This iron doesn’t offer a great deal in the way of help, but the ball striking experience is second to none if you are a consistent player with an above average swing speed.
High levels of ball flight manipulation
More solid than the old MP20
Limited tangible improvements over prior model
By Joel Tadman published
Mizuno Pro 221 Iron Review
It doesn’t get much more traditional than a Mizuno MP blade, rich in heritage and with the addition of the ‘Mizuno Pro’ scripting first used back in 1981 and reserved solely for use in Japan up until now. Given how it looks, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this iron is more about image and perception over performance.
But Mizuno, maker of some of the very best golf blade irons, is keen to dispel this myth - blades naturally aren’t packed full of features or technology, but the taller pad behind the hitting area and copper underlay beneath the chrome finish should enhance both feel and consistency.
Versus the outgoing MP20 muscleback, the pad where the iron is thickest does look taller and our testing showed that this contributed to a more dense feel at impact where the ball seemed to stay on the face for a fraction longer. Out of the middle, the face felt a little more lively too - so if you’re on your game you might get an extra yard or two out of the Mizuno Pro 221 versus the MP20.
That said, this is certainly not a distance iron. It’s designed for faster swingers that don’t often miss the middle. If you do, you’ll know about it from the drop off in feel but also distance.
Our testing on the Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor at the excellent indoor facility at Girton Golf Club told us that the ball speed, launch, flight and carry distance hadn’t really changed and while the spin did come down by around 250 rpm, this could be down to the new Project X LS shaft.
During a fitting, you can find out if this will work for you, but the heads produce enough spin to maintain flight and stopping power despite the penetrating flight.
Workability is also a key feature - you’re able to move the ball at will and also alter the trajectory to suit the shot at hand more so than the other models in the Mizuno Pro range, making it a contender for being one of the best Mizuno irons.
The purist will enjoy everything about this iron. The way it looks, feels but also how it has a little more oomph behind it compared to most other blades we've tested, testament to the Grain Flow Forging process and the evolution of the head shape.
All things being equal, from the sweetspot it's one of the most satisfying irons you could hit, but the target market remains relatively niche given the limited distance and forgiveness on offer.
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.
During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
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 87 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 4.7.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58°
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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