Forged irons have been around since Old Tom Morris was known simply as Tom Morris, but the new Mizuno Pro iron line-up launches a brave new era of forging excellence in 2024. The Japanese manufacturer’s famous Grain Flow Forging technique has contributed to the unique feel of Mizuno irons since 1998. But, with apologies to Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’.
What constitutes a forged iron these days can be an endless source of confusion. An iron that is 100 per cent forged tends to be on the slower end of the speed spectrum. To overcome the ball speed issue, “forged irons” offered by many manufacturers feature a forged body that is welded to a springier, and faster, face material.
But with an improved Grain Flow Forging technique, the new Mizuno Pro iron line-up looks set to change proper forged iron performance forever.
FORGED FOR FEEL AND PERFORMANCE
Don’t worry. The legendary Mizuno forged feel has reserved front row seats to the 2024 Mizuno Pro iron show. However, Mizuno’s refinement of their forging process has provided the opportunity to inject things like COR, speed and distance into a forged package like never before.
According to Mizuno, the Pro iron line-up has “broken a lot of the boundaries that held back the ball speed of a forging.” Designing intricate details is easy on a computer screen; trying to recreate it out on the forging floor at Mizuno’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, is another story.
But practically speaking, Mizuno can now craft more precise geometry and complex patterns into their forged Mizuno Pro irons — the kinds of useful design attributes that can elevate ball speed and improve performance. With that in mind, welcome to the new era of Mizuno Pro forged irons.
MIZUNO PRO 241 IRONS: BETTER PLAYERS BLADE
To begin with, Mizuno requested feedback from their tour staff on what they’d like to see in the new Pro 241 iron. The response was unequivocal: it needed to be more compact and have a thinner top line, too. So that’s exactly what Mizuno have gone ahead and done.
Featuring the smallest iron head ever created by Mizuno, the precise forging technique was a terrific way to craft the intricacies that feature on the new Mizuno Pro 241 iron. Shrinking the head actually gave Mizuno more mass to play around with. Most of it has ended up behind the hitting zone, which looks brawnier yet is cleverly balanced by the thinner top line.
Pro 241 irons also feature extra bounce on the sole compared to their Pro 221 predecessors, making the transition between different models in a potential Mizuno Pro combo set much smoother. And a soft copper underlay below the brushed satin finish provides Mizuno Pro 241 irons with the chart-topping soft feel and feedback required by better players.
MIZUNO PRO 243 IRONS: FORGED TOUR CAVITY
The Pro 243 iron underwent significant surgery to blossom into a much hotter iron than its predecessor, the Pro 223. It’s smaller, both in blade width and head length, and its forged face is significantly thinner and faster — made possible by Mizuno’s evolution of their Grain Flow Forging process.
A highlight of the Pro 243 is the technology that features in the long and mid irons. The 4-7 irons in the Pro 223 set are constructed from a different 4120 Chromoly material and feature a Microslot underneath the cavity. That combo promotes additional flex in the face and a satisfyingly large spike in ball speed, while also being a major contributor to the generous COR advancements across the face that increase the irons’ forgiveness. The 8-GW in the Pro 243 set are Grain Flow forged from 1025E steel, but Mizuno have calibrated the sole widths to smooth the changeover point between the 7 and 8 iron.
The Pro 243 is a stable and forgiving forged player’s iron that, thanks to the enhancement in speed and distance, also skirts the upper reaches of the player’s-distance iron category.
MIZUNO PRO 245 IRONS: HOLLOW-BODIED SPEED
The new Mizuno Pro 245 iron sticks with the same narrative as the rest of the Pro iron range: smaller and more compact. But, as hollow-bodied distance irons, the party’s really happening on the inside.
Just like its predecessor — the incredibly popular Mizuno Pro 225 iron — the Pro 245 features multi-component construction and 47g of suspended tungsten weighting (2-7 irons). The 2-8 irons are hollow-bodied irons that feature a Grain Flow Forged Chromoly face and neck paired with a stainless-steel body.
But the 9-GW aren’t quite as hollow. Instead, they possess a more compact shape and are forged from 1025E steel, accompanied by a stainless-steel rear section. A thinner face, particularly around the lower reaches, increases ball speed, while forged componentry has been positioned where golfers actually hit the ball — on the face and not on the reverse side.
Pro 245 irons produce high-launching distance in a svelte, playable package. It’s a winning combination that should see them in high demand throughout 2024 and beyond.
MIZUNO PRO FLI-HI IRONS
Yes, it has a thinner topline. And it’s also smaller and more compact. It’s the new Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi utility iron!
While the previous Fli-Hi featured a stainless-steel body and maraging steel face, the new model tacks in a slightly different direction. A hollow-bodied iron, the Fli-Hi employs a slightly different recipe of the Nickel Chromoly seen in the new Pro 245 iron. A new multi-thickness face cup has also been heat treated to increase flexibility, generating more speed at impact — especially low on the face.
Finished in Mizuno’s black ion, Fli-Hi irons offer a firmer feel and louder sound at impact compared to the Mizuno Pro iron sets.
MIZUNO PRO COMPOSITE SET
The reset of the Mizuno Pro iron line-up in 2024 has included a smoother transition between models. The sole design has been reshaped for greater uniformity, making a combination set significantly more seamless.
Whether you’re seeking greater forgiveness in the long irons, more precise feel and feedback in the scoring irons, or trying to fill an awkward distance gap in the bag, all four Mizuno Pro Iron models can be integrated into a combo set that’ll perform as desired.