Mizuno Pro 221 Golf Irons Review
The Pro 221 irons are made for the player who appreciates the look, feel and workability of a traditional blade. They are forged from 1025E mild carbon steel with a layer of copper beneath the nickel chrome for a soft, satisfying impact sound.
Mizuno's tradition of making quality irons in their iconic factory in Hiroshima - Japan has been in place since 1968. The Pro 221 sticks to that, delivering the same high level of construction and performance.
If you’re looking for a compact iron, the Mizuno Pro 221 Golf Irons are the way to go. They’re shaped and weighted to be easier to hit and control than their predecessors, while still offering an excellent performance.
The irons use a traditional muscleback design with a lower centre of gravity and higher spin rate to increase workability and ensure control and feedback. This will help you to shape shots, especially from tight mown fairways, but also on smaller, firm greens.
They’re forged from 1025E Mild Carbon Steel in the short irons and forged Chromoly in the long irons. Both of these materials deliver a soft, satisfying feel when struck well.
The copper underlay, which was first introduced on the Mizuno MP-20 irons in 2019, is reintroduced across the Pro 221 line. It was a popular choice among tour professionals during testing and is now available to consumers in the North America.
While it might seem like a small thing, the addition of a microlayer of copper beneath Nickel Chrome on the underlay improves the feel at impact and gives the irons a unique feeling. It’s this type of feel that is important to Mizuno – they want to deliver an authentic feel that people can identify with, regardless of the technology involved in the clubs.
These irons use Mizuno’s Grain Flow Forged HD process, which is one of the most precise in the industry. It allows for a club face to be forged thinner than ever before and deliver the fastest ball speeds Mizuno has produced from a full body forged iron.
This process also helps to produce a more stable back end of the club, which will help you maintain control on off-centre strikes. It also reduces the risk of deforming the club face at impact, which can affect the flight of the ball and cause a higher roll-out.
It’s this type of feel that makes Mizuno irons a great choice for many golfers – they offer excellent consistency and a great feeling at impact, but also give you an easy option to switch up your game depending on how you are playing.
Soft Copper Underlay
The Mizuno Pro 221 Golf Irons are a step up from the company’s popular MP-20 [review HERE]. They’re still full blades but now offer a much higher level of forgiveness thanks to a variety of refinements in head shape and weight placement.
As well as offering more forgiveness, they also feel quite soft in the hand. It’s not easy to find a set of irons that can be described as being as buttery soft as the Mizuno Pro 221.
This is thanks to a micro layer of copper underlaying the nickel chrome of the club face. This is a new feature on the Pro 221 which makes them feel very soft at address and through impact. It’s also a great feature which Mizuno claim has a softer and more satisfying sound than the other forged irons in their range (such as the Pro 225).
These soft feel characteristics are particularly useful for the higher irons in the set as they do have a slightly smaller clubhead. This means that players can feel more confident about their ball striking when using them, and it also allows them to work more effectively through the impact zone.
Our tester Alex found that the Pro 221 irons delivered a good amount of height and distance when struck well. However, he did find that they aren’t quite as forgiving as some other more tour-friendly irons in the market.
The Pro 221 is more suited to players who are at the top end of their handicap and who want a lot of control and workability. These irons have a small sweet spot and so require a consistent swing and natural speed.
Another key part of these irons is their incredibly compact profile. This is a big part of their success in the market.
It means that they are able to be used by a wider range of players, and it also means that you can use them for a variety of shots and shots of different types. It’s this versatility that enables the Pro 221 to be a good fit for a wide range of people, and it’s this flexibility which really sets them apart from other manufacturers.
Shorter Shaft/CG Axis
Mizuno is a company known for legendary craftsmanship across a wide range of sports, but within the golf market it is particularly renowned for the soft-feeling irons that it produces. This reputation has resulted in the phrase, 'nothing feels like a Mizuno' being synonymous with the brand and its irons.
The forged Pro 221 and 225 have been designed to perform for the purest of ball strikers and shot shapers. These irons are crafted from 1025E Pure Select Mild Carbon Steel and Grain Flow Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, with a soft copper underlay for a uniquely satisfying Mizuno sensation at impact.
These forged irons are built to be more playable through a process of incremental refinements in shape and weight placement. They feature a shorter shaft/CG Axis and are consistent through the set to allow for better control of fades and draws into the greens.
Forged from a one-piece construction, the Pro 221 is expertly beveled to allow for a thinner face profile and narrower top line while still retaining mass in the upper blade area. A microlayer of copper is bonded underneath the nickel chrome top to provide the softer feel you've come to expect from Mizuno.
Another key innovation is the relocation of some mass from the heel areas to thicken the muscle pad behind the impact zone. This helps to create a more muted sound that players have preferred in blind tour tests.
The 8-PW in this new set has also been dramatically reduced in size following feedback from PGA Tour players. This reduction in size allows for the shortest CG/shaft axis from 3-PW, which will allow you to control your trajectory and hit different flight shots with ease.
If you're looking for an iron that will help you make the most of your game, there are three options in the Mizuno Pro 221 series - all available from February 3. With two models aimed at the lower handicappers and one geared toward elite ball strikers, there is a club to suit every level of golfer. They can be mixed and matched as a full set or purchased separately.
The Mizuno Pro 221 Golf Irons are the ideal choice for the high-end ball striker who wants a compact profile, pure construction and a classic, soft feel. This new line of irons has a tapered blade shape that looks like a premium muscleback player’s iron, with a satin and mirror finish to reduce glare down by the golf ball.
These full-blade irons are Grain Flow Forged in Japan from 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel, with a soft copper underlay for a uniquely satisfying Mizuno sensation at impact. This is the same material used on the iconic TN87 irons, which were among the first forged irons to feature Mizuno’s original layering of soft copper underlay (and later Nickel Chrome).
Unlike other models in this line, the Pro 221 features a shorter shaft/CG axis throughout the set to control draws and fades for better distance performance and more consistent trajectory through each club. This reduces the size of the iron head, making it more responsive and workable, especially in the lower irons where the CG is less prominent.
To make the irons even more responsive, a progressive center of gravity design ensures penetrating trajectories are generated as lofts increase to suit better players who typically prefer flatter trajectories in their scoring clubs. This makes the irons easier to hit and more accurate, and a small amount of tungsten weight is used in the 2- to 7-irons to increase ball speed and carry for added forgiveness.
This is a very popular feature with many of the top players in the world, and it’s one that Mizuno has continued across their new Pro iron range. The MP-20’s copper underlay is a welcome return and the Pro 221 irons are no exception, with tour professionals unanimously prefferring the feel of these models during testing.
There are three models in the range, ranging from the most traditional lofted iron (34 degree - 7 iron) to the most forgiving with the hollow body 225. The Pro 221 is the most advanced model of the three and is best suited for high-end ball strikers, for whom the greatest priority is control and workability.