Luke Donald Mizuno MP test
by Iver Maple on July 28, 2014
On April 22nd Mizuno’s R&D team met with Luke Donald at Old Palm GC’s glorious practice facility to gather his views on their new MP tour samples.
The aim was to see if the MP-15 irons had evolved Mizuno’s Ti Muscle technology far enough to meet Luke’s approval . In the past Donald had played and won with the MP-59 (also a Ti Muscle) – before moving onto the more traditional MP-64.
Luke and the Ti Muscle
“The statistics show that Luke played very well with the MP-59’s,” said Chris Voshall – Senior Engineer. “But although he won tournaments – he never quite sync’d with the feel off the clubface. When Luke moved onto the MP-64’s, we knew we had to find a model that gave the best of both worlds. The challenge from then was to refine the feel of the Ti Muscle – without losing the extra stability it gave from off center strikes.”
“In MP-15, we’ve combined the very best of both models – the profile, trajectory control and feel of the MP-64, with the peripheral weighting only possible with a Ti insert. There’s no more sensory a player than Luke Donald – if the feel gets his approval, it’s a pretty good sign.”
The difference between Luke Donald and a 1 hcp amateur
Donald also took the Hollow Technology MP-H5 long irons for a test run – and was happy to see the long irons peak with less spin than their predecessors. Donald was one of the first to play Mizuno’s original Fli-Hi long iron replacements, starting a trend amongst better players to ditch their traditional long irons. Chris Voshall, “We’d made a test bag for Luke with his normal split of hybrids and traditional irons – but we wanted his feedback on the MP-H5 mid and short irons too. They’re a little bigger than Luke is used to playing, but we’ve kept the MP proportions intact – so it doesn’t take long for the eye to adjust.”
Mizuno’s Chris Voshall is a fair player himself with a 1 hcp, but hitting balls side by side with Luke highlighted the difference between a leading tour player and a good amateur player. “I’d like to trick myself that I’m close, but the difference in ball striking was pretty clear. I hit it out of the middle a little less often than Luke, but there was 10mph difference in ball speed as well. It’s why Luke only needs the 2 or 3 iron in MP-H5, where someone like me should be make the break higher up the set. It’s the MP-H5’s assistance with launch that’s the biggest help to someone with slightly less ball speed.”
MP-T5 wedges - more bounce options.
There were no surprises with the wedges. Luke’s a classic chrome wedge man, so the new Black IP was just for looking at. The MP-T5’s offering of 25 different loft / bounce combinations of little use to a player to tuned to his personal grind. Though Luke was flattered to hear that his personal grind had made its way into the line of grind options.