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Today I’ll be doing a full review of the Mizuno MP-20 MB irons.
Labelled “layers of feel”, the MP-20 MB irons are pure muscle backs that are strongly influenced by Mizuno’s most successful blades of the past.
Where does the MB fit in the MP-20 line of irons? Which golfer is it best suited for? Is it worth using over other recent offerings from Mizuno?
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this review:
- Features & Technologies
- Look, Sound & Feel
- Where To Buy These Irons Online
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 this club. 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 MP-20 irons so far have very positive ratings ratings from consumers and critics, although they haven’t been on the market long enough to get a real sense of where they rank.
What People Like
- soft, buttery feel
- amazing, pure, traditionalist look
- tight dispersion and resistant to flyers
- exceptionally workable and playable
What People Don’t Like
- quite unforgiving
- high spin means that those looking for distance may be disappointed
- mis-hits don’t feel great
What are the features?
You could say that one of the key features of the MP-20 MB iron is the lack of features. It’s a clean, no-nonsense blade with a few traits that are designed to make the feel as pure as possible:
1025E Pure Select
Like the MP-20 MMC irons, the MBs are made of 1025E Pure Select steel, which has a six times tighter tolerance than the industry standard for greater purity.
Tapered Blade Design
One of the main differences between the MB and the other irons in the MP-20-line is the tapered blade. The top part of the iron near the top line is tapered and changes as you move through the set.
With the longer irons, it’s flatter, which has the effect of lowering the center of gravity (CG) for easier launch.
With the shorter irons, it protrudes a bit more, raising the CG and lowering the launch. This allows golfers to flight the ball with scoring irons more and get a more penetrating flight.
Mizuno’s famous copper underlay makes a return in the MP-20 line. It was originally used in popular irons like the MP-29 and TN87 to adhere the chrome plating to forged steel.
The underlay consists of a thin layer of copper beneath a nickel chrome finish, providing an enhanced impact feel for mysterious reasons.
Grain Flow High-Density Forging
The MP-20 irons are forged through the patented Grain Flow Forging Process in Hiroshima, Japan.
This process involves several precise steps, and the end result is a feel, consistency and durability unique to Mizuno. The forging increases grain density in the impact area for soft, consistent, solid feel.
The 3 iron through the PW are available, and this also happens to be the stock set. The stock shaft is the Dynamic Gold S300.
Full information on shafts, grips, their specs, and the Mizuno Custom Program can be found on the Mizuno website. For best results, I recommend getting a custom fitting, if you can.
Below are the specs of the MP-20 MB irons (click to enlarge):
How do the irons perform?
First, you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you that the distance of these irons isn’t anything to write home about. It’s just ok, and that’s to be expected.
For the sake of comparison, I find that they’re about on par with the JPX919 Tour irons. If you struggle with hitting the ball solidly, your distance will be even worse.
However, shot dispersion, distance control, and accuracy are all exceptional. My short irons were carrying within 1-3 yards every time, and the long irons about 4-7 yards.
Spin rates are about what you would expect from a tour-caliber iron like this.
The MP-20 MB irons are definitely the least forgiving in the MP-20 line. In fact, if you want some forgiveness and stability on off-center strikes, these aren’t the irons for you.
Moderate mis-hits have a good chance of missing the green or coming up well short.
Everything hinges on whether you can hit the ball solidly or not, and how consistently you can do it. The better your ballstriking, the better your results are going to be.
With that said, long irons have a good launch, and short irons are easy to flight into the green. The MB irons do a terrific job in this respect.
Trajectories and ball flights are very consistent and controllable.
If I’m going to take “playability” to mean shot-shaping ability, then the MP-20 MB irons are extremely playable. Capable golfers should be able to shape shots with little effort.
The irons get through the rough nicely, and while these shots might lose distance, they don’t generally go off line, which is great.
If you have enough skill, you’ll feel like you can do anything with these irons in your hands.
What about look, sound & feel?
The MP-20 irons look like pure, unadulterated muscle backs, like what you would find in a Tour player’s bag. They look very clean and premium, and the logoing on the back is very minimal.
Compared to the MP-20 MMC, it is slightly smaller, has a smaller sole and a thinner top line — one of the thinnest top lines I’ve seen on a Mizuno muscle back.
The MB irons have a shiny nickel chrome finish, and if you could look just below the surface, you’d see a beautiful layer of gold-brown copper.
As I mentioned in the features section, the longer irons have a flatter blade shape near the top line to lower the CG.
The Sound & Feel
The best way I can describe the feel of the MP-20 MB irons in one word is “soft”. I could almost say “soft like butter”. The sound is solid: a little muted, but also very crisp.
Many irons these days feel hot, explosive, or even clicky at impact, but this just delivers the classic “Mizuno feel” that many have come to love. I have little doubt that the copper underlay contributes to the softness of the feel.
The sound and feel of mis-hits, as you would expect, is quite dead, and strikes that are bad enough can feel quite harsh. The upside is that you get plenty of precise feedback.
When it comes to sweet-spot strikes, the MP-20 MB is a real contender for the best-feeling iron I’ve ever tested from Mizuno.
Where should you buy these irons online?
With these irons especially, getting a custom fitting is highly recommended. Go to this page, and if the irons aren’t available, use the store locator on the custom fitting page.
Alternatively, you can order the MP-20 MB irons to custom specifications on this Global Golf page (check the coupon codes and other promotions).
eBay is a fantastic source for new and used sets, and you’re pretty much always going to find listings there.
The MP-20 MB irons are an excellent tour-caliber blade offering from Mizuno.
They don’t have the distance and forgiveness that many higher handicaps are looking for, but they have the precise control, consistency, accuracy, and traditional look that skilled players demand.
If you’re a fan of Mizuno gear or you want to try a new muscle back with the latest technologies, definitely give these a try. You may only want part of a full set.
Have you tried the MP-20 MB irons? What do you think about them? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.