a whopping 279 yards with spin reducing down to around the 2000 rpm mark.
These were seriously impressive carry numbers indeed, some of best we’ve experience in recent years, but the height of the ball flight was a worry. With the ball peaking at 43 yards, it would struggle in outdoor conditions, especially when hitting into the wind, and the amount of roll out significantly reduced.
Better players may well prefer a club that launches the ball a little lower and has a taller face but for the majority of golfers, the Mizuno JPX900 has enough settings to unlock more performance from your swing. The Quick Switch hosel features loft adjustability down to 7.5°, so further testing is required to determine if the JPX900 driver can produce the more penetrating ball flight some players will want to see.
Further testing on the course in 7.5° loft is required to determine if this driver is the real deal but our initial findings are that the JPX900 driver has the potential to compete with the big boys of the driver market in terms of distance, forgiveness and intuitive adjustability that really works in providing golfers with tangible gains.