New 'channel back' Mizuno MP-5 iron launched

Mizuno MP-5 iron
The new Mizuno MP-5 iron

The new Mizuno MP-5 iron has a 'channel back' design, offering a better-player model that feels like a blade, but with forgiveness and a confidence-inspiring look

Joining the popular MP line of irons from Mizuno in September is the MP-5 model. Mizuno are billing this better player iron as neither as a blade or a cavity back, but a revolutionary 'Channel Back' that is a forged iron like no other.

Designed for the ultimate feel and workability, and sitting neatly between Mizuno’s classic MP blades and smaller players’ cavity-backs, the MP-5’s ‘Channel Back’ design represents both traditional Japanese craftsmanship and the wonder of modern-day CAD design.

The Channel Back design keeps an appropriate degree of thickness low behind the central impact point to deliver the blade-like feel better players crave on pure strikes, while allowing sufficient clubhead mass to be relocated to parts of the head where it can increase clubhead stability and performance on off-centre strikes.

MP-5 channel back

The head is slightly larger than a traditional blade and the top line a little thicker for a more powerful look as a result of extensive testing among professionals, but Mizuno’s skilled craftsmen have cleverly been able to retain the sense of proportion and shape needed to suit the eye of better players at address.

“Marrying the skill sets of our CAD-based engineers with the more traditional craftsmen in Yoro Japan, we’re able to produce beautiful irons that play a lot more forgiving than you would imagine by looking at them,” says David Llewellyn, head of design at Mizuno. “I think Mizuno is pretty unique in still having craftsmen that worked in the era before CAD design, which means our irons have a kind of emotion and history built into them.”

MP-5 inset

Through the set the design of the Channel Back is progressive to offer the optimum launch conditions. The channel is slightly higher in the short irons to offer a more penetrating, controllable flight while in the long irons, there is more weight lower in the head to increase launch.

The MP-5 is also Grain Flow Forged, something Mizuno has been doing for 30 years that compresses and maintains a consistent grain through the neck and hosel, guaranteeing greater consistency and precise distance control.

GM Verdict While the new MP-5 looks like a blade from every angle, they certainly offered the higher levels of forgiveness similar to that of an iron with a shallow cavity. The feel was absolutely superb, something you come to expect from a Mizuno iron, slightly firmer than the true blade MP-4 model, but still soft enough to offer feedback on your strike and minimal vibration into the hands. At impact, the club felt stable and solid, and shots from the middle were rewarded with a strong, consistent trajectory.

The new MP-5 irons have an RRP of £115 per club and will be available from September 1st.

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