New Level 480-MC Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The New Level 480-MC irons offer high level ball strikers a great deal of control over trajectory and shot shape.  Limited forgiveness.  A compact, players look.  Wonderful feel on center.

Introduction

“This club is too forgiving.”  -No golfer, ever.

Actually, that’s not true.  Several of the pros that New Level works with gave that exact feedback, asking for something more compact with more control.  Thus, the New Level 480-MC irons were born.  If you’re also looking for an iron that prioritizes shot control over forgiveness, read on to see if these deliver.

Looks

The New Level 480-MC irons have a sleek, compact look.  What stands out most to me is the heel-to-toe length, which is as short as any iron I’ve tested recently.  The top lines are thin, and there’s very little offset, rounding out the complete players look.

New Level kept the look consistent throughout the set, refusing to balloon the top line, offset, or blade length as you move into the long irons.  They seem to say, “Are we scaring you?  Good, play something else.”  This was clearly a set designed solely for the high end ball striker.

In the bag, the New Level 480-MC irons balance traditional design with eye catching details.  The red paint in the “MC” pops against an otherwise silver and black canvas.  There is no radical shaping in the cavity, but there are several levels and textures.  Of course, the standout detail is the weight in the center of the head, the purpose of which I’ll discuss in detail later.

Sound & Feel

On center, the New Level 480-MC irons are as buttery soft as anything I’ve hit.  That perfectly centered contact feels wonderful with the ball just melting into the club face.  That feel is accompanied by a very quiet, traditional “thud.”

The feedback from the 480-MC is clear and comes in three flavors.  On center, it’s addictive and satisfying.  If you’re close to the center, it’s good, but short of the real thing.  When you miss by more than a little, these irons let you know it.  They get louder, and they can sting your hands.  If you want your irons to give you a participation trophy for every swing, these aren’t for you.

Performance

If the goal was to make an iron that’s substantially less forgiving than previous models like the 902 [review HERE], the New Level 480-MC irons are a success.  This is an iron that’s going to tell you the truth about your ball striking at all times.  If you hit it thin, the ball is going to come out low and screaming.  Shots on the heel and toe will lose significant amounts of ball speed.  That said, I found the spin numbers from these irons to be very consistent.

The trade off for this lack of forgiveness is complete control over the golf ball.  If your swing is on, you can hit everything from a low stinger to a towering shot that falls straight down from the sky.  You can dial up small cuts that fall onto the pin or sweeping hooks to escape from jail.  The 480-MC irons give you full control and full responsibility.

Another thing that New Level’s pros were looking for was a more traditional loft structure.  The 480-MC irons have some of the weakest lofts you’ll find.  I flipped back through the last few years of blade reviews, and the closest I could find were the TaylorMade P7MB [review HERE], but even they have a 4I that’s one degree stronger than the 480-MC.

As with almost anything in golf clubs, there are positives and negatives to more traditional or weaker lofts.  Comparing 6I to 6I, the New Level 480-MC irons will be shorter than most.  Most golfers want to hit their irons farther, but high speed players may prefer lofts that transition more easily to their wedges.  Also, weaker lofts will likely launch higher and spin more, creating more stopping power on the greens.  As always, the goal is to find the right combination of club, specs, and shaft to serve your needs as a player.

Another thing that most high end ball strikers will appreciate about the New Level 480-MC irons is the sole width.  These soles are quite narrow which many players prefer for pinching the ball off the turf.  We found in a recent Golf Myths Unplugged [find it HERE] that sole width can have a substantial impact on ball striking, so it’s worth experimenting with wider and thinner soles at your next fitting.

The weights in the back of the head are used to control swing weight.  They give New Level the ability to raise the swing weight by three points or drop it by one without having to add weight to the hosel.  There can also be a small effect on CG with the heavier weights, making the 480-MC higher launching.  If you’re ordering a set of New Level irons, be sure to specify your preferred swing weight.

Finally, since New Level is a direct to consumer brand, they have a demo program to allow players to test their clubs.  For the 480 irons, you can order the 7I – MC or TC – built to your specs for $100 (this is 1/3 off the normal price).  If you like the club, you can order the rest of the set.  However, if you don’t, the sale is final, and the club is yours to keep.  This program is available worldwide.

Conclusion

The New Level 480-MC irons are going to be a favorite among the best ball strikers.  These irons feature all the aesthetic qualities that low handicappers love plus some of the best on center feel in recent memory.  If you’re ready to take full control of your iron play, give these a try.

Visit New Level HERE

New Level 480-MC Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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2 Comments

  1. Same lofts as my Mizuno mp60s from 20 years ago.

  2. Dave Sanguinetti

    These are 1996 Mizuno t-Zoids, next generation!!

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