Mizuno’s reputation for quality was forged from the moment it began exporting clubs to Europe in the late 1970s. At that time irons were forged from a single mould and would emerge rough-and-ready and in need of plenty of hand grinding – a process that created inconsistency. A tour pro would need to order around 10 sets to find nine irons he was happy using. But Mizuno’s double forging process, which used two moulds, was very precise and needed only minimum hand grinding. Consistency was much greater.
In an era where the public are increasingly aware of the workings of media and sponsorship, Mizuno’s approach has created a reputation that outlasts any individual player. Tour Operations Manager Alex Thorne, “Mizuno’s standard equipment is of a quality that tour players are able to use it straight out of the box.”
“That makes us a great choice for young players coming through the ranks and big names in-between equipment contracts. These are the players whose equipment choices really count. We’ve had previous major winners and multiple winners on tour using our irons – when they were out of contract with other sponsors. Sometimes in their current sponsors bags. It’s rumored that one of them bought his MP irons at a local pro shop.”
“Luke Donald is an ideal ambassador for us – a precise shotmaker. He played our irons at college – when he signed with Mizuno as a professional he was already sold on the equipment. If he ever left us, he could walk down to his pro shop and order an identical set”.
It’s an approach that may lack razzmatazz or a high tour profile, but one that ensures the next generation will be treading in the footsteps of legends.