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Today, I’ll be reviewing the Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons.
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL (‘High Loft’) is the most forgiveness-focused model in the Hot Metal line. It’s designed to be easy to launch throughout the set and is aimed at players with slow to moderate swing speeds or a steep swing path.
How does the JPX923 Hot Metal HL actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare with the other models in the Hot Metal line? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
Here’s what will be covered in the review:
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating clubs. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons won a gold medal on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List. Critics praise them for their easy launch and extraordinary forgiveness.
What People Like
- tremendous forgiveness
- higher launch and more stopping power than the standard model
- lots of ball speed
- great for slower swingers
- uniquely attractive aesthetic
What People Don’t Like
- distance is underwhelming for many
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL iron has more or less the same tech & features as the standard Hot Metal, namely:
- Nickel Chromoly: a very strong material that allows Mizuno’s engineers to thin down the face to just 1.75mm, 8% thinner than the previous model, and hence set the stage for unprecedented ball speeds.
- V-Chassis: controls vibrations to produce a more satisfying and solid feel at impact.
- Seamless Cup Face: enables the CG to be located low and deep for high launch and outstanding stopping power into greens.
What sets the HL model apart are:
- they can be integrated in a Combo Set with the Mizuno Fli-Hi hybrids
- the lofts are substantially weaker (around 2-3°) than the standard model for easier launch
- a longer blade length, wider sole, and greater offset for added forgiveness
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons come in 5-SW (25°-55°).
Mizuno offers a number of stock shaft options at no upcharge including the KBS TOUR LITE (steel), True Temper Dynamic Gold 95 (steel), and UST Mamiya Recoil 460 ESX (graphite). The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G. Custom options are available.
Below are the specs of the JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
In the sections that follow, I’ll talk about my experience with the JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons. Let’s jump right in.
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons produce essentially the same ball speeds as the standard model, but with lofts that are weaker by a couple degrees.
Whether this translates into more distance or not depends on your swing speed, your natural trajectory, and other factors.
I was personally seeing a few yards less carry, but your own mileage may vary. These irons probably rank in the top 10 longest irons I’ve hit which isn’t too bad.
The longer blade length, wider sole, and greater offset of the JPX923 Hot Metal HL makes it more forgiving than the standard model, which itself has excellent forgiveness. This iron really is incredibly forgiving.
MyGolfSpy ranked it #1 in forgiveness over all other iron models, just edging out the TaylorMade Stealth HD. I can vouch for its amazing forgiveness based on my field test, but I wouldn’t say it’s strictly better than some other models I’ve hit such as the PING G430.
These irons have outstanding ball speed preservation across the face (often less than 1 mph of ball speed depending on the severity of the mis-hit) and tight dispersions.
The trajectories I experienced with the JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons tended to be high with mid-high spin — both launch and spin were (unsurprisingly) a little higher than the standard model.
As already mentioned, the weaker lofts are ideal for golfers who have slower swing speeds and/or a steeper angle of attack, the latter of which is assisted by a wider sole. The help the HL provides is especially apparent in the longer irons.
Stopping power into the greens tends to be even better than the standard model because of the higher launch and spin. These are some of the easiest irons to get up in the air, even though JPX923 Fli-Hi hybrids are available for those who prefer that.
The JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons don’t have much workability. You shouldn’t expect to engineer much more than gentle fades or draws.
The look of the JPX923 Hot Metal HL iron is very similar, aesthetically, to the standard model, but it’s the largest model in the Hot Metal line, with a wider sole, marginally longer blade length, and greater offset throughout the set.
Having said that, the top line isn’t strictly wider than the standard model (some irons have a thinner top line and others have a thicker one), so generally speaking, the HL model doesn’t really look chunkier than the standard model from the address position.
Like the Pro and standard models, the HL has what Mizuno calls a “white satin brush finish”. This chrome-plated finish is sort of like a flat finish that minimizes glare and reflections but has an extra bit of shine for aesthetic appeal.
Mizuno puts out some of the most luxurious and premium-looking irons in the business, and the JPX923 Hot Metal HL is no exception. It’s essentially game improvement with style.
The Sound & Feel
I had a tough time finding a difference in feel between the JPX923 Hot Metal HL and the standard model. It’s solid and quite firm, with a side of explosiveness off the ultra-thin face.
The sound at impact is a soft “crack” that doesn’t seem to change much on mis-hits based on my testing. You get a limited amount of feedback on mis-hits through your hands, but the feel across the face is a little more consistent than the standard model.
One thing I want to note is how exceptional the turf interaction is. The sole is wide but not too wide, and although it lacks the versatility of a players’ iron, it handles a variety of lies well and is very forgiving towards players who have shaft lean or who often hit behind the ball.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
One of the best places to pick up the JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons (new or used) is eBay. You can typically find deals there that you can’t find anywhere else.
Fittings are more important for Mizuno clubs. Fortunately, PGA TOUR Superstore allows you to book fittings directly from their store depending on local availability.
The Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL iron is essentially a weaker-lofted, slightly larger, more forgiving take on the standard Hot Metal.
Good distance, incredible forgiveness, a high launch, and ample stopping power all define this iron. This is bolstered by a sleek look and solid feel.
As the most forgiving model in the Hot Metal line, the JPX923 Hot Metal HL is best suited for high handicappers who just aren’t getting a high enough trajectory with the standard model. It’s just a shame that it only comes in RH and lefties are left out in the cold.
Are you interested in the JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons? Have you tried them yet? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.