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Danny Lee’s Mizuno MP-32 irons: The real inside scoop!

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Hipsters are known for loving “old” stuff — you know the classics, the vintage, the retro. From vinyl, to thrift store sweaters, what’s old is new again. In the case of Danny Lee, he’s leading the charge as the PGA Tour’s iron hipster.

It should also be noted that “old” is a relative term, especially with golf equipment. Now when it comes to “classics,” Mizuno has produced some of the most recognizable irons of all time, including the Cut Muscle MP-32 released in 2004.

We recently spotted Danny Lee at the Genesis Open and it started a LOT of discussion about classic designs, as well as whether these are new old stock (NOS) or new forgings, using the original tooling.

I reached out to Mizuno’s Senior Club Engineer Chris Voshall to get to the bottom of this interesting iron development. (Plus the idea that Mizuno has sets of 10-plus year-old irons kicking around ready for custom builds — I have a huge smile thinking about what that storage room might look like — is a pretty fun thought).

Heres the inside scoop on Danny’s irons from Chris Voshall

“The MP-32s being played by Danny Lee are a new old stock set that came from Luke Donald’s personal stash inside the tour van. The ones Danny is playing are the very last set of custom grind 32s that were made for Luke.”

(HERES WHERE THE STORY GETS VERY INTERESTING)

“Here’s the part that makes the Danny’s set unique – During final development of the 32s, Luke was feeling that the soles for him were not getting through the turf the same as his previous MP-33s, but he loved the profile and extra forgiveness offered by the cut muscle design.

“By working with the Craftsman on the Mizuno team they created a unique sole profile for Luke that modernized that of the MP-33 for his new MP-32s. They rounded off and beveled the trailing edge of the 32s and had multiple sets made that he used during their entire run in the line.

“The tell tale of the Luke soled irons vs. the retail and standard version is how close the trailing edge of the sole is to the “Mizuno” on the back. What’s even more interesting about the development of that sole and grind is that every MP iron moving forward in the line starting with the MP-62 in 2008 utilized the exact sole profile of the one developed with Luke for the 32s and then 62s he used to become Number 1 player in the world.”

Below are comparison pics of Danny’s irons vs retail MP-32s and MP-62s

Danny Lee’s LD Grind 32s

Standard MP-32 7-iron – notice the amount of space above the “Mizuno” text

Right – MP-62 vs Standard MP-32

Danny Lees LD Grind 9-iron

Retail MP-32 9-iron

MP-62 9-iron vs retail MP-32

WOW! How cool is that insider information? True 14-year-old prototypes back in play on Tour! Now we know 100 percent the real story behind this very cool set and how it lead to historical Mizuno design changes that we still see in the MP line today!

 

NOTE: All Mizuno forged irons pre-2010 meet the 2010 USGA Conforming Groove rule; they were conforming before and are still conforming now. This is also part of the reason you don’t see many other classic irons on tour, except for maybe some from Ping which did do a few older models with new grooves –most notably D.A Points’ i5s irons. 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Matt

    Jul 29, 2019 at 2:10 am

    MP-32’s are still in my bag after all these years – Perfect irons

  2. Simms

    Mar 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I think the only problems these companies have re-introducing older models is it only works for a very small amount of the club buyer’s (no Profit) plus it does detect from some of the power of being able to advertise all the improvements in the newer clubs. There are some older clubs out there that have held up to the best the R&D’s have come up with lately…one would be the Callaway steelhead fairway woods they brought back.

  3. Jim Hayes

    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Love my MP-32’s. Best irons I’ve ever played. Truly incredible distance control. High flight stops quickly on most greens. If they would ever bring out he MP-32’s again i’d Buy several sets. They are simply the BEST.

  4. Bill

    Mar 10, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I am STILL playing my MP32 irons (left handed set!) They soft and very workable!! BUT, I did lose 1 club length on them. they are worn and I am ready for a new set ( Francisco Molinari’s set up is just about what I want).

    I was playing the HOGAN APEX FTX set! I really loved playing both sets,but, if you gave me only a choice of one of them, it would be the FTX set. They were soft, workable AND had a thin top line, a PERFECT muscle back with a true players iron look, not too much offset and the 8 to wedge were Blades!! A real combo set designed as one set. The best part — They were LONG!!

    To anyone who would really like a great players iron set, If you could find a set, used but very good condition, these would be great, at a very reasonable price.

    Note: these are square grooved, old PGA rules(they may not be legal on high level tourney)
    and I did replace to shafts with Dynamic gold x100.

    • MBU

      Mar 29, 2019 at 4:03 am

      I lusted after Hogans before they made them left handed, and i bought the FTX’s when they came out. I didnt appreciate them at first, it was after a 6 year lay off. But now, having bought other irons, nothing feft softer or better when struck properly. I still have them, and use them occasionally.
      I may just put the 8,9,pw back in my bag…

  5. Matt S

    Mar 8, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    So did this relief increase or decrease the bounce?

    • Justin

      Mar 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      The bounce angle wouldn’t be affected if the trailing edge was grinded down. It is like the new wedges having different “grinds” and the same bounce angles.

  6. CJ

    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Those irons are gorgeous oh my. That grind would be a hot commodity if they came to retail I think

  7. Jeff Spain

    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:06 am

    I’m 67 years young have played Mizuno MP 33 for years . I bought a custom set of Titliest AP-1 thinking I needed more forgiveness “old man clubs”, they felt like Nothing, no feedback at all. I reshafted my 33’s with Nippon pro 850gh for lighter slower swing. It’s like hookling up with your high school sweetheart, Love Them Again

  8. Jake

    Feb 22, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I might be just reminiscing, but the MP-32 sure looks a lot like the Wilson Staff ‘Tour Blade’ irons I bought in th mid-1970’s and played through the 80’s. Those irons had a really sweet feel.

  9. Mario

    Feb 22, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Best looking irons ever. Easier to hit, shape the ball like a MB, beautiful to look at

  10. jgpl001

    Feb 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    I absolutely loved mine many years ago and could still bag them now

    They had enough forgiveness to be really playable and they felt brilliant

    One of the best irons of the past 20 years

  11. Anthony Parham

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    I have a set of MP 32s and I love them, I did the same thing they did for Luke on my short irons and they play great.

  12. Scott

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

    What about the grove change since 2004? Are the old groves grandfathered (i.e. Ping clubs)?

  13. Billy

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Are they coming to retail?

  14. Roger

    Feb 21, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Did Chris Voshall make any comment if remaking the MP32’s (or updated version) could be produced in the future?

  15. Michael Buell

    Feb 21, 2019 at 7:39 am

    I recently went back to the T zoid after trying newer Mizunos and Taylormades. I first regriped my old set then found a mint, almost unhit set on eBay. My game has improved.

  16. Rory O Donnell

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:20 am

    What’s with Mizuno releasing ‘blades’ with thick top lines – bring back the MP33 iron. It has been their best iron ever.

  17. James

    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:20 am

    What does the writer mean about pre 2010 clubs conforming to post 2010 rules? Is he saying that some pre 2010 club don’t conform today?

    • Dan

      Feb 21, 2019 at 3:06 am

      Yeah. Basically. They changed the rules above groove shape and depth because tour players were getting incredible amounts of spin, even out of the rough.

  18. MW

    Feb 20, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I have 6 sets of MP-32s. The look, the feel, the performance in my opinion has never been matched.

  19. Sean Fennessy

    Feb 20, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Are the MP-54s any good ?

    • John Hennessey

      Feb 23, 2019 at 12:06 am

      I still play with the mp-54s, recently saw 4-people for sale at A$500 in Sydney. They are not long, but oh so accurate. I play of 12, so good for mid handicappers. Grab a set if you get the chance, just be prepared to hit an 8 iron when others might smash a wedge.

  20. Liongolfer

    Feb 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Interesting. Never donned on me that heel relief will help that much with turf interaction. I’ve always focussed on leading edge, toe and heel relief. The tour mp32s look much nicer than the already nice retail MP32s… don’t reintroduce these…let the cult classic status grow.

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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How @justinthomas34 marks his @titleist Pro V1x ????

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Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best ball for players with slower swing speeds?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from ghoul31 who created a thread dedicated to finding the ideal golf ball for players with slower swing speeds. Our members have their say on what is the ball most suited to slower swing speeds, with a variety of models receiving a mention.

Here are a few posts from the thread but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Hogan9: “My SS is 80 to 85. I play the Titleist AVX. Many people on these forums tell it’s wrong for me. I’ve tried several brands and types over the last year ( Pro-V-1 and 1X, Cally Supersoft and Chrome Soft, TM TP5X, Wilson Duo Soft and the Snell MTB. The AVX gives me the best overall performance for my game. I’ve had to slightly adjust to how it reacts on chips and pitches, but the extra distance off the tee is well worth it. “
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Entire Thread: “Best ball for players with slower swing speeds?”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Single length irons stunting development?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from rbark11 who has sparked an interesting debate over single length irons in our forums. Rbark11 has been playing single length irons for the past seven months, and he is concerned that he may have issues changing back to regular length irons. Our members give their take on the matter, as well as discussing single length irons in general.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • mcs4: “No, it will not. Both my father and I are currently playing Cobra One Length irons after decades of playing variable length irons. It took both of us maybe a few rounds to feel comfortable with the switch. This weekend I played a round with my old irons, and it was different but not a big deal. My opinion is that there are pros and cons with each approach, but I don’t think picking one will make any particular negative impact on your ability to later switch to the other.”
  • Quadra: “I’ve played both. Right now I am back to VL clubs ( Wishon 560 irons). Find VL gives me more shot-making options. With uneven lies, especially with the ball above or below foot level, the shot seems easier with a more upright or flatter lie, rather than trying to manipulate a shot from clubs with only a single length/lie. VL = more shot possibilities.”
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Entire Thread: “Single length irons stunting development?”

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