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  1. Sharing my WITB without a little background feels a little self indulgent, but what is golf if we don’t spoil ourselves a little? Since I’ve been playing golf (started in ‘93), I’ve always played knock-offs, with a Taylormade driver being my only spurge. I learned to play well, and down to a single digit handicap with the help of golf magazines, eventually the Golf Channel, and lots of range time. Somewhere along the line life interrupted, my priorities shifted, a few playing partners moved on to other things, and I let the clubs sit. Fast forward about 10 years to my son seeing the clubs in the storage room in 2019 and asking why I don’t play. My reply was that I didn’t know. I should play. I’d like to play. In that moment, I pulled the bag of dusty, under-loved clubs from the depths of the storage room and headed to the backyard. I grabbed a well-loved wedge and started chipping balls to a familiar target from years past. I then explained to my son some basic techniques and let him hack away at my neatly manicured lawn. It didn’t take him long to start asking questions about the rest of the clubs. The spark was ignited, both in him and me. This would quickly lead to the driving range to see if my aging and *ahem* slightly heavier and less flexible body still had some memory of the game I left behind. It was also a chance to see if my 12 year old had interest in taking golf a little more serious. Instant playing partner for life, I thought. And wouldn’t you know it, like a moth to a flame, we were both drawn in— him for the first time and me all over again. At this point, I was perfectly content with the clubs in my bag until I pulled out my tried and true Dunlop putter. A putter with a lot of great memories. I loved that putter, so it saddened me when I noticed the shaft had signs of rust. I knew with a little elbow grease I could bring it back to its glory, but then again, it gave me an opportunity to visit the candy store to see what was new in the world of golf. After all, I’ve always wanted a PING Anser and their was a little more change in my pocket these days. The trip to the Golf Galaxy resulted in that new PING Anser… and a full set of Taylormade M4 irons, 3-wood , Driver and of course a bag. It wouldn’t be fair for my son not to have his own set of clubs, so it just made sense for me to upgrade and hand him down my old clubs while he learned. As luck would have it, the pandemic afforded us plenty of time to practice, followed by weekends together on the course. It truly was the brightest light through 2020. And we got better. It was clear my son was learning the game quickly and improving consistently. Those old clubs just weren’t going to cut it any longer. Having spent a significant amount of time online reading, on YouTube watching, and in stores drooling, I felt the P790’s calling. The dream had always been to play blades, but it was never affordable or practical to consider. I just wasn’t that good at golf, but the Taylormade marketing machine change my opinion and made me think I could get the blade, but with forgiveness. I was golfing well, and saw my single digit handicap in sight, it was down the fairway some distance, but I could see it. I owed it to myself to visit the simulator, and didn’t I owe it to my son to give him a better set of clubs, my now loved M4’s? I was given a 7-iron and loved the look at address, how it felt when hit solid, and even the results on mishits. What I couldn’t reconcile was that I seemed to struggle to hit my yardage consistently. I also felt the club head was weighted, or heavier, than I prefer. The P790’s felt ok, but I really wasn’t convinced. I wasn’t in love. It’s then the associate asked if I had considered Mizuno. I had not. I know Mizuno’s reputation, but I’m just not good enough to play them. Without saying anything, he put an MP-20 HMB in my hands. I chuckled to myself, but gripped the club anyway, felt the weight, checked the view at address, gave it a few waggles. So far so good, but still thought there was just no way I could play Mizuno. He knew something about these clubs I didn’t in that they were hollow-forged clubs and forgiving. Their appearance was deceiving, and he knew their secret. I setup, gave it a smooth swing, made solid contact… and asked myself what it was that just happened. How did I just hit a forged blade so well? Did I really hit the sweet spot? I looked at the gentleman helping me, who still said nothing, but stood there with a sly grin on his face. He knew that sound, that feeling, that reaction. He finally broke his silence and suggested I hit a few more. Swing after swing, I couldn’t believe the feeling, and the consistency from all various strikes was remarkable. I wanted to know more, so he started explaining the HMB to me and answering all my questions. We’d talk, I’d hit, and we’d talk some more, and on it went like that for about 30 minutes. I came in thinking P790’s were my club, but left with a set of irons I only dreamed of ever playing. They’re in my bag and I can’t believe how accessible and friendly these are to my swing. Nothing feels like a Mizuno wasn’t just marketing any more. And while they’re not true solid forged blades, they have all the features of blades I love, while still being forgiving to a hack like me. Sometimes you have to treat yourself, and nothing feels like a Mizuno.
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