ClubTest Proving Ground: Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL irons have serious stopping power

Mizuno Hot Metal HL 923 irons

Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL and Hot Metal Pro irons

Ryan Barath

Everyone wants to hit the golf ball farther but, just like with love, if you’re looking for distance in the wrong places it can really mess you up — your golf game that is, I’m not here for love life advice.

The reason distance gains in the wrong part of your golf bag can be a detriment to your scoring is that being able to stop the ball in a predictable pattern is one of the most important elements of the game. A driver going as far as possible — great! But an 8-iron that carries 160 yards and rolls out an unpredictable amount doesn’t make any sense if your goal is actually stopping the ball close to the hole. 

Stopping power makes it easy to control iron distances Getty Images

A lot of golfers get sucked into the trap of wanting more distance from their irons when they should instead be focused on carry distance and stopping power. This is the reason a number of equipment manufacturers have started to introduce irons that have weaker lofts and super-deep centers of gravity to get the ball up in the air and stopping faster.

Mizuno's JPX 923 Hot Metal HL (High Launch)
Mizuo JPX Hot Metal HL (High Launch) GOLF.com/Barath

One such model is the JPX923 HM HL (Hot Metal High Launch) irons from Mizuno which feature lofts that are on average 2.5-3 degrees weaker than the standard Hot Metal irons and have a wider sole.

To put them to the test I recently ran a little experiment by slowing down my clubhead speed to mimic the dynamics of the target golfer in need of spin to see what kind of results I could achieve.

The test

I hit the Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal Pro 7-iron (28.5° of loft) against the HM HL 7-iron (31° of loft) to see how much extra launch and spin would be created with a club head speed in the low 70 mph range. 

JPX923 Hot Metal Pro

jpx923 HM Pro iron test
The JPX HotMetal Pro produced more distance but launched lower with less spin Ryan Barath

JPX923 Hot Metal HL (High Launch)

HotMetal HL JPX923 TEST
JPX923 HM HL produced more spin and higher launch Ryan Barath

Results

I’m not a robot, but the comparison between two well-struck shots is exactly the separation someone in this speed range would want to see from an iron like the HL. Not only was the launch higher by over 2 degrees, but spin was up a whopping 1200 rpm. Add in the fact the HM HL had a peak height that was also over 10 degrees higher and you have a recipe to stop the ball faster and closer to your target.

So next time you’re looking for new irons don’t just focus on distance, focus on a functional ball flight that offers distance, the right amount of spin for your game, stopping power and dispersion.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

Ryan Barath

Golf.com Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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