Lamkin Grips

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For years, Mizuno has made a name in the golf industry by producing top-of-the-line forged player’s irons. However, they also carry a substantial line of equipment geared towards those folks that are looking for more forgiveness and distance. They’ve ran with an interesting concept over the last couple years in what they call the Direct Long Iron Replacement (DLR). Basically, Mizuno is acknowledging what many of us know: long irons can be difficult to hit well with consistency. Many people struggle with ball flight, accuracy, and distance with their long irons and that’s precisely why hybrids have become a staple in so many bags. The latest iteration of this concept from Mizuno is the JPX Fli-Hi line of hybrids (or DLR’s). I had a chance to test out these clubs for THP and was able to get a good feel for what they bring to the table.

From Mizuno
The JPX Fli-Hi Hybrid DLR incorporates the same distance generating technologies as the JPX-800 and JPX-800 HD irons. These include a multi-thickness ‘Hot Metal’ face and MAX COR Pocket Cavity for increased ball speeds from anywhere on the face, as well as explosive distance. In addition to these technologies, Mizuno incorporated a wood type hybrid head shape to provide a massive sweet area and a lower, deeper Center of Gravity (COG). A Speed Bevel Sole Design provides maximum club head speed through the turf. The clubs also offer an optimal face bulge and roll, delivering shot correction on miss-hits.
• Available Right and Left Hand Lofts: #3-19°, #4-22°, #5-25°, #6-28°
• Shafts: Dynalite Gold XP (Steel), Fujikura Orochi (Graphite)
• Grip: Golf Pride M-21
• Other Options available through Mizuno’s Custom Department.
• Suggested Retail Price: Steel – $87.50 Graphite – $112.50

Looks and Initial Thoughts
When it comes to looks, the JPX Fli-Hi’s are a bit of a departure from the hybrids I’ve typically played in the past. I’ve always gravitated to hybrids that resembled a fairway wood. The Fli-Hi’s resemble an iron in many ways, which makes sense when you remember they are calling them Direct Long Iron Replacements. Still, it was a bit of surprise to see just how much they look like an iron from some angles. The sole, while much wider than a typical iron, doesn’t appear to be quite as wide as many hybrids. The Fli-Hi’s almost remind me of a Super Game Improvement iron when I look at the face and sole, but more like a hybrid when looking at the crown. At address, they set up like an iron. It was almost as if the back portion of the club disappeared from view when I was addressing the ball. I actually ended up liking that quite a bit. There is a healthy amount of offset in these clubs to further assist with getting the ball airborne.

The sound that the Fli-Hi’s made at impact was something that caused me to pause at first. To my ear, they are incredibly muted with a bit of a high pitch tone on a well struck shot. The sound sort of carried over to the feel in that I perceived it to be pretty muted as well. It wasn’t something I personally loved, but that’s truly a matter of preference and I didn’t necessarily dislike it. I tested the JPX Fli-Hi’s with the Orochi graphite shaft, which is black with some modest artwork. It was nice to look at and seemed to feel true-to-flex for my swing. The grip itself was forgettable, which is never a bad thing. I didn’t think about it once during testing and that’s perfectly fine with me. Each Fli-Hi comes with a decent little head cover. It wasn’t the easiest to get on, but it was fairly small and didn’t crowd up my golf bag.

Performance
I tested the Fli-Hi hybrid on the range, the course, and a launch monitor. It really ended up growing on me over time. The first two times I took it out I wasn’t incredibly impressed, but I’ll admit that I think much of that is because I didn’t love the appearance or sound. Over time, I did find that it was a reliable performer and worked as advertised. I was especially pleased with the results I saw from shots off the fairway. My ball-flight, while not extremely high, was still higher than what I’d see from a comparable long iron. Thanks to that ball flight, I was able to hit some shots from pretty far out and still hold the green. My stock shot with these was a very predictable fade and I was able to hit greens from some pretty tough spots with it.

The forgiveness of the Fli-Hi was definitely an improvement over my specific long irons, though no club is a magic wand. Missing out on the toe still left me short of the target, but I wasn’t too far off considering the circumstances. The ball seemed to stay fairly straight with decent height on miss-hits. I didn’t find the Fli-Hi to be particularly long, but it did really well at matching the distance gap it was made to fill. This is a good sign, since that’s really the concept behind the DLR. Preventing gaps when matching an iron set with hybrids can be tough, but it appears that the Fli-Hi’s will blend well with your typical game improvement irons.

Final Thoughts
The JPX Fli-Hi was a bit of surprise to me. I ended up liking it more than I expected after my initial thoughts. I’m still not sold on the looks or sound, but it really seemed to be a solid performer. It does seem as if it would fit seamlessly into a game-improvement iron set-up. At a little over $100 each, I think the price is very attractive as well. Adding two Fli-Hi’s could be a fairly economical way to add some forgiveness and consistency to the lower end of your bag. They are definitely worth trying out if you are looking for a hybrid in 2012. For more information, you can head over to www.mizunousa.com/golf or talk to our friends at Blind9 Golf. As always, I wish you the best of luck out on the course and thanks for reading.

Ryan H.

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Category: Equipment, Headlines & News, Hybrids

About the Author ()

Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

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  1. Mizuno hybrids | Snigofoto | April 4, 2012
  1. DMB012 says:

    Nice job Ryan! I really like that price too. Great job on the review. I can’t wait to try one of these out.

  2. Paulo says:

    Nice review Hawk, thanks!

    I’m torn on the looks of these. Part of me likes the idea of a hybrid type club that looks like a long iron, and part of me has already accepted the look of a hybrid, so this looks a bit off. Maybe I’ll get a better impression in person.

    The price point is pretty good on these, so well done to Mizuno for putting these out there at an affordable level. Sounds like they’d be worth demoing.

  3. royalwulff says:

    Nice write up there Hawk! I have some issues with the look but at that price point I could overcome the look.

  4. Cookie says:

    Nice review Ryan. While not something that I am attracted to aesthetically, it sounds like a club that serves its purpose and I appreciate that Mizuno is offering a different looking hybrid that may appeal to some that do not like the FW style hybrid. This really reminds me more of a driving iron with the really thick topline.

    The price point jumped out at me. That is an outstanding price for any hybrid.

  5. damaikis says:

    Thanks for the review Hawk! I’m very interested in this and may bag one come springtime! Great job!

  6. war.eagle says:

    Great write up Hawk! I know a lot of folks arent crazy about the looks, but I really like them. Reminds me of their old driving irons Mizuno made. It’s different than other offerings out there and that’s one of the reasons that it catches my eye. Thanks for the info!

  7. Yoccos says:

    I really like this concept. Sometimes it’s hard to fill the gaps and while I don’t think its a necessity, I also believe that if I could just swap a hybrid for my long iron and get a similar distance, it would make life easier.

  8. TheDue says:

    Thanks for the write-up Ryan, nice job. I personally like the two toned look and basic concept of this set and hope to try these at some time in the near future.

  9. MaryC says:

    Very nice job Hawk!

    I agree with you Hawk on these growing on you. I hit them for a day on the course in CT before leaving (a “good bye” present from our club pro, who is Mizuno staff) and like you, really struggled at first with the look and sound but they performed well enough that I’ll be looking at replacing my 3 yr old r7 4 hybrid with one of these.

  10. 9-Iron Man says:

    Truth be told, I dig the looks. My favorite irons were my 6, 7, and 8 hybrid irons in my Adams a3OS set. They were the irons with the “hybrid” back much like these. Very easy to hit. Seems like these Mizzies are very similar. Nice review Ryan.

  11. Smallville says:

    It sounds like this is an adequate replacement for long irons. Not the best, and not the worst, but adequate. Seems like it could be considered a “budget” club. The looks are fine to me, and wouldn’t bother me when hitting them. They kind of remind me of my old Browning 500 irons.

  12. Coolbreeze says:

    I’ve been waiting for this review Hawk, and as usual you didn’t dissapoint. I really like hybrids of this type and the price point on this bad boy is just right. I may have to pull the trigger on these now as I like the idea of direct iron replacement.

  13. Puttin4Bird says:

    Man for that price how could you go wrong? I’m with you on the appearance but if it performs like you say it does I’d get over that really quick! Thanks for the review, you did great!

  14. Griff says:

    Great review. I agree 100% about the feel. Kinda uninspiring.

  15. gmc357 says:

    Nice write up. Will be looking to demo it. Very G15ish looking IMO.

  16. ripper says:

    Thanks for the review Hawk, I am impressed that the performance was able to win you over as the testing process went along. Seems like they are a good option for many of us, especially considering the price point.

  17. ghsace says:

    Nice review and thoughts. I seems like it would be a very good long iron or wood replacement for the right person. I’d assume the people it is designed for are simply looking for performance and very little else, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

  18. Bear4ever says:

    Good review RyanH! I agree with the feedback that the pricing makes this club more attractive. I also am not initially impressed with the club just because of hte looks. It would likely grow on me though after having it in my hands for a short time. I think the thicker top-line of the metal is what gives me the slight heartburn.
    Thanks for the review!

  19. Break95 says:

    Advertisement for the JPX-800HD should alert the reader from onset, RIGHT HANDED GOLFERS ONLY!

  20. hammer84 says:

    I have the 4i of this club and I have very surprised at the distance and consistency I get with this club. Very easy to get it up in the air and I hit way longer than my 4 iron. I’m considering going with the 3i to replace my 3 hybrid. I also went with the steel shaft version ( s300 ). I had better numbers on the launch monitor with it and the feel ( to me ) was better ( more feedback ). The other nice thing is the steel version is only $85, but price was not a consideration. I chose purely on performance and feel.

  21. Stirly says:

    I initially bought the 6 and 7 of these clubs, as I was struggling with my Clevelands. After a session at the range, these are now my go-to clubs. A little bit more distance, but the selling point is the accuracy and forgiveness. The offset takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have adjusted accordingly, you can reproduce the same shot again and again, with less club head speed and therefore the contrl that comes with it.
    Has made quite a difference to my short game, mostly because i’m hitting more greens from further out. Replaced my 3 to to 5 as well so now have the full set, and haven’t looked back.
    I’m an 18 handicapper, and I’d recommend these sticks for similar type players who struglgle with consistency off the fairway from 200 to 150 yards.

  22. Wombat_golfer says:

    Absolutely loved the 6iron replacement (kitted with s300): very very consistent, forgiving and the true temper shaft responded well to different setups (draws, lower shots into the wind). Loved the way it felt more like an iron than a hybrid at addresss and impact.

    Bad news for me was that this club was hitting too far! It was hitting the equivalent of my 4 iron. This aspect seems to be consistent with the last two posters.

    Back to the drawing board for a hybrid that replaces my 6 iron distance wise.

  23. arteides says:

    I have been having a hell of a time with my 5 & 6. Looking to try these to see if they are a viable option I am not looking for any different yardage Just to be able to strike it better

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