“ Wood golf club. The MX-500 460cc combines the forgiveness and ball flight of an oversized driver with the control normally expected in a smaller clubhead. A lightweight graphite toe-insert, reduces the 460cc's tendency for pushed tee shots (caused by toe lag), allowing the clubface to square naturally for solid impact. High, longer ball flights are delivered through the use of an ultra-light graphite crown, which allows 30 grams of weight to be moved lower and deeper in the clubhead. Conforming to both R&A / USGA driver regulations, with lofts from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees and custom shaft programme, the MX-500's advanced graphite performance can be tuned to professionals and amateurs alike. „
A couple of years back the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in Saint Andrew's and the USGA clamped down on the design specifications of a number of technologically advanced drivers that were propelling the golf ball so far that were beginning to turn many golf courses (especially older, shorter courses) into practically pitch and putt tracks.
Modern advances and composite materials were allowing golf club manufacturers the opportunity to make drivers that hit the golf ball further and straighter than ever before, almost disregardless of how poor the golf swing of the person using the club!
So the R. & A. and USGA clamped down, by creating a limit on the amount of "bounce" you could get of the driver club head when it made contact with the golf ball. The less bounce, the less distance it would travel. (It's called the COR factor, but that's all gobbledygook and golf speak, and actually means very little.)
The new laws meant that many drivers that were already in use would become illegal when they were used in competition. The new regulations came into force almost immediately for professional golfers, but the amateurs and hackers were given a dispensation until the 1st January 2008.
What this meant for me was that the driver I had been using very successfully for the past three years or so, the TaylorMade R540, was to become illegal as and from the start of 2008! So from about March 2007 I embarked on a frantic search to find another driver that would give me the same distance off the tee and the same consistency of hit as my old tired and tested TaylorMade.
This was to prove a very expensive and ultimately fruitless search. (Good quality golf clubs don't come cheap!) One of the new "legal" drivers that I purchased as a possible replacement was the Mizuno MX 500.
Why did I buy it? Who really knows why a golf addict actually buys *ANY* piece of equipment. I was in the professional's shop at my home golf club one day simply browsing around when I spotted it on the shelf. Mizuno have a good reputation in the golf world, and I'd heard great things about this driver from fellow golfers. So a couple of swishes later, and a wee bit of sales spiel from the pro, and out came the old plastic and I was 280 Euro lighter and the proud new owner of the club.
The Mizuno MX 500 has a *BIG * club head. 460cc capacity to be exact, although that won't mean much to any non-golfers reading this review. Suffice to say that it's *BIG*. In fact it's so big that you might be forgiven for thinking you were swinging a brick stuck onto the end of a shaft. Of course, it isn't as heavy as a brick because those clever whiz kids at Mizuno use a titanium alloy, which gives the club head strength and durability, while at the same time keeping it fairly light.
The idea is simple. The larger the club head, the larger the "sweet spot". The sweet spot being the optimum area on the face of the club that impacts with the ball that will allow it to fly straight and true through the air. If your impact with the golf ball is even slightly off centre, then the ball will invariably curve to either the left or the right of your intended target. *NOT* what you want to do on a golf course, as course designers usually put nasty surprises like thick heavy rough grass, sand bunkers, lakes and trees along the edges of fairways!
Mizuno claim that the MX 500 will allow you to hit the ball further and straighter than you ever have before. They then explain how they manage this by trying to bamboozle their customers with science, by lapsing into what I like to call "golf speak". Listen to this for a mouthful, and then tell me if it actually tells you anything useful.
"The MX-500's optimal streamlined profile delivers maximum heel / toe and up / down MOI (twist resistance), without the reduction in ball speeds and driving distance characterised by other high forgiveness designs."
Hmmm. To be honest, it doesn't mean a hell of a lot to me either, and I've been a golfer for over 52 years. (Since I was four!)
Anyways, enough of that. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. So does the MX 500 deliver on its promise to give you extra length and accuracy.
Well, not for this golfer it didn't. Oh, I could hit it right enough, and the golf ball flew off the club face like a SAM missile! Only problem was I had absolutely no idea from one shot to the next in what direction it was going to fly. In the two weeks or so that I persevered with the club I visited parts of my home golf course that I had previously no idea even existed!
So back it went to the pro shop to be traded in for yet another new driver, the Ping G5. At the loss of 110 Euro on the price I paid for it brand new. (Of course!) See what I mean when I say golf can be an expensive business?
So the Mizuno MX 500 unfortunately wasn't the answer to my replacement driver problem.
If you fancy trying out this driver then your best bet is not to be as daft or impulsive as I usually am when it comes to buying golf clubs. I've just done a wee search on eBay (current and finished listings) and it's available for somewhere in the region of £80 to £100 Sterling (new) and for far less than this second hand.
© KenJ December 2007