Mizuno Pro 221 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno Pro 221 irons are compact, beautiful blades.  Soft, forged feel.  Designed to perform for the most consistent ball strikers.

Introduction

While they may not be a fit for the vast majority of players, the blade iron is Mizuno’s flagship product.  That role is now filled by the Mizuno Pro 221, the successor to the MP-20 [review HERE].  Mizuno’s own talking points speak to “incremental” changes, so I tested a set to see if they’re a meaningful upgrade.

Need an easier-to-hit long iron alternative?  Check out the Mizuno Pro Fli Hi HERE

Looks

It doesn’t take a trained eye to recognize the Mizuno Pro 221 as the true players iron in the family.  From sole width to top line to offset to blade length, it’s the smallest Mizuno Pro iron by a noticeable margin.  Personally, I prefer a more squared toe, but there’s no denying this is a beautiful club.

In the bag, the 221 looks even better.  The back of the blade has three distinct, well-balanced points of interest.  Mizuno’s running bird logo is centered and devoid of paint fill.  On the toe, the new Mizuno Pro script logo is filled in black.  At the heel is a gently etched “221.”

Sound & Feel

As I’ve noted in previous reviews, the standards for feel in a Mizuno iron are very high.  And when your tagline is “Nothing feels like a Mizuno,” you don’t get to complain about that.  Ditto that when the majority of your talking points about this club relate to feel instead of performance.

To me, the Pro 221 is far and away the quietest and softest iron in the new Mizuno Pro family.  In a larger context, this is a soft-feeling iron but not a “Wow.”  Centered shots are satisfying, and the feedback on mishits is very clear.  Striking the ball on the toe or heel can sting, and the sound transforms from a “thud” to a harsher “clank.”

Performance

Mizuno’s website states that the Pro 221 irons make “incremental refinements” to the Mizuno blades of the past, so anyone expecting a revelation in performance will be disappointed.  This is a traditional players iron.  It’s designed for workability, feedback, and consistency on premium strikes.  On all three of those counts, it delivers.  The Pro 221 is easily the highest spinning iron in the Mizuno Pro family, which allows the more skilled player to shape shots more easily.

The downside of playing a blade is the lack of forgiveness.  When you’re striking the ball off-center, you will see the ball speed and distance drop quickly.  If you’re carrying a double-digit handicap, playing these irons is probably not the path to lower scores.

For players thinking about a combo set of Mizuno Pro irons, you need to be very careful.  The loft structures and construction of these three models is very different.  In the Pro 221, the 7I is 34 degrees.  That same 7I is 32 degrees in the Pro 223 [review HERE] and 30 degrees in the Pro 225 [review HERE].  Make sure you work with a fitter and test extensively before pulling the trigger.

Conclusion

The Mizuno Pro 221 irons don’t break new ground, but they do live up to expectations.  For the high end ball striker, these will allow endless creativity with shot shaping and trajectory control.  They’re also going to provide a very satisfying experience to your eyes, hands, and ears every time that you pull them out of the bag.

Visit Mizuno HERE

Mizuno Pro 221 Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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28 Comments

  1. Playing MP20 combo now and will be testing shortly to compare. Beautiful irons indeed and overall pretty happy with my current MP20s. Very VERY curious however to see how they stack up to PXG Gen 4’s. Wouldn’t mind a little more forgiveness and hotter face irons however reading somewhere that GEN 5 releasing in July so not sure if timing is right. Good review and accurate as always. 👍🏻👍🏻

    • Matt Saternus

      Thanks, Jeff.

      I think the MP-20 is going to have a hard time beating the PXG in any objective measure, unless you’re referring to the ST. Either way, happy testing.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. I think the new Mizuno irons look better than ALL others, no question about it. My only minor issue is the chrome finish of the 221 versus brushed steel. Great job Mizuno!

  3. These are on my radar this season! About time I upgrade my Ben Hogan Apex Edge Pro’s

  4. 221 is a beauty but can’t wait for your review of the 223 – I have a set — surprisingly forgiving with a sweet Mizuno feel and still a compact blade with a nicely beveled sole and topline.

  5. 223 review coming soon? That’s the one I’m most excited to hear how you got on with!

  6. The 221 are beautiful!! I doubt that it is a club I could successfully play though. The 225s may be more in line with my game.

  7. Jim Ferris

    Matt, great synopsis, as are all of yours.

    Weirdest thing – last year I switched from Mizuno blades for 25 years to Hot Metal Pros, and I loved them. They don’t all them Hot for nothing! What has left me scratching my head though is now I’m hitting 2 fewer greens per round with the HMPs. Love the super solid feel of them as well. I’m not that great of a ball striker at my 3.4 index at 65 years old so I’m not sure what is going on but I’m tempted to revert back to blades. And if if I do that, the 221s are the ticket.

    Talk me down!

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      That’s very interesting about your GIR. I assume that’s over a large enough sample size that it isn’t just noise, right? And your driving hasn’t change?
      Were you fit for the HMPs? Was there a big shaft change? Lots of possibilities, but nothing that’s obviously the culprit from what you describe.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Love the review for everyone asking, yes the gapping is important.

    Ordered mine end of April 2022.
    Blended as below (Nippon 120 Modus X)

    I’m a 7 handicap and always have been a good iron player. Still considering changing my order getting the 7 iron in the 221. But let me tell you, that 225 pops off the face!

    225s 4-7 iron (Bending 7 iron 1 degree weak)
    221s 8-PW (Bending 8 iron 2 strong and 9 1 strong)

  9. Hey Matt,
    How does the 221 compare to the Ping Blueprints?

  10. Hi, i really enjoy and respect your reviews, i started playing golf with mp 14, went to mp 33 then jox 919 ( which to me are awsome) I I’ve been playing the MP 20 HM bees. For a goof I hit a set of pro 225,223 and 221. Ironically I couldn’t and did not like the 223, did well with the 225 but struck the 221, awesome awesome awesome, I’m a little bit baffled because my game has changed and I’ve gotten older but they are amazing irons maybe you could explain why this happened to me lol thanks again

    • Matt Saternus

      James,

      I’m glad you enjoy the reviews, thank you.
      There’s a certain amount of alchemy in fitting, which is why no online system or questionnaire will ever replace swinging the clubs for yourself. On paper, you may not be a blade guy, but this particular set works for you. I saw it all the time when I was fitting regularly. Try not to think too hard about it, just enjoy playing them.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Thanks be well

  12. Hi Matt,

    After looking at some of the details of both the 221’s and 223’s, is there really much difference in the 223’s 8-PW and the 221’s 8-PW other than looks? They keep saying that they are the same build. Or is one still considered more forgiving than the other? I am thinking of doing a combo set and of course getting the lofts and yardages dialed in. If they are pretty much the same build other than looks, I would definitely prefer the look and sole of the 221’s for my scoring clubs.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jantzen,

      I think the differences are pretty small. If you have strong preference for the look of the 221, I don’t see a strong reason not to go for it.

      -Matt

  13. Hi Matt, I’m gaming the MP69 now, I find the Pro 221 looks very similar to the MP69, just wondering how much difference in performance will the Pro 221 yield.

    • Matt Saternus

      Garry,

      They’re both blades, so in the grand scheme of things, the differences are going to be small. That said, most blade players are pretty sensitive to small differences. My advice would be to test your gamers against the Pro 221 in a fitting.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. I literally just got fitted for the 221s last week. I’m using the MP 18s now. My distance is extremely great, but as far as accurate on distance its just starting to bother me because my swing speed got faster. I know that blades are not for distance, but more for accuracy. I’m going with the new Modus shafts as well at 115g. They felt amazing. I’m losing a little bit of distance of course but they’re a lot easier to shape the ball. My only concern is with the long irons. I’ve heard and read a lot on mixed reviews about them. How do you feel about them? Thank you for your hard work and dedication in the golf industry!

    • Matt Saternus

      Joshua,

      I don’t think there’s anything bad to say about the long irons other than they can be challenging to hit.

      Best,

      Matt

  15. SO I am still playing MP-32s and I am quite nervous about getting new clubs. I would like to stick with Mizuno. My only question is, what would the feel be with 221’s vs the MP-32? I assume somewhat considerable seeing as the 32’s are 15+ years old. Thoughts, anyone?

    • I have hit my brothers 225s and tbh they felt great, almost as good as my blades 32s and I’ve been playing them for 18 years like you!! So that being said if the mp225 which are actually cb felt that good, if I got my hands on the 221s I’m certain they’d feel even better!!

      I can not imagine that clubs that are 19 years newer would be any less forgiving.. although I myself am wondering if they offer any benefit.. I posted my thoughts below and questions with it…

      Have you got try out the 221s since May when you posted this!?

  16. I found this page because I have the exact same question!!! I’ve been playing my MP32s since 2005 and am very tempted to play something like the t100s or p7mc or even the p770 or mp225s because they’re supposed to be a little more forgiving but same workability… but i am very curious about how our mp32s would compare with the gorgeous mp221 or equally amazing p7mb!!? I am asking because i will be out of the country and can not realistically try anything out for myself for a few months…

    Really I’m wondering how the mp32s compare to the mp221 or p7mb… do they launch higher carry more/less more spin more forgiving? I mean yea they’re blades but it’s been 19 years… even when it’s just a solid block of steel there’s new tech that’ll help in that amount of time

    Hope someone might have some insight!!

    • Matt Saternus

      To a large extent, blades will always be blades. Zooming way in, there are differences in CG which will change trajectory and spin, and there are some blades that use multi-material construction to squeeze out a little extra forgiveness.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Thanks for getting back to me!! That’s ultimately the consensus that I have gathered but like you said I think after twenty years of squeezing just a little bit more each iteration I’m gonna take a serious look at the newer models to see if I can get the ball landing softer especially in the long irons!

        Thanks Matt!

  17. Todd Heskett

    Hey Matt, you gave a very enthusiastic review of the MP-18s a few years ago. I’ve played Mizuno for 30 years and the 18s are by far my favorite of the many sets I’ve owned.

    I’m considering refinishing them and cutting new grooves, but man the 221s have my attention. In this review, you don’t seem have as much “love” for the 221s as you did the 18s.

    I’ve hit the 221s and they are certainly pure Mizuno, but it takes me a good 8-10 rounds before I know if they’re the right fit for my game.

    Would you consider the tech packed into the 221s to be a significant upgrade to the 18s in terms of feel, trajectory and (especially) feedback?

    • Matt Saternus

      Todd,

      “Significant” can be subjective, but I’d be hard pressed to say there’s any blade that’s a significant upgrade over any other.

      Best,

      Matt

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