Mizuno MP5 Human Experiment Update

Mizuno MP5 Human Experiment Update


26 comments on “Mizuno MP5 Human Experiment Update

  • Use Adams Golf blades and love them. Have played blades all my life, just a better look and feel for me. Distance is Distance, know yours and hit it. I do not worry about the more forgiving clubs personally, i want to improve and when i hit good shots i know it is me using a good club not the other way around.

  • Jack Norton says:

    Great experiement 🙂

    Thoughts on a combo set with 5-6-7 in MP25’s and 8-9-P in MP5?? (3-4 iron replaced by 22 degree hybrid)


  • It’s always seemed to me, that if you want to get better, you don’t use equipment that glosses over your faults (Don Bradman, one of Australia’s greatest batsmen used to practice batting with a golf ball and a stump, for instance). I’ve wanted to try a set of blades since mucking around with some very old ones at the range and finding I could shape shots both ways with some degree of control (like intending to hit a draw, and getting it), and switching back to my “Game Improvement” Irons were very very difficult to produce a nice draw. I could get a hook, but generally straight or fade.

    Anyway, I don’t have the cash, so the frying pans are staying put for now 🙂

  • Jim Pearson says:

    Previous comment lost in a maze of missplaced posts it seems, so I will repeat, that I think clubs with longer blade lengths; typically game improvement cavity backs, give a better result from toe hits than shorter length clubs like blades, PROVIDED THE CLUB FACE IS SQUARE AT IMPACT.


    I don’t think that there is a lot of difference between the two types of clubs for shots hit in the middle or heel of the club face.

    Having said that, I believe shorter heel to toe length clubs square up more progressively/ uncontrollably than the longer club faced clubs, which seem to take longer to start to rotate from open to the target line to square to the target line during the downswing, then close down very rapidly towards impact. Offset may exacerbate this!

    I think this greater control over club face rotation is the reason many amateurs at even mid handicap levels and you Mark, enjoy blades and perhaps hit them more consistently.

    Especially you Mark, as you don’t hit ’em ‘oot the toe much , do you!

    Keep up the good work.

  • I just recently purchased a set of callaway razr mb’s from a friend for a price that was too good to be true given the fact that they were still in the box new, and I’ll have to admit that I have been striking the ball worlds better. I play off a handicap of 14.3 so that “should” suggest that the clubs would not suit my game very well at all; however, I just LOVE the way they look down by the ball which in turn I assume gives me confidence in every shot thereby resulting in better strikes and performance from myself.

    Also as a comment specifically about what you said about having to “concentrate” more on every shot Mark, I have always felt that way about my driver vs 3w. I know that you have done videos about why a 3w is often a better option as a driver for high handicap players due to the effects of loft, CG and whatnot… But I have and will always maintain the opinion that the much smaller clubhead “forces” my brain to focus so much more on the target than with a driver. It may sound odd but I’ve always just considered it as something of a placebo effect, and even more strange is that I’ve tested my strike with my current driver (insert whatever 460 driver of choice) against the Cleveland Classic driver which is in the neighborhood of 300 clubhead size, and I consistently get a much better strike pattern out of the Cleveland. Just my two cents.

  • Ian Tinsley says:

    Just a thought, would a pro such as yourself, or a low handicapper 1/2 pluses etc notice the difference more in a miss hit blade over a game improver iron than me an someone who bobs in and out of singles. The reason I say this is that I assume maybe wrongly, that you are trying to “play” certain shots, for example from 160 out I may hit a seven iron just to hit a large target in my case green centre happy to hit the dance floor anywhere, and hope to two putt, where as from 160 you may hit a cutty 7 iron looking to land soft or a driven 8 looking to control and zip up to a particular part of the green. I may be wrong but my miss hits will be miss hits wether I hit a blade or a tennis racket because when miss hit I hit it it’s usually due to a complete loss of tempo in the swing resulting in a complete miscue. Where as you may play for the cutty shot and miss the sweet spot resulting in a shot that I may consider not too bad, but is poor to you, that maybe with a forgiving iron may still have found target. Because I am happy to hit the dance floor I may feel that my performance is still consistent with a blade because my target is so big. I May be wrong and would love to see a video on it!

  • 14 hcapper and bought some Titleist 712 MBs off the shelf in my local range as they were on end of season sale. Always fancied them, tried them and were OK. After a few weeks I realised they felt a little dead to me, so when the titleist fitting boys came to town I got fitted for the new 716 MBs. Hasn’t noticeably changed my distance numbers I got, either with my old CBs, the 712MBs or the 716MBs, but has changed flight and “feel”. I love my MBs and definitely don’t feel as though my miss hits are any worse with blades. But the fitting was the key to me “feeling” that they were right for me.

  • Toby Bannan says:

    Years ago I went to be fitted for irons at Ping. Assumed G10’s or maybe even I10’s would’ve been best for me as a high handicapper, however I hit the S57’s better by a country mile. Yesterday there was a Titleist demo day at the range, so popped over thinking it might be worth giving the AP1’s a blast….again AP2’s a country mile better and the CB’s better still (I was short of time so never tried the MB’s). In conclusion, I don’t understand this game!

  • I switched to blades about a year ago (cobra amp cell pro forged) and I noticed my ball striking getting better straight away, like within a few weeks I shaved a couple strokes off my average. When I originally switched I was an 8 hcp and today I’m a 3. It’s not completely because of the irons but I feel I agree with the theory that the smaller blade size makes you concentrate more because there’s less room for error

  • I play with a set if Mizuno MP5 and MP-H5 (1,4,5,&6 MP-H5) and started using them playing off 18 – a few months of consistent playing and I’ve dropped to 14.5.
    I just don’t believe the marketing behind the ‘game improvement’ irons – I don’t see that they give you that much benefit.

    I’ve tried friends cavity backed clubs from Taylor Made and Ping but, don’t like the feel, feedback or noise in comparison to mine. also, when playing them back to back I don’t get a significant increase in length. For me, I’d always prefer to know that a good strike is rewarded, rather than having a club face reward me for one that’s slightly off.
    Either way I think that the individuals ‘thoughts & feelings’ about his/her clubs will far outweigh what the club may, or may not, actually give them.

    Loving the work Mark, masses of information that resonates with my way of thinking.
    Ps, particularly enjoyed the piece on Teitlist balls being so very similar – only a few hundred revs difference between them.

  • Here is my story, for what it’s worth.

    I am a crap golfer, I just don’t get enough time to practice; let alone play so my experience is from the other end of the handicap range. I started off with game improvement irons that were supposedly designed for beginners, they were like cavity backed buckets on the end of a stick and these horrors did all that they could to put me off the game completely.

    One day though I was gifted an old set of Titleist blades, which by comparison needed a magnifying glass to even see the club head, but boy what a difference. Gone were the problems that I had been having, it’s true I collected another entirely different set of problems but these I could work with. Overnight my enjoyment of golf returned and gradually my game improved, because I was not having my own swing faults masked by ‘game improvement’ technology.

    I don’t use these clubs regularly but they are a great tool to practice with because there’s nowhere to hide, so when I hit duff shot (regularly) I know what I’ve done wrong immediately so that knowledge is gold dust because I can work on a remedy and when I do hit one off the screws; it feels and sounds so sweet it’s addictive.

  • Hi Mark,
    Any updates to the mp5 experiment? I want an excuse to purchase these beauties. Currently an 11 handicap.

  • Mark:

    Mark, your videos are superb and chockablock with insight.

    LOVE this “human experiment”….golf is about what people do “in the field” — on the course, versus ripping shots hit for length as measured by the GC2. Do you play tournaments? That would be a great test.

    While my handicap has never been lower than a 6, when swinging well you can really dial in distance, i.e. play a full 18 holes and never be more than 2 yards less or more than pin high.

    I played true blades (Mizuno Tommy Nakajima) and just switched to Mizuno MP 25….love them. I figured it was time to update my 1987 technology, the Nakajimas.

  • Loving the experiment. I’m around an 18 handicapper. I’ve literally done donething very similar. I learned how to play on blades as a kid so not scared of them. So a few years back I went to mp-32’s (previous set ping i5 cavity backs) …loved the mp look, cheapish on Ebay so the experiment began. Loved the feel, and on centre shots there was nothing like them. Hit some amazing shots but stingy and unforgiving on miss hits. So I wanted more consistency so tried mp-52’s dual muscle back. I didn’t find much diff a bit more forgiving but felt I needed to just suck it up and go for fame improvement. Got some G25’s tried for a year now many rounds but was not seeing the alleged benefits of these. They looked big and I think I just got very sloppy and I started to lose the love. Net, I decided to go back to what I liked the look of enjoyed the feel in good shots (when it happened) and opted to get some 2nd hand mp-54’s. chalk and cheese, started striking much better, actually hitting it higher than my g25’s which I had probs with. Only 3 rounds in but feeling more confident and expect scores to drop. Personally don’t be put off by forged/bladey type clubs give them a go ?

  • Back at the beginning of the 2016 season in March, I was in the market for a new set of clubs and the MP5’s were a product that tempted me greatly, I thought this ‘experiment’ would be useful in helping me to make a decision, but the absence of any further information has resulted in me sticking to my old set and saving myself about £600. Consequently I have discovered that I don’t really need new clubs, I just need to hit the old ones better!

  • I play the Titleist 690MB. They are great. I would like to have the 680MB, but I dont think you can get them any more.

  • Scott Tatalovich says:

    Love this experiment!
    I normally never post anything online, but feel I have some value to add to a rather small group of people (those who play blades that are not professionals), so here it is.
    I have basically been playing one blade-sized club set my entire adult life.
    I’ve been entertaining the idea of getting new clubs.
    I probably don’t need them (certainly want them) but I’m wondering (like everyone else) if I can justify/realize a game improvement because of new irons, no matter their category: players irons, game improvement irons, or super game improvement irons. So yeah, love this experiment because I feel like the golf industry as a whole tries to pigeon hole people into categories; and people like me who carded scores in the 90s most of his life don’t belong hitting forged players clubs.

    I have had Mizuno T-Zoid Pro irons, since 1997. Anyway, I never played many times per year until this last year, so the grooves are still good. I love they way my irons look and feel. My irons have a small head, so I’m used to that small head appearance behind the ball.

    A couple years ago, I tested the Titleist AP2’s, and the data showed a gain of 3-4 yards but less spin than my clubs. Now, I don’t strike clubs perfectly, but even for me the new design did nothing (IMO). My stock irons (6-PW) are 1-degree weaker than present day AP2s and in my mind all that technology is worth not nothing. i.e. take some spin of my clubs with a new shaft and I’d probably get those same 3 yards even without adjusting to the same slightly stronger loft of the AP2. Now were the miss hits any better? I don’t really recall, but I don’t think it was notable. Also, granted I’m comparing two players irons. Not a players iron versus a game improvement iron, which I think is the point here.

    So could a player of a certain handicap range play better with game improvement irons than with players irons?
    Here’s my take on game improvement irons. You essentially lose a club (3 iron) and get larger gaps between irons. Game improvement 4 irons have the same loft as players 3-irons. So you get a strongly lofted club set, with larger club yardage gaps and no 3 iron. I guess you could add a driving iron or another wedge to the bag, since you lost the 3 iron. Now that starts to have purpose and function for the right golfer but in my opinion you do pay a price. Your club gaps are larger. Also, and possibly more important. Most game improvement iron sets have low CGs so the ball launches higher than blades but it could be argued that it will spin less (due to gear effect of the low CG). Additionally, good ball strikers maintain that you can work the ball better with blades, including more trajectory control for wind shots, not just fade/draw. Additionally, some data I’ve seen suggests that when struck well, both spin and distance control is tighter on blades (maybe maybe not appreciably so, especially to a game improvement golfer).
    Now, I get that if you don’t strike the ball well enough, you hit balls all over the face (and off the the grooves), and you will never have enough time or resources to play enough golf to dial in a reasonable patterning of strikes somewhere around the center of a club face, why on earth would you get a players iron?
    But, if you plan to put effort into this game, even if you don’t have a good handicap, is it also not arguable that a blade will help train you better to hit the center of the club when on the range? Think small miss small, they say, right? Well if you have a small club head you probably do focus better for a center strike because center is more precisely defined (it’s smaller). Additionally, you begin to feel and identify miss strikes, as low, high, heel, or toe shot based on sound and feel.
    Anyway, the point is, until I found this experiment, I think I was convinced I didn’t belong in my blade-sized irons due to my handicap and expressed opinions all over the golf industry – peer pressure if you will. I was a golfer with 90s on his scorecard, why did I have those clubs?. [I’m currently a 12.8 handicap because joined a golf club this year and started practicing/playing 2-3 times a week and finally broke 80 (hit a 78). Additionally, I feel I should be a single digit handicap, but I couldn’t play for 5 months this summer and fall due to back sciatic nerve pain down my right leg.] But the point is, I bought those irons many years ago because I always wanted to put effort into this game. I just never found the time until later in life.
    I’m 47 years old now, and despite that I love my irons and think I hit them well, I was intent on purchasing game-improvement irons or at best some Titleist AP2 or equivalent style players irons because of popular opinion. Then I found your thread.
    So, thank you…
    You have given me the confidence to say, you know what…
    1) I do like my little bladed irons.
    2) I like the way they sit behind the ball.
    3) I like the way they teach me where to find the center of the club, when I’m on the range practicing.
    4) I like the looks of them at address and the lack of offset.
    5) I like the feel of them when you strike them pure… and I want to be punished when I don’t! Is that so sadistic? That was a rhetorical question.
    6) I like the consistent spin and relatively tight distance gaps that they give me when I strike them well.
    7) I like that they are of simple design and easy to clean (no fancy emblems, elastomers, and different metals).
    8) I guess I just needed to see that I fit into a group somewhere. i.e. that other regular guys (non-touring pros) can hit these things and take the constant jabs from club staff… “hey you must be pretty good to hit these things.”

    So despite any other outside influence, I feel free now to go ask to hit those new players irons in the golf shop.
    And believe it or not, this thread was the lynch pin in my decision process.
    So I agree, if your interested in those forged players irons and want to spend time working on your swing, give them a go!
    I can’t wait to try those new MP5s.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone could possibly quantify they could have done 1, 2, or 3 shots better in a round because they used game improvement irons.
    Besides which point if you really care enough about those 1,2, or 3 shots, wouldn’t you want the best equipment you could use to train you to be better?
    Interesting thread… Thanks!

  • If Mark publishes any results or conclusions of this ‘experiment’ before Mizuno introduce a new replacement for MP5 it’ll be a miracle!

  • Mark why don’t you publish as an update your full 2016 review of your play with the MP-5s including performance loss on your mishits? Would be much appreciated.

  • Let’s not encourage him any further, I’m looking forward to wishing this experiment happy birthday in a few weeks time!

  • Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday dear Mizuno MP5 Human Ex-peri-ment,
    Happy Birthday to you.


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