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.

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

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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15 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

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