Irons to touch your soul. That is the tagline for the Mizuno MP-18 irons. And, there is no debating that.
The MP-18 SC – Split Cavity – is part of the MP-18 range of golf clubs from Mizuno with the MP-18, MP-18 MMC, and the MP-18 MC FLI-HI completing the range.
For this review, I will concentrate on the MP-18 SC.
Aimed at quality golfers and best of ball strikers. Forgiveness is not the aim. There are other clubs in the Mizuno range if you want forgiveness, perhaps the JPX900 series.
Design and technology
The Mizuno MP-18 irons match their excellent design with even better performance.
Technology is not going to save mishits, but if you play the MP-18 player, forgiveness is not top of your priority list.
Irons are forged from 1025 Pure Select Mild Carbon. This is a slight departure from Mizuno’s recent use of Boron Steel. A return to the origins of the MP range. Fewer impurities like phosphorous and sulfur mean superior resistance to metal fatigue.
Grain Flow Forging stretches and bends the billet of steel to create long continuous grains from heel to toe before it drops into a mold and the forging starts.
In the typical forging process into the mold, excess material escapes in all directions, creating a relatively evenly distributed flash (spill-over) area. Mizuno’s HD process uses a partially closed mold to prevent material from escaping along the sole of the club. Instead, the majority of excess material is pressed out through the top of the mold.
The HD forging process creates a tighter grain structure in the impact area, providing the ultimate in feedback.
You will not see game improvement technology such as face slots, speed pockets, or vibration dampening badges. What you will get are straight lines, meticulously shaped cambers, and perfectly softened edges in all the right places.
They are made for the golf purist. Many say they are close to perfection.
A slight cavity back and a slightly thicker sole distinguishes it from the MB and adds a little forgiveness. This is achieved without increasing the clubhead size substantially. Distributing the weight around the perimeter of the club enabled Mizuno to create a slight cavity while retaining a thinner topline.
While most brands move designs directly from 3D design to the factory master mold, Mizuno takes the raw shape produced by the 3D design and allows Mizuno craftsmen to remove roughness and create the final flowing shape.
Once the hands-on work is done, the head is digitally rescanned to create a new master mold.
Differences between the 3D-generated mold and the final product are most noticeable in the topline to the hosel, from the hosel to the unscored heel portion of the face, and in the shaping of heel and toe.
All the clubs in the MP18 range are made to be mixed to create the ultimate set. The profile remains consistent across the range except for the size. And the lofts are nearly the same.
The Mizuno MP-18 MB’s maybe the best looking in the MP-18 range, the SCs are close. They are finished with a satin nickel chrome-look that appeals to most golfers.
The MP-18’s look absolutely gorgeous up close with what Mizuno calls “elegant, yet durable non-glare finish.” It has a refined but not quite milled look to them.
The top view is nearly identical across the entire range with a traditional thin line expected from a blade. Mizuno introduced a camber to make them look even thinner at the address.
Looks are rounded off with clean and beautiful lines.
The MP-18 SC feels like a Mizuno. Well struck golf balls from the center feel smooth like the club is an extension of your arms. However, there is not much forgiveness, and misses feel harsh and will not travel the distance.
While the MP-18 SC irons don’t have the exact same buttery feel as the MBs, they still feel great and provides more forgiveness, however slight it may be.
A smooth and balanced feel helps you to maintain a good tempo for enhanced control and consistency.
The combination of 1025E steel and Grain Flow Forging provides Mizuno irons with a unique feel. Technology is not aimed at removing vibrations from the feedback. Good golfers require feedback.
When struck well, the Mizuno MP-18 SC irons generate a solid “click” at impact with a muted and dull, crisp, and short. The thin sole generates a smooth, clear thud when taking a divot.
Contact on the toe-side of the clubhead sounds duller than solid as a well-struck shot. Thin shots generate a rocky sound. For sweet music to your ears, you will require an impact on the center of the face. This will keep a smile on your face.
Shot control is part of the deal when playing the MP-18 SCs if you are a good ball striker.
If you lack good ball-striking, the MP-18 SC is not for you. You can be sure that you will have consistency and reliability from every shot.
Distance is not an issue; well-struck shots will hang in the air forever. However, mishits will penalize you severely.
The Mizuno MP-18 SC consists of the following clubs and specifications
- 3-iron with 21-degree loft, 59.50-degree lie, 38.75 inches shaft length, and 0.102-inch offset
- 4-iron with 24-degree loft, 60-degree lie, 38.25 inches shaft length, and 0.098-inch offset
- 5-iron with 27-degree loft, 60.50-degree lie, 37.75 inches shaft length, and 0.094-inch offset
- 6-iron with 30-degree loft, 61-degree lie, 37.25 inches shaft length, and 0.091-inch offset
- 7-iron with 34-degree loft, 61.50-degree lie, 36.75 inches shaft length, and 0.087-inch offset
- 8-iron with 38-degree loft, 62-degree lie, 36.25 inches shaft length, and 0.083-inch offset
- 9-iron with 42-degree loft, 62.50-degree lie, 35.75 inches shaft length, and 0.079-inch offset
- Pitching Wedge with 46-degree loft, 63-degree lie, 35.50 inches shaft length, and 0.075-inch offset
Only available in right-handed. The standard grip is the Golf Pride Multi-compound White/Black grip.
The Mizuno MP-18 SC is a good-looking golf club aimed at the better golfer with solid ball striking skills. You can work the ball and shape it when you want to or require to.
The technology is aimed at providing better golfers with clubs that feel and perform to the best of the golfer’s ability. It does not limit you from getting on top of your game.
There are other clubs in the MP-18 range offering a slight variance. However, this enables you to combine the clubs into a single set providing you with the best club for every shot without looking out of place.
Enjoy your ball striking with your MP-18 SC.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.