The club designers at Mizuno know that the driver just isn't another club in your golf bag ... it is the club.
The Japanese company, which as early as 1935 had the world's largest golf showroom, has been known for decades for its quality irons and now Mizuno is making a bold move in the driver market with the introduction of the JPX 900.
The flashy adjustable driver isn't so much an update of then the Mizuno JPX 850 but a retooling of the line with serious golfers able to dial in their spin rates and loft angles but it allows the high handicappers to take advantage of a club that is forgiving when you don't find the sweet spot off the tee.
Mizuno JPX 900 Driver Review
- Infinite Adjustability - If you like to tinker this is the club for you with the ability to adjust two 8-gram weights on a central track along with toe/heel ports plus a Visual Face Angle adjustor as well as a quick switch loft adaptor on the hosel.
- Playability - Misses with the JPX 900 have better chance of finding the fairway thanks to an expanded CORtech face area that offers ball speed retention on less than stellar shots.
- Mental Edge - You don't have to miss a 3-foot putt in a friendly "skins game" to know golf can be mostly mental sometimes. The JPX 900 bolsters confidence starting with its look, a matte blue club head and flame-colored shaft, and then the feel of the the lightweight Fujikura shaft, Evo II, helps catapult the ball off the face. Finally the sound at impact on the first tee is enough to turn heads on any crowded clubhouse veranda.
- Ball Speed - The club has been engineered to maximize ball speeds with off center drives still getting up and staying in the air.
- Distance - The club may sacrifice some distance against some of its competitors but that is also off-set by consistency.
- Color - This is one of those negatives that is truly in the eye of the beholder. While some rave about the blue paint scheme, others aren't keen on the color.
- Too Many Choices - Adjustability is great but some golfers may find all the variations overwhelming and not take advantage of all the club has to offer.
Mizuno understands the love affair you have with your driver and set out to make a club you would be proud to pull out of the bag in front of your buddies.
"A driver is a sexy golf club so the first thing it has to do to even get you to pick it ups is to look cool," said Chris Voshall, Mizuno Senior Club Engineer.
Looks are great but Voshall and his colleagues know that a club also has to deliver: "The next thing it has to do is have speed. Ball speed is really king in terms of distance."
Deliver they did with Sir Nick Faldo summing it best with an expletive ("F-ing awesome!") after watching a pro smash a test drive with the JPX 900 that carried 316 yards and had a ball speed of 183 mph. Putting that ball speed in perspective, only three professionals on the PGA Tour currently average 183 mph or higher.
For those of us not on the PGA Tour, the beauty of the JPX 900 is that its flexibility and optimization of launch parameters allows for golfers to find the fairway no matter if your swing type is a mile high pop-up or a gopher killer than scorches the ladies tee box.
Here are some key features that sets the Mizuno JPX 900 apart:
New CorTech Face
The Mizuno JPX 900 has a CORTech face shaves five grams off the JPX 850 model. This lighter design frees up discretionary weight while expanding the sweet spot. Bottom line for the average golfer: forgiveness and retention of speed, even on mishits.
Face Angle Matrix
You can add or subtract degrees of loft with a Quick Switch Adaptor on the hosel. The slider settings can give you plus or minus 2 degrees of loft adjustability from the normal neutral position of 9.5 degrees with the change taking less than a minute.
Visual Face Angle Adjuster
Appearance can be everything so Mizuno has added a an adjustable weight plate with three settings (neutral, open or closed) to customize the desired face-angle orientation at address.
Fade / Draw Weight Ports
The toe and heel ports for fade and draw have been adjusted from the JPX 850 with the locations further apart. Using the 8-gram weights, you can move the center of gravity of the club further away from the shaft axis or closer to the shaft axis depending on your need to keep your club face open or closed.
Infinite Center Fast Track
To take your game to the next level you have to be able to control spin and the new Infinite Fast Track took the three fixed settings from the JPX 850 model and added a fourth setting and made the track unbounded for precise tinkering of your shot. Time at the range and adjusting the settings will allow golfers to precisely dial in the proper spin and vertical launch to compliment their game.
Should I change to the Mizuno JPX 900 Driver from an older Mizuno Driver?
Normally the next generation of a golf club line isn't radically different enough to warrant upgrading, but in this case, the Mizuno JPX 900 has enough significant improvements from the JPX 850 that golfers, especially Mizuno fans, will want to upgrade. By moving to the JPX 900 you can improve on adjustability, forgiveness and ball speed and that can mean a lot more red on your scorecard.
Mizuno has taken a big step with the JPX 900 to becoming a legitimate player in the driver game.
If distance is your only game, and you already have good feel for spin control, then the club probably isn't enough to get you to turn in your Titleist 917 Driver or put your Callaway Epic Series Driver up for sale on Craig's List. For those golfers that are looking for consistency and more time spend in the short grass and don't mind getting the right setting dialed in, the Mizuno JPX 900 Driver will be a welcome addition to weekend outing.