By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images Courtesy of Mizuno Golf
NORCROSS, GA -- You’ve got to hand it to the minds behind the Terminator movies – they’ve found several new ways over the years to make their time-traveling machines even more frightening and borderline indestructible, to the delight of movie audiences everywhere.
Though I haven’t seen the latest installment (vintage 2009), my favorite aspect of the second and third movies was how the ‘evil’ machines could morph into liquid, take new forms, then emerge into some impossible, even more deadly shape.
For those that think such metamorphosizing is impossible in the golf world, consider the new Mizuno MX-700 driver – a club featuring a completely new type of titanium in its face, which is revolutionary enough for the manufacturer to label it ‘hot.’ How’s that for a change of real world form and function?
Mizuno doesn’t claim that its MX-700 driver (and fairway woods) will turn from solid to liquid and then back again to improve your golf long game, but they do say the club’s ‘hot face’ will improve your distance and accuracy.
I asked Iver Maple, Mizuno’s Communications Manager, how the new MX-700 differs from its predecessors and other models in the Mizuno line, and he said the new creation is the latest and greatest the company has ever produced. “First and foremost, the MX-700 driver is the absolute longest and most forgiving driver that we’ve ever made. The ‘Hot Metal’ face is a material that’s never been used in a driver in the U.S. before, Ti-9 titanium.”
Ah, the secret’s in the metal. Mizuno’s Japanese heritage likely had something to do with the new metal being used in a golf driver, but the country’s reputation for meticulous quality and manufacturing already lends the MX-700 instant credibility.
“Ti-9 possesses a unique grain structure which we align vertically instead of horizontally – which makes it stronger, resulting in an expanded COR (Coefficient of Restitution) area and unbelievable ball speed off the face,” Maple instructed.
There’s more: “In addition, a geometrically driven head shape provides an extremely low and deep COG (Center of Gravity) and a centrally located sweet spot which results in a high launch with very low spin, the two variables that everyone is trying to optimize in a driver,” Maple added.
What it all translates to is a bigger ‘sweet spot,’ to put it in terminology that we all can understand. Simply put, there’s a wider area on the club face to hit a solid shot, which increases the margin for error – something most of us human golfers really need.
Sure enough, it turns out the MX-700 is primarily geared towards the ‘game improvement’ type consumers, but Maple says it’s also finding some fans amongst better players. “The MX-700 is part of our family of game improvement products, so there’s no doubt it will help mid-to-high handicappers hit longer, straighter drives. The extremely high MOI combined with a low COG provides unbelievable forgiveness for all players, and the ‘Hot Metal’ face really makes the ball go a long way.”
Maple continues, “However, we’ve also found that many better players have been raving about the performance aspects of the MX-700. Better players especially seem to like the muted, powerful sound of the MX-700, and the explosive speed the ball has coming off the face.”
Having tried the MX-700, I can see the qualities that Maple is talking about – but in a world where there are many drivers to choose from, it’s not always clear right off which driver might be the best one for you. If you’re having trouble differentiating between the different brands and models, you’re not alone.
Luckily, Maple offers some advice. “Honestly, the best way for someone to choose a driver is to pick out a couple in the shop that suits their eye, and then try them out head-to-head to see which ones perform the best for their game. Fortunately for us here at Mizuno, when we get our product in golfers’ hands, and they pit them against anything else out there, we believe we’re going to win a lot more often than we’ll lose.”
It’s that type of confidence that’s needed in today’s competitive golf equipment market. Maple says Mizuno enjoys a competitive edge because of what goes into the clubs. “We use the finest materials, the most innovative technologies and patented manufacturing processes to consistently create the best feeling and best performing products in the game.”
“But they shouldn’t take our word for it – all they have to do is give them a try and see for themselves why nothing feels quite like a Mizuno,” Maple added.
We did just that, trying out the MX-700 driver (9.5 degrees with an Exsar DS4 stiff shaft), along with 15 degree MX-700 three-wood.
The first thing we noticed was the low profile look of the driver head, with the face height appearing about the same as other top-level drivers. A good many drivers these days are going to the lower and flatter look – and although the Mizuno doesn’t have any straight ‘edges’ as some other companies are going to, the shape didn’t look markedly different than several other drivers in the same category.
True to Maple’s words above, we found the MX-700 to be extremely forgiving. It’s very hard to compare the relative distances from one club to another, but the Mizuno product appears to be every bit as long as others we’ve tried, and compares favorably in being able to keep the ball in play.
For those of us who grew up with ‘real’ wood drivers, the sizes of the heads these days will take some period of adjustment, and the Mizuno MX-700 is no different. It looks quite large behind the ball, which instills confidence but also is visually intimidating at the same time.
|Mizuno MX-700 3-wood|
The MX-700 three-wood is also very easy to hit, both off the tee and from the fairway – a joy to pull from the bag because you know it’s going to go where it’s supposed to.
We don’t endorse one product over another, but we’d also recommend that you include the MX-700 products in your sample bag – and take Maple up on his challenge to see whether Mizuno will win you over.
And although the MX-700 is currently the star of Mizuno’s line-up, Maple says there’s always room for improvement – to make even better performing products through optimization of club and golfer, and through innovative new materials.
It’ll also come through introducing Tour-level fitting to average players. “Tour-level fitting is not readily available to average golfers, simply because it costs too much. In the future, performance gains will put pressure on manufacturers to provide better tools to optimize the average player’s fitting capability,” Maple explained.
“Even the best products available today have limitations,” Maple said. “Future drivers will need stronger and lighter materials in order to maximize performance while incorporating adjustable features. These adjustable features will allow the golfer to self-fit in a gradual manner.”
In that sense, the next round of drivers will be like the sequels in the Terminator series – and we can’t wait to see what they’ll dream up next.
Mizuno MX-700 Drivers and Fairway Woods
Inquire at your higher-end golf retailers and club pro shops. Available in right and left hand with a variety of shaft and grip combinations. Custom combinations are available as well.
Check out more information about Mizuno Golf products at: www.mizunousa.com.
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest general sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.
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