The MP-20 irons are Mizuno’s range, offering golfers beautiful looking irons, traditional feel and modern tech. Here we’ll review the MP-20 muscle-back, MMC and HMB irons and help you decide which is right for you.
Mizuno have now released a later edition. Read more on our Mizuno Pro irons review here.
The MP-20 range consists of three club heads.
- The MP-20 muscle-back (most bladed) – aimed at pros and low handicappers.
- The MP-20 MMC (multi-metal compound) aimed at low to mid handicappers.
- The MP-20 HMB (hot metal blade) targeting mid to high handicappers, or low handicap players looking for great forgiveness.
Buyers guide quick summary
- Need forgiveness but want a forged feel from your irons and great control – check out the Mizuno MP-20 HMBs.
- Want the look, feel and control of blades, but still want forgiveness – the MP-20 MMC’s are a great choice.
- Want a classical bladed-look and ultimate control in your iron game – the MP-20 muscle-backs are for you.
Mizuno MP-20 Irons Review
The MP-20 are Mizuno’s blade/muscle back offering for golfers wanting a forged, bladed iron that offers unparalleled levels of control and feel.
The MP-20 delivers just what you would expect from a Mizuno iron – a stunning profile and classic finish. The design is heavily influenced by the most revered blades of Mizuno’s past.
Each MP-20 set also has a progressive design where the head length, sole width and offset reduce as you move from 3-iron to PW. This provides greater forgiveness in the longer clubs and great control and shot shaping ability as you move into the mid and shorter irons.
The classic MP-20 blade fits in with what you would expect from Mizuno muscle back clubs. Incredible feel and great control, but you do need to be striking your shots well to consistently control your ball flight and make these irons perform.
Off-centre hits don’t make your hands shudder like the blades of old, but you will notice an extra yard or three lost compared to the MP-20 MMC and HMB irons.
These are for the ‘golfer purists’ who wants to play with bladed irons and are happy to put in the practice to keep their ball striking tidy.
Power & distance
The MP-20 offer a piercing strike and are suited to those looking for control over distance. The MP-20’s have traditional lofts (4-iron 24º, 7-iron 34º) which is something rarely available these days.
Consequently, the MP-20s won’t offer the distance of modern-day game improvement irons, due to their classical loft, but they do give your complete control over your trajectory and distance control.
The entire MP-20 range are coated in a very, very thin layer of copper which maximises the soft, buttery feel you get when striking these irons. These live up to what you would expect when buying a Mizuno iron. The soft, yet powerful.
Control, launch & shot shaping
If you like to shape your shots and control your trajectory then you will love these irons. The balanced weighting in the all three irons and minimal offset offer a neutral ball flight and great control.
The standard Mizuno lie angle is slightly flatter than other manufacturers, meaning less of a draw bias. Players with a left bias will feel able to really hit their irons with little fear of losing their shots left of their target.
MP-20 Golf Insider verdict
If you want a classical blade look and ultimate control in your iron game the MP-20 muscle-backs are for you. Stunning feel and control but be prepared to invest in your ball striking to get the most out of these irons.
Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons Review
Next we have the MP-20 MMC, these irons have forged a titanium plate directly behind the hitting area. This lighter mass essentially creates a cavity back performance within a solid bladed design.
The extra weight saving has allowed Mizuno to insert a tungsten weight within the toe to increase the inertia of the club head and further improve the forgiveness. A design feature also used within the Ping G410 irons.
When you place the MMC down behind the golf ball you’ll notice very little difference visually between the MP-20 muscle-back and the MMC head. Mizuno have done a great job here of creating a classical looking design which boasts greater forgiveness.
The MMC irons are based on the body of the MP-20 blade but feature a Titanium muscle plate and Tungsten sole weight, which lowers the centre of gravity, increases the inertia and forgiveness of the MMC compared to the MP-20 muscle-back.
The resulting increased forgiveness is notable. I’m pleased to say I didn’t explore the whole club face. However, with the help of Trackman, I was often surprised to see that pure feeling shots were sometimes 1/4 inch away from the sweet spot.
The MMC’s offer excellent forgiveness considering their sleek design.
Power & distance
Similar to the MP-20 muscle-backs, the MMC irons offer a piercing strike and are suited to those looking for control over distance. The MMC’s feature modern, player iron lofts (4-iron 22º, 7-iron 32º). As a result, the Mizuno MMC irons give a little extra distance over the MP-20 muscle-backs, but still offer great control.
Similar to the MP-20 muscle-backs, a thin layer of copper has been coated over the grain-flow forged head. The MMC’s offer a beautiful feel – powerful yet soft.
In my humble opinion these feel just as good as the MP-20 muscle-backs, they lose little in feel and offer more in terms of forgiveness.
Control, launch & shot shaping
Similar to the muscle-backs, the MMC’s balanced weighting and minimal offset offer a neutral ball flight and beautiful control.
The MMC’s have a progressive design from the longer irons into the mid-irons and wedges. The subtle changes to the centre of mass offer forgiveness in the longer irons, but maintain the ability to flight your mid-irons, short-irons and wedges as you approach the green.
The short irons also have a narrower sole compared to previous Mizuno ranges, which gives your great shot-shaping ability and versatility around the greens.
MP-20 MMC Golf Insider verdict
The MMC’s are a great option for pros up to a low/mid teen handicap golfers. If you love the bladed look, but don’t strike every iron shot like Adam Scott, these irons are a great choice.
MP-20 HMB irons review
The HMB iron head is hollow in design and features a thinner forged face for higher ball speeds. The hollow design and tungsten weights embedded within the head maximise accuracy and forgiveness for off-centre hits. They also create a higher launch compared to the MP-20 muscle back and MMC.
The MP-20 HMB irons still feature a thin top line, minimal offset and clean finish. Although the head length, sole width and offset increase slightly from the muscle-back and MMC iron.
However, I can tell you that even when you place the HMB behind the golf ball you feel like you are play with a traditional iron – just with a little ‘extra meat’ added to the club head.
Toe and heel strikes benefit from the perimeter weighting and additional tungsten weights. The hollow design has allowed Mizuno’s engineers to push the centre of mass lower in the club head which also helps shots get airborne when struck low on the club face.
The Mizuno HMB irons really do offer exceptional forgiveness. Yes, you can find a shovel-looking iron on the market that will outperform the HMB for some off-centre hits, but this is an exceptional piece of engineering.
Power and distance
The HMB’s both feature modern, player iron lofts (4-iron 22º, 7-iron 32º) and a thin, forged Chromoly face. The result is even higher ball speeds compared to the MP-20 MMC irons and an additional 2-3 yards in carry.
The HMB’s won’t be the longest game improvement iron on the market, due to their lofts, but they offer a great distance, nonetheless.
The MP-20 HMB irons do not look like a hollow headed iron, nor do they feel it when you strike the ball. There is a little sharpness gone compared to the MP-20 muscle-back and MMC iron, however the feel of these irons is still far superior to similar game improvement irons on the market.
Control, launch & shot shaping
The MP-20 HMB irons still have a progressive design where the head length, sole width and offset reduce as you move from 3-iron to PW. This provides the greatest forgiveness in the longer clubs and better control and shot shaping ability as you move into the mid and shorter irons.
The HMB’s design mean they launch the ball higher compared to the muscle-back and MMC. However, the control of the HMB irons is fat greater than irons that offer similar levels of forgiveness.
MP-20 HMB Golf Insider verdict
The HMB irons live up to what you would expect when buying a Mizuno iron – a soft, yet powerful feel. Yes, the MP-20 and MMC do feel sharper with the good shots, but the levels of forgiveness offered by the HMB irons far outweighs the loss – hence their ranking in our review of the best irons for mid handicappers.
If you are looking for a forgiving set of irons that still offers excellent feel and control then look no further than the Mizuno HMB irons.
Golf Insider buying tips
I really want blades, should I buy the MP-20 irons?
As a coach, I see little upside in small iron head, apart from a player’s joy when hitting them. If you are a good ball striker and happy to put in some practice, then I’m sure you will love the MP-20 irons.
If you are after the look of a bladed iron I would opt for the MP-20 MMC irons. When placed behind the ball there is little difference between these two and the MMC offers a noticeable improvement in forgiveness.
Custom fitting options
Where possible try these out before you buy. Mizuno also offer an array of shaft options in the MP-20 range. These can be tested on a launch monitor or suggested based on Mizuno’s new 3D shaft analyser, which can be found at fitting centres.
Another consideration often overlooked by golfers looking for new irons is how they perform around the green. The narrower sole and traditional lofts in the MP-20 range make these irons great for pitching and chipping.
Alternatives to the MP-20 irons
Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal irons
The Mizuno JPX range are built with a different ethos to the MP-20 range. The JPX range are for golfers wanting greater distance and forgiveness. They feature a multi-piece cast design rather than the MP-20’s forged method.
Read the full Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal review
TaylorMade P770 irons
Similar to the Mizuno MP-20 irons, the TaylorMade P770 irons have three different models which caters for golfers of varying levels.
Read the full TaylorMade P7 iron range review
Ping i500 irons
The i500 irons are Ping’s offer for golfers wanting sleek looks combined with great forgiveness. Similar to the Mizuno HMB irons that feature a hollow head design with a forged face.
Read the full Ping i500 review
Ping G410 irons
The Ping G410 irons provide golfers with great levels of forgiveness and control in a classical looking club head design. The Ping G410 have a similar shape and design to the Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons. They differ in that the Ping G410’s are cast not forged, but the result is a saving of a few hundred dollar.
Read the full Ping G410 iron review
Frequently asked questions
What is a tapered blade design?
The angle of the blade subtly changes as you move from 3-iron to pitching wedge. This help push the centre of gravity lower down in the longer irons and moves it higher up in the short irons. The result – increase forgiveness in the long irons, flighted short irons and wedges.
What is the difference between forged and cast clubs ?
Forged and cast relate to the production method used. Cast irons are created by pouring an alloy metal into a mould and allowing it to set. Cast iron design is commonly use in clubs that require multiple components. Whereas forged irons are made from one solid piece of metal that is forged (hammered) into shape.
The MP-20 MMC irons are one of the few multi-material clubs that are forged.
MP-20 key stats
|MP-20 irons product details|
|Golfer||Mens & Ladies|
|Hand Availability||Left, Right|
|Shaft Flex||r, s, xs|
|Set Makeup||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW|
|Loft & lie info||Mizuno (link)|
Summary of the MP-20 Mizuno irons
The MP-20 iron range offer stunning levels feel and control. The muscle-back, MMC and HMB club heads allow golfers to select an iron that best suits their needs. If you’re looking for exceptional levels of feel and control, few clubs will come close to the Mizuno MP-20 irons.
If you want more reviews check out or best game improvement irons review.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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