Luke Donald, the world’s No. 1 ranked player, is the poster boy for Mizuno Golf. Now meet the poster girl – Stacy Lewis. The defending Kraft Nabisco champion is of the rising stars on the LPGA Tour and has been a Mizuno player since her college days as a four-time All American at the University of Arkansas.
Lewis, who won more than $1.3 million in 2011, begins her 2012 season at this week’s Australian Open. Once again she’ll play Mizuno’s JPX 800 Pro irons that feature the company’s familiar Grain Flow Forged 1025E “Pure Select” mild carbon steel for better feel and softness. The JPX 800 line (JPX-800 and new JPX-800 HD) are among the better “game improvement” irons on the market – not surprising given Mizuno’s history as a great iron company.
Lewis found Mizuno irons basically the same way the average player finds a set of irons. She went into a golf retails store and tried several kinds of irons. Mizuno came out on top.
“When I got out of college I told my agents, ‘I want to play Mizunos. If you can get a deal great, if not I still want to play them,” Lewis told me at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. “I play what looks good to me and what I want to play.
When I first started working with Mizuno they didn’t have the wedges that looked good to me but they took some that did and made what I wanted. So they’ve been great to work with as far as just making what I want and what I need to be successful. They don’t say, ‘This is the new club you have to play it. I don’t like to change, but whatever they send me I love to try.”
Regardless of what the company sends her, it always will be with a graphite shaft. Lewis’ battle with Scoliosis since the age of 11 has been well-documented and has made her one of the “feel good ‘’ stories in golf.
“I started playing graphite in college because I had just come off back surgery,” Lewis said. “I wasn’t very strong and needed something I could swing a little easier. I tried steel (shafts) but my back and body didn’t quite like it. I feel like I can play more and be more competitive throughout the week and not worry about getting tired.”