Expert Review: Mizuno Pro 223 IronsPublished on 04/24/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
223 Gap Wedge tee shot on par 3. All photos courtesy of Mark D.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
The new Mizuno Pro 223 irons are a phenomenal player's cavity back iron, designed for the more advanced player who is looking for top-end performance, while still enjoying some forgiveness in their irons.
About the club I own
- Model: 2022 Mizuno Pro 223
- Loft setting: Standard
- Shaft type: Project X IO Steel Shaft
- Shaft flex: 6.0 Stiff flex
- Average score: 83
- Handicap: 12.2
- Experience: ~40 years of playing golf
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-handed
- Typical ball flight: I generally hit a slight draw with my irons
- Golf ball used: Srixon Z-Star
- Club swing speed: Driver swing speed is ~100 mph
- When I bought the club: May 2022
- Days tested: 50+
- Where I’ve used it: Played on the course, range, and simulator
- Weather and wind conditions: All
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for a more refined iron that would offer me less offset and a bit less forgiveness, in exchange for better feel and control, without moving into full-on tour blades or muscle-back irons.
Why I chose this club
I chose the 223 because it was one of the few models that offered a cavity back design in a player's iron and featured traditional lofts. I also considered the 225, but it didn’t offer what I was looking for as a muscle back design rather than a cavity back. The Callaway Apex and TaylorMade P770 irons were also on my radar, but they did not offer the same level of performance, feel, and design.
What I love about them
- Feel: One of the most attractive aspects of Mizuno irons is the exceptional feel. It is buttery soft when I find that sweet spot to let me know I laced it. It’s one of the best feeling irons, in terms of feedback, in the game.
- Sound: Another positive about these irons is the satisfying audible “click” sound at impact that lets you know you found the center face, while off-center strikes create a different sound to let you know you missed.
- Workability: An attractive aspect of a more advanced player’s iron is its ability to work the ball in either direction. The 223 is no exception. I can easily steer the ball to the right or left, as well as low or high at will, which helps me hit more greens.
- Shaft Feel: Regarding shaft feel, I play the Project X IO shafts in 6.0 (stiff) flex as they fit my moderate to fast swing speed well. These shafts offer some solid feedback.
- Shaft Performance: The IO model also performs well for me as they are not overly rigid, yet not too noodly. It’s a perfect balance between the two and is mid-range in weight.
- Aesthetic Appeal: One of my favorite things about Mizuno irons is their looks. They are simply beautiful clubs that are attractive in the bag and at address. The 223 irons turn heads.
- Grip Feel: When it comes to grips, I like the feeling of a softer grip in my hands as it just feels better and helps reduce any impact pain, especially if hitting from a hard surface or in colder weather. The Winn Dri-Tac in mid-size is my go-to for this, and it feels great.
- Spin: The 223 irons produce exceptional spin, especially on the scoring irons (8 iron through gap wedge), and offer great stopping power to help hold the greens and set up more birdie opportunities.
- Other: Mizuno is all about quality craftsmanship on top of looks and performance. These clubs are well made and look the part as well. High-quality components with advanced engineering and design stand out.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Distance: Traditional lofts limit the added distance that a lot of newer models offer now. This is okay for those not seeking distance but can be a drawback for those who are.
- Forgiveness: While not as forgiving as a traditional game-improvement style cavity back iron, the 223 still offers more than a tour blade style club. If a tour model offered a one on a scale of 1-10 in terms of forgiveness, and a new beginner’s style club was a 10, I would give this 223 model a solid four.
- Launch Angle: Those needing excess or very limited launch angles may be disappointed, as these offer a traditional trajectory.
Best shot with this club
One of the best shots I’ve ever hit was with the 223 9 iron. The second shot of a par 4, just off the fairway right, I flew the cup by about a foot or two, and the lovely spin with this iron created enough backspin to pull it back right into the cup for eagle.
Value for the money vs. other options
While Mizuno is not the lowest-priced option on the market, it is also not the highest. Mizuno offers one of the best values in the game and is priced competitively and fairly compared to its top competitors. Callaway Apex runs $100-$200 more, as does the TaylorMade P770, for similar-style irons.
The Mizuno Pro 223 irons are a perfect set of irons for more advanced players who are looking for a solid blend of performance and exceptional feel without sacrificing all of the forgiveness. They are some of the best-looking clubs in the game, both at address and in the bag. In addition, the 223 model is one of the most attractive on the market. With their traditional lofts, super workability, excellent spin, superb feel, and consistent distance, any low to mid-handicapper will love them.