Mizuno JPX-850 Driver Review

Mizuno JPX-850 Driver_0069

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno JPX-850 driver is a forgiving, low-spin driver with a lot of adjustability.  Paired with the right shaft, this driver is a beast.

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Introduction

With the Mizuno JPX-850 driver, Mizuno is running in the opposite direction of many other OEMs.  Unlike other manufacturers, they had sliding weights way back in 2010, and are now switching to removable weights that can be positioned to change the launch, spin, and directional bias of the driver.  We tested the JPX-850 to see if this is a step forward or if Mizuno should slip back to sliding weights.

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Looks

Let’s leave the blue crown alone for a moment and start with the Mizuno JPX-850 driver‘s second most prominent feature: the depth of the face.  As you can see in the picture below, it is very deep and very round.  There aren’t too many deep-faced drivers this year, so players who get confidence from a tall hitting surface will really like this.  At address, the JPX-850 has an average footprint for a modern driver: symmetrical, round, and long from front to back.  It wasn’t until I checked the specs that I realized this driver was only 440cc – it could easily pass for 460.

Ok, back to the blue crown.  It’s really blue and really shiny.  Of course, a driver this bold is going to be polarizing, but there will be no question what you’re playing when you stand on the tee box.

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Sound & Feel

Much like the look, the sound of the Mizuno JPX-850 driver is somewhat non-traditional.  At impact, the sound is a little loud and somewhat high pitched, and I can best describe it as a pop.

When it comes to feedback, most shots feel the same.  The whole face feels hot, but there is a little something extra on shots hit perfectly.

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Performance

There’s a lot going on with the Mizuno JPX-850 driver, but the most noteworthy thing is the adjustable weights.  The two 8 gram weights and five positions allow for ten different settings – four neutral, three draw-biased, and three fade-biased.  The first thing I noticed was that, regardless of the position of the weights, the club felt the same.  I take this as a huge positive because it leads you to make a choice based on ball flight instead of feel.  With other adjustable drivers, the feel changes so much that I found certain positions unplayable.  In terms of ball flight, I found that the weights made a subtle difference.  They’re not going to knock hundreds of RPMs off your spin rate nor will they turn a slicer into Rory McIlroy, but they can help you move your numbers from good to great.

Another positive for this driver is the forgiveness.  I mentioned that almost all shots feel the same off the face, and that’s because almost every shot has equal ball speed.  Just as important, the launch and spin numbers don’t jump around dramatically because of mishits.  This is a very stable head.

My one major criticism of the JPX-850 driver is that it only comes in 9.5 degrees.  Yes, there is adjustability at the hosel which allows the head to play anywhere from 7.5 to 11.5 degrees, but this comes with substantial changes to the face angle.  Given how low spin this head is, I think a lot of players could benefit from more loft.

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Conclusion

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-850 driver is a really impressive club that should help Mizuno build momentum in their woods category.  It has all the best characteristics of a modern driver: low spin, forgiveness, and the ability to set it up to suit your needs.  As with any club, it’s important to work with a fitter to find the shaft that will help you get the most out of this head.

Matt Saternus
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3 Comments

  1. I’ve owned this driver for about a year now and I don’t see myself changing. This review is spot on for how I feel about the performance of the club.
    Even the launch monitor data is close to my numbers.
    I took it to an indoor facility to test out the weight setting and lofts and was pleasantly surprised with the results.
    I had it fitted with the weights in the most stable positions at toe and heel in an 8.5 deg loft.

  2. Neville hall

    Hello iam hoping you can help me i have a Mizuno JPX 850 i love have had it for a few years now i have it set on 11.5 i have my weights 1 at the top the other on the bottom is this correct ???? i do hit them straight most of the time but always they stay very low & a lot of the times they will curve late to the Right & iam a Right Hand Golfer Question are my weights in the correct position or should i move them look forward to your advice & return email

    • Matt Saternus

      Neville,

      I’m not sure that I know what you mean by “one at the top the other on the bottom”. Please clarify and I’ll do my best to help.

      -Matt

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