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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.