Mizuno JPX-850 Hybrid Review

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50 Words or Less

The Mizuno JPX-850 hybrid is an expectation-defying club from one of the most traditional brands in golf.  A good choice for mid and high handicap players.

Introduction

When I think of Mizuno, I think of irons, I think of classic looks, and I think of clubs designed for better players.

The Mizuno JPX-850 hybrid flies in the face of all of those expectations.  This hybrid is designed to make a big visual impression and hit the ball a long way.

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Looks

As you can see, the Mizuno JPX-850 hybrid is anything but traditional in its appearance.  Most notable, of course, is the bright blue crown.  As the pictures show, it’s not a toned-down blue, it’s a high gloss, in-your-face blue with silver sparkly touches on the heel and toe.  Beyond the color, the JPX-850 is bigger than your average hybrid, particularly from front to back.  It’s length in that dimension almost makes it look like a fairway wood.

While I’m certain some people will turn up their nose at the way this club looks, I give Mizuno a big thumbs up for taking a risk.  It would have been easy to make another bland hybrid, but they opted to make something that stands out.

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Sound & Feel

For many players, Mizuno represents the epitome of great feeling clubs, and the company’s focus on feel is certainly present here, though in an unexpected way.  The Mizuno JPX-850 hybrid feels really good, but it’s not a traditional, muted feel.  The sound it produces is a louder-than-average click, which enhances how hot it feels.  All across the face, the sound and feel are quite similar, which may disappoint better players but it will boost confidence for the higher handicap players.

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Performance

The Mizuno JPX-850 irons have received great praise from higher handicap players in no small part because of the distance they generate.  The Mizuno JPX-850 hybrid is going to help those same players see similar distance gains from their lower-lofted clubs as well.

There are two main things that make this hybrid go: the Shock Wave Sole and the low CoG.  As you can see in the picture above, the sole of the club has a wide, ridged, channel in it.  The purpose of this design is to allow the entire head to flex to increase ball speed.  I can’t speak to whether or not the head flexes, but I can tell you that in my testing the ball speed was excellent, even on mishits.  The low CoG is evident both in the ball speed and trajectory of thin shots.  Rather than producing knee-high shots with mediocre ball speed, this club gets the ball up in the air with superior ball speed.

Two final things worth mentioning are the draw bias of the head and the quality of the stock shaft.  Though it’s not the most draw-biased hybrid I’ve tested, the JPX-850 is clearly designed to help the higher handicap player keep the ball off the right side of the course.  This is also an important ingredient in producing distance.  Finally, I want to give Mizuno kudos for the use of a Fujikura Motore Speeder as their stock shaft.  Most clubs aimed at “average” players go light and soft with their stock shaft, and while the Speeder isn’t exactly a telephone pole, it’s far better than most.

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Conclusion

Over the last few years, Mizuno has done an excellent job of expanding the range of golfers who can play their brand.  Their JPX irons have created loyalists among players who had probably never considered Mizuno before.  With the JPX-850 hybrid, Mizuno is giving those players a good reason to put even more of their clubs in the bag.

Matt Saternus
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