Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI irons are perfect for blending with other MP-18 irons.  Great feel with much more forgiveness than you’d expect.

Introduction

When it comes to the long game, golfers have lots of options: fairway woods, hybrids, driving irons, and irons.  And as foolish as many golfers are (myself included), most do realize that a 3I is no longer remotely viable with today’s strong lofts.  This leaves the driving iron as the sexy, player-ific option at the top of the bag, and the Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI is definitely sexy.  The question I set out to answer is whether or not it’s a realistic alternative for the average golfer.

Looks

In the bag, the MP-18 MMC FLI HI radiates the “player” image.  There’s no visible cavity, no colorful paint fill, just a classy blend of satin and chrome.

Given the bulk of the sole (at least compared to the other MP-18 irons), you might expect that the FLI HI has a game improvement look to it.  While there is a bit of offset, the top line is thin enough to be a players iron, and the sole is invisible at address.  If you’re blending the FLI HI into a combo set with other MP-18 irons, you’ll be pleased with the transition (see a comparison of the FLI HI with the MP-18 MB in the slideshow at the bottom of the page).

Sound & Feel

I’ve played with many of the previous FLI HI irons in the past, and the MP-18 MMC FLI HI is easily the best feeling.  It’s a touch firmer than the MP-18 MB, but the difference is slight.

Centered impact is soft, crisp, and rewarding.  When you miss the sweet spot, you’re rebuked with a firmer impact feel that doesn’t sting but does remind you to focus on your next swing.

Performance

What separates the MMC FLI HI from other MP-18 irons are the tungsten toe weighting and hollow body construction.  These two things work together to make the iron more forgiving and slightly higher launching.

Those two characteristics are listed in order of impact.  The MMC FLI HI is noticeably more forgiving than other MP-18 irons, but the difference in launch is not huge.  In my launch monitor testing, I saw that pure strikes with the MMC FLI HI launched about one degree higher than pure strikes with the MP-18 MB.  That difference is not enough to make a 3-iron playable for a low ball hitter like myself.  Where the difference is big is on mishits.  A thin shot with the MP-18 MB can launch in the mid single digits; the MMC FLI HI gets the ball airborne, preserving carry distance.

The MMC FLI HI’s forgiveness extends beyond launch angle.  If you hit a ball toward the heel or toe, it retains more ball speed and distance than other members of the MP-18 iron family.

Finally, we come to the main reason to opt for the MMC FLI HI over a hybrid: shot control.  Most golfers will find it much easier to manipulate trajectory and shot shape with the MMC FLI HI than a hybrid.  The FLI HI is a natural extension of your iron set whether you switch over at the 16.5 degree 2-iron or all the way at the 6-iron.

Conclusion

In the last couple years, driving irons have shifted from being oddities to must-haves for OEMs.  I’ve tested a lot of them, and the Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI is one of my favorites.  It gives up very little in terms of looks and feel but does offer a significant boost in forgiveness.  However, the one caveat that must be expressed with any driving iron is that they require proper fitting to maximize their potential.

Buy Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI Irons HERE

Mizuno MP-18 MMC FLI HI Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus

21 Comments

  1. Tom Duckworth

    So do you feel like these are for a higher swing speed player only? I have never really gotten along with hybrids
    I just have never been comfortable with their shape and I don’t hit them well. My driver speed is 95 to 100 when I’m feeling good. I think it is interesting that these don’t launch much higher than their irons and I think that was by design. One review I saw the reviewer really put it down because it didn’t launch high enough for him but it’s not meant to be a hybrid I guess.
    Have you tested the Srixon U65 utility and how would you compare them? I’m thing about getting a blended set this spring and MP-18s, Srixon Z765/565/U65 series irons and Ping i200s with a Crossover are all on my list to try. Man there are so many good new irons on the market lately it makes my head spin.

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      You need either a lot of swing speed or something in your swing that launches the ball pretty high. Without one or both of those, all of these utility irons turn into clubs that carry the distance of a mid or long iron but with a lower flight.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Thanks, Matt!
    I love my MP-H4 2-iron and this looks like a much sleeker and no loss of forgiveness (h4 doesn’t have tungsten).

  3. Nigel Smith

    Hey Matt, great review!

    I know it was mentioned it earlier by Tom, but any comparisons between this and the u65 you reviewed earlier?

    • Matt Saternus

      Nigel,

      I didn’t do a direct comparison, so I don’t have any data or insights to share beyond what’s in the review.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Javier García

    What could be your top 3 best utility irons?

    • Matt Saternus

      Javier,

      There’s such a wide range of utility irons these day that “best” is relative. Do you want maximum forgiveness? A particular look? High launch or low?
      For the better player, I really like the Callaway X Forged UT. I’m also impressed with the new Miura driving iron. I also think the G700 and P790 are great choices for low lofted irons.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Matt, what’s the best driving iron if I’m looking for maximum forgiveness (primary concern) and higher launch (secondary)?

        • Matt Saternus

          Jay,

          Do you care what it looks like? Why do you want a driving iron rather than a hybrid?

          Best,

          Matt

          • Matt, I don’t particularly care what it looks like, but I do prefer an iron over a hybrid. I’m just not consistent with a hybrid and, at the risk of contradicting myself, I believe it has something to do with the view at address. I tend to want to sweep my hybrid rather than hit down on it and that leads to inconsistent ball striking. I know I should swing a hybrid like an iron, but I rarely do

          • Jay,

            For forgiveness, I would look at the Miura driving iron, the TaylorMade P790, and the PXG SGI if you can live with an absolute ton of offset.

            Best,

            Matt

  5. 5 flihi. 6,7 mmc. 8,9,pw sc. done

  6. ^^^^^ Exactly Scott ^^^^^^

  7. Matt:

    I’m playing the MP-18 musclebacks 5 iron to pitching wedge and considering a #4 Fli-Hi bent 2 degrees weak to keep the loft progressions consistent. Any opinion about how that would launch?

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      I think it would launch more easily/consistently than the MP-18s, and probably a little higher, relative to the loft.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. david douglas

    steve.. I have the mp18 mbs 5pw and the 4 flihi trimmed to be between a 4 and a 5 and its makes for the perfect gapping rather than tweaking the lofts. also got a 2 flihi with accra fx2.0 m5 shaft, bomber!, you do need higher swing speed to optomise these and they can feel harsher than you expect as they are not forged, but out the middle still a lovely crisp soft feel and much cheaper than PXG nonsense !

  9. David Lewis

    The Fli Hi has been a great addition to my JPX 919 Tour set.

  10. Dan utley

    Matt: How would you compare the fly hi’s to the hot metal pros? I either want. Forged 919’s in my short irons and hot metal pro’s inmy long irons or mp18 sc in my short irons and fly hi in my long irons! Ive been playing since i was 8 yo and im59! So im a good player! I use to think mizuno made the best irons and taylor made made the best woofs! Please advise!

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      I haven’t run them head to head, but my thought is that the Hot Metal Pro would be a bit longer due to higher ball speed.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Will #3 Fli-hi fit in to JPX900 tour 4-pw?

    My swing speed is pretty high and I can normally hit 3 iron OK. The thing is I got JPX900tour without 3 iron and I guess this easier version will be ok (and easier to find individual compare to #3 JPX900tour).

    I try Zx utility and find the feeling is kinda hollow. Is this fli-hi feel the same?

    • Matt Saternus

      Ano,

      There’s no way for me to know definitively if this iron will create good distance gaps with your set, but I think it’s a reasonable choice. Ultimately, the best advice is to get fitted to find the club that will hit the number you need.

      -Matt

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