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Greatest Mizuno blade irons of all time

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Forged blade irons are generally very similar in design because of their intended purpose is to provide the ultimate ball flight control to golfers looking to execute precision shots. We can go back decades and see familiar shapes represented in clubs that were just recently released because they are a utilitarian in their function.

However, just because all blade irons in some way resemble each other doesn’t mean that some don’t stand out from the crowd the same way all two-door coupes are not created equal—although they have two doors, four tires, and an engine.

This leads us into our list of the greatest Mizuno blade irons—their intended purposes are all the same, but details make the difference, and these five all stand out from the crowd.

Mizuno Pro MS Line – Released mid-1980s

I’ll admit that this is a bit of a cop-out but we could call this entire Mizuno Pro line the grandfathers of all modern Mizuno blade irons. They came in three distinct models meant to tailor to golfers with different swing profiles and blade shape preferences—something you would never see today from an OEM because of the cost associated with producing the tooling (see catalog page below). Eventually, the MS name was dropped in favor of the MP (Mizuno Pro) moniker, and as we say, the rest is history.

Mizuno MP-29 – Released 1992

The MP-29s were available from 1992 all the way up until 2000! A remarkable run for any set of irons and something we’re probably never going to see again from any major golf manufacturer.

The MP-29s are most well known for being part of the combo set used by Tiger Woods when we won his first major championship, the 1997 Masters. The set he used consisted of 2-4 iron MP-29s and 5-PW Mizuno MP-14s, which were chosen because they offered the least amount of offset of the two sets combined.

Mizuno MP-33 – Released 2002

This curved muscle back blade was a favorite to many golfers, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. From a design and aesthetics perspective, the MP-33 closely resembles the MS-3 blade featured off the top, but with an updated profile and sole grind.

What made the MP-33 so popular amongst better players across the board and not just touring professionals is they had a slightly lower center of gravity compared to other blade models to help get the ball in the air just a bit easier. These are 100 percent still a blade designed for workability and not forgiveness, but at the end of the day, who would say “no” to a little extra help once and a while?

The MP 33 had one of the longest runs in Mizuno iron history and existed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years. After its retail life ended, it was still available for custom orders many years after that.

Mizuno MP-32 – Released 2004

Two words: Cut Muscle! The Mizuno MP-32 irons were designed from the ground up to offer not just workability but a little extra forgiveness thanks to an innovative cavity design. The “Cut Muscle” cavity precisely locates the Center of Gravity while also pushing slightly more mass to the perimeter of the club in aid in forgiveness. Speaking of forgiveness, the MP-32 is just a hair bigger than other blade irons, and thanks to the Cut Muscle, also had a lower center of gravity in the mid to long irons to aid in trajectory.

They were one of the last Mizuno irons to have a full four-year life span, and are still considered one of the most innovative MP irons ever.

Check out the video below for a more in-depth explanation of why these irons are so well-loved.

Mizuno TN-87 – Released 1988

The TN-87s were named after Tommy Nakajima, who at one point was the number one player on the Japanese PGA Tour and was also a popular Mizuno staff player. The TN-87 originally came out in 1988 and to this day are still considered one of the best Mizuno irons of all time. It wasn’t just Tommy who made these irons well known, another very famous Mizuno staff player, Nick Faldo, played a set of custom blank TN-87s in 1990 to win both the Masters and Open Championship.

Considering they resemble other blade designs, including (a tip of the hat) to original Hogan models, what has made the TN-87s stand the test of time as such a beloved set of clubs.

Let’s go deeper here.

Shape and sole: For a lot of players, the TN-87 represents the perfectly shaped iron head, from blade length to toe profile, it was just “one of those clubs” that kept people’s attention. This along with the sole shape, which was considered quite modern in this era, meant a lot of people trying then instantly fell in love.

Copper Underley: Raw iron heads are made from carbon steel, but they still need a layer of chrome to help them maintain durability, and prevent rust. There are several thin layers placed on top of the steel during the plating process. The metals involved in the layering process include both nickel and copper to help the chrome stick to the head.  The copper layer became a thing of legend in golf circles for its ability to make a club feel softer. Golfers clamored for irons with copper underlay to help soften the feel and give better feedback.

With modern releases, Mizuno has offered irons with a copper underlay in the Japanese market but the MP20s are the first North American release with the extra layer in well over a decade.

The TN-87s were so revered, that in 2014 Mizuno did something few golf companies ever do: a full re-release (no custom orders) of the TN-87s from 3-PW, AW, SW. The question now is if we will ever see a re-release of any of the other irons on this list.

Have your say, GolfWRXers, what are the greatest Mizuno blades of all time?

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He 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.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Jay

    Aug 29, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    The Original Mizuno Pro Blade is the sleekest coolest most confidence giving at address club I’ve ever seen. I traded a set of orange dot square groove ping eye 2s to a guy on my college golf team in 1988 for this set of irons. It’s just my opinion but i’ve picked up every new club made each year and none of them have tempted me to even consider purchasing them. Feel, length, work-ability…..the irons almost have an arrogance and if they could speak, they would say, “go ahead and try another set” laughingly. And so yea, the original Mizuno Pros are it for me.

  2. Bob Dixon

    Jul 21, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    I play nothing but Mizuno irons. I can’t believe that you haven’t mentioned the Pro 2 blade…best shape, metal and feel EVER. The best ever

  3. Mark J

    May 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    my Favorite Clubs have ALWAYS been Blades, raised on a Blade, nothing feels better, more pure, than a clean struck Forged Blade, still have my MP-33’s and play them a couple of times a year.

  4. Brad

    May 7, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Probably the most playable Mizuno blades are the ones I’m currently using, the MP-32. The most beautiful Mizuno blade I’ve laid eyes on is the MP-5, which I owned for short while. If I could hit the MP-5 long irons anywhere near as well as my MP-32’s I would game the MP-5’s until I couldn’t play golf anymore.

  5. Rob

    May 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    The TP originals were on sale from 1982 to 1993 – slight name change for the US version – in the UK, so slightly longer than the Ping Eye 2s.Though with being grain flow forged, you ran the risks of dead spots.

    The TP 9s had a similar run, though the copper supposedly in them did not have that much of an impact to my mind.

    And together with the MP 18s – far easier to hit than these earlier versions that it is almost a joke – these remain the only three of 16 different Mizuno blade sets that I have kept.

  6. stanley

    May 1, 2020 at 11:59 am

    i don’t know about blades. but my favorite mizuno irons are mp-30. this is the iron that got me into mizuno.

  7. mick

    Apr 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    69, is Actually a forgiving type blade. 60 was/is ICONIC.

  8. Joe

    Apr 21, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    No 14’s or 67’s? Come On Man!!!

  9. Robert Miller

    Apr 20, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve got MP-18’s now and they are incredible. Previous set was MP-29’s purchased around ’96 and then rechromed in 2005. Before that I was using Hogan Apex since age 15.

    Tried all the latest stuff and settled on the MP-18’s without flinching.

  10. tonks

    Apr 20, 2020 at 11:52 am

    What about the TP9. Didn`t Faldo win a major with them after developing them with Mizuno? I purchased mine about ten years ago after they had been used 4 times since 1990. I had them regripped and use them all the time. Shafts are S400.

  11. William Davis

    Apr 20, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Half the pleasure of Mizuno blades is looking at them. TPs don’t get a mention – Nick Faldo won a few things with 11. Bought new set of TP9 in about 1995. Still playable now and again for fun. Can’t face selling them.

  12. JimmyRay

    Apr 20, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I have a set of LH MS-4’s that I bought in ’86 and re-shafted 3 times. Amazing feel.

  13. jgpl001

    Apr 20, 2020 at 9:54 am

    MP-33 hands down the winner, but my best iron set ever was a set of MP-32, they stayed in my bag for 5 years…this is a lifetime for a dedicated ho
    MP-18 is under rated, its a great iron, and a future classic

  14. Shawn M

    Apr 20, 2020 at 9:43 am

    I have a set of TN-87’s from 1988. Been told they’re basically the MP 14’s.
    I use them to practice strike. Maybe one day I’ll get the courage to take them to the course.

  15. Butch

    Apr 20, 2020 at 9:39 am

    In addition to the MP blade designs mentioned Mizuno also had a TP-18 blade. I purchased in Dubai and played with for years, 3 step muscle back design, great clubs.

  16. BingHogan

    Apr 19, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Great Article!! Thank You!

    Favorite iron is between the MP 33 and the MP 4’s. Set up on the 33’s were perfect and easy to hit. MP4’s are the best feeling irons!

    Just can’t seem to like the new MP 20’s. Not sure why I would switch from the 69’s. Tried to like them but they just doesn’t feel the same as an MP4.

    Currently playing 69’s, JPX 919Tours.

    So if Mr Vosh is on here why not do a redux MP 33 with the feel of the MP4.

    MP 60 was fantastic too!

    • BingHogan

      Apr 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Correction: don’t fell the same as an MP 4. So much for all that grammar ????

  17. Andrew

    Apr 19, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Mp5s turned out pretty good

  18. Paulo

    Apr 19, 2020 at 3:20 am

    I’ve owned lots of mizuno a sets including most of the ones posted. The mp18-s deserve to be up there. They feel abs look great . Not impressed with the 20’s mind

  19. Madeline Morgan

    Apr 19, 2020 at 3:07 am

    Although there are vintage Ping Eye 2, MacGregor Muirfield, and Wilson Staff sets in the garage, the only irons I’ve ever seriously played are Mizuno. Starting with MP-30, followed in order by 33, 57, 62, 5, and now 18. They’re simply the best.

  20. MBH

    Apr 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    I’ve had 3 sets of Mizuno’s: MP-57, MP-63 and MP-18. IMHO they are all great, classic models. I will continue to purchase Mizuno irons until the day I can’t swing anymore.

  21. GolfMan

    Apr 18, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    What about the MP-18 ?

  22. Scott

    Apr 18, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    No doubt the MP 33’s where the best blade line as they are as good. Ow as they where back in the day! I still strip it with them! Luv em. Let you know where you are on the face all the time. And when you flush it it’s sublime!!!

  23. NRJyzr

    Apr 18, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    I would put the MS-11/MP-11 ahead of the MP-29. The latter had that lovely offset in the short irons, while the 11’s were the set that introduced a bit more bounce to blades.

  24. Chuck Woolery

    Apr 18, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    MP-33’s, period!! All others bow down.

  25. JBro

    Apr 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    The MP-33 and MP-37 were great, but they were the last of the flat standard lie angle. The 32s went more upright and that is what truly made them successful.

    • Jbone

      Apr 19, 2020 at 7:55 am

      Very interesting

    • ForgedMB

      Apr 20, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Actually, I believe that Mizuno changed their standard lie angles from 62° on the PW to 63° on the MP-33. The lies on all of those models that you mentioned were off of a 63° PW.

  26. Dave Bryce

    Apr 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Mizuno irons are as good as anything on the market! The only irons I did not like, were the True Zoids from decades ago that I played.

  27. Garrett

    Apr 18, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Where are the MP-4’s?? I was expecting those at the top!!

    • Shane

      Apr 20, 2020 at 9:30 am

      I have a set of the original Tzoids in my close to this day. I tried the ‘Trues’ and hated them as well. Also had some MP 14s and MP67s. I liked the 67s quite a bit.

  28. GolfMan

    Apr 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Mizuno makes the best irons, hands down.

  29. Timothy Murphy

    Apr 18, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    29’s over 14’s? Not so sure about that one.

    • JR Goddard

      Apr 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      I felt the same way. My MP-14’s were the best clubs I ever played.

      • kfree

        Apr 20, 2020 at 7:14 am

        Absolutely. I have yet to find a Mizuno that beats the MP-14. I wish they would re-release this set.

      • Charles Leu

        Apr 20, 2020 at 1:16 pm

        +1

  30. James

    Apr 18, 2020 at 11:55 am

    The TN-87 and it’s not even close. If you have a set, as I still do, you will understand. They were gifted to me after a successful business deal when Japan was busy buying up California and Hawaii.

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Whats in the Bag

Madelene Sagström WITB 2021 (April)

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Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Evolution II 665 Tour Spec S

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Evolution II 765 Tour Spec S

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (tour adjustable) (17 degrees set to 19)
Shaft: Fujikura Evolution II 765 Tour Spec S

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (4), X-Forged ’18 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour 90

Wedges: Callaway MD5 Jaws (50-10S, 54-10S, 58-08 C)
Shafts: KBS Tour 90 R

Putter: Odyssey O-Works

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R Logo Down

(Featured image c/o Callaway)

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/22/21): Custom BB1F Bettinardi putter

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a custom Bettinardi BB1F.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Bettinardi putters and Titleist irons

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Best irons in golf of 2021: Easiest to launch

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

best irons 2021 pure enjoyment

2021 Best irons: Easy to launch

This category of irons is aimed to help players who need height. With today’s modern golf ball, creating proper flight widows and spin can be difficult for some players—especially those at lower speeds, and this is where technology can really help. All of these irons do everything they can to create shot-stopping trajectories, regardless of clubhead speed.

Ping G710

best irons 2021

Their story: The key element of the Ping G710 irons is in the materials used to build them. Thanks to maraging steel’s high strength and durability attributes, engineers can push the face thinner, which in turn creates more discretionary mass to move around the head to raise MOI and increase forgiveness. Beyond that, each face of the G710 iron is machined with variable-wall thickness to increase ball speeds around the whole hittable surface to help with those pesky mishits and keep ball speeds and distances consistent.

Just like with other hollow irons from Ping, the body of the iron is maximized to flex along with the face to assist in energy transfer to the ball while also being built to provide a solid and pleasant feel. It’s one thing to offer more forgiveness, but if golfers don’t like the feel, all the effort is wasted.

From the fitters

  • The G710 irons offer supreme forgiveness and a low center of gravity. They just want to get up in the air, which is great for those golfers who struggle to stop shots coming into greens.
  • These irons are really forgiving and pack a ton of ball speed. With as well as they perform, I still feel they fly under the radar for their ability to throw the ball up in the air.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Callaway Big Bertha B21

best irons 2021

Their story: The Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons appeal to higher-handicappers and players who tend to slice the ball. The irons contain a large amount of offset, wide soles and a thick topline, and feature a Visible Tungsten Energy Core (VTEC) for the very first time which deepens the CG in design to make these irons extremely easy to launch.

The irons also feature a unique Flash Face architecture in each iron in a bid to provide high balls speeds and increased spin robustness throughout the bag on each loft. Complimenting the Flash Face Cup is a 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact to help increase ball speed further.

From the fitters

  • Probably the most forgiving iron out in the market for golfers who need to both get the ball up in the air but also to help stop the dreaded fade. The matching hybrids are the perfect complement to build a high launching combo set.
  • This iron is hot and forgiving and just launches to the moon for slower players

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

best irons 2021

Their story: The Launcher HB Turbo irons feature a redesigned HiBore Crown, which pushes the center of gravity low and deep within the sole – a placement that is designed to allow golfers to launch their ball higher. The clubs also contain progressive shaping throughout, as the designers at Cleveland sought to provide players with a smooth transition by offering maximum forgiveness on long irons to optimal control on short irons.

From the fitters

  • The Launcher HB Turbo irons are a straightforward high-flying set built to maximize launch. The wide sole also helps glide the iron through the turf.
  • They are super easy to hit, super high launch, and pack a lot of distance. The only drawback is the full hybrid look can be a bit too much for some players, but most change their tune very quickly after seeing the results they produce.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

XXIO Eleven Series

best irons 2021

Their story: Thanks to their low profile geometry along with a forged titanium faceplate, tungsten sole weight, and intricate composite construction the XXIO Eleven Irons are easy to hit and very easy to get up in the air.

It’s also not just about the materials, but also how they use them. The thin titanium face is designed to create maximum flex resulting in additional ball speed and two slots cut behind that face, form a double undercut cavity to help get shots hit lower on the face up in the air faster to promote extra carry.

From the fitters:

  • The Eleven series is a great lightweight game improvement iron that helps slow-speed players. It works exactly as advertised to boost launch and feels unbelievable.
  • Every golfer that I have fit into these has raved about how great this iron set has been—total game changes.
  • Incredible height and ball speed. XXIO really has designed an iron that delivers the whole package by having the head and shaft pair so well.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

XXIO Prime Series

best irons 2021

Their story: XXIO and its whole Prime line of clubs are one of the leaders in the world of lightweight golf equipment. With the 2021 Prime line, XXIO continues to offer some of the fastest and most forgiving clubs on the market for golfers in the moderate-to-slow speed category looking for speed and height.

The key to the XXIO Prime irons is strategic weighting and mass saving at every possible step without sacrificing forgiveness. The faces of the Prime irons are made of the same Super-Tix Plus titanium, as the fairways and hybrids – how’s that for speed!

From the fitters:

  • Premium materials, top-end technology, and designed with the singular goal of making the game easier for players who have lost distance and need height. 
  • It’s always fun to hand this iron to a golfer who you know it is going to benefit and see their face light up when they see a trajectory that they didn’t think was even possible.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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