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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 club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Larry Hesselrode

    Nov 30, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Bought MP32 then blew my knee out put them in storage for 17 years. Just tried them out. What a Club! I wouldn’t sell them now they’re priceless and still looks brand new even the grips are still good.

  2. Matt

    Jul 29, 2019 at 2:10 am

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  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. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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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VRST Golf unveils new clothing line for 2023

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This week, a new golf clothing line was announced by VRST Golf.

The brand launched in 2021 and is a men’s apparel line that brings style and versatility to both the athlete and everyday man, where pieces can be worn for training to casually getting around town.

With the Golf season right around the corner, their first-ever golf collection brings modern style that can be worn on-course and off. You can find all of the available items here: VRST

VRST Golf offers versatile and trendy golf tops, bottoms, and layering pieces. The line provides styling options for the versatile golfer with gear that goes beyond the course. The collection is now available online and at select DICK’S Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy locations and will be expanding to over 180 store locations by end of February.

Check out VRST’s launch video here:

 

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Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K lineup now includes mallets

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What you need to know: In January 2022, in the name of creating a blades with the MOI of mallets and forward CG, Odyssey threw everything at the wall with the Tri-Hot 5K family of blade putters: stainless steel, tungsten, 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. A year later, the company is bringing the same technology package to mallets with the Rossie and Seven models. The Tri-Hot 5K lineup now stands at seven putters (four with multiple necks).

2023 Odyssey Tri-Hot putters: Features and technology

Engineers applied the “Tri-Hot formula” utilized in blade putters in 2022 to move CG forward and raise MOI for a more forgiving mallet design — and a 5,000 IZZ inertia level (hence “5K”). Golfers will see improved speed and spin control, as well as consistency on off-center hits, according to the company, resulting in golf balls that finish closer to the hole when sub-optimally struck.

Stainless steel front: Odyssey touts the side-spin reducing capabilities of the 303 stainless steel hosel and face area for off-center putts. Tighter dispersion and putts that a more likely to go in results. Acting in a complementary fashion, the rear of the mallets are milled for tighter shape and weight tolerances that allows the CG to remain forward.

Tungsten front weights: Up to 120 grams of tungsten is positioned behind the face in the heel and toe sections of the putter heads. The resulting forward CG improves roll and increases inertia.

Interchangeable front weights: Available in 5, 10, 15 and 20 grams to dial in head weight and performance.

White Hot insert: 2023 Tri-Hot 5K putters add the iconic two-part urethane White Hot insert, which was originally developed using the same material as Callaway’s Rule 35 golf ball. White Hot, with its “firm but soft” properties has been a long-time favorite of Callaway staffers and recreational golfers. According to Callaway, “They’ve been asking for us to bring these technologies back and we’ve listened.” Can’t argue with that.

Stroke Lab shaft: The newest generation of Callaway’s multi-material Stroke Lab shaft features a shortened steel section and reduced weight (seven grams). Additionally it is stiffer. All of this leads to more stability and consistency.

Additional model details

Full lineup details — and who they’re for — including 2022 releases, via Callaway. 

One: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation

Two: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation. Less rounded than the One.

Three: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a flow neck hosel yielding more toe hang making it suitable for strokes with more aggressive swing arc and face rotation

Double Wide (CH, CB): CH: A wide blade with a crank neck hosel yielding moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes with moderate swing arc and face rotation. CS: Face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation

Triple Wide (DB, CS): DB: A face-balanced double bend wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation. CS: A face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation.

Rossie: (DB, S): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S: A mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation.

Seven (DB, S, CH): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S:  mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation. CH: a mallet with a crank hosel, suitable for strokes with moderate arc and face rotation.

Pricing and availability

At retail: March 2, 2022

Price: $399.99

Standard grip: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Pistol

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Best players irons of 2023 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the best ‘Players’ irons of 2023. WRXer ‘odshot68’ kicks off the thread saying, “Looking to get a new set of players irons this spring and wondering what you guys like. Distance control is very important; I’m not a fan of irons with hotspots,” and our members have been selecting their favorites from recent releases in our forum.

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.

  • noodle3872: “Titleist T100/T100S should be in the conversation.”
  • sadclevelandsports: “I love my T100s, but recently tried the new Cobra CBs, and they are just as high quality.”
  • edwelly: “I have been fortunate enough to have several nice sets of irons. A couple of Maura sets and, most recently, the Bridgestone J40s. Today I took out my new Srixon ZX5/ZX7s, and they are phenomenal irons. I cannot recommend those enough. “
  • KevCannon: “T100 should be on the shortlist to try.”

Entire Thread: “Best Players irons of 2023 – GolfWRXers discuss”

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