Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL Iron Review

Can golfers swing this iron slower but hit it further than a traditional a game improvement iron? Joel Tadman finds out...

Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL Iron Review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

A considered iron offering from Mizuno that truly caters for golfers with slower swing speeds in producing a more optimum, playable ball flight as well as that signature Mizuno look and feel.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Effortless launch for slower swing speeds

  • +

    Very forgiving off center

  • +

    Powerful feel

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Some may want to look down on a bigger head

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL Iron Review

In the super game improvement category, irons seem to get stronger in loft nearly every year in the perpetual quest for extra distance. But for golfers with slower swing speeds, or those who typically produce a low launch and penetrating flight, this trend is actually detrimental to performance.

VIDEO: Watch Joel Tadman test and compare all three Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal irons

It is why Mizuno, among others like Callaway's Rogue ST Max OS Lite, has introduced a high launch (HL) option within its new JPX923 iron range. It is a completely new model aimed at force-limited golfers or those that present a lot of shaft lean at impact to help achieve a more optimum ball flight for more distance and greater stopping power.

Design wise, the JPX923 Hot Metal HL actually has the same blade length as the Hot Metal iron but with a wider sole for a lower, deeper CG to help get the ball up quickly. The extra loft is obvious behind the ball and we liked how it doesn’t have all the traditional hallmarks of a high-handicap iron like a thick top line and excessive offset. The lofts are weaker too - the 7-iron comes in at 31°, so 2.5° weaker than the Hot Metal.

mizuno jpx923 hot metal HL iron address

(Image credit: Future)

With my 7-iron swing speed pushing 90mph, the High Launch understandably fell short of the Hot Metal iron in terms of distance, although it did launch the ball higher and projected the ball through a noticeably higher flight window during on course testing. I’m under no impression that this iron is designed for a golfer like me but as an experiment, I hit shots with both the Hot Metal and Hot Metal HL having slowed my swing speed down to 75mph, using the Full Swing Kit launch monitor to confirm.

The results were amazing in that at this lower club speed, the Hot Metal HL did actually achieve longer carry distances. It was noticeable that with the Hot Metal, unless the shots were struck properly then the ball would fall out of the sky far too early at this swing speed. My testing has shown in recent years that even with my above-average swing speed, approach shots hit with the best game improvement irons of today come into greens far too hot (fast and shallow), which significantly limits the overall playability, especially when the course is firm.

mizuno jpx923 hot metal HL iron testing

(Image credit: Future)

This JPX923 High Launch iron from Mizuno is a thoughtful, considered offering that truly takes into account the needs of the average golfer who’s speed is diminishing, even if their appetite for the game remains as strong as ever. It’s available in right hand only, which is a shame, but if it is because Mizuno wants to test the water with a new model before opening it up to a wider demographic, I’m sure it won’t be long before lefties are able to get their hands on one of the best Mizuno irons around. Starting at 5-iron, a set includes a true matching gap wedge and sand wedge and their is the option of creating a combo set with the new JPX-Fli long iron replacement hybrids. It quickly becomes one of the best golf clubs for high handicappers seeking an iron set that makes hitting more accurate approach shots an easier task.

Mizuno coupon codes

Mizuno coupon codes

Save on golf gear with these Mizuno discount codes, covering shoes, clothing, bags, clubs, accessories & more.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x